Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Can Bet On It

Super Tuesday is coming, the day when the smoke clears from the political battleground and the leading presidential candidates emerge bloodied but mostly unbowed.

It is on this day that Americans will come face to face with the reality that, once again, they will be choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Every pundit who can hunt and peck will engage in endless analysis and prognostication even though, as the Wall Street Journal points out, their conclusions "are about as accurate as a chimp throwing darts."

Even though this column is as good as the next guy at reaching vague conclusions that can be applied to almost any result, we have decided to pass on politics. For now.

Besides, we are betting our rebate check that Hillary Clinton willbeat John McCain in November.

Instead, we will turn our attention to more pressing matters. Like the Super Bowl.

Yes, it's that time again for the most hyped but often least interesting game of the year. This year's contest on Sunday features the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, two teams of interest mostly to snow-bound residents in the northeastern United States.

For them, it's about civic pride. For the rest of us, it's about picking the best beer commercial.

The Patriots are undefeated, devouring their opponents like so many fire ants on the march and led by a dour coach who displays all the warmth and grace of Joseph Stalin.

The Giants actually play in New Jersey. Enough said.

I'll rip open a bag of torilla chips and watch it but without much emotion.

Indeed, the last time I got really enthused about a Super Bowl was when Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson's top during a half time show.

There is one sure-fire way of making the game interesting, however. Bet on it.

You don't need to be a football fan to put a few bucks down on the game. In fact, you don't need to know a quarterback from a quiche.

According to some betting websites, you can bet on who the most valuable player will thank first: teammates, God, family, coach, or no one.

You can bet on what song Tom Petty will sing to end his half time show.

You can get a few bucks down on how long it take Jordin Sparks to sing the National anthem. Over 1 minute 42 seconds, or under 1 minutes 42.

You can bet on whether Brittany Spears will show up, and whether she will streak the field.

You can also wager on who will win the coin toss, who will call the first time out, who will be the first player called for holding, whether the first player to score will have an odd or even number jersey, whether the first missed field goal will be wide left or right.

Of course, you can develop your own bets right at home. Who will be the first to take a bathroom break, who will be the first to dump a plate of nachos cheese-side down on your new couch, who willbe the first to say "I don't get it" after a multimillion dollar commercials creens, who will be the first to doze off in the middle of the game after consuming hot wings, chili, pizza and beer.

But whatever it takes, try to enjoy the game. It will be over in three hours. The presidential campaign will last another 10 months.

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