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Two days after the Super Bowl, things are looking up

Things are looking up. Let me count the ways. 1. For one thing, we're on the downside of the steep hill known as winter. Today, we receive 9 hours, 43 minutes of daylight. We've been on the upswing since we bottomed out with 8 hours and 23 minute...

Things are looking up. Let me count the ways.

1. For one thing, we're on the downside of the steep hill known as winter.

Today, we receive 9 hours, 43 minutes of daylight. We've been on the upswing since we bottomed out with 8 hours and 23 minutes of daylight Dec. 22.

Let me do the math: That's a whopping 80 minutes of daylight more than at our low point. And we'll continue to get 2 to 3 extra minutes each day.

Break out the suntan lotion.

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Also, today's average low is zero, five degrees warmer than when it bottomed out Jan. 20. Today's average high of 19 also is five degrees warmer than the low point.

Break out the shorts and tank tops.

2. The good guys won the Super Bowl.

Is there a more unlikable bunch than the New England Patriots? Coach Bill Belichick is a serial cheater who brings new meaning to the words "surly" and "churlish" and runs up the score on opponents. Receiver Randy Moss is a petulant brat who didn't give his best effort for his former teams, forcing them to trade him for a used set of shoulder pads. And quarterback Tom Brady impregnates his girlfriend, then dumps her for a supermodel.

Nice. Nice. Nice.

Plus, it's fun to see the underdog win. The New York Giants were certainly that against the undefeated Patriots. Don't forget that the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Giants 41-17 this season, meaning the Vikings may have been the NFL's best team.

Or not.

3. The Super Bowl also means commercials.

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As a whole, the Super Bowl commercials were disappointing. Either that, or I'm growing too old/square to understand them.

But there were three gems by Budweiser, as usual. One was the Clydesdale training like Rocky Balboa. Another was the spot featuring comedian Will Ferrell, citing the product's "magical blend of barley, hops and delicious alcohol." A third winner was spoofing wine-and-cheese parties by smuggling in Bud in fake slabs of cheese.

4. UND landed a president Monday in Robert Kelley. The university has been without a leader for awhile.

Kelley beat out a strong field of applicants for the job. He also beat out a person who didn't actually apply for the job, but had been anointed by king-maker Scott Hennen.

In related news, I'm also disappointed that I wasn't named president, even though I too didn't apply for the position.

5. If UND has to drop its Fighting Sioux nickname, last weekend's hockey action offered up a couple of potential replacements.

How about the Fighting Birds? Or the Fighting Flippers?

Bakken reports on local news and writes a column. Reach him at 780-1125, (800) 477-6572 ext. 125; or rbakken@gfherald.com .

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