As for Super Bowl, he's for knocking the stuffiness out of it

Betting on New England Patriots? Remember Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl romp last year, Chris Erskine advises

Another Super Bowl lies before us like an ample British dinner. Dark. Greasy. Grandiloquent. We could easily mock this insanely popular feast. But, like you and Tom Brady, I always see the football as half-full, not half-empty.

I'd love to see Sunday's game begin with a drone crash, or at least an onside kick. In life and in sports, we all need a bit of surprise. And please, no romps. I'd rather be eaten by wolverines than sit through another five-hour Super Bowl blowout.

Too often, the game is a stuffy affair, coached with a Calvinist severity. Have a little fun, why don't you?

That's what Pete "Peter Pan" Carroll seems to do. Say what you want about the guy, but he loves what he does. Before you bet the mortgage on the favored New England Patriots, remember how his Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos last year. That game was over before the chicken wings were warm.

For the casual fan — or the non-fan — there is much to appreciate about this year's matchup. It is a battle of coasts and cuisines. One place has too much snow, the other too much coffee. Both teams are coached by madmen — one relentlessly elated, the other chronically morose.

Bill Belichick's personality is best described as fire-retardant. One player defended the New England coach and his staff by citing the long hours they put in. To me, that's like defending the Visigoths because they never got a Friday off.

I mean, how many Super Bowls would Ivan the Terrible have won? Poor guy was just born a little too soon.

Look, I hate haters. So before you get your boxers in a bundle, remember that we live in a morally relative world, in the sense that many of my relatives are immoral but we invite them for Christmas anyway.

And if underinflation were indeed the secret to the Patriots' blowing out the Indianapolis Colts, think of what a few squishy basketballs might do for our Lakers.


Favorites have lost three Super Bowls in a row — and five of the last seven.


NBC's Al Michaels calls to say sports books are offering prop bets on how many times he and Cris Collinsworth mention "Deflate-gate" during their telecast, with the over-and-under at 2 1/2.

"Take the over," Michaels says with a laugh.

Experts say more than half of Americans will partake in gambling on the big game, and an estimated $6 billion to $10 billion will change hands through illegal channels.

What kind of scoundrel takes part in that is beyond me. I don't approve of all that beer and hard liquor either. But if you insist (see "moral relativism" above).

Meanwhile, among the side bets for this year's game, courtesy of Bovada, as of late Wednesday:

• Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least one word of the national anthem? (Yes, 4-1; No, 1-6.)

• What color hoodie will Belichick wear? (Gray, 5-6; Blue, 1-1; Red, 7-1 15-2.)

• Which song will Katy Perry perform first at halftime? (“Firework,” 3-2; “Roar,” 3-2.)


Celebrity chef George Duran recommends long tablecloths for your Super Bowl party, so you have hidden storage underneath for extra beer and food.

About the third quarter, it is also an excellent place to escape from other guests.


A fan's guide to throwing a football in the house:

1. Locate the lamps.

2. Locate the spouse, as you would the strong safety. She's your main "read." Where she goes one direction, you throw the other. When necessary, look her off.

3. Zing the ball, preferably away from the lamps, the windows and the strong safety.

Oh, and the food. Always protect the food. Better a lamp than the food. But absolutely never a window.

To break a window confirms every fear your spouse secretly harbors about you and your buddies, whom she didn't really want to allow inside anyway.


It's been a tough couple of weeks for Packer Nation, still sore from the team's collapse against Seattle. But think of it as a teachable moment, advises coach-author Gino Arcaro, who offers these tips:

1. Onside kicks should be called often, not just in emergency situations.

2. Playing it safe to protect a lead does not protect a lead.

3. The fourth quarter is not the time to slam on the brakes: "Like in real life, the fourth quarter is the time to floor it."


With his charm and charisma, it's easy to see why Marshawn Lynch has become such a folk hero. I mean, who needs Ernie Banks?


And finally...

"If you win a Super Bowl before you're fired, you're a genius and everybody listens to you. But a coach is just a guy whose best class in grammar school was recess and best class in high school was P.E. I never thought I was anything but a guy whose best class was P.E."

—John Madden

Follow Chris Erskine on Twitter @erskinetimes

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