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Bradying the new Tebowing

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 8, 2012 08:53 AM

bradying.jpgPlanking begat Tebowing, which begat Gronking, which has now begat Bradying.

The latest "posing" phenomenon beginning to make its way around the internet asks its practitioners to assume the position Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did after he threw a pass that was intercepted by the Giants' Chase Blackburn in the Super Bowl.

A web site called bradying.com has cropped up to allow users to submit photos of people imitating Brady. A similar site was launched when Tebowing became popular after Denver quarterback Tim Tebow began to gain fame for his football heroics and signature move after scoring touchdowns.

Video: Gronkowski dances night away

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 8, 2012 08:22 AM

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski showed off better moves at the Patriots' after-party than he did in the Super Bowl, judging by a video posted to YouTube by The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich.

The video claims to show Gronkowski dancing on stage with LMFAO shortly after the Patriots lost to the Giants, 21-17. Gronkowski, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC Championship game, only had two catches in the Super Bowl.

Tackle Matt Light also joined in on the festivities. The Names Blog has more details on the Patriots' after-party, which was held in a large tent at a baseball stadium near Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


Mark Herzlich's Giants airplane celebration video goes viral

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 7, 2012 09:41 AM

Video apparently taken by Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich of the team's celebration on an airplane as it flew home after winning the Super Bowl has become extremely popular.

"My 'I GOT A RING' video got 1.1M views in under 24hrs. Much love!" was posted on Herzlich's official Twitter account this morning.

The video was posted to a YouTube account also bearing Herzlich's name. The former Boston College linebacker was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent and dressed for 11 games for the Giants this season. He was inactive for Sunday's Super Bowl.

Maria Menounos pays off Super Bowl bet

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 6, 2012 03:48 PM

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Maria Menounos and Extra host Mario Lopez appeared in Times Square (Getty Images).


Maria Menounos made good today on her Super Bowl bet with her Extra co-host AJ Calloway.

Menounos, an avid Boston sports fan, wore a Giants bikini in Times Square in New York this morning. Had the Patriots won, Calloway would have been forced to wear a Patriots cheerleader outfit.

Gisele responds to taunts

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 6, 2012 08:33 AM

Gisele Bundchen, the wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, responded to fans who taunted her after the Super Bowl last night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

As she was making her way to an exit, someone called out "Eli owns your husband," a reference to Brady being outplayed in the Super Bowl by Giants quarterback Eli Manning. On the video above, Gisele can be heard responding "my husband can not ... throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."

The Patriots had several receivers drop passes in the fourth quarter, including Wes Welker and Deion Branch.

Video: Fans and Patriots family members fired up for the Super Bowl

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff February 5, 2012 06:34 PM
INDIANAPOLIS -- It was a festive scene in the Super Bowl village and inside Lucas Oil Stadium before kickoff today.

We've got excited Patriots fans, we've got obnoxious Giants fans, and fans of the host-city Colts and other teams as well.

We also caught up with family members -- from the Spikes, Love, and Green-Ellis camps -- that shared their thoughts on Super Bowl XLVI and the Giants and Patriots.

Dicks Sporting Goods declares Patriots champs early

Posted by Staff February 5, 2012 06:08 PM

If the Patriots go on to win the Super Bowl, there will be plenty of championship merchandise to be had. But Dicks Sporting Goods jumped the gun a bit early on Sunday, declaring the Patriots this year's Super Bowl champions in an ad for championship gear during the Celtics-Grizzlies game.

If it's any consolation for the folks at Dicks Sporting Goods, the Giants website was (momentarily) selling championship gear as early as Saturday.


Tweets galore as Super Bowl nears

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 5, 2012 04:43 PM

As you can imagine, Twitter is burning pretty hot today with Super Bowl sentiment.

Two in particular stand out.

First, Giants defensive end Chris Canty added to the bulletin-board material he provided earlier in the week by tweeting the Giants would win the Super Bowl by a 28-17 score. Then he deleted the tweet.

Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski's pornstar friend, Bibi Jones, sent a tweet addressed to Gronk that contained a link to a racy photo of herself, once again wearing a Gronkowski shirt. During the Patriots' bye week in October, Gronkowski made headlines by posing with Jones, who was wearing his Patriots jersey.

