The Couch Slouch

The Slouch takes a blow-by-blow look at the Super Bowl

The Slouch takes a blow-by-blow look at the Super Bowl
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Super Bowl 54, in contrast to the Senate impeachment inquiry, felt like a fair trial: unmistakable video evidence, plenty of witnesses, a definitive and satisfying conclusion.

It wasn't as high-scoring as that last 51-49 Senate vote, but the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers was certainly more exciting and less predictable. And assuming no foreign intervention, who wouldn't back a Patrick Mahomes-Andy Reid ticket in November?

As usual, I took in all of Super Bowl Sunday and took copious notes:

2:03 p.m. ET: I prefer pregame studio shows that are inside of studios.

2:08: Jimmy Johnson: "In Miami, [you get] whatever you want." I just want to get out of town.

2:12: Chris Myers reports that Mahomes will be on the first Chiefs bus to leave the hotel. He's QB1 – what, he was gonna take Uber?

2:35: We see Mahomes getting on "Team Bus 3." That ain't Team Bus 1, Chris.

2:52: They say calling it the AFL-NFL World Championship Game was clunky. As opposed to, say, Super Bowl LXXXVIII coming up in 2054?

3:02: The only thing worse than seeing Gronk in a bowtie on Super Bowl Sunday is seeing Gronk playing on Super Bowl Sunday. So I guess I'll take it.

3:05: The only thing worse than seeing A-Rod in a PED football jersey on Super Bowl Sunday is seeing A-Rod in a PED suit outside of J.Lo's trailer on Super Bowl Sunday.

3:08: Curt Menefee: "Who doesn't love Big Papi?" Uh, Curt, over here…over here!!!

3:36: President Trump is interviewed by Sean Hannity, eerily reminiscent of Mister Ed chatting with Wilbur Post.

4:15: Family issues – Daisy wants to watch Puppy Bowl while Toni says I'm in the doghouse.

5:38: Fox is a very profitable network. It should throw some of those profits next time into ensuring a glitch-free production.

6:28: Flyovers seem so 20th century.

6:32: Since when did the coin toss become Woodstock?

6:41: They are talking officiating just before kickoff – this is never a good sign.

6:57: Touchbacks turn me on.

7:10: Down 3-0, Chiefs go for 4th-and-1 from 49ers' 5-yard line. I would've kicked a field goal; I always take the points, particularly if they're keeping score.

7:27: Ahead 7-3, Chiefs go for 4th-and-1 from 49ers' 19. I would've kicked a field goal; I always take the points, particularly after two divorces.

7:38: There's a fullback from Harvard in the game? And he scored a touchdown? This sounds like one of those elite media hoaxes.

7:46: Troy Aikman: "[Jeff Wilson Jr.] puts his foot in the ground." Where else would you put your foot?

7:47: Martin Scorsese for Coke Energy? Aw, geez. What's next, Sir Thomas More for Snickers?

8:00: There is offensive pass interference, and then there's he-barely-touched-the-defender-and-I've-seen-much-worse-not-called offensive pass interference.

8:07: I feel absolutely no guilt drinking an Orange Crush during the Pepsi halftime show.

8:19: I also feel absolutely no guilt texting Gloria Estefan during J.Lo's booty jig.

8:43: Bud Light Seltzer? I don't think so.

9:01: Jimmy Garoppolo, like Tom Brady, is just too pretty to hit.

9:25: Chiefs still running the ball, down by 10 in the fourth quarter. Are they playing five quarters this year?

9:32: When Chiefs offense gets in gear, they look like the Rockettes on ice.

9:44: The tomahawk chop seems so 17th century.

9:46: Chiefs were down 24-0, 17-7 and 20-10 in this postseason; they made more comebacks than Richard Nixon.

9:47: No replay controversies? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.

10:11: Frankly, this seems like a better way to decide a winner than the Iowa caucuses.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Is the SEC's Wild, Wild West football coaching lineup shaping up like the cast of some old-fashioned Western featuring Nick Saban as the no-funny-stuff Sheriff, Sam Pittman as the dutiful Deputy, Gus Malzahn as the bi-spectacled Doc, Ed Orgeron as the keg-chested Barkeep, Jumbo Fisher as the friendly Mercantile Owner, Lane Kiffin as the shady Card Shark and Mike Leach as the pontificating barbershop Philosopher? (Steve Owings; Spokane, Wash.)

A. Sounds like a remake of "The Wild Bunch."

Q. Your dog Daisy and my pooch Plexi both have 25-word vocabularies. If they collaborated, could they write this column during your next vacation? (Jack Drury; Lavale, Md.)

A. While they both have the vocabulary to handle my job, they are uniquely unqualified in one key area: Without any thumbs, neither canine can operate the clicker. No TV, no column.

Q. Do you see any reason why NBA arenas are still encouraging fans to chant, "DEFENSE DEFENSE?" (Paul Ferko; Parma, Ohio)

A. They get thirsty and order more beer.

Q. How long before MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred proposes the Senate's questioning protocol as a way to eliminate sign-stealing? The catcher passes a card to the batboy, who runs it out to the pitcher. (Rick LaDuca; Ashburn, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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With their closer revealed, here are the Astros top bullpen X-factors

Houston Astros skipper Joe Espada wasted no time this week at spring training by answering one of the most talked about questions of the offseason.

Espada revealed that newly-acquired free agent Josh Hader will be the team's closer and will pitch the ninth inning, with Ryan Pressly working as the setup man.

Bryan Abreu will be tapped to pitch the seventh inning, but it wouldn't shock anyone if he had the best season of the three. But after Abreu, things get interesting in the bullpen.

Who pitches the sixth inning?

Astros GM Dana Brown gave Rafael Montero a vote of confidence, saying he's “legit.”

While we have our concerns about Montero after he finished with an ERA over five last year, there's reason for hope. The nature of relief pitchers halving up and down seasons from year to year could work in Montero's favor.

And with the salary that's already committed to him, Brown will likely give him every opportunity to justify his contract. It will be fascinating to see how Espada deploys him early on. You have to think with the boss man backing Montero, Espada will be on board too.

But if he does struggle, will Espada quickly stop using him in critical situations? The good news is, the team won't often have to turn to him in high leverage situations with Abreu, Pressly, and Hader ready to handle those duties.

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion about the Astros 'pen, and much more!

Don't miss Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel!

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