In defense of my friend and colleague Curt Sylvester — who I understand is actually picking the Falcons (heh-heh) to win this Super Bowl — now hear this: That was not Curt on South Beach Thursday night, with his shirt unbuttoned to his navel, gold chains around his neck, a red rose in his thinning gray hair, doing the lambada and yelling at the bouncer, “LET ME IN! I KNOW DENNIS RODMAN! I REALLY DO!”

It just looked like Curt.

Then again, you never know what to expect from a football writer who defies logic by picking an NFC team to win the Super Bowl when the AFC is finally favored. The Falcons, Curt? Why the Falcons?

Wait. I know. It was that dog collar Ray Buchanan wore around his neck. You’d like one for your own, wouldn’t y–

Is our boss reading this?

Oh. Wait, Curt. I know why you like Atlanta. It’s the personal identification with backup quarterback Steve DeBerg, whose prom date was Joan of Arc. He’s your kind of guy, right, Curt? Old enough to sing “Moon River,” word by word?

Come to think of it, when are you going to perform this year, Curt? The rest of the press box really enjoys when you get up wearing the feathered hat, and burst into that son–

Is our boss reading this?

Anyhow, Curt. Once again, I will have to be the voice of reason in this newspaper. Once again, I will have to predict the Super Bowl winner, making my decision on facts and research, while you make yours on their fight song.

Atlanta over Denver?

To quote Gloria Estefan, “One, two, three, four …you’re nuts.”

Denver has the guns. Denver has the bullets. Denver has the horses. And Denver has the badge. This isn’t John Elway, the perennial loser. That was last year. Maybe you’ve been sleeping since then. Here’s a test. Monica Lewinsky. Mean anything to you?

Hey. You have been sleeping.

Well, welcome back, Curt. Your Asian stocks are worthless, your favorite show,
“Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” is off the air, and the Broncos now rule the football roost. This is Elway, Super Bowl champ. This is Mike Shanahan, who quietly coaches a brilliant team. Oh. Did I forget Terrell Davis? He’s only the MVP. And he gets stronger as the night goes on.

Kind of like your bar tab.

Is our boss reading this?

Now, Curt, maybe you would have fared better in your predictions if you weren’t so busy attending Tigers fantasy camp. That’s right. Last week, while I was studying game film of the Broncos and Falcons, you were down in Florida trying to hit a ground ball off Mickey Lolich.

Curt, give it up. Your chances of making the big leagues are slimmer than your chances of being right on Sunday. Put down the catcher’s mitt and face the truth:

Denver 27, Atlanta 21.

Here. This will make you feel better.

“Mooooooon River, wider than a mile….”

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