Take a shot glass or two

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff February 5, 2012 03:11 PM

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A commemorative Super Bowl XLVI shot glass.

INDIANAPOLIS -- As we get settled into our seats at Lucas Oil Stadium, we're doing some venturing around the stadium. In large events like this, the media often times mix with the crowds.

As you can imagine, the Super Bowl is a highly branded event. Of the many trinkets for sale at the stadium are commemorative shot glasses, emblazoned with the Patriots, New York Giants and Super Bowl XLVI logos.

We're about three hours away from the game and clear version of the shot glass, as you can see above, is already selling out in our wing of the stadium. There are also options for cream colored glasses, as well as black colored glasses.

Vignettes from Indianapolis

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff February 4, 2012 11:47 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- As if the Patriots’ stickers on Beth Goldrosen’s cheeks and the team-themed earrings in her ears, as well as the Patriots socks, jersey, jacket, and even underwear were not enough, today there will be face paint. But only after Goldrosen, who is from Whitman, Mass., goes on her 13-mile morning run. She is, after all, training for the Boston Marathon.

“Priorities,” the 46-year-old quipped yesterday in the middle of the madness in downtown Indianapolis as she strolled with her nephew and sister, who live in Indianapolis.

Upping the celebrating factor, her sister’s birthday happens to fall on Super Bowl Sunday this year.

“Tom Brady was so nice to bring me a Super Bowl for my birthday,” said her sister Andrea Healy who turns 42 today.

To call them uberfans would be an understatement.

“We brushed our teeth with Patriots toothbrushes,” Goldrosen said.

And today?

“I’m going to paint my face, a star on each cheek, this side red and this side blue,” she said pointing to her right and left cheeks respectively.

The stars will be white or silver -- depending in how much paint she has.

-- Akilah Johnson, Globe Staff

Did you know the Pope was in town for the Super Bowl?

He is, as a life-size, cardboard cutout in the lobby of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. A faceless nun and a headless priest cutout stand next to the pontiff, waiting for passersby to snap their photos with the trio.

The church, which sits in the heart of the Super Bowl Village, decided to put the cutouts up to attract visitors. According to its newsletter, the church is “Opening Wide the Doors to Christ during Super Bowl XLVI.”

Visiting priest Rev. Shaun Wesley, in town from Arkansas to help with confessions and Mass this weekend, said the cutouts were a lighthearted way to let people know about the church, which opted not to close amid the crush of football fans and spectators this weekend -- more than 200,000 on Friday alone.

But, he admitted, there’s a serious, if subtle, message behind the figures: “That is to say, can you see yourself here in one of these vocations?”

The church doors will be open throughout today for anyone who gets tired of the bars.

-- Akilah Johnson, Globe Staff

All week, Linda Miller has been a one-woman smile machine at the Hampton Inn in Fishers, a suburb of Indianapolis, where she has presided over the continental breakfast like she’s hosting Thanksgiving for her family.

“Hoosier hospitality,” she likes to say.

And, so far, it has gone over well with the visitors from the Northeast who are, perhaps, not as known for their gentility. But then, at the grocery store, she was introduced to a very particular type of charm.

“I saw a guy who looked like an out-of-towner, and I said, ‘I hope you’re having a good time in Indianapolis.’” He looked at her funny, she said. Then he asked, very rudely, “Do you work here?”

Miller was taken aback. She did not like that attitude one bit.

“As soon as he looked at me, I thought, ‘He’s a New York person, and I was just being nice.’”

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

Rachel Cameron of Watertown was walking through the Super Bowl Village in the rain yesterday with only one real goal: she wanted to see famous people.

It wasn’t going so well. “So far, I saw the back of Jimmy Fallon’s head,” she said.

But her friend, Ross Feinbergcq of South Boston, had done a little better, depending on how you look at it.

“We were drinking, and Cal Ripken was drinking right next to us, and he waved at us, and in some cultures that’s like having a beer with Cal Ripken.”

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

Normally, Mel Tockman is a doctor in Tampa. In Indianapolis, his job is to sell programs for $20 a pop inside the NFL Experience.

