Seattle's win could transform NFL

College Board CEO David Coleman pays himself a $750,000 salary, Tonelli noted, though the mean salary of CEOs of large nonprofits is one-third that amount. "The college board should behave more like the nonprofit it claims to be," Tonelli concluded. The NFL is fleecing taxpayers; the College Board is fleecing students and parents; both hide behind nonprofit exemptions as their top personnel enrich themselves.

Just Between You and Me, the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow: Verbal tics such as saying "you know" may be human nature. The one that drives TMQ to distraction is "frankly." This verbal tic is either void of meaning -- many United States senators would order lunch by saying, "Frankly, I'll have the turkey club" -- or communicates that most of the time the speaker in lying, but just this once has decided to tell the truth.

That "frankly" means "most of the time I am lying" is disturbing when one considers how often politicians employ this interjection. Newt Gingrich: "Frankly, the courts have become arrogant." Barack Obama: The Benghazi controversy "frankly has a lot to do with political motivations." Mitt Romney: "Congressman Akin's comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong." John Boehner: "Frankly, I don't think there is a way to fix Obamacare." "Frankly, I would never want to see that repeated," Paul LePage, governor of Maine, said of the Holocaust (when comparing the IRS to the Nazis).

Some speakers may believe that adding "frankly" causes an otherwise routine statement to gain heft. "Frankly, raising marginal tax rates on the highest-income earners is not helpful for creating a meaningful economic recovery": Robert Barro, Harvard economist. Or that using "frankly" causes a statement to sound like scintillating insider information. "Frankly, government officials made mistakes," Rachel Maddow said of the Atlanta ice storm. Or that "frankly" transforms a statement of routine bloviation into something powerful. "Making Coloradans pay for unemployment insurance for millionaires is, frankly, irresponsible," Colorado Sen. Mark Udall said. Mostly the word is verbal foam, unless the speaker actually means to admit that he or she usually lies.

"Frankly" has been so devalued that now often "very frankly" or "quite frankly" seems required. An industry analyst was quoted recently in the Wall Street Journal on why high-end cupcake sales are declining: "Quite frankly, people can bake cupcakes." So at last you are coming clean and telling us what you really think about cupcakes!

Jersey Atmospherics: Many Super Bowl guests, including your columnist, stayed in the days before the game in Manhattan, where New Yorkers were blasé: "Super Bowl, that's all it is?"

The all-mass-transit plan for the game had huge potential for fiasco, and results were mixed. The choice was train or bus. Those who chose the train that stops at MetLife Stadium faced hourlong delays to board before and after the game, were put at one station into a superheated holding area that had people stripping off all outerwear, then once on the train, were packed like Tokyo commuters -- again in heavy outerwear that there was no space to remove. Train service (for which New Jersey gets blamed) was a fiasco.

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