By Ryan Divish
Guess who's back? Back again? Shady's back, tell your friends.
I thought of coming up with a triumphant quote for the return of my column. Something profound, something meaningful, something that would make people say, "Man that guy is smart."
But all I could come up with was some old Eminem lyrics. Damn you, MTV and your Newlywed reruns, you're making me dumber by the moment.
Sorry for the hiatus, but the overwhelming number of sporting events in the area has forced me to dial back my unconscious stream of babble.
But there was no way I was not having a column this week because it's Super Bowl week, which means I will offer up my annual prediction for Sunday's big game.
I think we all know that my prognostications of sporting events, particularly football, specifically professional football, should be taken with a grain of salt and a few aspirin as well.
Look at this year's Armchair Quarterbacks. I didn't even come close to winning. To be perfectly honest, that's the reason I didn't have a special bowl picking segment. I added it all up and realized there was no way I could finish first, and there was a distinct possibility of finishing last. And you know, we can't have that.
The final tally had Wells Lamey edging George Ferguson by two games. Wells finished with a record of 168-85 while George finished with a record of 166-87. I guess that'll teach George for picking the Vikings to win all those times. HDN publisher Harvey Brock was third with a 161-92 record while Barry Zanto was fourth at 158-95. I came in fifth with a 157-96 record while our guest pickers combined to go 154-99. Fifth place that is pathetic. I should be ashamed to call myself a sportswriter, but I don't actually call myself a sportswriter, and I know no shame.
Let's face it, I have no idea when it comes to picking games. My best success came after investing $3.97 on a Magic 8-Ball at KMart and using that to make my picks.
What's worse is my gambling problem that came from this. Let's see: this football season, I lost bets for two dinners, countless $20 bets on games with friends and was forced to wear Bobcat clothing for an entire night. And that's just the relatively legal stuff.
I'm like Fred in that old Flintstones episode where any time someone says the word bet, Fred loses his mind and starts babbling, "Bet, bet, bet, bet, bet, bet."
I am sure come Sunday I will be making wagers on the game, throwing money onto boards and checking to see if the line on the game has shifted a half point.
But it isn't just me. No other event, with the exception of the NCAA tournament, is more heavily wagered on in Las Vegas and on online sportsbooks than the Super Bowl.
This year, the Patriots are a seven-point favorite over the Panthers, which is an absurdly large spread. In the NFL, any time a point spread is more than three, gamblers go insane.
But I'm staying far, far away on this one. Yes, I did pretty good on my Super Bowl predictions last year as I picked the Bucs to defeat the Raiders 24-10. The actual score was 48-21, but I got the winning team right. Still, I am smarting a little for saying that Trista Rehn would choose Charlie the businessman over Ryan the sensitive firefighter in "The Bachelorette."
Honestly, I just didn't want to see that Ryan guy win. I couldn't take one more of his crappy poems that made Trista do that annoying baby talk. That guy, and I hesitate to call him a guy, drove me insane. For God's sake, he cried at his bachelor party and it wasn't because he realized was giving up his freedom, but because he was afraid of hurting Trista. At that very moment, I got up from my chair, stuck my head in door frame and repeatedly slammed the door on my head.
Anyway, in the spirit of this whole betting idea, and to make what is otherwise a boring game somewhat more interesting, I will offer up, not my predictions, but what I would bet $50 on what is going to happen in the Super Bowl.
$50 says that any person who watches the entire six hours of pregame on Sunday is either strapped to their chair, or simply can't find the remote to turn the channel.
I'll bet anyone $50 that Tom Brady and Joe Montana are mentioned in the same sentence a minimum of 1,278 times during the telecast.
I bet $50 that the pregame will last 12 hours longer than Britney Spears' marriage.
$50 says that national anthem singer Beyonce Knowles will be looking ridiculously hot. Another $50 says that she won't ever be returning to "Destiny's Child," or as they should be called, "Beyonce's back-up singers."
I got $50 that says one out of every three people watching the Super Bowl can't name more than six players on the Carolina Panthers or their head coach.
$50 says you won't ever catch me carrying a man purse like Tom Brady does.
I bet $50 that no Super Bowl commercial will be as funny as when Joe Namath showed up drunk at a playoff game two weeks ago and asked ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber to make out with him.
Another $50 says that the players' pregame speeches will sound an awful lot like Howard Dean's WWF wrestler-like, post-caucus speech in Iowa. Sorry, Gov. Dean, if you're going to use a highly complicated term like, "WHOOOO!!!" study some tapes on the Nature Boy Ric Flair - he invented the term.
I'll bet anybody $50 that no Super Bowl commercial is better than last year's Miller Lite commercials featuring the two girls fighting in the fountain.
Unfortunately, I'll bet anyone $50 that somehow a TV camera will show Kurt Warner's wife, Brenda.
$50 says that at least one player will celebrate too excessively for making an unspectacular tackle on a kickoff.
Let's up the ante a bit.
$100 says that Kid Rock has to be the least talented entertainer to ever perform at halftime of a Super Bowl with Britney a close second, because, well, she doesn't really sing.
Another $100 that the game will be boring. The Panthers throw the ball about as often the temperature has gotten above freezing in the last two weeks.
$100 says that the guy who freaked out on "The Bachelorette" the other night doesn't get a date for a while. Another $100 to anyone, who thinks this year's show is better than any of the others. The bachelorette, Meredith, isn't that attractive and the remaining guys couldn't be bigger morons or idiots if they were paid to.
Finally, $100 says that the Patriots not only cover the seven-point spread, but double it, winning 34-10.
Just follow my lead because I never lose. Am I telling the truth? Don't bet on it.