This is because I'll be sitting outside. After a few trial runs, your columnist eschews the press box -- it's the worst possible place to watch a football game. In most NFL press boxes, there are TV monitors, desks or counters to set up a laptop, free sandwiches, assistants who hand out stat sheets, and of course protection from the elements. But sportswriters may end up talking to each other or surfing the web rather than watching the game. Observing a few press boxes, I came to the conclusion that so many sportswriters and sportscasters focus on stars' personalities or coaches' postgame comments, but rarely discuss in-game tactics, because they weren't paying much attention.
Outside, there's nothing but paying attention. At a high school game, I watch the first half from the highest stand at midfield, then in the second half put a press pass around my neck and prowl on one team's sideline for the third quarter and the other's for the fourth quarter. That seems the ideal way to understand what happens in a game. This is not practical for the NFL or big-college football -- typically there is one sideline reporter stipulated by contract with the network carrying the contest, and everybody else is shepherded into the press box. My solution is to sit in the stands. A low seat allows one to hear what is being said on the field and get a clear view of line play. It's better than being in the press box. Though at the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami, when there was steady rain, being outside made it hard to take notes. Shivering may do the same this year.
"Stay the Heck Out of Our Hemisphere," President James Monroe Tweeted: Last week Caroline Kennedy, new U.S. ambassador to Japan, offended many Japanese with a tweet about slaughter of dolphins. Whether an ambassador should flatter her host country or challenge it is a long-standing debate in international affairs. At least Kennedy's post had substance. Consider these typical politician's tweets:
Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund:
International cooperation is precisely what is needed at this time to forge a better future– we need to keep the momentum going #188together— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) October 13, 2013
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations:
Political leaders must resolve divisions democratically–can't escalate situation. #SouthSudan has come too far to relapse into violence now.— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) December 18, 2013
John Kerry, Secretary of State:
It's too much to expect politicians to go off script on Twitter -- give Kennedy credit for trying.
Picture Worth a Thousand Tweets: Check this composite illustration.
If Only They'd Been Picked for the Same Team: In October, TMQ noted the Super Bowl would need to be Saints-Browns in order for audiences to behold Cameron Jordan versus Jordan Cameron. As pointed out by many readers including Alvarado Vargas of Texcoco, Mexico, these gentlemen faced each other in Sunday's Pro Bowl.