About to watch my 47th consecutive Super Bowl, tying the all-time record, I brace for being swamped by Super Bowl week interviews with CNN, NFL Network, TMZ, Al Jazeera and the like, but nooooooo:
Instead, all the hype is for Brother v. Brother. Harbowl. Superbaugh. Cain and Abel II.
My ninth semester at the University of Maryland was more interesting than the entire lifetimes of John and Jim Harbaugh combined.
But I must tow the line with the rest of America, and, thus, as a public service, I am here to provide my 47th annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide (For Super Bowl Parties of Six or More):
Here’s an odd sibling fact: If the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, coached the Ravens and the 49ers, they’d have to cancel the Super Bowl. That’s because the Klitschko boys, two of boxing’s best heavyweights, won’t ever fight each other. Note: If they did meet in the ring, I’m not sure a whole lot of people would watch, anyway.
Harbaugh v. Harbaugh reminds me of a 1962 episode of “Leave It to Beaver.” That was the time Beaver brought a girl home from school and he was crushed when she fell for big brother Wally.
Then again, the Harbaughs are hoping Super Bowl 47 resembles “Leave It to Beaver” more than “Dexter.” “Dexter” fans will recall that Dexter’s brother, Brian Moser (alias Rudy Cooper and better known as the “Ice Truck Killer”) reconnected with Dexter and, well, eventually one ended up slashing the other’s throat.
By the way, in other family news, Eddie DeBartolo Jr.’s nephew now runs the 49ers. Frankly, it feels a bit like “The Godfather: Part 3.”
Sure, brothers coaching in the Super Bowl is a big deal, but everyone is overlooking the once-in-a-lifetime general manager angle. When Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome played with the Browns in the late 1980s, Marty Schottenheimer was the coach. When 49ers GM Trent Baalke was a scout for the Redskins in 2001, Marty Schottenheimer was the coach. This is the first time that two general managers who once worked for Schottenheimer have met in a Super Bowl. Wow.
Ray Lewis is a Hall of Fame linebacker, but I just can’t stomach how he’s become the NFL’s poster-boy role model. I’ll always remember, after his 2000 street-fighting “incident” in Atlanta, HBO or CBS interviewed Lewis in his living room, with a Bible in plain sight. Maybe it’s my nature, but I’m usually skeptical of someone who puts the holy book on a coffee table when the TV cameras are rolling.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate the oft-maligned Joe Flacco. The Ravens quarterback has won a playoff game in all five of his NFL years, he has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in this postseason and he just beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on successive win-or-go-home weekends, which is like out-acting Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in back-to-back mob films.
Beyonce will provide the halftime entertainment on CBS. Normally, I would watch her, but I’m going to use the extra-long Super Bowl intermission to kidnap Jay-Z and rap to him profanely in pig Latin as payback for his lifetime of graphic, violent lyrics.
For a change of pace culinarily speaking, I have two words for you: Salmon Lasagna. This is a specialty of my Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some). Interestingly, the key to salmon lasagna is neither the salmon nor the lasagna, it’s the Bechamel sauce. But it’s a complicated recipe, so you should contact the lady herself; she now runs Toni’s Table catering.
Exactly how good is this dish I just mentioned? We no longer have makeup sex; rather, after we fight, Toni just makes us salmon lasagna. Cleverly, I pick a lot of fights with her.
The responsible thing to drink all day is sparkling water. But I know many of you won’t be responsible, and many of you are still bemoaning the fact that Diet Mountain Dew Code Red isn’t available in your area. So let me suggest you go old-school: Fresca, my friends.
Oh, yeah, the game itself – you probably want to know who’s going to win. A lot of you aren’t going to like this: The Ravens and 49ers will be tied at the end of regulation, 23-23, and, then, after two scoreless overtime periods, Commissioner Roger Goodell – citing player-safety concerns – is going to call it off and declare co-Super Bowl champions for the first time. It will be like kissing your brother.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Bill Belichick refused to be interviewed by CBS after the Patriots’ loss to the Ravens. Did you ever turn down an interview request after one of your divorces? (Bill Pollack; Niskayuna, N.Y.)
A. After most divorces, I usually go on a blackjack bender and gamble away the alimony.
Q. Advertisers are not allowed to mention the words “Super Bowl,” so they call it the “Big Game.” Are there any such restrictions on the use of “Couch Slouch”? (Ed Wintermantel; Pittsburgh)
A. I believe you now owe me $1.25.
Q. Wo uld the Pro Bowl have more meaning if the team from the winning conference received one extra timeout in the Super Bowl? (Jim Boswell; Bowie, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.