Now is the time of year when Super Bowl predictions have become de rigeur, even though none of us really knows any more about the relative strengths of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers than anybody else. Even mainstream reporters have discredited the Packers' win-loss record deficit, aware without really being aware that they got jobbed in a series of close games. I can't promise you what will happen—let's say my actual prediction is 24-21 your-favorite-team—but I do have some unlikely outcomes. If you're looking for good odds, ask Vegas what it will give you for these not happening:â†µ
1. A football fan watches the Black Eyed Peas, says, "Hey, they're not so bad after all!" For the Pro Bowl the NFL went in baseball's usual direction and stuck to the adult-contemporary/mom-rock scene, plucking the Goo Goo Dolls and Kris Allen from the bench. For the Super Bowl they're back to the ephemeral-pop-industry, choosing the Black Eyed Peas to break a string of post-Janet-Jackson classic rockers.â†µ
So here's unlikely example one: A diehard football fan, watching the halftime show diligently, realizes he loves the Black Eyed Peas. There's something to this! He says. He goes back through all their albums; he examines "London Bridge" against a New Critical framework; he says to his buddy, "I guess you guys aren't ready for this yet. But your kids are going to love it!"â†µ
2. The guy who wins your pool turns out to be a huge football fan. Sorry about this one. The guy who wins your pool isn't sure which sport the Super Bowl is. I just made a Back to the Future reference, so rest assured that I am as certain of this as Future-Biff was when he was amassing his illicit gambling fortune. He's going to be really excited when the Green team wins.â†µ
3. Ben Roethlisberger takes off his helmet, reveals himself to be Barack Obama. The ultimate example of winning the present; the ultimate example made of Charles Woodson, who has involved himself in one of those strange sports feuds that occurs when the sitting president is a serious fan of the local sports teams. Even if Barack Obama were Ben Roethlisberger, he remains one of the athletes a politician could least afford to be imitating. And so his Charles Woodson long-troll is forced to continue...