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Alan Alda is happy for New Orleans

Leftover Super Bowl odds and ends:

Alan Alda spoke to AP Monday about Super Bowl XLIV surpassing the "M*A*S*H" finale to become the most-viewed TV program in American history. Here is what he said:

"If the 'M*A*S*H' audience was eclipsed, it was probably due in large part to the fact that the whole country is rooting for New Orleans to triumph in every way possible. I am, too, and I couldn't be happier for them. I love that city."

Alda did wonder, though, whether Nielsen might have underestimated the "M*A*S*H" audience because many people watched in large groups. Of course, the same is true of Super Bowls. (I watched both shows alone. But I'm anti-social.)

"Not to say I'm competitive, but in part we are talking about sports," Alda said. "And I actually am competitive."

Meanwhile, in Canada, the Super Bowl also attracted its biggest audience ever. Maybe fleur de lis solidarity between old Quebec Nordiques fans and the Saints helped.

It was amazing that the game ended well before 10 p.m., given the record 48 minutes of ad time CBS squeezed into the program - three more than last year.

NOW president Terry O'Neill criticized the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad - in which he jokingly is seen tackling his mother - for glorifying violence against women. Oy vey. That is really, really silly.

Here's the thing about Jim Fassel stripping Sean Payton of playcalling duties for the Giants in 2002: In sounds stupid in light of recent events, but at the time it was brilliant. The Big Blue offense quickly caught fire and didn't slow down until late in the third quarter of a wild-card playoff game against the 49ers. But that's another story.

One last thought on Super Bowl XLIV: Newsday's venerable lead football scribe, Bob Glauber, provided first-rate coverage despite being badly outnumbered by the competition while attempting to cover a sprawling, multi-day event that generally requires huge manpower.

He did such a good job I say we send him to Vancouver for the next two weeks to keep an eye on Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. Bon voyage! 

New York Sports