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The offbeat side of the news

Statue of limitations

Poor Chris Berman.

Here it is the week of the Super Bowl, and he’s without his microphone.

No, not Chris Berman, the ESPN sportscaster and longtime Buffalo Bills booster.

Chris Berman, the 12-foot-tall wooden statue standing watch outside the Big Tree Inn on Abbott Road in Orchard Park.

Those familiar with the watering hole near Ralph Wilson Stadium know about the three wooden statues – Jim Kelly, Andre Reed and Berman – carved from trees felled during the October snowstorm of 2006.

But when someone pointed out the damage done to Berman’s arm and microphone, The Buffalo News inquired.

Don’t worry, vandals did not attack “Boomer,” said owner Dan DeMarco.

There are so many people who take photos with the statues, someone was hanging onto Berman in November when he just snapped, DeMarco said.

“It was a clean break,” DeMarco said. “I knew those trees weren’t going to last forever.”

Speed the chicken wing

Time-wasting, chicken-wings eatin’ Americans, listen up:

You can save a whole 3½ minutes consuming a plate of one dozen wings by turning to one of two highly efficient eating styles.

The “typewriter” approach is the more efficient way to consume a drum, while the “wishbone is more efficient for the flatter portion.”

The advice, which arrives – imagine that! – right in time for Super Bowl couch potatoes Sunday, comes from Major League Eating, the folks who present the International Federation of Competitive Eating each summer at Coca-Cola Field.

Following these methods, the organization said, could save Americans some 116 million hours each year, enhancing productivity in other areas not limited to channel surfing.

The jokes just snowball

Comedian and Los Angeles resident Adam Carolla seems to be excited to visit the University at Buffalo tonight, in the midst of what has been a lovely winter season.

“I did read some of the brochures at the travel agency that showed people having heart attacks shoveling their driveways, and thought, ‘Hey, you know what, that could be me,’ ” Carolla told News Staff Reporter Stephen T. Watson in an interview published Thursday.

The weather jokes didn’t end there.

On “The Artie Lange Show,” hosted by a former Howard Stern sidekick, Carolla talked about his wife, Lynette, and her new venture, “10th Avenue Podcast,” which involves her traveling the country to interview Bruce Springsteen fans.

Lange asked Carolla if he was jealous of his wife’s gig, which includes an upcoming interview with Lange.

“It does put a little salt in the wound when she’s going out to hang out with Artie Lange and talk about the Boss, and I’m going out to Detroit to do a show and then off to Buffalo.”

Lange added later, “That’s a dream run – Jersey, Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago in early February.”

Keep it to yourself

The chicken wing’s 50th anniversary and the Super Bowl have inspired wing stories at “Today,” an upcoming segment on “CBS Sunday Morning” and in the Wall Street Journal, which set out to find the best wings in a tour of upstate New York (though it appears no wings made in Buffalo were sampled).

But it’s a piece in Slate that seems to offer the most opportunity for debate.

The article headlined “You’re doing it wrong: Chicken wings,” by Mary Mycio, tells readers that the author prefers ketchup with her wings, the best way to make them is roasting, not deep frying, and that she likes hers well-done, “like jerky.” The accompanying recipe involves the use of a microwave before the wings are roasted.

The 175 comments the story attracted can be summed up in this pithy post: “If I’m doing it wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Jay Rey, Mark Sommer and Geoff Nason. email: