THE BIG GAME is in the Big Apple - can it get ANY BIGGER THAN THAT? Super Bowl 48's going to be so big, Michael Bloomberg probably will ban anabolic steroid containers larger than 16 ounces. Oh, he's not in office anymore? I thought he cut another backroom deal to be mayor-for-life in NYC.
Well, whoever's in charge in those parts, the Broncos and the Seahawks are bundling up to play ball! And, as a public service, I am here to provide my 48th annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide (For Super Bowl Parties of Six or More):
The game is actually in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to keep all lanes of the George Washington Bridge open through at least halftime.
The weather forecast is for it to be very cold, with a possibility it will be very, VERY cold. If the temperature at MetLife Stadium drops below 28 degrees, the NHL will play is annual Winter Classic between the third and fourth quarters.
Roger Goodell - who, after all, is just a regular guy like the rest of us - will attend the game and sit outside. His frozen body then will be air-lifted to midtown Manhattan, where it will be erected as a statue honoring the commissioner at the entrance of NFL headquarters.
Pepsi is sponsoring the halftime show, thus it is called the "Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show." These are the soft drinks I will consume before any Pepsi: Coca-Cola, Dr. Brown's Diet Black Cherry, Orange or Grape Crush, and, on rainy days and Mondays, Fresca. Yes, Fresca.
Bruno Mars is the featured performer at halftime. Here's the thing about Bruno Mars - and I think this speaks more to Couch Slouch's pop-culture IQ than Bruno Mars' career - I could not pick him out of a police lineup if the police lineup only contained Bruno Mars, Tiny Tim, Jay Z and the Progressive auto insurance lady.
Let's take a moment out to consider Peyton Manning. I want him to win it, because if he doesn't, we'll have to again endure the gaggle of naysayers in regard to Manning's postseason failures. He's been so good for so long - check that, he's been spectacularly good for so long. Tom Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl in nine seasons; what, suddenly he's chump change?
Let's take a moment out to consider Richard Sherman. I can't figure out the guy - smart and well-spoken off the field, breast-beating and trash-talking on the field. He's like Winston Churchill moonlighting as a pro wrestler.
By the way, Richard Sherman and Pete Carroll have an unusual player-coach bond. As we wrote recently, Carroll - when defensive coordinator with the Jets - put his hands around his neck to make the choke sign after the Dolphins' Pete Stoyanovich missed an extra point in a 1992 game. And now Sherman gave the choke sign to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This might be Carroll's coaching legacy, unless he develops a putting-your-index-finger-in-your-mouth gagging maneuver.
I am not a fan of replay as an officiating tool, but I believe you should be able to REchallenge one play a game. It would be like a court appeal. If you don't like the referee's decision, you throw the red flag again, and a higher authority - maybe Mike Pereira or Jeff Probst or Condoleezza Rice - reviews the call. They could adjudicate the whole thing from their own homes, in, like, less than 10 minutes.
If the Seahawks lose, I'm sure it will be the officials' fault. The vox populi of the Pacific Northwest - hopped up on caffeine and cumulus clouds - still grumbles about the bad calls in the Seahawks' 21-10 loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl 40. The ref that day, Bill Leavy, is prohibited from getting a cup of coffee within 175 miles of the Space Needle.