SUPER BOWL JOURNAL: Play the Game, Already

some say hes humorous

Dane Cook: some say he's humorous

Wednesday night, it was Celine Dion. Thursday, it was the Eagles. Tonight (Saturday), performing in the St. Pete Times Forum, one block from my hotel, was Dane Cook.

People paid big bucks. Lots of people. Me, I spent seven bucks the whole day until dinner, and that was for a crepe filled with Nutella and walnuts.

That’s as close to Paris as you get a Super Bowl site.

I just want the game to get here. This was sixth day in Tampa, and it gets old. This Super Bowl buildup and all the surrounding carnival stuff, that is.

By the way, the Tampa weather is overrated, too. It hasn’t been truly warm here in a few days, and only people from Pittsburgh are running around here in short sleeves and shorts.

I’ve seen plenty of famous, famous people this week, but most were football-related. Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp, Tony Dungy, Joe Flacco, Michael Irvin, et cetera. Big whoop.

The highlight of my week was  a two-minute conversation with Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. I saw him in a Tampa Convention Center hallway, and he couldn’t have been nicer.

Musicians don’t have press conferences after concerts, and don’t have press conferences before concerts, and don’t have weekly call-in shows. So, I sense they’re not all opposed to getting interviewed from time to time.

I got to ask Lofgren, who is a terrific solo singer/musician in his own right,  what I’ve always wondered about with Springsteen and his band. Namely, how do they handle those marathon tours, playing night after night amid months and months of traveling around the U.S. and Europe.

“There’s some healing, medicinal things going on,” Lofgren said. “Otherwise you get off the road.

It’s been 40 years (of being a professional musician) for me last September, and being in front of an audience with a band is so spiritually healing. That’s the only way you go. Otherwise you get off the road.

“So luckily we grew up to be those guys. It’s just a happy accident for all of us.”

Lofgren has been an E Streeter since 1984. He said that makes him and Patti Scialfa, Springsteen’s wife, “the new kids on the block.” She joined the band the same year. Everyone else in the group dates back to at least the mid-1970s.

“That’s one of the great things,” said Lofgren. “With the history we can do improv shows, call out songs from the Sixties we never played together, and it’ll work because we’re all a bunch of old farts.”

I never saw Diddy or Jamie Foxx or Donald Trump down here, although they’ve been here this weekend.

I didn’t see Alec Baldwin or the three Kardashian sisters or LL Cool J.

I didn’t see Pamela Anderson or Kevin Costner or Usher or the guy who plays Johnny Drama on “Entourage,” Kevin Dillon.

But I met Nils Lofgren, and that’s better. Although someone dear to me will tell me it would be far, far better to meet Alec Baldwin.

We agree on this, though:  You can get far more pleasure from a Nutella-filled crepe than from Dane Cook’s comedy. To each their own, of course.

Cook’s the one selling expensive arena tickets, and I’m blogging.


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