by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Before we begin this year’s debate I want to inform my boss that Curt Sylvester has been working much too hard lately, and we should send him on a nice vacation for six months, or as long as the doctors think it will take.

I am sitting here looking at the roster of the San Francisco 49ers, the team I pick to win the Super Bowl, and the roster of the Denver Broncos, the team Curt picks to win the Super Bowl, and Curt, I must say this to you right now: Try these pills. Take the whole bottle. You’ll sleep until Monday. Which is better than spending the next 12 hours answering the obvious question: What planet are you on?

Neptune? Pluto? You’d have to go that far to lose this much perspective. Knock, knock. Earth to Curtis. The Denver Broncos? Are you for real? Did you also vote for Pat Paulsen for president? Thinking he would win? Curt. My old, old, very old — how old are you, anyhow? — friend. I know we’re in New Orleans, and last time I saw you, you were looking up from the bottom of a Hurricane glass. Even so. You should still see the obvious.

The obvious is that this is not a football game, it is a parade, in which Joe Montana is the Grand Marshal and Dan Reeves is the Bullwinkle float. Let me state the Broncos’ best chance in this contest: halftime. While no one’s looking. They can sneak out and catch the Continental flight back to Denver at 7:40 p.m. Otherwise, it’s a blowout.

Ask anybody. People haven’t been this sure about a sporting event since the Christians and the lions. Montana. Rice. Craig. Lott. Against Slingin’ Johnny and his Three Sombreros? And you’re picking Denver?

So now we know, Curt. It wasn’t three white quarterbacks that were suspected of failing their drugs tests. It was one white sports writer who was found babbling incoherently in the bathroom. Easy now, Curt. Just lie down and let those pills kick in.

In the meantime, let us review the last four years of our Super Bowl debates: 1986: I won. 1987: I won. 1988: I felt sorry for you and let you win. 1989: You told me that story about your sick grandmother and I let you win again.

Now I know, Curt, that at the last minute, when you snap to your senses, you will come up with another reason that I should please, please, please let you chose the 49ers, but I’m sorry. No can do. I mean, I’d be the laughingstock of our business. Which I suspect you will be Monday morning.

But you can handle it. You have experience. Besides, you’ll be far away from all this madness, in a place where the grass is green and nobody speaks too loudly and once in a while they ask you to stick out your tongue.

Call us when you’re feeling better. And don’t worry. We’ve even arranged for a roommate. His name is John Elway.

You two should have lots to talk about.

San Fran 31, Denver 10.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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