Plus, My Prediction

My Annual Super Bowl Rant

Why they have to move the Super Bowl to Saturday. Plus, my prediction.

I will go to my grave insisting (unless of course the NFL follows my advice) that they move the Super Bowl to Saturday. This is a hobby horse of mine. It's not just me. There's a whole sort of movement. Google it.

Actually, I just did, and lo and behold, up near the top (good job on SEO maximization, Beasties!), here's my rant on the subject from last year. Rather than rewrite the whole mess, I'll just quote myself with your permission:

I say it loud and I say it proud: they should change the Super Bowl to Saturday.

What?! But that’s apostasy! It’s Super Bowl Sunday and always has been. Well, yes, it has. And this, lame as it is, appears to be the NFL’s position. The question of moving the game to Saturday has been bruited for a while now. Last year, a league spokesman responded to a Sports Illustrated reporter by saying: “We hear this each year. The concept of playing the Super Bowl on a Sunday has worked well for 44 years, and we don’t anticipate moving away from this tradition. Fans expect to see the Super Bowl on a Sunday, the day on which 89.2 percent of NFL games are played.”

The response “But that’s how we’ve always done it” to the question “Why do you do it that way?” is my perfect definition of idiocy. I knew I was a liberal when I was 4 years old, even before I knew what a liberal was, because usually when some adult told me that something was always done in such-and-such a way, I thought, why? Don’t get me wrong. Some traditions are good. But many are not. And all of them, good and bad, deserve to be reexamined every few years to make sure the circumstances that made them traditions in the first place still obtain.

And so on. I chuckled at this part, I will admit:

And remember—the children! Every time a Sunday Super Bowl runs past 10 p.m.—which is to say every year—I wonder, aren’t there third-grade boys all up and down the Eastern Seaboard shedding violent tears right now? I guess most parents grudgingly let them stay up, but if the game were on Saturday, not a school night, this wouldn’t be an issue. So it’s a family-values move as well as one enabling more drinking. Of how many things can we say that?

I know I'm right on this one. History will vindicate me loud and clear.

Now, as to the game. As I tweeted two weeks ago, I was very surprised to see Vegas set the Niners as a five-point favorite. Apparently, so were millions of people, because the line has now been bet down to 3.5, I see, which means that a lot more money is being laid on the Ravens than SF. So my instincts were right.

I like the Ravens. I admit, as I already have privately to Aunt Jan the Niners fan, that I'm going to be pulling for Baltimore. A certain amount of Maryland pride has crept into my consciousness in recent years. It's partly a lovely city, and partly a really broken and screwed up city, that deserves affection on both counts. Whereas with San Fran you sort of feel, well, life is so incorrigibly wonderful out there, they don't really need this.

Moving from the level of zeitgeist to the actual field of play, I just think Flacco has been really hitting it lately. Those second-half touchdown passes against the Pats were really impressive, so pinpoint, so assured. Kaepernick's passing is pretty amazing, too. Everyone talks about his legs, but my God, what accuracy he throws with. But I give Flacco the edge here and think the Ravens defense looked awfully good. They pulverized New England in the second half last week.

Baltimore 27, San Francisco 14.

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Let's have your predictions, please. And thoughts on the Saturday business. And any other Supe thoughts you have. Beyonce. Looking forward? What about the ads? I think I saw a preview for an ad for VW that has Jimmy Cliff signing the Patridge Family theme song, which is actually kind of a great pop song in the hands of a real artist.

Also, what's the best Super Bowl ever? That Steelers-Cardinals game was pretty excellent, although the Steelers' DeShea Townsend held Kurt Warner during Harrison's big interception return, which should have been called back. That one where Tennessee finished on the 1-yard line was exciting. But nothing will take the space in my heart that's reserved for the Jets' and Chiefs' wins long ago, as those were my teams, and I was a little boy then, and it all seemed so magical.