The parade of promotion, ancillary activities and corporate contrivances that leads to Super Bowl XLIII marched forward on Saturday... but at least they're finally playing football.
On the Bowl Eve (clearly it should be a national holiday), Snoop Dogg took over Gaither High School on the north side of Tampa for his Snoop Bowl VII. Snoop brought his West Coast youth league team to the Bay to battle a team made up of Tampa youth all stars. As always, the whole thing was for charity, this time benefiting the Mike Alstott Family Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Children's Cancer Center and All Sports Community Service.
Meanwhile, across Old Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, assorted athletes, actors and others took the field at Progress Energy Park (spring home of the Tampa Rays) for the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. Playmates, Gossip Girls and genuine NFL Hall of Famers kicked around in the sand, affording us the rare opportunity to see Blake Lively, LL Cool J and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young in the same place. Benji and Joel Madden shook off their late night at ESPN's Super Bowl party and Maria Menounos proved she's got some serious skills. (Check out photos of all the pre-Super Bowl parties and shows here.)
But it was all really just the opening act for LL Cool J, who took to the stage for a brief post-game concert. LL said that he's been focused on his emerging artist site Boomdizzle.com. Apparently though, the work can wait — there are other more pressing matters on his plate. "I'm kind of partying," LL said of his Super Bowl week. "I'm planning on tearing the town up, doing my thing."
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