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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Super Bowl features Al Michaels, Bob Costas, Boss

Here is my Super Bowl viewer guide extravaganza, in which the names Joe Torre and Alex Rodriguez do not appear a single time.

Too much material to summarize it all here. There are items on Matt Lauer's sitdown with Barack Obama (not Chesley Sullenberger), NBC's crowded, advertising-challenged pre-game show, radio accounts in Flemish and Hungarian, 450 NBC personnel on the job, John Madden and Al Michaels, and the game's ratings prospects given the less-attractive matchup compared to last year.

One of the accompanying charts lists the seven highest-rated non-Super Bowls. Among the 15 highest-rated TV shows ever, eight are Super Bowls, topped by Super Bowl XVI between the 49ers and Bengals.

Nothing ever will surpass the 60.2 percent of homes the M*A*S*H finale earned in 1983, not in the vastly more cluttered media environment of the 21st century.

But one year soon the Super Bowl will earn a bigger audience than M*A*S*H did, given the growing population. M*A*S*H was watched by an estimated 106 million people.

The second-most watched show ever was Super Bowl XLII, with an average of 97.5 million. That figure peaked at 112 million in the final minute.My three-month reign as Newsday's most-read blog appears to be slipping away. I am a distant second to our pop culture site Pet Rock, which quadruple-teams me, featuring four writers way younger (and cooler) than me, including ring leader Mark La Monica (Cornell '97).

I know things about sports media figures that could lift me to a glorious, come-from-behind victory. But unlike Joe Torre . . . I do not believe it's worth the trouble posting them would cause.

Tags: super bowl , football

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