It’s the biggest day of the sports year: When we learn who wins the most important sporting event in America: The Puppy Bowl!
Puppy Bowl X airs at noon Sunday on the Animal Planet channel. In addition to all the regular hype for the big game, there are now fantasy leagues (I’m loading up on beagles) and online voting for the MVP (my favorite is Mandy, a 17-week-old dachshund-hound mix).
Oh, there’s another game, too. The Super Bowl.
It’s the showdown that NFL insiders call “the ultimate game,” which led Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas to famously say at Super Bowl VI (XLII years ago), “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?”
Good point, but no matter. It’s still big. Almost as big as Puppy Bowl X.
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will battle on the Fox network for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. As a former sports editor and a fan of the NFL, I now hereby fulfill my obligation by writing about today’s second-biggest game and giving some tips for watching, even if you’re a non-fan:
- Talk about how much you want Peyton Manning to win, because he deserves it. It’s all about fairness, because playing a sport for your adult life, earning more than $200 million and becoming as famous as anyone probably isn’t enough. He deserves to win a second Super Bowl, so that when he returns to his 10,000-square-foot house with a manservant, he’ll sleep well at night on his massive bed while servants feed him grapes.
- Complain that broadcasters are ignoring the death of Princess, a 27-year-old camel in New Jersey known for picking winners of football games. She was euthanized in January after arthritis made it impossible for her to stand. Ask, “How can you people enjoy this while Princess’ family is mourning?” Then stomp out of the room.
- Insist that Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman (he of the famous televised postgame rant after the Seahawks beat the 49ers) is either a punk or a misunderstood Stanford graduate who does great work in the community. Don’t choose anything else, because you’re not allowed to have a nuanced view that he’s a smart, decent man who embarrassed himself two weeks ago.
- Mention several times that Washington and Colorado both legalized marijuana, hinting that the legalization is somehow connected to the game. Use the terms “fatty,” “joint,” “weed,” “catnip,” “herb,” “rasta weed” and “salad” while raising your eyebrows in a knowing way.
- Erupt in laughter at commercials that aren’t meant to be funny. People are primed to chuckle at what Budweiser or Coca-Cola shows during the game, but you can be different by laughing loudly at a serious commercial and shouting, “Now I get it!” I’ve done this every year since the famous “1984” Apple commercial three decades ago. It was hilarious last year when I burst out laughing at the Paul Harvey commercial about farmers.
- If a player points to the sky to celebrate, insist that he’s honoring Princess, the deceased camel.
- Keep asking if you can switch back to watch the Puppy Bowl.
- During halftime, ask whether Bruno Mars is related to fictional TV character Veronica Mars.
- Act as if every instant replay is actually a new play, saying, “Groundhog day, eh?” Then laugh loudly. Then say, “Groundhog day, eh?” and laugh loudly.
- If the Broncos win, interrupt the celebration by asking if the team plans to treat Peyton Manning like the zoo treated Princess. Then wipe a tear away and storm out, muttering, “This camel holocaust has to stop.”
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.
Brad Stanhope is a former Daily Republic editor. He began his career at the DR in the last millennium. He spent 24 years as a sports editor, associate editor and news editor before leaving the Daily Republic in 2014. Brad lives in Suisun City with his wife, Mrs. Brad, and two sons. He enjoys cheese.