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Old 01-31-2002, 01:13 PM   #1
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U2 Super Bowl article

You know I think this guy likes U2

Hanging with rock heroes beats more boring football-speak

Don Banks, cnnsi.com

NEW ORLEANS -- Deep in my heart, I just know it's going to be tough
to sit through another Bill Belichick news conference after this.

I just had my greatest Super Bowl moment of all time, and it'll stand
even if I get to cover this baby until they tack a C in front of all
those X's in the Roman numerals.

The heck with Brady and Bledsoe. I just went to see Bono and the
boys, live and in person -- not to mention up close -- at a Wednesday
afternoon news conference to hype the Super Bowl XXXVI halftime show.

For the uninitiated, that would be U2, the world's greatest rock band
for 20 years running. You can look it up.

Bono. The Edge. Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton. Right there in
front of me, not 20 yards. Laughing, posing, and taking our
questions. Is this a great country or what?

Cast into what could have been a painfully out-of-character setting,
the boys from Dublin played the moment with perfect pitch, proving to
a few hundred reporters or so that they have more range than we might
have imagined.

They were glib. They were witty. They were faking their way through
most of the football questions. Just like Rams punter John Baker.

"There's been a lot written about the whole Brady-versus-Bledsoe
issue over the past few days," deadpanned The Edge, the band's ultra-
cool lead guitarist. "We are not here to add to that topic today. So
we're not going to be fielding any questions on that issue. That will
be up to coach Belichick, what he wants to do.

"However, it does have to be said that Drew Bledsoe has a superior
long pass, and Tom Brady's sore ankle is a bit of a problem. I had a
sore ankle once and it lasted for a good deal longer than one week.
But we are not here to talk about Brady and Bledsoe."

Now this is what I want out of every Super Bowl news conference. It
was the first time I was excited about anything this week. Wednesday
almost made up for the fact that I'm still not over missing Jewel and
her cleavage at the commissioner's Super Bowl party in San Diego in
1998.

When Bono took a football and struck his own version of the Heisman
pose, calling it the Hewson pose, my years of allegiance to the band
paid off handsomely. As reporters around me struggled to discern the
obscure reference, I casually informed them that Bono's real name is
Paul Hewson, thus the Hewson pose. (I could have added that The Edge
was born David Evans, but, hey, why show off?)

Then again, I attended five shows in three different cities on U2's
2001 world tour, so the little distinction of being the band
historian on my side of the ballroom was well-earned. I can't even
tell you how much money of mine the lads have pocketed, but suffice
to say it was enough to buy a few rounds of drinks for everybody on
their tour charter. And tip the flight attendants.

Greatest show on turf? The St. Louis Rams' season was small potatoes
compared to the 2001 turned in by U2, who were named rock band of the
year by Rolling Stone. For those still groping for perspective, I
think U2 is to rock and roll what the 1972 Dolphins are to the NFL,
only without Don Shula's jaw.

Reporters repeatedly tried to get the band to declare an allegiance
to either the Patriots or the Rams. One reporter from Boston reminded
the fellows that Boston holds the country's biggest concentration of
Irish-Americans, letting Bono kind of get his drift.

"It sounds easy," Bono said. "But as you know, or maybe you don't
know, The Edge used to baby-sit Kurt Warner. So we're not ready to
come out on that."

Some might wonder if I deemed to ask the modern-day Fab Four a
question. Nope. I was not about to look like a fan. Even though I am,
and attended the news conference without a pen, notebook or recorder.
My sole purpose for being there was an up-close glimpse of the group
I've followed since 1983. If I would have had a lighter on me, I
would have flicked it, held it up, and screamed at the top of my
lungs.

Initially, I was skeptical. On Tuesday, when one of my friends and co-
horts who knows of my U2 devotion pointed out that the grease board
in the media center contained a line about U2 being featured at a
1:30 p.m. news conference on Wednesday, I scoffed.

Repeatedly. Live via satellite, maybe. More likely, a canned and
taped message from the band shot last month, while they were on
holiday in Ireland (that's how they say it over there, you know).

But U2 as we live and breath, four days before they are to perform a
12-minute concert at halftime Sunday at the Superdome? Get real, I
said. I just couldn't believe that the NFL had enough clout to get
the band to go along with the idea of being grilled by the likes of
me.

Who knew? I mean, besides Paul Tagliabue?

So now they can play the little football game, hand out the trophy
and we'll all pack up and fly home Monday. For me, Super Bowl week
will never be the same. I'm ruined.

Bono, Belichick? Bono, Belichick? You decide.

Don Banks covers pro football for CNNSI.com -- and attends as many U2
concerts as possible in his spare time.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...ews/2002/01/30
/banks_u2insider/




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"I was born a MacPhisto"
 
Old 01-31-2002, 01:28 PM   #2
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Awesome! Thanks for posting Stormy!

I got a real kick out of the "Hewson" pose!

[This message has been edited by kariatari (edited 01-31-2002).]
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Old 01-31-2002, 01:31 PM   #3
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great article. thanks.
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Old 01-31-2002, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Stormy*:
U2 is to rock and roll what the 1972 Dolphins are to the NFL
What a great article, what a great quote!
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Old 01-31-2002, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Stormy*:

Bono, Belichick? Bono, Belichick? You decide.
I say combine 'em.

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Old 01-31-2002, 01:46 PM   #6
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Great article!!! Thanks for posting that! Always fun to hear 'fan' stories... because essentially, that's what that was! I can't wait for Sunday. What a surprise it will be.
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Old 01-31-2002, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Stormy*:


"There's been a lot written about the whole Brady-versus-Bledsoe
issue over the past few days," deadpanned The Edge, the band's ultra-
cool lead guitarist. "We are not here to add to that topic today. So
we're not going to be fielding any questions on that issue. That will
be up to coach Belichick, what he wants to do.

"However, it does have to be said that Drew Bledsoe has a superior
long pass, and Tom Brady's sore ankle is a bit of a problem. I had a
sore ankle once and it lasted for a good deal longer than one week.
But we are not here to talk about Brady and Bledsoe."


When Bono took a football and struck his own version of the Heisman
pose, calling it the Hewson pose, my years of allegiance to the band
paid off handsomely. As reporters around me struggled to discern the
obscure reference, I casually informed them that Bono's real name is
Paul Hewson, thus the Hewson pose. (I could have added that The Edge
was born David Evans, but, hey, why show off?)

Those are my favorite parts!

Great story, thanks for posting it.

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Old 01-31-2002, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bonochick:
I say combine 'em.

LMAO!


Yes, great article...got to get him around here!
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Old 01-31-2002, 07:19 PM   #9
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"If I would have had a lighter on me, I
would have flicked it, held it up, and screamed at the top of my
lungs."


LOL
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Old 01-31-2002, 08:12 PM   #10
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That was fantastic!!!!!!!! I know just how he feels.

Thanks for posting.

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Old 01-31-2002, 09:50 PM   #11
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Bitchin'. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 01-31-2002, 09:59 PM   #12
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methinks Swan269 and this guy should hook up for drinks or something. u2 journalist/fans unite.
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