By Ryan Divish
One of my favorite things about being a sportswriter is when people come up and ask me who is going to win certain games. This week in particular, I have had a several people ask, "Who's going to win the Super Bowl?"
To be fair, I never really give an answer. Instead, I go the psychiatrist route and ask them who they think is going to win, then ask why and then usually agree with them
It's a cheap cop out, but come on does anyone really care what I think? Yeah, I know I'm sportswriter and it's my job to know everything there is to know about sports.
But I'll let you in on a little secret, sportswriters don't know everything there is to know about sports. Some of us know very little.
It's a dirty secret. I mean the way we write, shows like the Sports Reporters and Pardon the Interruption and the constant analysis of every little detail make it seem like we invented the damn games ourselves.
In truth, we probably know more than the average sports fan simply from doing our jobs. But compared to diehard fans, we know about the same. After all, most of the information we learn, we report and people read.
It's a great misconception that our lives revolve completely around sports. For example, I don't have much of a life, but the little shred I have left, isn't dominated by sports.
Take Wednesday for example, I watched a little college basketball, but I was more concerned with the new Dawson's Creek. Later, I watched the Bachelorette instead of the NBA game on ESPN.
Another example, of the five books I've read this year, only one had to do with sports. I've been reading books like the Great Gatsby and others that I faked reading during high school.
A person can only take so much sports.
To be perfectly honest, most big NFL fans know more than me. I haven't watched a complete NFL game all year. I tried a couple times, but MTV showed a Real World marathon on one Sunday and last year's Spring Break on the other.
I don't even participate in our weekly office NFL pick'em game out of fear of finishing dead last.
Need more examples?
Last year, while I was writing a column for the Aberdeen American News in South Dakota, I wrote that the Rams would win the Super Bowl by 40 points and the game would be duller than an insurance convention. Good call, huh?
If I was any good at predicting winners and losers, I wouldn't be here in Havre, I'd be in Vegas.
Still, if you must hear my prediction, if for no other reason than to see how little I know about the NFL, so be it. Here are my predictions for Sunday, drumroll please...
The Super Bowl pregame show will last longer than it took for the Titanic to sink. It's like five hours long, nobody can talk about one game for five hours, not even Terry Bradshaw. How much can they analyze one thing? I can analyze my entire life in an hour, yet it takes five hours for one game?
John Madden's eyebrows will grow at least an inch during the pregame show, making their length almost seven inches and cover his entire face.
Despite the Rams not even making the playoffs, the television cameras will still manage to show shots of Kurt Warner's annoying wife, Brenda, sitting in the stands.
The Dixie Chicks, who are singing the national anthem, will use a fiddle and a banjo as part their accompaniment. Somewhere Whitney Houston is crying.
Tampa Bay's Keyshawn Johnson will do something within the first few minutes of the game to draw all of the attention to himself. Because "Me-shawn" is the best player on the field, just ask him.
At no point during the pregame, the actual game or the postgame press conference will Warren Sapp actually shut up.
The cliche, "offense wins games, defense wins championships" will be said 2,343 times during the telecast. But one question - Do all defenses win championships? What if you have a really bad defense?
If the Raiders are winning, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will be shown with an ashen, "Why me God?" look on his face.
Raiders owner Al Davis will be shown in his luxury box filled young beautiful females and the, "yep, it's good to be me" look on his face.
The much anticipated Super Bowl commercials won't be nearly as good as the latest Gatorade commercial where Michael Jordan plays one-on-one against himself, or the Miller Lite commercial that features two women wrestling in a fountain. That commercial makes you feel dirty and ashamed, but it certainly doesn't make you want to change the channel.
Shania Twain will lip-sync her song during the halftime show. Does it really matter if she sings or not? How many people actually knew she could sing? Say it all together guys, "Shania Twain."
The cameras will show at least 100 different Raider fans dressed up in ridiculously lavish costumes and acting like the total freaks they are.
Those same Raider fans, whose real jobs are schoolteachers and professionals, will also assault several Buccaneer fans during or after the game.
During the game, ABC will shamelessly promote shows like the Bachelorette, Celebrity Mole and the Practice in hopes of boosting its slumping ratings.
The relationship of Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and his former team, the Raiders, will be mentioned 1,783,234 times during the entire telecast.
There will several unnecessary celebrations by players over things like making a tackle on a kick off, or making a first down - especially Buc kicker Martin Gramatica, who will have a seizure after making an extra point.
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski will keep his streak of getting arrested following big games alive.
And the prediction you've all been waiting for...
The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, will choose Charlie the businessman, over Ryan, the sensitive firefighter. Oh, and the Bucs will beat the Raiders, 24-10.