Tockman had come to Indianapolis with his church group to volunteer at the Super Bowl, and though he wasn’t exactly saving lives, he was still handing out important advice.

A fan approached. His face was itchy and he needed advice. He didn’t know Tockman was a doctor, but he did know Tockman had a beard. And the man, who had grown his “playoff beard,” wanted to know: Will it ever stop itching?

Tockman told him he would be fine -- and didn’t even ask for a referral.

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

When the Patriots beat the Denver Broncos for a ticket to the AFC title game, Dicky Eagan, who was a bit drunk, used his phone to buy plane tickets to Indianapolis.

“I didn’t want to jinx it,” said Eagan, a Fall River native who is now a television writer in Los Angeles, “but I still wanted to be ahead of the game.”

As soon as they beat the Baltimore Ravens for a trip to the Super Bowl, Eagan got on his phone and started trying to figure out the big question for many out-of-town fans: Where to find a place to stay?

First, he rented an RV in Chicago and booked a spot at an RV park outside of Indianapolis. Then he and his fiancé got a rental car as a backup. Then someone gave them a free hotel room so he cancelled the RV.

It was a mess. But on Saturday, they finally made it to the city.

“Now we just need to find some tickets,” he said.

One thing at a time.

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

Giants' web site offers championship gear

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 4, 2012 05:43 PM

giants_champs.jpgThe Giants' web site today had a momentary lapse of reality when it displayed a page declaring them as Super Bowl champions and offering clothing and Internet badges.

Mistakes like this are common. Media and advertisers must prepare for both outcomes of a championship game.

In the best-case scenario, a web page can be pulled quickly, although usually not before someone gets a screengrab of the gaffe.

The worst-case scenario is a mistake makes it into a printed product, as was the case in Miami this summer when the Miami Herald ran an advertisement for Miami Heat NBA championship items the day after the Mavericks beat the Heat in the NBA Finals.

The NFL even reported the story of the Giants' mistake on NFL.com.

Bruins' bear delivers special message

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 4, 2012 03:31 PM

The Bruins' bear commandeered the video screen above the ice at TD Garden today during the Bruins' game vs. the Penguins and cut into its regularly scheduled programming to send a special message to the Patriots.

Patriots cheerleaders at Super Bowl

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 4, 2012 11:57 AM

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Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The Patriots cheerleaders have arrived in Indianapolis and have been out and about greeting the team's fans. The photo above was taken at a meet-and-greet at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel, and they also made an appearance at a bar popular with Pats fans.

Photos: Patriots cheerleaders in Indy

Video: Fans demonstrate the 'Brady hop'

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 3, 2012 04:57 PM

Darren Durlach and Stan Grossfeld wandered about Indy today looking for people willing to re-enact the end zone plunge that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did to win the AFC Championship game.

They got some takers. Check out their report.

Boston.com to join Sports Hub 98.5 in Indy for fan party

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 3, 2012 03:00 PM
Patriots fans heading to Indianapolis can join the Sports Hub 98.5 for its Patriots Fan Takeover party at Broad Ripple Tavern from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. If you can't make it to Indy, Boston.com will be streaming live video so you can feel like you're part of the event.

Boston.com has been streaming live from Indy all week, offering video chats with Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy. Check the live video and the schedule of streaming events exclusively at www.boston.com/live.

Broad Ripple Tavern is located at 745 Broad Ripple Ave. in Indianapolis. For more information on the event, visit this web page.

Check out some of the fun menu items Broad Ripple Tavern has added special for the Patriots Fan Takeover bash.

Championship Cocktails

WELKER WATER- Absolut Vodka, soda, sprite, lime. Hooters approved!
BOSTON TEA PARTY- Absolut Wild Tea and lemonade. Revolutionary!
BELICHICK- Captain and soda. What don’t you understand?

Shots

BRADY BOMB- Absolut Raspberry, energy drink, and lots of envy.
ELI BOMB- Blue raspberry vodka, energy drink. Simple yet surprisingly effective.
PEYTON BOMB- Not sure if we even have ‘em anymore.
GRONK SPIKE- Jagermeister, energy drink. Ball meet turf.
GISELLE IS THE “BOMB” BOMB- Cherry vodka, Peach schnapps, Brazilian energy drink.

