Despite my misgvings about the NFL - and there'll be more on that tomorrow - I'm going to a Super Bowl gatherng on Sunday.
Unless the Patriots are in, I usually don't watch it. But this is a social event, so I will.
And, since you really can't watch any sporting event without picking a side, I'm putting a bit of time in on deciding which team to root against. I feel a bit like a Martin O'Malley supporter at an Iowa caucus - only without having two interesting choices, either or which I could be happy with.
On the one hand, there are the - hiss-boo - Denver Broncos. What's not to root against? After all, they deprived New England sports fans of the one thing we've all been waiting for since the NFL dug in on the ridiculous "Deflate-gate Scandal": seeing the look on Emperor Roger Goodell's face when he gave the Super Bowl Trophy to Pats' owner Bob Kraft, and the game MVP award to Our Tom, whom the venal and spiteful Goodell, the venal and spiteful NFL owners, and the venal and spiteful minions who do their bidding, conspired against.
Another reason to root against the Broncos is, of course, Peyton Manning. He may well be a very fine individual, etc., etc. But all this palaver about how deserving he is of a Super Bowl win, how he deserves this as a retirement gift.
This "Peyton deserves it" is just so absurd. Let's face it, any fair-minded, objective individual would clearly recognize that the only quarterback in the entire history of the NFL who deserves to win any Super Bowl, especially this one, is Tom Brady.
And all this fawning over the sainted Manning family - what with paterfamilias Archie Manning's history as a star of yesteryear, and bro Eli, who's the quarterback of the NY Giants, they're NFL royalty if ever - is pretty nauseating. (I won't even go into the allegations of Manning's use of HGH, which so far don't appear to merit anywhere near the attention that spectacularly trivial infractions or non-infractions seem to demand.)
There's no special reason to root for the Carolina Panthers. They're loudmouths. They're showboaters. They've got really terrible uniforms, with a really terrible color scheme.
On the other hand, all of the pious, arse-licking, yes sir/yes ma'am = character, "defenders of the shield" in the media have been out in full force attacking Cam Newton, the Panthers' brash young loudmouth showboating quarterback because he had the gall to get off the team plane flying out to the Super Bowl wearing a pair of flamboyant Versace zebra print pants. Rather than the somber, "respect the league", boring old business suit that Saint Peyton of Manning had chosen.
I guess I'm talking myself into it.
Forget anything I said about showboating loudmouths. I think I've got to go wtih the Panthers, based solely on Cam Newton's crazy-legs pants. The more they irritate the NFL, the better.
So, I guess I've made my choice: GO, PANTHERS!