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Sports


Terry Pluto: Tuning out the Super Bowl
Pluto says a number of factors make the big game painful to watch
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Pluto: “We do not need bouncing babes in halftime shows because the fact is, you do have kids watching the games"
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This year’s Super Bowl was the third most-watched telecast ever. But WKSU commentator Terry Pluto is increasingly tuning it out. He talks to Amanda Rabinowitz about what made this year's game especially tough to watch.

Terry Pluto on the Super Bowl - audio

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Terry Pluto on Byron Scott and why the Cavs are still worth watching

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Especially painful Super Bowl for Browns fans
Terry Pluto says perhaps the biggest frustration that comes with the Super Bowl is the painful reminder of how far away the Cleveland Browns are -- and have long been.

“They can’t spell Super Bowl. … The last time they played in a ‘championship game’ was 1969. Even The Drive, The Fumble, they were always one game away from getting to the game to get to the Super Bowl. In other words, they never even knocked on the door very well.”

Another frustration?
With each Super Bowl weekend comes the announcement of the new class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. These days, the speculation about who will make it to Canton often centers on the late Art Modell, the Browns owner who moved the team to Baltimore.

“To me, it’s painful because it’s going through the whole move (again) and who lied to who. And believe me, … the skullduggery and deception that went on when Modell moved the team is just disgusting.”

“And really, truthfully, you know where the real Browns are? They’re playing in Baltimore. That’s the tough thing. … And not only that, they play in the Browns division, so you watch that all the time. It really does make you want to turn the channel.”

"Stupid Super Bowl stories"
But escaping the story is virtually impossible. Some 2,000 reporters cover Super Bowls and have two weeks to fill between the championship games and the big game. And that, says Pluto, gives birth “to what I call stupid Super Bowl stories.”

Backup players who aren’t used to being interviewed are asked about topics ranging from gay rights to presidential politics.

“And of course you have these guys talking about things they know nothing about, and they (their statements) get blown up as if this really means something. So you get a lot of dumb things said.”

Droning game 
Then there’s the length of the game itself, which  “goes on and on. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some pizza joint were behind the power failure (in New Orleans) because they know (TV viewers)  would order more takeout food,” Pluto jokes.

Too hot for TV
More seriously, Pluto says the sexuality of the halftime shows and some commercials are off-key.

“We do not need bouncing babes in halftime shows because the fact is, you do have kids watching the games. … Football is aimed at a family audience. Is this the stuff that’s great for families?”

Despite all that, Pluto acknowledges that this Super Bowl – which ended with the Ravens as champions -- turned out to be a very good football game. 

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