The first fumble of Super Bowl XLVI goes to the Daily Mail, a British tabloid that perhaps should stick to covering soccer.
The paper reported Monday that the New England Patriots' touchdown-celebration song -- likely to be played several times this Sunday -- could bring disgraced 1970s glam rocker Gary Glitter "hundreds of thousands of pounds" in royalties.
That's because, the newspaper reported, Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) composed the 1972 sports/rock anthem "Rock and Roll Part II" that is the "theme song" of the Patriots.
The story quickly was picked up by other news outlets, as well as a blogger for the Star-Ledger in New Jersey who urged readers to sign a petition to halt the NFL from allowing any Glitter song to be performed at Sunday's Super Bowl because of his history. In 1999, Glitter was sentenced in the U.K. to four months in jail for possessing child pornography. In 2006, he was sentenced in Vietnam to three years in prison for committing obscene acts with minors, two girls aged 10 and 11.
One problem: The Patriots haven't used the song for years, either the original by Glitter or any cover version.
For several seasons, the Patriots have played Bon Jovi's "This is Our House" after TDs at Gillette Stadium, says Jeff Cournoyer, the team's director of corporate communications.
Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of communications, termed the Daily Mail story "bogus" and said, "No version of that song ["Rock and Roll Part II"] has been played at the Super Bowl since 2006. We are not playing the song on Sunday and never intended to." In 2006, the NFL asked teams not to play the Glitter song, but allowed a cover version.
If the Patriots score a TD Sunday against the Giants, the team hasn't told the NFL what it wants played at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium -- "hasn't been decided" would be accurate, says Cournoyer -- but it definitely won't be anything by Glitter.