- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2007

Each week the Browser features some pop-culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free interactive sounds and action.

Cyber Super Bowl

Today, the best of the best of the best in the National Football League square off in the annual epic called the Super Bowl.

Those watching the game have multiple places in cyberspace where they can prepare for and appreciate the fine art of professional football.

First, the official site of Super Bowl (www.superbowl.com) will not win any awards for innovative multimedia interactivity but still delivers a ton of information and acts as a portal for more entertaining cyber-stops.

Its initial layout is, of course, plastered with images and analysis of the two teams in the main event, “da” Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. More impressive is the History section, which offers box scores, recaps and records on all 40 Super Bowls and who performed at halftime, along with the singers who tackled the national anthem.

Additionally, Super Bowl Video includes 60-second video summaries from all of the games and great interviews with NFL legends such as Mike Singletary, Franco Harris and Bart Starr.

Fans also will appreciate the photo galleries and blogs and an interactive map guide to the stadium found on the site.

Those not sure of whom to root for this year can click over to the NFL Rush site (http://playoffs.nfl.com) to take a five-question multimedia-packed quiz called Bandwagon (http://playoffs.nfl.com/band wagon/index.asp?entry= sbcompromogif).

Strange questions asked by a pesky announcer, such as, “How do you roll?” (bling or no bling) and, “Do you get a lot of parking tickets?” lead to branding the visitor either a Colts or Bears fan.

The Rush site also offers a colorful, active design with a serious musical score and a varied selection of activities and games for the entire family.

For all fans, My Highlights has a visitor upload a head shot of himself that can be superimposed over the noggin of an NFL player in action and can be e-mailed to a pal. It’s a finicky program, but it does deliver a video segment worth a few laughs for the recipient.

The Sideline Celebration challenge will appeal to performers in the family. Players choose from Who Dey from the Cincinnati Bengals, T.D. of the Miami Dolphins, Rowdy of the Dallas Cowboys or Swoop from the Philadelphia Eagles and match cascading directional arrows with the keyboard arrows to watch the mascots move in sort of a Dance Dance Revolution homage.

For youngsters, the popular sports-video-game franchise Backyard Football is offered in an abbreviated format. Basically, junior quarterbacks get four quarters to use a football to take target practice on cutouts of receivers that pop up around the field.

Also, the side-scrolling Rush to School enables children to control superstars Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb or Michael Strahan in an obstacle course as they grab footballs but avoid angry dogs and linebackers.

Now back to the main Super Bowl site. A click on the Burger King banner advertisement that pops up periodically takes visitors to the BK Bobble Bowl challenge (http://bkbobblebowl.com/). This passing game features that creepy King character as a quarterback and enables a player to get him to throw balls to receivers in motion using a few keyboard commands.

Finally, after a few rounds with the King, visitors should go over to the NFL players official site (www.nflplayers.com/) to learn about the men under the helmets.

In addition to online journals from such starters as Deuce McAllister, Brian Urlacher and Thomas Jones and biographies on every player in the league, visitors get a few challenges.

They include the Tetris homage Grid Iron Crush (featuring a choice of game pieces from each NFL division) and the difficult QB Scramble, in which the player maneuvers a quarterback around a field to avoid a ferocious rush.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send e-mail to jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com).

Mr. Szadkowski also writes a Web-exclusive column for the Washington Times Web site where he reviews educational software and family-friendly video games. Check it out at www.washingtont imes.com/family times/romperroom.htm.

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