Baltimore (plus 3.5) vs. San Francisco
Scott Feschuk: After all the hype, after all the insipid player interviews and celebrity-chef snack advice, after all the talk about Kate Upton’s Super Bowl commercial (spoiler alert: boobs) and the boyhood adventures of the Harbaugh brothers, after every washed-up former athlete got his 15 minutes on sports radio to shill some product or other (“Before we wrap things up, Donovan McNabb, tell us about what you’ve got going on with the good people at Slim Jim”), after every news agency that published this photograph…
… felt the need to point out to readers that Beyonce was dressed as a “sexy referee” (the “sexy” part was self-evident, dummies, just as it is every Sunday when Ed Hochuli suits up), after all my preparations for watching a game for which Phil Simms is providing the analysis (Mute button? Check!), after this Mardi Gras float that depicted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell being devoured by a giant vagina for some reason…
… after all the ensuing nightmares involving comically oversized gentialia, after all the Madden simulations, prop bets and swanky parties, after talk of a JaMarcus Russell comeback made milk shoot out of my nose, after hearing for the 10,000,000th time that San Francisco has NEVER LOST A SUPER BOWL, after enduring 10,000,001 references to gumbo, after all the talk about whether God cares who wins the Super Bowl (He doesn’t, idiots: He’s saving up His energy to help me with my putting this spring), after this photograph of Colin Kaepernick holding his giant pet tortoise Sammy…
… after ALL THAT, I can’t wait for Sunday night when we can all finally flip on the TV, sit back and watch the Super Bowl while enjoying a cool, refreshing bottle of deer antler spray.
Hands up all of you who predicted that Super Bowl week would be dominated by a discussion of whether one’s athletic performance can be enhanced by a spritz of the freeze-dried and liquefied antler hormones of New Zealand deer? The focus of the deer antler story is Ray Lewis, who’s alleged to have used to spray to help recover from a torn triceps. Lewis called the allegations “the trick of the devil,” which raises the question: if you were the devil, is that the trick you’d choose to pull during Super Bowl week? I’m no expert, but I’m thinking that possessing one of the Harbaugh boys and making him stab his brother in the face with a first-down marker during the post-game handshake is more the devil’s style. Either that or the trick my grandpa used to do where it looked like his finger was CUT IN TWO. That’s a good trick.
As for the game itself, a number of experts have spent an absurd amount of time breaking down tape on the 49ers and Ravens (Ron Jaworski, for one, hasn’t seen his family in two weeks, which is fine by them because when they ask “Dad, can you pass the ketchup?” he just replies, “Joe Flacco has POCKET PRESENCE and a MONSTER ARM, Sally!!”). But trying to predict the Super Bowl with logic is like trying to win a Stanley Cup with Phil Kessel. You’ve got to go with your gut on this one. And my gut tells me that although the 49ers are more talented, our world is so warped that a certain shameless glory-hog gas-bag named Ray is destined to end his career with a second Super Bowl title. Now that’s a trick worthy of the devil. Pick: Balitmore.
Scott Reid: Amidst the exuberance of this week let us spare a moment for the sad-sack spectacle of NFL Network’s Brian Billick. The head coach of the only other Ravens team to compete for (and win) the Super Bowl, he was recently granted interviews by the Philadelphia Eagles and the night manager at Arby’s. Neither took him seriously. So Billick spends his days shuffling around the Superdome, milking the last drops of Super Bowl XXXV and looking like a guy who hangs out at his ex-wife’s wedding.
Sure, Billick is to NFL broadcast analysis what Chris Culliver is to gay-positive interviews. But the fact remains: He won a Super Bowl. So how exactly did he get a notch below Jim Fassel on everyone’s NFL shit list? I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that, judging from this video footage, Billick is the only person on planet Earth worse at Match Game than Polly Holiday.
Now, as a lifelong Niners fan, I feel it is prudent of me to point out that the Ravens are peaking at exactly the right time, that Ray Lewis is playing for the history books and that Jim Caldwell has simplified the play…oh, HORSESHIT!! I can’t do it. I refuse to bend to the conventional instinct to overanalyze and falsely level the playing field between these two teams. Sisters and Brothers – this game ain’t even going to be close! The Niners are demonstrably better in every aspect – with the sole exception of place kicker. (And I don’t want to talk about that subject). Kaepernick is going to come out slinging just when the Ravens will be looking to stop the run. Randy Moss is going to burn a huge one. Vernon Davis is going to skinny post Baltimore’s ass off. And the only person to touch the ball in the second half other than Frank Gore will be Jerome Boger (who should just get it over with and add another O to his surname). If anything, I’ve been watching these past couple weeks and thinking to myself: The Niners are underrated. And badly.
You wanna know who isn’t underrated? Sally Field. From Smokey and the Bandit II to Lincoln, she wrecks everything. But also Joe Flacco. If I hear one more person say that he throws the NFL’s best deep ball, I swear to God I’m taking hostages. The reality is that he’s a mediocre player. Always has been. Always will be. And when people point out that he’s yet to throw an interception in the playoffs, I say: Hallelujah, he’s overdue. Watch for him to toss at least two picks on Sunday night.
So trust me. Just as sure as Lauren Tannehill’s tummy smells like coconut, San Francisco will win by double digits.
As for the giant vagina that devoured Roger Goodell in New Orleans? Well, there have gotta be worse ways to go. Pick: San Francisco.