For Superbowl 50 in 2016: Fun Superbowl Trivia and Facts


As we approach the 50th Superbowl, a bit of trivia here to review and ponder.  As sometimes the case, this one is lengthy, and if of interest, absorb it at your leisure – possibly a bit here and there during Superbowl game commercials.  While I love baseball and basketball more, I’ve always looked in on football AND have seen each and every Superbowl since #1.

Actually, and as to tidbit #1, the game was known as the National Football League and American Football League championship for #1 and #2.  The 3rd championship with the famous Joe Namath/Jets upset over the then NFL (now AFC) Baltimore Colts was the first time the title “Superbowl” was used.  The two leagues merged into one NFL in 1970, after which each side was known as the NFC and AFC.

NFL Championship History: Pre-Superbowl  The NFL was formed in 1920 (known then as the American Professional Football Association), and the first NFL championship was in 1933.  Great teams included the 1930’s through 1940’s Chicago Bears, who won that first championship in 1933 and appeared in the game 9 times in these two decades.  The Cleveland Browns won 10 division titles, and 7 NFL championships in the 1950’s and early 60’s.  Vince Lombardy’s Packers won 6 division titles in his 9 years, with NFL championships in 1960, 61, 62, and 66 – and Superbowl wins in 1967 and 68 – the first 2.

SuperBowl Appearances by City:

8 (eight appearances) Pittsburg – 2011, 09, 06, 96, 80, 79, 76, 75 (Most wins with 6), Dallas – 71, 72, 76, 78, 79, 93, 94, 96, Denver – 78, 87, 88, 90, 98, 99, 14, 16, New England – 86, 97, 02, 04, 05, 08, 12, 15 (last 6 -Tom Brady)

6:  San Francisco – 82, 85, 89, 90, 96 (5-0), then 2013

5:  Green Bay – 67, 68, 97, 98, 2011, NY Giants – 87, 91, 01, 08, 12, Washington – 73, 83, 84, 88, 92, Miami – 72, 73, 74, 83, 85, Oakland/LA – 1968, 1977, 1981, 1984(LA), 2003

4:  Baltimore – 69 (NFL Colts), 71 (AFC Colts); 2001, 2013 as Ravens, Minnesota – 70, 74, 75, 77 (lost all 4), Buffalo – 91, 92, 93, 94 (All consecutive losses)

3:  Seattle – 2015, 14, 06

2:  Philadelphia – 1981, 2005 (both losses), Carolina – 2016, 2004, Chicago – 1986, 2007, St. Louis Rams – 2000, 2002, Cincy – 82, 89 (both losses), Indianapolis – 2007, 2010, Kansas City — 1967 (#1) 1970

1:  LA Rams – once in 1980 (lost to Steelers IN LA) Tampa Bay – once in 2003 (beat Raiders), Arizona Cardinals – once in 2009 (lost to Steelers, St Louis Cards never went), San Diego – once in 1995 (lost to Niners, & Steve Young’s record SIX TD passes), Atlanta – once in 1999 (lost to Elway/Denver), Tennessee – once in 2000 (lost to St. Louis Rams), Jets – Once – won in 1969, as predicted by Joe Namath!

NEVER Been, so far:  Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Oilers or Texans, St. Louis Cardinals

Never Won:  In 50 years, there are still a DOZEN teams in league history that have never won the Superbowl:  St Louis Cards, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Oilers, Texans, Bills, Eagles, and Vikings.  In saying 50 years, this is my way of predicting that the Panthers will win #50, and I believe, as many, are one of the greatest teams in league history.

Quarterbacks with 4 Superbowl Appearances or more:  Tom Brady – 6, winning first 3 & his last one, with 2 MVP awards; John Elway – 5, winning last 2, with 1 MVP; Terry Bradshaw – went 4-0, with 2 MVP’s; Montana – won 4 of 4, NO interceptions, 3 MVP’s , Highest QB rating ever for Superbowl; Jim Kelly – 4 straight, though all loses, one on the famous missed field goal at the end;  Peyton Manning – 4, winning 1st (MVP) – and we await the result of the 4th in 2016.