Live video: Tour the NFL Experience in Indy today at 2 p.m.

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff February 3, 2012 11:38 AM
INDIANAPOLIS -- As Patriots fans continue to pour into downtown here at the host city, our schedule of live video events for the fans back in Boston and beyond continues from the Super Bowl this afternoon when we'll take a tour of The NFL Experience, pro football's expansive interactive theme park, at the Indiana Convention Center.

The NFL Experience spans more than 850,000 square feet, and features an abundance of interactive games and sponsor attractions, live entertainment, player autograph sessions, NFL Shop, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a Super Bowl rings display, and more.

If you're already here in Indy or arriving this weekend, some details if you're planning on stopping by The NFL Experience:

-- It will be open to the public today from 3 to 10 p.m., and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

-- Get your Gronk on tonight... with a couple of Gronkowski brothers. Tonight between 6:15 p.m. - 7 p.m at The NFL Experience, the NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Clinic will take place with Dan Gronkowski, currently with the Cleveland Browns, and Chris Gronkowski and Jamey Richard of the Indianapolis Colts on the Clinic Field.

-- Tickets to enter The NFL Experience are $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. All games and activities at the NFL Experience are included with the price of admission. Tickets to The NFL Experience may be purchased by calling (866) TIX-4NFL (849-4635), online at www.superbowl.com, at the Lucas Oil Stadium box office, or at the NFL Experience box office at the Indiana Convention Center. Tickets at the Indiana Convention Center box office will go on sale one hour before opening daily.

Madonna talks Gronkowski, Brady, A-Rod, and wardrobe malfunctions

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff February 2, 2012 03:10 PM
INDIANAPOLIS -- Tuesday was Media Day. Today was Madonna Day.

The one and only Material Girl, who will be performing in the halftime show at the Super Bowl, spoke to a packed house this afternoon at the JW Marriott, and she answered a few Patriots related questions.

"I'm so excited to be here, incredibly nervous," Madonna said. "This is a Midwesterner girl's dream to be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show."

WCVB-TV (Ch. 5) morning anchor Bianca de la Garza asked Madonna if she had to pick either Eli Manning or Tom Brady to hang out with on a Saturday night, which one would she choose.

"I have to say Eli because he lives in New York," she said. "And I don't want him to waste gas."

Madonna was told about Gisele Bundchen's plea for prayers for her husband Tom Brady on Sunday.

"Bless her" Madonna said. "That's great. She's a good wife."

In the goofball question of the day department, Rich Shertenlieb, from 98.5's Toucher and Rich show, asked if it was true that Alex Rodriguez has a painting of himself as a centaur, half man, half horse, in his home.

"If he does I haven't seen it," she said. "But I'm pretty sure he has a large photograph of me lying on a horse."

She elaborated on what kind of support is needed in such a big game.

"Two things: You have to be ready for your game," she said. "I approach my shows the same way. So rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Preparation. Be ready for anything. But then there's also just the support of the universe and the grace of God and as many Guardian Angels as you can attract so the combination of hard work and prayers is a good combination that will lead to success."

Doug "V.B." Goudie from Fox 25 in Boston asked if she had thoughts on whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski should play on Sunday and how much would a high ankle sprain affect her performance.

"Well a lot of people would say that I'm a bit of a masochist," she said. "I would just tape my ankle and say prayers, take an anti-inflammatory and get my butt out there... I hope he does [play].

And the possibility of a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction? Fugettabout it.

"Great attention to detail has been paid to my wardrobe," she said. "There will be no wardrobe malfunctions. Promise."

Madonna would not reveal anything about her act in terms who the surprise performers joining her may be or what songs she would be performing except to say she would be singing three old songs and one new song which will most likely be a new single released tomorrow titled "Gimme All Your Luvin."

"I don't want to blow the surprises," she said. "I want people to be knocked out of their seats."

The pop superstar said she has healed from a January injury suffered in rehearsals when she pulled a hamstring and sustained a bump on her nose from a microphone.

