The Couch Slouch

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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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.

Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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