Welcome back dear readers! You are reading Life, Love? Sport (interesting stories from the Super Bowl Edition). Today we will try to uncover the stories that have not yet been reported by the mainstream media. For example, did you know that the backup to the backup to the backup of Hunter Smith, the Colts punter, got cut from his high school team? True story. Other such tales to follow. Also, we shall discuss why the Eastern Conference of the NBA continues to be sub-par, what the new hockey uniforms mean to you and finally, but perhaps most importantly, how many Bengals will get arrested before next season. And for all of you who enjoy shocking news, then you are in luck. Let us commence.

Let’s start by remarking that the two weeks before the Super Bowl are often the best and funniest two weeks in sports. It is only during that time that you can get the inside story on every player who has put on a uniform for the team. Personally, I relish in knowing that Rex Grossman was teased for being short in elementary school, Tank Johnson had a temper problem in middle school and Tony Dungy was voted “Most likely to look unimpressed while making it to the Super Bowl” in high school. All those stories are fun. What isn’t fun is the story of how the fourth string strong safety managed to get out of the rough neighborhood of Detroit/Cleveland/D.C. Those stories reek of deadline fillers. It’s a formula that gets used every time someone goes to the Super Bowl and the quotes never change: “Im so lucky to be here blah blah blah.” We’ve heard that story thousands of times. Find another story to beat into the ground.

Let’s move on to basketball. I realize that Life, Love? Sport has never really given the sport its due in previous editions, but today that shall change. Four of the bottom five teams reside in the Eastern Conference. This is decidedly sub-par. The seventh and eighth seed in the East could have records under .500. This might come as a surprise as LeBron, Chris Bosh, Gilbert Arenas and Chauncey Billups all reside in the East. But the gap between the top teams and bottom teams in the East is larger than that of the West and thus even the bottom teams of the West can beat the cellar-dwellers of the East. While LLS doesn’t really care about the NBA, it’s sad to see that the league has fallen so low since the hey-day of MJ.

Another stunning development occurred in the world of the NFL. Johnathan Joseph became the ninth Bengal to be arrested, this time for possession of marijuana. This is the most ridiculous running story in the NFL. Seriously, nine guys? That’s 17 percent of the team in trouble with the law. Needless to say, I am very surprised that Chad Johnson hasn’t been jailed yet, although I’m sure that’s on the horizon.

The NHL announced its new uniforms for the 2007 season. You may ask, how does this affect my life? LLS will answer: it doesn’t. There aren’t enough people who care about the NHL for the new uniforms to make a difference.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of the week and possibly even the year: Pedro Martinez has a son! This might not come as a suprise, since he is 35. However, his son happens to be 19 and is playing for the Mets’ minor league system. How this story escaped the notice of both Boston and New York media, some of the most fanatical people in the country, is beyond me.

Continuing the tradition of excellence that is the LLS rankings, we look at the top story lines for the new year, as well as some of the biggest of 2006. As always, these are in no particular order:

1 – Good friends Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are the first two African-American head coaches to lead their teams to the Super Bowl. The hug at the end of the game will be a tear-jerker.

2 – Peyton Manning finally makes it to the big game. Let’s just hope he doesn’t lose, as this might be his only chance.

3 – Florida shocks Ohio State for the National Championship and inspires approximately 1,000 “underdog wins” stories.

4 – Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are the best things that happened to hockey since helmets.

5 – Barry Zito gets the most ridiculous contract ever for a pitcher fueling speculation that he slipped something in the drinks of Giants management during negotiations.

Final Fact:

In the first official poll in college football in 1936, Minnesota was ranked No. 1 at the end of the year but was not invited to a bowl game. Maystrovsky’s article appears weekly. Maystrovsky is a member of the class of 2009.

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