"My nose is healed," she said. "I'm OK. Lots of warm-ups and taping and ultrasound. I feel like I'm one of the football players right now with all the physical therapy I had to do. Mind over matter."

Madonna said she feels the pressure that will come with an anticipated 170 million people watching her performance on Sunday but today she seemed relaxed and confident, even doing a little Victor Cruz-style salsa dancing for the assembled media.

Report: Gisele seeks prayers for Brady

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 2, 2012 07:38 AM

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The New York Post this morning is reporting that supermodel Gisele Bundchen has sent an email to friends and family in which she asks them to pray for her husband, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The email's text, according to the Post:

“My sweet friends and family, this Sunday will be a really important day in my husband’s life. He and his team worked so hard to get to this point and now they need us more than ever to send them positive energy so they can fulfill their dream of winning this Super Bowl.

“So I kindly ask all of you to join me on this positive chain and pray for him, so he can feel confident, healthy and strong. Envision him happy and fulfilled experiencing with his team a victory this Sunday.

“Thank you for your love and support. Love, G :)”

The Post reached Bundchen by email and she expressed surprise the Post had a copy of her message, saying it was meant only for her inner circle.

Interesting Super Bowl 2012 prop bets

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff February 1, 2012 03:53 PM

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events in the world of entertainment, and with that comes plenty of opportunity to make and lose money. In addition to betting on the outcome of the game, gamblers know you can make "prop bets" on almost any measurable detail surrounding it.

Here are some of the more interesting ones (as of 4 p.m. Wednesday on Bovada.com):

Player odds to win MVP:

Tom Brady: 7/5
Eli Manning: 9/4
Rob Gronkowski: 10/1
Chad Ochocinco: 50/1
Kyle Arrington: 100/1

Color of Madonna's hair during the halftime show:

Blonde: -400
Any other color: +250

(For the newbies, the "minus" means that choice is favored, while "-400" means you have to bet the equivalent of $400 to win the equivalent of $100).

How long will it take Kelly Clarkson to sing the national anthem? (over/under 1:34)

Over: -120
Under: -120

How many times will Peyton Manning be shown on TV during the game? (over/under 3.5)

Over: -130
Under: -110

How many times will David Tyree's 2008 Super Bowl catch be shown on TV during the game? (over/under 1.5)

Over: Even
Under: -130

Tom Brady over/under 320.5 passing yards:

Over: -125
Under: -105

Chad Ochocinco over/under 0.5 receptions:

Over: -140
Under: +110

Player to score first TD in game:

Rob Gronkowski: 6/1
Victor Cruz: 7/1

What will be higher: Tom Brady's TD passes or Bruins total team goals vs. Capitals Sunday?

Pick 'em

Odds to win the game:

Giants: +3
Patriots: -3

Make way for Gronklings

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff February 1, 2012 03:10 PM

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Photos courtesy of Andy Clinkman

300gronkling.jpgA Boston-based custom shirt maker adorned the famous ducklings statues at Boston Public Garden with shirts that honor Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The white shirts were produced by Spreadshirt.com, and they read "Gronking" on the front, a tribute to Gronkowski's signature move of vehemently spiking footballs after scoring touchdowns.

Other statues have been spotted around the region suddenly sporting Patriots jerseys, and more are sure to be decorated in the days leading to Sunday's Super Bowl between the Patriots and Giants.

No interpretation needed for Vollmer's Super Bowl excitement

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff February 1, 2012 02:54 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- As one might expect at such a global event as the Super Bowl, media from all over the world have descended upon Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. And so, it came as no shock to see the German-born Sebastian Vollmer holding court today for German-speaking reporters during the Patriots' media availability session at the team's headquarters, the University Place Conference Center and Hotel.

Vollmer, a native of Kaarst, Germany, seemed at home in the Hoosier State speaking his native tongue as he fluently conversed with reporters from his homeland. The Patriots' right tackle no doubt told them he was feeling fine (after missing the last seven games with back and foot issues) and looking forward to playing against the Giants in Sunday's Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium.

vollmerlarge.jpgIt was worth nothing that Vollmer could hardly speak English when he came to the United States to play colllege football at the University of Houston. After his four-year term, Vollmer had become fluent in football as well the English language, despite having to overcome a language barrier of another sort when he had to decode the Texas twang of then UH-coach Art Briles.