Johnny Unitas, Montana, Brady, Elway, and Peyton Manning are currently widely thought of as the best five quarterbacks ever, with others arguing for Bradshaw, Otto Graham, Brett Favre, Bart Starr, and Dan Marino.

Miscellaneous Facts/Trivia:

Kansas City Chiefs played in #1 and lost, #4 and won (1970), and haven’t been since!  (Thus 4 years shy of a half-century, so that Royals WS win is to be cherished!)

John Elway lost 3 before winning two in his last two seasons in the game (amazing what a defense will do…sorry Dan Marino, et al)

Jim Kelly & the Bills lost 4, BUT went to 4 straight;  Miami: only team to 3 straight (2-1)

Miami is still the only undefeated team to then win the Superbowl (1972 season,1973 Superbowl), and though they went to five, they haven’t won in 42 years, nor been in 30 years.

Baltimore, as the Colts, won one in the AFC, but first lost to the Jets as an NFL team before the league merger.  Then won 2 as the Ravens.

Rams went to just one in LA (1980 loss to Steelers), but went twice as St. Louis (1-1)

The Steelers-Cowboys rivalry of the 70’s was special.  Steelers went to and won 4, while Cowboys went to 5 and won 2.  Minnesota was the other power team of the 70’s, going to 4 Superbowls, though losing all 4, although the Oakland Raiders played in 6 AFC championships in the decade (1-5)

Oakland last won in 1984 (32 yrs ago) as LA Raiders, and the Packers, after winning #1 and #2, went 29 years before getting to another one.

And a final, fun 49er (my team) trivia item – John Taylor in 1989 Superbowl:  just 1 catch, 10 yds for his total stats, but oh what a single catch to win that Superbowl late in the game, one of the most exciting Superbowls ever.  Once a football juggernaut, the 49ers have only been once in the last 20 years – and lost.

Any favorite trivia or Superbowl history you would like to share?  e.g. who was that one player who got MVP from the losing team?  A defensive player has won it 7 times, and a special teams player once.  Uh, that would otherwise be 41 MVP’s for quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers.  So as George Will once said, though referring to baseball vs. football, who wants to grow up being a 3rd-and-long pulling guard?

Enjoy the Game!



Dogs: Seeing Through Their Noses


I recently decided to chastise myself the next time I grow impatient with my dog having to sniff a dozen spots along a walk, and stop to pee on several of them.  I’m enjoying another book on dogs, Inside of a Dog (and What Dogs See, Smell, & Know), by Alexandra Horowitz.  Her chapter on the way dogs see the world – through their noses – was fascinating and most telling.  I summarize here a few of her insightful details on how dogs discover and perceive so much more with their noses than I ever realized.  It’s interesting stuff:

Smells are minor blips in our sensory day compared to the reams of visual information we take in.  When we do notice a smell, it’s usually just good or bad, and rarely is it a source of information, other than what the source of the smell might be.  Dogs smell the world as we see the world, and then some.  Their universe is a stratum of complex odors at least as rich as the world of sight.  As they sniff and sniff, they are continually refreshing the scent, as though shifting their gaze to get another look.  Human noses have about six million tiny sensory receptors.  Dogs have two-to-three hundred million.  One example of what that difference makes:  We night notice if our coffee has been sweetened with more than a teaspoon of sugar.  Dogs can detect a teaspoon of sugar diluted in a million gallons of water, or two full Olympic-sized swimming pools.

With their Vomeronasal noses, dogs sniff to get information about the dogs and animals in their area, drawing in chemical information through pheromones – hormone-like substances released by one animal and perceived by another. From checking those hydrants and bushes all along the street, dogs can somewhat, or significantly, gauge another dog’s sex, readiness to mate, health, and possibly even their emotional state.  For dogs, humans are their scent, including familiar smells of clothing, soap, cologne, and more.  They can tell if we’ve been on a jog, had something to eat, been around other animals, and even if we’ve had sex! (not that they care).  They can identify individuals through smell, along with some of the characteristics of the individual and their emotions.  The fleeing criminal can be tracked by both his odor and his emotional distress!

