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Its gambling time
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Sunday is the Super Bowl. That means only one thing for this pigskin lover: The Year of 2015 can officially begin. I don’t turn my calendar until sports’ version of “The Big One” is complete. 

January is basically a free ride, in which I live in suspended animation, as I exist in a perpetual nacho/sausage coma while watch the playoffs. 

Like most people in our area, I no longer have a dog in this fight. As a lifelong Raiders fan, and most importantly a huge fan of football, I can’t watch a game without a rooting interest — but who to root for?

 Most people make this decision, (and by most people, I refer to those gambling) based upon whoever they laid their hard earned bread on. The Super Bowl takes gambling to the umpteenth degree. There is of course your standard point spread, total point, or straight up betting options – but the Super Bowl gives the real degenerate gambler so much more. Which team will win the coin toss? Who will win the MVP? Which team will call timeout first? You even have an option of betting exactly how long the National Anthem will take to sing! No lie. This year’s singer is someone name Idina Menzel, (Yes exactly, WHO?) Nonetheless, there is a website that has compiled her other National Anthem attempts – and has given an average time – in order to help the betting public to make this wager with a little background. Man I love this country!

Like most, I will throw a few bucks into the “Betting Squares” game. I find this to be the most enjoyable way to gamble on the Super Bowl. It gives everyone one at the party a shot – and has one added advantage – It is stress free. I’ve never been a big gambler, and hate watching my friends that are during games. They squirm and contort  —  as if their body English from the garage bar we are sitting at will somehow affect the game. Let me be clear. I’m an old school “Yell at the TV – squirm and contort will the player to the first down marker” – kind of guy but only when it’s my team!

This is why I rarely bet one side or the other in a Super Bowl. It sucks the enjoyment out watching the game. I guarantee one of my friends will yell at a Seahawks player during the game for making a mistake – and he will be a Niner fan! This is sacrilege! Gambling makes the strangest of bed fellows. Which is one of the main reasons I won’t bet this nor any Super Bowl straight up. If I were betting a team to win this year – and the penalty for losing was banishment from town – my money would be on the Seahawks. But I have a little secret to all my Raider fan brethren out there – I will be rooting Patriots. Some of you Raider fans at this point are crying foul — “but I hate the Patriots, remember the Tuck Rule?!” Yes, I do remember the Tuck Rule and have never hated the Patriots for it. I’ve resented the NFL! That was a league rule. It wasn’t as if Tom Brady raised his hand like the President of Football – and instantaneously a new rule was installed mid game. I’ll be just as quick to remind those “Tuck Rulist” hardliners, that will root Seattle in this Super Bowl – that we were once scr**ed by the Seahawks in a 1984 Playoff game but that is before most current “Raider Fans” time. It has unfortunately become a convenient Raider Nation colloquialism to cry “Tuck Rule”.  I ,on the other hand, offer two angles in rooting for the Patriots.

1. Tom Brady may be the greatest American of his generation. He’s headed to his 6th Super Bowl. That is a record. Did I mention he is a NorCal kid? He doesn’t have the biggest arm, went to a Midwest college, and wins games with guile and craft. Hmmm, that sorta reminds me of another quarterback that played in San Francisco during the 80s. What was that guy’s name again? Joe Montana. As a Raider fan, is all the more reason I need the Patriots to win on Sunday. Brady can tie Montana for Super Bowl wins. And listen Niner fan, don’t give me your stupid canned retort of “Yeah, but Joe was 4-0 in the Super Bowl  unlike Brady, he never lost”...cause all that means is that Montana apparently chose to do his losing in the NFC title game – and unlike Brady – couldn’t reach those other two Super Bowls. For me, finally having adequate ammunition to combat the “Montana is the greatest”, is all the reason I need to root Patriot.

2. Brady is married to a Super Model. A woman he was able to gain favor with – after dumping a gorgeous television actress. Ask yourselves gentlemen. If you had the opportunity to live a week in someone else’s shoes I don’t even need to continue.

PPK XVIII Competition... Mark Condit and his annual Punt-Pass-Kick competition happens Sunday morning at Button Avenue Park with a 10 a.m. start. Come out and watch some of the areas greats – and not so greats – compete for the vaunted Weenie shirt. Past champions include Dan Eavenson, Matt Atilano, and some dude that we can’t remember his name. Last year’s champ Mark Richmond will attempt to hold onto the title that he stole from me last year. Last year ended in a tie – but upon further review – Richmond was awarded the Weenie shirt over myself on a “Total Yardage” rule. Unlike many “Tuck Rulists”, I never once cried foul...(Instead I’ve used my column to discredit last year’s victory and suggest that this year is simply overtime from last year’s tie score). Well Richmond?! PS:  We are still gathering the funds to have Manteca High legend Tim Beattie flown in by private jet – at his insistence. According to Beattie, “Attendance numbers usually double when I’m in attendance.” Condit was quick to remind Beattie that it is a free event – so nobody cares.

And remember, Do not drink and drive this weekend!!..That is a gamble we all lose on dummy.

“It’s not Where ya do, It’s What ya do”