And that, likely, is how Sebastian earned the college nickname of "SeaBass."

Looking to join in the conversation, I pulled up a chair next to Vollmer and immediately felt left out of it when he carried on in German.

I figured to engage the multi-lingual Vollmer in a language that was more within my grasp when I asked him, "Sprechen sie espanol?"

Vollmer laughed.

"I could try,'' he said (in English). "But it might be a short conversation.''

"I figured you might have picked it up a bit, seeing as you spent so much time in Texas during college,'' I explained.

"I should have,'' he said, smiling. "I should have.''

When it came to Vollmer's feeling about making the first Super Bowl appearance of his career, there was no translation needed.

"Obviously, it's such a great game and you just don't know when you're going to get back or if you're going to get back,'' he said. "To play in a Super Bowl, it's what any player dreams of, so it'll be very special. But still, if you play or not, you're still part of the team and you worked hard whatever you're role was during the year.

"So everyone deserves to be here and I'm sure everyone is excited,'' he said. "It's going to be an amazing feeling."

Robert Kraft on cover of Sports Illustrated

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff February 1, 2012 12:22 PM

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Patriots chairman Robert Kraft is on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated as his team plays in its fifth Super Bowl since the 2001 season. After the passing of Myra Kraft last year, this Super Bowl has been very much about the Patriots owner, who is also credited with having a big hand in the end of the lockout.

Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 and turned around what at that time was one of the NFL's least valuable franchises. Under Kraft, the Patriots have made the playoffs 12 times in 17 seasons and have won three Super Bowls.

Tom Brady was on the cover of last week's issue, so anyone worried about a cover-jinx should be doubly concerned.

Lego Land

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff February 1, 2012 09:02 AM

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Brian Alano of Bloomington, Ind., created this Lego version of Lucas Oil Stadium. It's on display at the JW Marriott, the media hotel and epicenter of Super Bowl XLVI activity.

New Englanders in Indy: Family descends on Indianapolis for Super Bowl

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff January 31, 2012 07:25 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- Maybe it’s the unseasonably warm weather or the fact that media day was today or both. But the momentum towards Sunday’s main event is building as the first glimpses of what will surely become a throng of Patriots fans stood out in downtown Indianapolis.

Fans posed for pictures in front of the Super Bowl XLVI sign inflated in Monument Circle like a gigantic balloon, giving thumbs up and thumbs down next to images of the Patriots and Giant mascots emblazoned on the base of the sign.

John Wuensch, a Hoosier native decked out in his beloved Colts blue and white, was all smiles as his wife, Joyce Wuensch, clicked away in front of the Patriots logo. And why wouldn’t he be? The country’s largest sporting event is in his hometown, which means his Patriots-loving daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren soon will be too. “We only get to see them about once a year,” Joyce Wuensch said of the family that live in Franklin, Mass.

This will be the second Super Bowl for their daughter and her husband, both of whom are season ticket holders who moved to Massachusetts after graduating from Purdue University, their parents said. In 2005, the couple watched the Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville and will be in Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday witnessing, they hope, another victory. Who won’t be with them this time are Joyce and John. “They only got four tickets,” Joyce Wuensch said. “Their youngest will be staying with us too.”

For Mary Breen, Indianapolis might now be home but its football league will never be her home team, said the Milford native who moved her in 2004.

Decked out in Patriots gear, Breen and her 16-year-old daughter Riley wore ear-to-ear smiles as they made their way to Monument Circle after Media Day. “We got tickets and all that a long time ago, but when they beat the Ravens I cried like a baby,” Breen said.

The 53-year-old said she’s taken a lot of abuse at work for her team loyalty—and the “Big Brady” head above her desk and Super Bowl championship snow globe.
“I never thought my team would be here,” she said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

What will Maria Menounos be wearing on Sunday... and beyond?

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff January 31, 2012 04:25 PM
INDIANAPOLIS -- Medford native and Emerson alum Maria Menounos arrived at the JW Marriott today to cover Media Day for "Extra," the celebrity news show she co-hosts with Mario Lopez.

