The Morning Report
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The day after the Super Bowl is bad enough. Savvy baseball fans pretty much just chalk it up as a forced holiday from their sport.

The day after the day after the Super Bowl; now that’s another animal entirely. The moratorium on baseball ought to be over by the day after the day after the Super Bowl. You’d think. And you’d be wrong.

On any given day after the day after the Super Bowl, Lee Hamilton, Hacksaw’s “Best 15 Minutes in Football,” as I call it, features a good eight or nine minutes on injury reports and “Ju-Co” signings, with six to seven devoted to baseball, basketball, hockey and golf, combined.

Sure, Hamilton is an extreme case, but on the day after the day after the Super Bowl, major newspapers not ready to segue to baseball go straight to the water sports card for material. As if on cue Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times ran a monster-sized piece on yachting, albeit on the back page, along with stories about soccer and Carlsbad resident Rod Laver up front. Actually, I believe the tennis article on Laver had something to do with Roger Federer’s Lasik procedure. No way was I going to read it, so I couldn’t tell you precisely.

And I don’t know what it is about Peyton Manning that drives the ESPN TV, radio, and dot-com people batty (Jim Rome, KLAC, and XX Radio too, for that matter), but if I see, hear or read one more syllable about the current location of the particular monkey which once lived on the Colts’ QB’s back, I’m gonna hurl. So help me. Enough already. Football is over. Finally. 31 teams lost.

And oh, by the way; what do you say we drop the “is-Manning-a-better-quarterback-than-Dan-Marino-now-that-he’s-won-a-ring” debate, while we’re at it. It’s as unanswerable a question as there is in sports today, and just one more reason to skip it altogether and focus on baseball. Besides, if Don Shula hadn’t stuck around that extra five years for no apparent reason, Jimmy Johnson and Marino would have had plenty of time to make the point moot.

Let’s move on to baseball, shall we? Pitchers and catchers and Jim Brower report Feb. 16. Baseball, please.

Remember, glove conquers all.

— HOWARD COLE

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