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Bush says he's 'fired up for the Super Bowl'

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- President Bush said he plans to watch the Super Bowl.

He hopes to make it to the end of the game.

"I'll watch it as long as I can stay up," Bush said in an interview with FOX Super Sunday, which will air between 9 a.m. and noon EST on Feb. 3.

Bush, a onetime owner of the Texas Rangers, is passionate about baseball. But he said he's "fired up for the Super Bowl" and has been a longtime football fan.

"I had two teams growing up," he said. "I was a Houston Oilers fan and a Dallas Cowboys fan. They were good teams, and then, unfortunately, Houston moved to Tennessee and we lost our club. But love you, blue - Bum Phillips captured the imagination of a lot of Texas, including me.

"I was in baseball -- with the Rangers -- and we bought the team in '89, the same year that Jerry Jones came in with the Cowboys," Bush said. "And he had a lot more success with the Cowboys than we had with the Rangers."

Bush was asked if there was an analogy between football and politics.

"Well, they're both pretty tough - contact sports," Bush said. "But you know, it's much easier to take a political hit than it is to be run over by one of those linebackers."

HAPPY TO BE HERE:Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said he's glad the club refused to trade him as part of the deal that brought quarterback Eli Manning from San Diego.

The Giants are,too. Umenyiora had 13 sacks this season, most on the team.

"I think of that a lot," Umenyiora said. "It's an amazing thing how destiny and all those things come into play. I don't believe I'd be the player that I am today if I had gone to San Diego. And that's nothing against San Diego, but I think they run a different scheme, and they might have tried to put me at outside linebacker at the time and it might not have been a good fit.

"I love San Diego," Umenyiora said. "I would have loved to play there, but I'm a New Yorker. I'm a New York guy."

ANYBODY GOT TWO?: New England linebacker Junior Seau was asked about reports that some Super Bowl tickets are selling for as much as $77,000.

"It's a testament to the game, and obviously the game has grown and we should all be happy of that," he said. "It's a proud moment for the NFL and it's a moment in history that everyone wants to take part in."

LAWNWORK NEEDED: Responding to player complaints, NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw urged the Pittsburgh Steelers to replace the Heinz Field playing surface. Upshaw said the field has drawn poor reviews in union surveys of players.

"We would like to see them go to a different surface," Upshaw said in response to a question during an NFLPA news conference on Thursday. "Their field was rated very, very poorly, even among the Steelers."

Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor called the field "terrible" before the Jaguars' playoff game at Pittsburgh last month. "That's a lawsuit pending," Taylor said at the time. "That's ridiculous."

GIANTS ELECT TO RECEIVE: The question was ridiculous, but New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin answered it anyway.

Because teams that win the coin toss have a losing record in Super Bowls, would he consider kicking off if the Giants win the toss?

"So we're going to give the Patriots the ball one more time?" Coughlin said as a roomful of reporters broke into laughter. "That's what we're setting out to do? They don't do well enough with their drives, so they need another one."

New England scored an NFL-record 589 points this year and set a record with 75 touchdowns.

Coughlin also noted that by kicking off to start the game, the Giants wouldn't get the ball to start the second half.

"I don't mean to belittle the question, but you're not going to give someone else the ball, and that's why you see, even in a gale or a hurricane, people take the ball," Coughlin said. "It's because, quite frankly, you don't have enough opportunities. You're only going to get an average of 11 drives per game."

For the record, the Giants went 3-4 when they won the coin toss during the regular season, and 7-2 when they lost it.

FIGHTING FRAUD: Federal and local authorities on Thursday warned fans to be careful when buying Super Bowl tickets and merchandise.

More than $140,000 worth of unlicensed Super Bowl merchandise has been seized, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and officials expect that figure to rise as vendors descend on the Phoenix area this weekend.

To try to deter counterfeiters, the NFL puts elaborate holograms and other marks on Super Bowl tickets. But fakes still find their way onto the market, and NFL counsel Anastasia Danias said as many as 100 fans are turned away at the stadium every year because they're holding phony tickets.

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