Super Mom Bowl

Get ready to read a very profound and powerful lead. A lead that will knock your socks off.

Okay, ready? On three. 1...2....

I love my mother. (Sorry, but I just couldn't wait for the 3 count.)

Wow, can you believe it? I mean, how exciting is that!!

What? What's that? You love your mother too? Really? Alright, alright, okay then - I guess I'll buy that. But check this out: My mom's the best. Oh yeah, I have the numero uno madre in the entire world. That's right.

Huh? You're saying that that you have the best mamma on Earth? There's no way. I mean, no disrespect to your mom or anything - I'm sure she's great. But I'm quite positive she can't hang with my mom.

Of course, I'm biased. But I think I can prove it.

Mom likes Shakespeare. She bought me the Star Wars trilogy. She gets my jokes. She makes a mean lasagna. She gets fired up easily, which, like her knack for lasagna, is largely due to her Italian heritage.

She dresses well. She deals with junior high kids on a regular basis (she teaches) and still has an invigorating laugh you can pick out of a crowd. And she sometimes still does my laundry.

She lets me drink milk directly from the jug (I mean, I hope she lets me). And she reads this column; so I know at least two people do - my editor and mom - but my editor has to.

Yet beyond all that, one characteristic makes my mom better than yours.

My mom really loves football. And so I really love my mom.

Oh, how I relish saying it. My mom loves football. My mom does indubitably love football. Be still my beating heart.

What's that? Your mom loves football too? C'mon, get real. She may enjoy or appreciate football. Or you may think she loves it, but answer me this: Growing up, did your mom help you learn the mascot names of the schools in major Division-I ball? Did she help you memorize the names of all the NFL teams before you could even name what states they played in?

Did your mom throw the football with you in October and not throw like a girl? And speaking of October, did she make you a William "Refrigerator" Perry (Chicago Bears' defensive tackle in the '80s) Halloween costume from a sawed-off Frigidare box, painted white with a #72 on front and back, complete with a fully-functional door that swung open for candy?

Did she used to drive you to Friday night games at the school - not because you wanted to go, but because she did? Did she have season passes and sit on the front row and holler?

When you finally got to play high school ball, did you hear your mom bark like a Doberman on third down because your defense was nicknamed the "Mad Dogs" and needed a big stop?

Did your mom relish coming to see you play in college, both home and away? Did she always have post-game analysis? Does she absolutely love Kentucky football and still pester you for tickets?

Conversely, does she loathe Tennessee and Florida - even more than you do - and vehemently wish them ill no matter who their opponents?

Does she know what the Black and Blue division is? Does she know it (the NFC Central) is the best division in pro football?

Does your mom annually drive all day to get to Lambeau Field on opening day because she loves the Green Bay Packers? Does she woof as "Who Let the Dogs Out" blares over the PA system to encourage her team?

Does she also pull for the Indianapolis Colts even though she still has not completely forgiven Colts' QB Peyton Manning for attending UT?

Has your mom said, ever, that she "hasn't been watching enough football lately"?

Does she select your offenses when you play Game Breaker football on PlayStation?

Does your mom host annual Super Bowl celebrations? While most other ladies are talking in the back of the room, is she usually on the couch, into the game? And does she regularly chastise your grandmother for not understanding football and for clapping for both teams when they make good plays?

On New Year's Eve, did she say that she'd be home shortly after midnight so she could get up to watch football New Year's Day? When you awoke, was football on? Did it stay on? Did your mom continually flip channels to check the status of all the games? Did she shout out scores while you were in the other room? Did she laugh aloud when Tennessee was lashed by Kansas St.? And did she stay on the couch, high-fiving your dad and hollering at the tube all day, and night - and did she "absolutely love it"?

And did your mom remark, last week after the Orange Bowl, that she was "so happy" because "Florida St. deserved to get whacked" by Oklahoma?

Well, if you can answer yes - and a confident yes at that - to all of these questions, then your mom might, just might, be as good as mine.

However, let's let a final question settle whose mom is tops. This question, though, concerns your dad. Did he say, with a tinge of embarrassment in his eyes, that your mother's "a bigger football fan" than he is?

Didn't think so.

My mom wins.

For her first place prize, I want the 2001 Super Bowl Champs to play a team comprised of Packers, Colts, and Kentucky Wildcats on my old high school field. And I want this game to occur in about four months, on Mothers' Day, naturally.

This would make my mother really happy. And so I would be really happy.

Because I love my mom.


Bourbon Watch

Some of us like George Clooney, some of us prefer bourbon. That's why we couldn't be happier to announce that the Buffalo Trace Distillery has been named the Distillery of the Year by Malt Advocate Magazine. The four-year-old award has previously gone to: Glenmorangie, Scotland; Ardberg, Scotland; and Midleton, Ireland. The Buffalo Trace Distillery is the first American and the the first bourbon distillery to win the award. Buffalo Trace President Mark Brown has said, "The real key to our success is our people-the men and women of Kentucky who have dedicated themselves to producing the absolute best bourbon in the world." For those looking for a replacement for their Wild Turkey in 2003 (which accidentally fell into the Kentucky River), one suggestion seems to have been made. -RB

Et Tu, U2?

Lex's spring concert season got a boost when it was announced this week that U2 will be making a stop at Rupp Arena in May. But it's gonna cost ya. So-called "gold circle" tix will run $130 bucks. U2's tour website assures that these tickets will offer "very special" accommodations indeed, but unless the seat is on Bono's face, we say, "Pass." Oh what fresh hell hath the Rolling Stones wrought? We'll give you a better deal: for a mere $25 bucks, various ACE staffers might be willing to come to your home and provide you with a "very special" rendition of "Still Haven't Found (what I'm looking for)." Just give us a ring. (Ask for Rob.) -RR

No bravo for Pitino

Rick Pitino, as some may fondly recall as the megalomaniac responsible for various riots at the corner of Euclid and Rose, finally quit the Boston Celtics after three years of non-improvement. About two months ago, Pitino said he would resign if the Celtics hadn't improved by January, and they didn't, in spades. Pitino resigned on Monday, to everyone's satisfaction but his, as he forfeits the rest of his 10-year, and nearly $22 million contract. Pitino has said he's weighing his options as to what to do next, but NPR sports commentator John Feinstein thinks Pitino is going back to the books-namely, college b-ball. No, not UK; stop salivating. Both UCLA and the UNLV college teams have upcoming positions open for a coach, and Pitino's recent string of dismal failures should make him a bit more affordable, despite his previous success at UK. Or maybe he could open a chain of mediocre, over-priced pasta joints. The future is wide open... -RB