Daily catch-up: drama on the field of combat; Author! Author! and a thought from Scotland

Winning and losing, games and elections: all you need to know this week

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1. Sport, eh? Shakespearean picture on the front of the Independent’s games section this morning.

The Super Bowl, which concluded at just after 3am this morning, was also an epic drama. American football is an absurd sport, which isn’t why I love it so much, but which adds to the madness.

The most extraordinary fact about last night’s game is that it was played on real grass. But grass won’t grow in the stadium, even with its retractable roof open, so it is slid in on an 8,000-ton tray from outside. I thought I heard the commentators say that the grass is actually grown in Alabama before being trucked to Arizona and assembled, but I may have been hallucinating at this point.

In the pre-match warm-up, Greg Kane discovered that there is an American footballer, who was active until 1994, called Blair Bush.

2. Talking of the Bushes, Dianne Feinstein, the California Senator, came up with the Quotation of the Day about Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign:

“Now we know what the Bush family means by No Child Left Behind.”

(Via Ari Melber.)

3. What the British people seem to want at this election is David Cameron as Prime Minister of a Labour government: my column for The Independent on Sunday.

4. The Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, was Authors in Films of Their Books. Some more nominations that didn’t make the final cut:

Paul Bowles, who bookends Bertolucci’s film of his The Sheltering Sky (1990). Offered by Chris White and Richard T Kelly. (YouTube clip.)

Nick Hornby appears as a defeated football team manager in Fever Pitch (1997). Nominated by Dave Mckenna.

Lee Child plays a police officer in Jack Reacher (2012). Janet Hall, Hoskas, John Dakin.

John Cheever in The Swimmer (1968). Chris White.

“Stephen King tends to do it a lot.” Anthony Wells.

Len Deighton (hands cooking), The Ipcress File (1965). John Dakin.

Hubert Selby Jr in Requiem for a Dream (2000). Alan Robertson.

Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries (1995). Alan Robertson.

5. This is interesting by Eric Joyce on the effect on the general election of the Scottish National Party’s huge membership. The party claims 93,000 members, not quite the six figures Joyce fears, but it is 2.2 per cent of the Scottish electorate, the equivalent for a Great Britain party of one million people.

“Moreover, the great majority of SNP members are very new, very enthusiastic, relatively young and very likely to help out during the election campaign. You don’t need to be an MP to know how significant those multipliers are.”

Like so many people, though, Joyce, having considered the evidence that the SNP is a serious threat to virtually every Labour seat in Scotland, says that “my instinct is that the SNP won’t do quite as well as some think”. Suppose it does better?

6. Finally, thank to Col for this:

Anyone notice the irony behind “hyphenated” and “non-hyphenated”?