Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

Church is no place to watch game

The NFL is cracking down on Super Bowl Sunday churchgoers.

According to the Washington Post, the NFL has sent notice to churches around the country that airing the Super Bowl on large screens violates NFL copyright.

The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches, though sports bars are exempted.

Large Super Bowl gatherings shrink TV ratings and can affect advertising revenue, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Post.

Which sounds a lot like greed to some church leaders.

"There is a part of me that says, 'Gee, doesn't the NFL have enough money already?' " Steve Holley, executive pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va., told the Post. "It just doesn't make sense."

Trivia time

The last time the Super Bowl was in the Phoenix area was Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17. Who was the MVP?

Super plans

Elderly and disabled groups in the Boston area are furious about the city's plans for a Patriots Super Bowl parade on Super Tuesday, according to the Boston Herald.

They are concerned that such a parade would hinder potential voters from getting to polling stations for the presidential primaries.

A spokesman for the mayor confirmed that the parade, should the Patriots win today, would take place Tuesday, but stressed that plans were tentative.

"It's too early to talk about a parade," Dot Joyce told the Herald. "People need to calm down. We have a game to play."

Super patent

At least someone with the Patriots is pretty confident about that parade, according to a New York Post report that says the team has applied for trademarks on "19-0" and "19-0 The Perfect Season."

The Post reported that the team filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 17 but that it has not been approved.

So, in true Post fashion, the paper shelled out $375 and filed for patent No. 77385477.

It would trademark "18-1."

Super party

A group of tailgaters without Super Bowl tickets has descended upon Phoenix and will party today in a parking lot 15 miles from University of Phoenix Stadium.

Jay DiEugenio, a self-proclaimed "professional tailgater" from Yorba Linda, created the event because tailgating at the stadium was restricted to ticket holders.

So he rented space at the state fairgrounds and sold about 300 spaces for $350 apiece, good for four days.

The four-day party includes a barbecue cook-off, a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament and the "Miss Blacktop Babe" pageant. And, of course, plenty of large-screen televisions.

"We are trying to give tailgating back to the fans, where it belongs," DiEugenio said.

Super celeb

Mixed martial arts star Chuck Liddell is headed to the Super Bowl as an A-List celebrity. Last time he went, he was working as a security guard.

Liddell told Jon Wertheim of that he was positioned at midfield for Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego and his orders were to keep his back to the field at all times.

"I was like, 'Right. Like the guy on the 50, who paid huge bucks, is going to cause trouble and run on the field. Especially after seeing me standing there,' " Liddell said.

"I watched the whole game."

Trivia answer

Dallas cornerback Larry Brown, who had two interceptions. He is the only cornerback to win the award.

And finally

President Bush, in an interview with Fox Super Sunday, was asked if there were any similarities between politics and football.

"Well, they're both pretty tough -- contact sports," Bush said. "But you know, it's much easier to take a political hit than it is to be run over by one of those linebackers."


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