by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page 

 War of 1812 Football Prognostication Super Bowl Edition 2019

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   Every year, Bob Gaughan & Mr. Brutal engage in a cross border competition of picking each week’s NFL games against each other with unknown, yet very high stakes on the line for the year end.   

               ………. Sunday, February 3, 2019 …………….

                ……… Super Bowl Fifty Three ………

                ………. 6:35 pm Eastern Standard Time ……..

 New England (-3) LOS ANGELES RAMS  57

 Some observations about the upcoming big game:

 1.)  The Maroon 5 Half-Time Controversy:  The NFL and the Los Angeles band agreed to cancel the traditional Super Bowl press conference this week because they didn’t want the free press asking them about the never-ending Colin Kaepernick issue.  If it isn’t bad enough that the “Fab 5” were about the 13th choice for this show ( a dozen other artists of higher profiles turned down the gig in solidarity with the black-balled Kaepernick’s Jim Crow era treatment by the NFL ), now they essentially have capitulated to the Shield’s gag order and lost what street credibility ( if any) that they may have ever had.

  In the always conscientious and racially sensitive minds of the brass at Park Avenue, Houston rapper Travis Scott and Atlanta local hero Big Boi were added to the halftime show after Maroon 5 was finally booked in late October.  This shrewd move was possibly, ostensibly and existentially to compensate for the lack of African American head coaches and general managers now working in the NFL after the latest year-end round of hiring & firing that left the “Rooney Rule” in complete tatters, now laying in the ditch on the “Road to Perdition,” alongside the one-time “American Dream” aspirations of the middle class.

  In typical corporate ass-covering, a solution was found.  All the acts involved, as well as the NFL, will be donating at least half a million each to a charity that works at leveling the racial playing field in other fields of endeavour throughout the country.  Everybody can now smile for the cameras and pretend there never was a problem.

  Well we won’t be.  In fact we probably won’t be watching the half-time show too closely anyway regardless ( possibly part of it on mute ).  There is nothing more pathetic than watching mediocre pop & rap stooges lip sync, pose and Auto-Tune their way through a truncated entertainment presentation that is at best 50% live and should ideally only appeal to pre-pubescent girls and Jr. High School wannabe gangstas.  They’ll all be there too, represented in the form of the proverbial rent-a-crowd; a staged focus group of paid stooges standing and jumping around like spastic pogo sticks at the fifty yard line.  They will all frantically waving their league issued wrist bands in a choreographed “Candle In the Wind” gesture reminiscent of a troop of FieldTurf Medusas with arms undulating above their heads instead of snakes while exhibiting smiles that suggest orgiastic ecstasy at every turn.

  No matter how trite, predictable and lame this farce will surely turn out to be, somehow the charade will be hailed as “brilliant” or “genius” by a sizeable portion of the press who want to maintain good relations with the NFL and most importantly, access to the NFL product.  Most of them will not even mention the Kaepernick connection and the underlying racial issues that have permeated the entire event.

 2.)  Speaking of race relations in football, almost nobody in the press cared to mention the odd attendance situation at the White House when the National Champion Clemson Tigers visited the premises two weeks ago for their fantastic feast of fast food.  Only 15 of the 57 African American players on the South Carolina team’s roster bothered to go.  The few black players that attended were all freshman or sophomores who were not starters and feared for their jobs apparently.  The university’s PR department explained that the 42 MIA’s were too busy to go to Washington because they had to attend class.

  Un huh.  Well at least an unfortunate, inaccurate stereotype can now be put to rest.  With less than a third of the Tiger roster showing up to Pennsylvania Avenue, Clemson should issue a public reprimand, citing the laziness and tendency towards truancy of the white scholarship athletes on their football team. 

  3.)  Our hero this week is a former graphics editor at Pittsburgh television station KDKA who put “Known Cheater” under some tape of Tom Brady practicing.  It went out live during their coverage at the Super Bowl.  The person was fired and the station issued a statement saying employees were entitled to opinions, but not to express them unsolicited during broadcasts.

  The problem is that this isn’t opinion.  Tom Brady is a “Known Cheater” and was suspended four games for his aiding, abetting & colluding during “Inflategate.”  So in our opinion, this nameless graphics editor should be hailed as a modern age Woodward & Bernstein.

 4.)  Also not mentioned much this week and also in the realm of cheating:  This game is a rematch of the infamous “Spygate” Super Bowl of 2002 where the Patriots barely beat the then St. Louis Rams, despite illegally pre-recording their entire practice regimen from the previous two weeks.  Of course when the entire thing was settled, the Patriots paid some enormous fine and good corporate guardian of the golden fleece Roger Goodell burned the tapes in question!  We couldn’t have anybody further sully the sanctity of the big game!
  There is no way on this earth we will ever pick the cheating, immoral Patriots in this or any other Super Bowl.  Like many, we see Suh, Donald and a few random linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks following defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme to continually pressure golden boy Brady by blitzing up the middle and knocking him off his high, immoral perch.

  So since we have already wrapped up this year’s contest with Bob Gaughan, we have nothing to lose and will be taking the better team and the higher moral choice: the spiral horned male sheep from La La Land.

 Mr. Brutal:  RAMS (+3)

          Bob: Rams +3

   ast Week:  Mr. Brutal:  1-1

                                Bob:  2-0

  Note:  Bob Gaughan has officially, mathematically, figuratively and literally been eliminated from winning the War of 1812 competition this year after this year’s dismal effort.  We expect payment in full via a five course meal featuring Chateaubriand at the best steakhouse in Niagara Falls Ontario in the coming months.
  Year-to-Date:  Mr. Brutal:  109-113-8
    Bob:  103-119-8

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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