So as to being more patient during that walk with my dog:  Unlike popular early theories, dog don’t always urinate to mark their territory – only maybe 20% of the time, and more often when courting or scavenging.  And yes, neutered dogs do this too because their brain function and instincts still carry on the business – to a point – that their reproductive organs can not.  They communicate and convey messages through their urine.  Chemicals in the urine give information about the aforementioned things – sexual readiness, etc. – and other things such as who the dog might be, how often he visits a spot,  and for the female dog, the male dog’s social confidence.  They scratch the ground afterward not to bury their business like a cat, but to add new odor to the mix and have it serve as a visual cue to a urine or feces spot for other dogs to find and examine.

As I said, fascinating stuff, even if perhaps more than you wanted to hear about the toilet habits of dogs.  Simply put again though, dogs emit/relay and gather social information very differently than we do.  The next time you try to hurry your dog on a walk, remember that you’re effectively shutting down his internet and cutting off his social networking time!

Roy Hovey

The Best Shakespeare Movies


My list is based on reviews and lists from multiple sites, not my impressions.  I’ve more or less taken the multiple lists and sort of averaged out what films finished where to come up with this top 8, in no particular order, along with alternate versions of the same plays contained within the list, and with an honorable mention list of another 5.  Finally, a final word too on another film one rarely hears of, but is highly regarded. Some on the films are pure send-ups, while others are unique adaptions.  There are of course many other good films that don’t make my list, some of which you may have preferred to see on my lists (please chime in with a comment).

Before I throw down the list, an interesting and important point I’d like to make is this:  Throne of Blood, based on Macbeth and directed by Akira Kurosawa, is frequently cited by cineastes and scholars as the medium’s finest rendering of any Shakespeare play.  Not easy to swallow, as it’s in subtitles, set in Feudal Japan, and is an older film made in 1957.  Here’s some of the reasons for making the case, as written by David Mermelstein on December 26, 2015 in The Wall Street Journal :   “…the most nuanced and unsettling screen version of Macbeth strays from the text, though not in its spirit.  Some actors display severe makeup and an almost immobile manner that lends a disturbing chill.  Minutely calibrated gestures and subtle inflections of language (apparent even to those who don’t speak Japanese) carry an insidious diabolical quality.  Besides superb acting, Kurosawa – always a stickler for details – took enormous care to create an environment at once grittily real and supernatural.  Beyond the considerable merits of the film, Throne of Blood demonstrates that Shakespeare’s concerns and moral lessons are not just timeless but universal.  How better to confirm them than to convey them through a different medium, grafted to a drama in another language, whose action takes place a world away?”

The List

Romeo & Juliet (1996), Dir: Baz Luhrmann’s updated vehicle starring the young Leonardo DiCaprio.  I think the 1968 version by Franco Zeffirelli still holds up well – some think it’s a better version for young students.

Throne of Blood (1957), with Toshiru Mifune, directed by Akira Kurosawa, who relocates the play in feudal Japan.  One critic writes:  “There’s no other Macbeth adaption that captures the play’s creeping doom.”

Macbeth (1971), Dir: Roman Polanski, with Jon Finch.  “Polanski’s unsettling squalid visuals (e.g. a gruesome decapitation) make for a brilliantly unsettling combination with the play’s poetry;  it’s high art as a primal scream.”

Henry V (1944), Laurence Olivier.  Many also liked Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 version -Branagh’s directorial debut with battlefield realism and chaos not possible in the hollywood days of Olivier’s version.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington.  A fun romp, so more of a broad favorite for the entertainment rather than the film quality and acting performances (well some).

Hamlet (1948) Director & Star Laurence Olivier’s turn in this Best Picture version. Many others also liked the Mel Gibson version (1990) or Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 version, all great efforts, naturally, of perhaps the best known and loved Shakespeare play after Romeo & Juliet.

