The Neighborhoods Project

The City of Chicago has over 200 neighborhoods, which are part of 77 distinct community areas as divided up by the Social Science Research Committee of the University of Chicago in the 1920s. Unofficially, of course. Join me as this new project begins.

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The World That We Live In

I went into work today, following an awesome birthday weekend, not really looking forward to the work week ahead. And then I saw a few drawings that had been returned with a significant amount of redlines and I was even less motivated to work. I had been at work for eight minutes.

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The XIV Days of Super Bowl XLV: Day II
01.25.2011 6:00PM
If there is one aspect of the Super Bowl that receives an unduly amount of attention its the coin toss. Usually there is a special person to toss the coin. It's been suggested the coin is not balanced, with heads weighing more, and therefore increasing the likelihood of tails coming up. And of course, as a degenerate gambler, you can place a prop bet on if, in fact, it will be heads or tails.

So I thought, why not look at which teams won the coin toss and the associated winning percentage that comes with winning the coin toss? Only once has the team that won the coin toss kicked off to start the game. That was the Arizona Cardinals, who subsequently went on to lose. And please note, we're just getting at the tip of information that exists about the Super Bowl coin toss, including the fact that the NFC has a current streak of winning the toss 13 consecutive times.

After tallying the numbers, the winner of the coin toss is 20-24 (.454), and teams that receive the ball (because of the Cardinals outlier) are 21-23 (.477) in the Super Bowl. So your best chance is losing the toss and kicking off.

The XIV Days of Super Bowl XLV: Day I
01.24.2011 6:00PM
Starting today and culminating with my prediction for the big game on Sunday, February 6, I will be bringing you The 14 Days of Super Bowl XLV. Honestly, the only reason to have two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, is for hype. You know, a long pregnant pause for dramatic effect. So why not play into it? Each day there will be something new. Weird facts. Important stats. Funny stories. Anything and everything that has to do with the Super Bowl and the participants.

Today, we'll start with the venue. Jerry Jones and Cowboys Stadium will host Super Bowl XLV. This marks the first time Arlington, Texas has hosted the big game but the third time its been in the state of Texas. The previous two enagements were in Houston.

Super Bowl VIII
Rice Stadium. Yep, you're reading that right. This marked the first time the Super Bowl was played at a stadium that wasn't currently the home of an NFL team. However during them mid-60s the Houston Oilers played a few seasons at Rice Stadium.

The Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 to win back to back Super Bowls. The previous season the Dolphins completed the only undefeated season in NFL history. Larry Csonka was named MVP, becoming the first running back to garner that award. Halftime entertainment consisted of the Texas Longhorns band and Miss Texas Judy Mallet playing the fiddle. A small piece of history was also made, when Leo Miles became the first African-American to officiate in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXVIII
Reliant Stadium. Thirty years later, the Super Bowl came back to Houston. The game that took place is often considered one of best played and most entertaining in Super Bowl history. The New England Patriots won their second championship in three years, 32-29 over the Carolina Panthers. Adam Vinateri kicked the game winning field goal with 4 seconds remaining. (Editor's Note: The teams combined for zero points in the 1st and 3rd quarters making the game slow and boring at times. However with a combined 37 points in the 4th quarter the end was very captivating.) Tom Brady was the MVP.

The game may actually be remembered more for what transpired at halftime. That was of course, the wardrobe malfuntion known as Nipplegate. You know the story. And things continued to spiral out of control as famous streaker Mark Roberts raced across the field right before the 2nd half kickoff and danced wearing just a thong. He was laid out by Matt Chatham and later fined $1000 for trespassing.

So for such a short history, the Super Bowls in Texas certainly have a certain flair. Cowboy Stadium, with a seating capacity of 80,000 and a total capacity, including standing room of 110,000 Super Bowl XLV will certainly be one of the most watched, in-person. The Rose Bowl holds the record for the most attended Super Bowl, with 103,985 in attendance for the big game in 1980. The halftime entertainment is the Black Eyed Peas. After Nipplegate the NFL moved toward more safe selections for halftime. That included a trip to the geriatric ward to pick up the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. It seems like they may be moving back to more contemporary beats with the selection of the Peas. Who's ready to boom, boom, pow? Because tonight's gonna be a good night.

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