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The Super Bowl Is Decadent And Depraved

It is so sacred, so sovereign, that you must pay a large royalty to speaks its name in any kind of affinity.

Like William's and Kate's vows, the actual purpose for all the dearly beloved takes up an infinitesimal moment in an orgiastic half day of classically overdone spectacle and consumption.

And as for the sporting proposition of crowning a champion on the field of competition, the Super Bowl is American sports at its worst.

But from this cynical corner, it is also an opportunity for action, a chance to feed the jones, exploit the event for all it is worth. Less a football game than an opportunity to either choose sides with point spreads attached or trust a deck of cards to plot the squares. A little something on the line with tons and tons of unique American entertainment thrown in.

Pure commercialism and Madonna, all on the same day! For you nostalgia buffs, pro football has certainly come a long way since The Three Horsemen of Boulder Dam College played for money behind closed doors.

And you have to like the priorities of the day. "TIME-OUT, MEN! Time to hear from DANICA!" If only Mickey were still around to tell her to get her little chicken ass out of there.

It's been an interesting journey through the NFL playoffs. As fans, we can commiserate with the Pats and Giants players as they must continually stop what they're doing for commercial messages. We've already had to hack through the jungles of so many TV networks, so many announcers, and so many Boomers, Howies and Primetimes. It is hard to concentrate on the football.

But it's a helluva lot more than Xs and Os. For all of the paralysis-by-analysis by football wagerers, don't you find it funny how so many people still come down on the obvious? Just as we might eat Lipton onion dip Sunday although we never touch it the rest of the year, we're conditioned to a lot of things. The Saints are unbeatable, the Niners are for real and the Patriots are a complete, finely-tuned team.

Houston over Cincinnati was easy. Like the horses, Houston was a hard-working bunch and Cincy beat nobody. Denver over a gimpy Pittsburgh seemed like a no-brainer, as long as you don't keep taking Pittsburgh until they lose.

Inexperienced Houston on the road was too tall an order. Tebow ran out of miracles. New Orleans looked like they thought they were on another planet.

Everything was copacetic in the NFC until the mighty Packers coasted in to Lambeau and lost their curds and their way. It had to be degenerate gamblers who dashed off death threats to San Francisco's Kyle Williams. But they way I saw it, you had an inexperienced team coached by a full-of-himself young punk who was probably still recovering from Samurai Syndrome brought on during the Mike Singletary administration. Against a Tom Coughlin squad that had virtually been in it's own playoffs for two months?

But in an NFL where nothing is what it seems, Lee Evans sure-as-shootin' scored a touchdown. He had complete control of the piglet, ensuring its safety, feeding and changing it, and then holding it dearly against his gently beating heart.

Then the violent Patriot punches the ball, but why not? He knew that the game's babysitters are so full of self-doubt that they question their own basic capabilities. These guys are even starting to doubt what they see on the crisp digital replays.

But in the service of piety and obedience, not Evans nor any Raven shouted that it was a touchdown and the Romneyesque safety net of reviewing every scoring play was found to have a crack in it. If I'm a coach next year, I tell my guys to count 10-Mississippi, hang on to the ball all the way back to the bench, hand it to their head coach and get a receipt.

The Pats DB pawed and tugged the Ravens receiver worse than a TSA agent on the very next play. But Captain Hook, the Ravens kicker, missed the field goal and we'll be forced to watch the Unabomber's Indianapolis travelogue.

I had Baltimore beating the spread, which they did, but a straight-up win was a bonanza on the money line and for that loss, I am livid. Not death-threat livid, mind you, but if they wanted the porcelain beauty of Tom Brady and the delicate genius of Bill "Cheater" Belichick in Indianapolis, why did they bother to play this game? Why was that not a touchdown when they give six so easily as the fragrance of Brady's Axe body wash merely wafts towards paydirt or another guy goes flailing and sailing over the pylon?

As for Sunday, for me, it's as much about gut feelings and perceptions as it is about football.

The line has been stuck at Patriots by three for two weeks. The majority of the action is on the Giants. I like the Giants to win the game, and if they do it will be by about three or six. If the Patriots win, it will be by relative blowout and I could be switching to the Columbo rerun on ME-TV.

As is true in recent years, both of these teams are flawed - although the Giants are playing the most balanced now.

The Patriots do not even deserve to be in this game. The Ravens are like a horse whose jockey delivered a great ride and then misjudged the finish line. Just because the Patriots won doesn't mean they're the best team in the AFC. Brady is absolutely capable of turning in a mediocre performance and his defense is suspect.

Tom Coughlin is one of the best and most underrated coaches in sports. Even in the media maelstrom that is New York City, he's got a tough bunch that can see through the B.S. His guys figure to be able to concentrate through the folderol of the game's bad pacing and the lengthy warblings of Miss Ciccone. I'll give Eli Manning the keys to the car anytime. And if they can pound Brady a couple of times . . .

The Giants have been through all the preps to get to this derby. The Patriots are process of elimination. Giants.

But one of the big questions: Will Kelly Clarkson go bare midriff during the anthem, in Indiana? At +300 on the moneyline, they don't think she will.

See what I mean?

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Thomas Chambers is our man at the book. He welcomes your comments.

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