It's the Ultimate Game

Until the next Super Bowl, anyway.

The Seattle Seahawks, of course, are in Detroit this week for the Sunday, Feb. 5, Super Bowl, with some players and coaches, possibly at this very moment, answering such earnest and original sportswriter gambits as: "Tell us what it's like to be playing in a Super Bowl." (Predicted reply: "It's truly a great experience, Marv." Honest response: "It'd be way better if the game were in Miami.")

Those of us who have been following the Super Bowl for the past XL years may recall during this pregame Hype Week the immortal words of Duane Thomas. 'Twas the Dallas Cowboys running back and rhetorical-question savant who was asked back in MCMLXXI prior to Super Bowl V whether the SB is indeed the ultimate game. Thomas, who couldn't even be assuaged by the fact that the contest was in Miami, proffered: "If it's the ultimate game, then why are they playing it again next year?"

Uh, because each year it generates enough revenue to have purchased the Roman Empire and much of Greece? Because it's become a secular holiday nearly worthy of Hallmark cards? Because the halftime show always promises something scandalously unfit for kids of all ages? Two years ago, it was merely what those with excellent vision claimed was Janet Jackson's right one; this year (hide your eyes!) it'll be a full close-up of Keith Richards' face.

The big difference this time, obviously, is that the game has created rabid interest among those in this region. The only productive workers in Seattle the past few weeks have been the ticket scalpers and bartenders. Fans have taken great umbrage about what they believe to be bookies keeping the betting spread near four points in favor of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The temptation is to perceive this as a slight, when, in fact, it only means that more gamblers with access to betting salons feel the Steelers will win. That actually works to the advantage of Seattle partisans, because it makes it just that much easier to get a favorable wager.

The halftime show always promises something scandalously unfit for kids of all ages. Two years ago, it was merely what those with excellent vision claimed was Janet Jackson's right one; this year it'll be a full close-up of Keith Richards' face.

Seasoned appraisers of the game have been saying since the Hawks' convincing 34-14 win Jan. 22 over the Carolina Panthers that Super Bowl XL shapes up dead even. Arbiters on both sides, though, can find compelling reasons to know — know for sure, that is — that Seattle will win/lose by a point/bunch. Pregame analysis and other XL info is of such abundance this week that just about anything you try to Google leads to a Super Bowl site of some kind.

Is there any idiot-proof way to pick a winner? In fact, yeah. Try this application of gridiron logic almost Rumsfeldian in its certitude:

The Super Bowl, while usually played in neutral cities, actually establishes a "home" and "visiting" team. This year Pittsburgh is designated home team, but coach Bill Cowher unilaterally (and without precedent) decided the Steelers would wear white — or road — jerseys. The winner of the game must be either the home team or the visitor. Any moron, then, could agree that the Seahawks would have to win because, for the first time in XL years, they could be construed as both host and visitor. Hawks, XLIX to III (but don't expect me to bet anything on it).

info@seattleweekly.com

 
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