That’s ‘Su­per Bowl cham­pion Mr. Potato Head’ to you

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DWIGHT PERRY

If you think play­ing foot­ball is tough on the body, try liv­ing with its ef­fects in re­tire­ment. Brad Ben­son, 61, an of­fen­sive line­man on the Giants’ first Su­per Bowl cham­pi­onship team 30 years ago, has un­der­gone a 14-hour back surgery and three hip re­place­ments. “I call him Mr. Potato Head,” ex-team­mate Carl Banks told the New York Daily News. “Ev­ery­thing has been re­placed.”

HEAD­LINES

At Sport­sPickle.com: “Ben Roeth­lis­berger dis­closes he’s been given be­tween 1 and 700 months to live.”

At TheKicker.com: “Flurid­den Steph drains crum­pled tis­sues in garbage can across room.”

LET­TER OF CRIM­I­NAL IN­TENT?

De­fen­sive-end prospect Dono­van Win­ter was un­able to sign his let­ter of in­tent with Michi­gan State on Wed­nes­day, the Or­lando Sen­tinel re­ported, be­cause he’d been jailed on bur­glary charges. Prob­a­bly not the kind of “re­cruit­ing steal” that Spar­tans coaches had in mind.

PA­TRIOT NAMES DEPT.

The Pa­tri­ots, who came so close to do­ing it nine sea­sons ago, have landed the trade­mark rights to the slo­gans “Per­fect Sea­son” and “19-0.” “We’ve got dibs on 0-16,” said the Detroit Lions.

NOT SO FAST, BOLT

Ex-NFL star Deion San­ders, 49, says not even Us­ain Bolt could have beaten him in a race when San­ders was in his prime. In Bolt’s de­fence, though, he would have been only 5 or 6 at the time.

25/7, ANY­ONE?

A re­port says that, 180 mil­lion years from now, the pull of the moon’s grav­ity will make days on Earth 25 hours long. And MLB games will be 6 ½ hours long.

CASH­ING OUT

Shel­don Adel­son pulled his fi­nan­cial back­ing — $650 mil­lion — out of the Raiders’ pro­posed move to Las Ve­gas, and Goldman-Sachs quickly did like­wise. A cynic might say the Raiders have two black holes now.

TALK­ING THE TALK

Jan­ice Hough of LeftCoastS­port­sBabe.com, on a sure sign that Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal tur­moil is over the top: “That mo­ment when you turn on sports-talk ra­dio for com­par­a­tively calm and rea­son­able con­ver­sa­tion.”

NBC’s Seth Mey­ers, after the West­min­ster Dog Show an­nounced it has added three new breeds: “Said the dogs, ‘Yeah, last year’s after-party got pretty wild.’ ”

Brad Dick­son of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Her­ald, on Su­per Bowl Sun­day’s an­nual Puppy Bowl: “My, how the mighty have fallen. Rex Ryan is coach­ing the North team.”

Ex-Giants line­man Brad Ben­son, to the N.Y. Daily News, when asked if foot­ball was the cause of all his post-play­ing ail­ments: “I was on the badminton team at Penn State for a while. You can blame it on that if you’d like.”

NAME GAME

Among those sign­ing col­lege letters of in­tent with Illi­nois State on Wed­nes­day: a six­foot-seven, 280-pound line­man named Kobe Buf­falomeat. Some­thing tells us this guy might have an NFL fu­ture with the Bills.

GET­TING THEIR HACKS

The St. Louis Car­di­nals will have to give up two draft picks and $2 mil­lion to the Astros after scout­ing di­rec­tor Chris Cor­rea went rogue and re­peat­edly broke into Hous­ton’s on­line player-in­for­ma­tion data­base. On the bright side, the Cards are odds-on favourites to win the in­au­gu­ral Hack Wil­son Award.

TOM TER­RIFIC? NO KID­DING

What, you think it’s easy play­ing golf with Tom Brady? As Graeme McDow­ell told AP, re­call­ing a round in the Ba­hamas: “I said, ‘Come on, mate. You’re mar­ried to Gisele, you’re Tom Brady the quar­ter­back and you’re hit­ting it 20 yards by me. Stop it. Be bad at some­thing.’ ”

DOG DAYS OF WIN­TER

Sure sign that it was fi­nally time to play the Su­per Bowl, or else the apoca­lypse is near: Sun­day’s Puppy Bowl XIII’s new­est techie gizmo was some­thing called the Lick Cam.

QUOTE MARKS

Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., after exNBA player Stephen Jack­son said he some­times smoked pot be­fore games: “Which was ev­i­dent in his ca­reer game stats, where he av­er­aged 15.1 points, 3.9 re­bounds, 3.1 as­sists and 4.7 piz­zas.”

Blog­ger Chad Pi­cas­ner, not im­pressed that the NHL Al­lS­tar Game has been re­duced to a 3-on-3 af­fair: “Why don’t they just schedule a se­ries of fights on the ice? I un­der­stand that most fans pre­fer that any­way.”

AN­I­MAL PLANET

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Was his first call to his lawyer or the Spar­tans?

GUS­TAVO CA­BALLERO, GETTY IM­AGES FOR ESPN

Rex Ryan was all smiles after coach­ing his team in Puppy Bowl XIII.

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