Menounous is a big time Patriots fan and has been to every Super Bowl since New England won Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in 2002.

She's often been spotted wearing a Tom Brady No. 12 top, which she had on today, but she revealed that she's going to be wearing something new for Super Bowl XLVI.

"I actually have a very special jersey that I had designed for Sunday," Menounos said. "It's a Tom Brady jersey, but it's going to look extra sparkly."

Menounos said she's tired of the Giants fans parading around Hollywood.

"I'm sick of those Giants fans," Menounos said. "I've been spreading the Patriots love, so at the SAG Awards I made sure everyone who was not rooting for the Giants was rooting for the Pats."

Menounos also has a little action on the game: She bet her "Extra" colleague A.J. Calloway that if the Giants upset the Patriots on Sunday, she must co-host "Extra" wearing a Giants bikini. Menounos's bet was exposed during her brief Q&A with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski's thoughts on the bet? "At least there's a positive if we lose," he said.

Tom Brady says he admires Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff January 31, 2012 02:59 PM

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Tom Brady once wore a Yankees hat in public, and now he's a fan of a Los Angeles Laker. Oh, the horror.

Brady was asked about the success of the other three Boston sports teams during Super Bowl media day today, and he responded by praising the Celtics foremost, followed by the Red Sox and Bruins. But Brady also said he admired the star of the Celtics' most-hated opponent, and in doing so he also praised the Yankeescaptain.

"I actually saw Kobe Bryant for the first time when they went to the [NBA] Finals in Boston," said Brady. "It's someone that I really look up to and admire, because of his competitiveness. I'd never met him before. You always watch other athletes and how they play the game and what makes them successful. You seem them play the game the way you think it needs to be played, like Derek Jeter. I love the way that he plays the game. You see some of those great caliber athletes. You look up to them and admire what it takes day in and day out to be a great player."

Outside of this blatant attempt to manufacture a controversy, there are a lot of similarities between Brady, Jeter, and Bryant. All three players have won multiple titles, and all three players have a competitive drive that has elevated them to be among the best players in their respective sports. Not only are Brady, Jeter, and Bryant among the best players in their sports today, they're among the best of all-time.

Don't like it? Think of it this way: It would be much, much worse if the two players Brady mentioned were LeBron James and Alex Rodriguez.

Boston chefs Jamie Bissonnette, Tiffani Faison, Gabriel Frasca, and Matt Jennings call New York's bluff

Posted by Rachel Raczka January 31, 2012 10:05 AM

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Four Boston area chefs have laid down some serious terms for what Food & Wine online has deemed a "Super Bowl Smackdown." Sweet Cheeks founder and "Top Chef" alumna Tiffani Faison (pictured above), spearheaded the wager between chefs in the two cities last week that outlines a very treacherous set of terms to be followed if the chefs' respective football team loses the Super Bowl.

On Team Boston: Faison, Jamie Bissonnette, of Toro and Coppa, Matt Jennings, of La Laiterie and Farmstead in Providence, and Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf, Ventuno, and Provisions, in Nantucket.

On Team New York? Who cares? (Just kidding.) Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen and Faison's "Top Chef" season one co-star, Lee Anne Wong of Vynl.

Now, as we said before, there will be some serious dues to be paid for the losing team ... for a full seven days. Faison's publicist sent over the losers' tasks as followed:

  • Wear the opposing team’s jersey in their restaurant .The jersey cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.
  • Wear a Statue of Liberty hat (Boston) or a lobster hat (NYC) in their restaurant. The hat cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.
  • Feature N.E. clam chowder (NY) or pastrami on rye (Boston) prominently on [their] menu with the following wording: "In honor of the greatest football team on earth the (winning team here (cannot just put 'winning team,' they must name them)) (Restaurant name(s)) is proudly featuring (name of dish)."
  • Tweet a picture of themselves in their hats and jerseys eating the featured dish in [their] restaurant all seven days.

Salt on the wound? The team that wins arrive in the losing team's town to bring them their new week-long uniform and order their hometown dish from the menu. Ouch.