Othello (1952), Directed by and starring Orson Welles.  One critic said:  “…despite its feverishly disjointed, patchwork quality, the final cut is riveting.  They don’t film Shakespeare like this anymore, and that’s a tragedy.” Othello, 1995, with Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Kenneth Branagh as Iago is also respectfully regarded.

West Side Story (1961), is often seen as the best rendering of Romeo & Juliet

Honorable Mentions:  5 often mentioned and/or big on MY personal list:

Prospero’s Books (The Tempest) (1991) My 3rd favorite play after Rich’d III and Hamlet); Dir: Peter Greenaway, with John Gielgud, others.

The Merchant of Venice (2004), with Al Pacino’s Shylock.

Richard III (1995), Dir: Richard Loncraine, setting the malformed king as an English Hitler in an alternate 1930’s, starring Ian McKellen.  Dark fun & wit.

Tutus (1999) Bloody, disturbing, captivating take on Titus Andronicus with Anthony Hopkins’ fiery lead performance.

Ran (1985)  Akira Kurosawa’s famous film and take on King Lear.

Shakespeare in Love (1998) is not based on a play but rather a pseudo-biopic of Shakespeare, though it’s my favorite film associated with The Bard.  Best Picture Oscar too…

Also of Note: (multiple sources, one quoted here)

Chimes at Midnight (1965);  “Atop our list sits Orson Welles, further negating the perception that Citizen Kane was his only masterpiece. (Chimes was the director’s personal favorite of all his films—the one he hoped to “get into heaven” with.) The script comes from Welles’s own condensation of both parts of Henry IV, along with a few other Shakespeare works, which he first mounted onstage in 1939 to a disastrous reception. Ever confident of his own correctness, Welles tended the flame until an opportunity arose decades later to capture the play on celluloid. Though cash-poor, his production is incredibly vivid, featuring noir-ish camera angles and battle scenes that clearly influenced Braveheart. Enlivening the whole is Welles’s immortal portrayal of Falstaff, transposed from a vain buffoon to a perceptive central figure. Finding the movie on DVD is tricky (rights are still in dispute) but the effort is worth it.”

Roy Hovey


Roy Hovey’s Web Link Collective

Post #1 — of another new web adventure for Roy Hovey (March, 2012, Updated though in September, 2015)

How does an old guy like me get so wrapped up in technology?  I guess I’ve always loved the stuff.  We all continue to become more sophisticated as time goes by, so I expect you’ll hang with me as I tell you the links to my SIX essential websites/photo sites/blogs, just for clarification.

WordPress: Writing Blog  My irregular observations, accounts, and thoughts on life, activity, experiences, and more:  politics, travel, movies & books, great restaurants, Jazz, and more…(This site)  My blog about the great old game of baseball, including posts about baseball history, the Giants, and other related matters, along with photo galleries.  My extensive site for posting photos:  NOW ALSO FOUND at  Years old, big and bloated, largely out there for me to catalogue favorite photos in the cloud for myself, by theme.  Good to peruse if you’re stuck on a long airplane flight.  Otherwise, check out the newer, better site below.  My select, best artistic photography renderings; comments welcome here, and encouraged!  My Flicker site – select photos from photo club outings/events, and also several by theme.  My old site for posting photos of my activity with friends.

Facebook:  I joined up again just to assist my local cigar shop with their page, along with following the page for my street/block and its activity, and to look in on my kids’ pages.  I don’t otherwise intend to follow many friends or build a large following, so don’t ping me.

Sheesh!  I hope this helps and doesn’t deter you from checking in from time to time – somewhere.  Questions?  Let me know.  And yes, I no longer do much (never did) with my Twitter site except follow my teacher son’s posts, and no longer edit or publish the business web sites for Fresco Solar or Morgan Hill Cigar.  I do keep up a web sites or two for family, but those are somewhat private and not of much interest to anyone but family anyway.  Nevertheless, stay in touch, one way or another.  A good old fashion eMail or phone call is always welcome.

Cheers to All…

Roy/papaRoyzzi/Dad/Unc/Ump/and other titles… or