Power's off at the Super Bowl, but the music plays on ... and the media get a look-in

There are several things you should never do in a toilet, and Russian officials at the Sochi Olympics are making sure everybody knows what they are. Most of them make perfect sense, but banning toilet fishing is likely to ruin a lot of fans' enjoyment of the Olympiad.

Big turn-off

Flea's bass appears disconnected during the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance at the Super Bowl. Photo / AP
Flea's bass appears disconnected during the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance at the Super Bowl. Photo / AP

What, apart from the Denver Broncos' implosion and the effect it may or may not have on Peyton Manning's legacy, was the hot-button topic of Super Bowl XLVIII?

It was why the Red Hot Chili Peppers did not bother to plug their guitar amplifiers into any electrical source. They were - shock, horror! - miming the music track. Bassist Flea put out an explanation of the band's website:


"When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song Give It Away at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded.

"I understand the NFL's stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there are a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the TV viewers.

"There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period."

Media-savvy ...

Amazing to see the media access to players and coaches before and after the Super Bowl XLVIII. Hours after the game had ended, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was still going from booth to booth, giving the networks their pound of flesh. They get it.

... or not

But when it comes to Indian cricket, the media don't hold any power. Wednesday marked the first day when India put up more than one player (who is invariably captain MS Dhoni). Expectation turned to disappointment when the 11am press call at a local hotel was cancelled on the morning.

"You guys must be pretty p***ed off," said a New Zealand reporter to an Indian colleague.

The sanguine hack just shrugged his shoulders and said: "Nah, we're used to it."

It all adds up

An uncanny coincidence: after 27 games of their Ryman League season, London's Metropolitan Police soccer team has a record of nine wins, nine draws and nine losses. The emergency number in the UK is 999.

Left right out

Way to make a new signing feel wanted ... Bolgna officials forgot they had signed Brazilian star Ibson before the January transfer window deadline, so when he arrived in an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country, nobody was there to pick him up.

That's not such a biggie, you might think.

Well, Bologna chairman Albano Guaraldi was reportedly so outraged by the snub, he has suspended four executives at the Serie A club.

The worms' turn

In typically understated fashion, Britain's Daily Mail has reported that England rugby's woes are about to get worse after their last-minute loss to France at the weekend.

"Heartbroken England must now head for a muddy pitch that reeks of garlic and is infested by worms... forget Murrayfield, it's MAGGOTFIELD!" screamed the Mail.

In fairness, the Murrayfield pitch is a shocker, having been attacked and infested by parasitic nematodes. One expert described the surface as a national embarrassment, which is kind of what the rugby team that plays there has been since, erm, forever.

Eye for a winner
The Mail's "star" sports columnist Martin Samuel usually has a handy turn of phrase and this week was no different as he analysed the latest utterance from controversial Cardiff owner Vincent Tan:

"Malky Mackay took Cardiff City into the top division for the first time in 51 years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won his first league match at home to mighty Norwich City on Saturday, at the fourth attempt. 'I am very happy with Solskjaer,' said Tan. 'He is much better than Mackay.'

"Certainly knows his stuff, that bloke. Certainly not just a small-minded little twit in an ill-fitting red shirt."