[Top image via Barry Chin/Globe staff]

Video: Indy's other big sports event

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff January 31, 2012 07:57 AM

The Super Bowl is far from the city of Indianapolis's first rodeo when it comes to holding major sports events. Its biggest annual event is the Indianapolis 500 auto race, which features cars named for the place -- Indycars.

Videographer Darren Durlach met with Marco Andretti, grandson of Indy legend Mario Andretti, to learn more about the track and the race and their place in the world of sports.

Just who are Patriots fans, Giants fans?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff January 30, 2012 03:22 PM

If you're a fan of either the Patriots or Giants, odds are you have some opinions about fans of the other team. It's likely that some of your assumptions are totally uncalled for. Some of them might be true. Heck, we at Boston.com are even guilty of filling your heads with cheap shots at the other side.

The folks at Wisdom have developed an app for Facebook that gives you a better idea about exactly what kind of people root for the Giants and Patriots. In a nutshell, the app gathers data from Facebook users who opt in. Out of some 5 million users who have opted in, some 37,000 have liked the Patriots' official Facebook page, while 25,000 have liked the Giants's page.

There's a cool chart below showing some of the favorites listed by Giants and Patriots fans. That a portion of Giants fans listed "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" as their favorite book is a joke that doesn't have to be made. The choice of alcohol (Hennessy vs. Naragansett) is telling as well.

The Wisdom folks were also kind enough to walk me through their tool, which basically mines the data of its users and allows you to categorize it. For example, both Giants and Patriots fans list Family Guy as their favorite television show. Martell's Tiki Bar on the Jersey Shore is the most popular bar of Giants fans, while DJ Pauly D is most popular in the "art" category (ahead of the Museum of Modern Art).

Patriots fans, according to the data, are partial to the piano bar Howl at the Moon, and they get major credit for identifying the greatness of Sullivan's hot dog stand on Castle Island. Their most popular books are Harry Potter, followed by the Bible.

Statisticians out there will point out that the numbers might not represent all Patriots or Giants fans, and they're right. The sample size here is limited in comparison to how many actual Patriots and Giants fans are out there, and the data being measured here is for fans on Facebook who opt in and who like their team's official Facebook page. There's also the fact that some restaurants and bars and bands and movies are better at advertising themselves and are therefore more likely to be "liked" themselves on Facebook. But assuming more fans sign up every day -- and they are -- it's a cool way to break down the data. Check it out if you have time and are looking for more ammunition to use against that annoying Patriots/Giants fan in your life.

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Colts owner Jim Irsay evokes John F. Kennedy

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff January 30, 2012 03:03 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's Super Bowl week and there's no reason to think the Patriots and New York Giants are the only organizations with something to showcase.

In fact, the entire state of Indiana is being showcased. You can tell as much when the governor of the state, Mitch Daniels, the host city's mayor, Greg Ballard, and Colts owner Jim Irsay are on hand to tout the work being put in place for Super Bowl XLVI.

Whether it's the super scarves that have been handcrafted around the world, the baskets of hope for children's hospitals or raising awareness of the breast tissue center in the city, community relations have been at the forefront. Irsay evoked John F. Kennedy when talking about the efforts the state's residents have put forth with the eyes of the world on this midwest city.

"The thing that I've said, and I believe about this event, is ask not what the Super Bowl can do for you, but what you can do for the Super Bowl when you're in this community," Irsay said. "Because to me this isn't about the Colts. This is about Indianapolis, about Indiana. And we're really excited to show everyone what we're about.

"And I know being on the Super Bowl committee, which I've been on for years, I know that the way we're prepared, the way that we've controlled the weather -- which has been hard, but we have certain techniques we're gonna keep hidden and I hope they hold -- we're really excited. It's something that I know we're going to do an outstanding job."

Irsay and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard both hope they can attract another Super Bowl, despite the city being deemed a cold-weather town.

"I think that people feel that the regular cycle, for regular teams, of four to five years, may not be the best way to go," Ballard said. "I think eight to 10 years is doable. And I think we can get on a regular rotation. I hope to get on a regular rotation."

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Direct from the Super Scene in Indianapolis, this blog focuses on all the things that surround the big game, from the hype and analysis to multimedia, fan features and anything else we can unearth. We'll keep the regular Patriots and football news in our Extra Points blog.

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