Friday February 1, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- After trying to pick the winner of 232 NFL games, the six of us took a much-needed break during the Pro Bowl before tackling one final matchup.

But this one’s in "New Ah-lins" during Mardi Gras, so we got a little bit wild and crazy and did more than predict which of the coaching brothers would be showered with Gatorade late Sunday evening.

The Brattleboro Reformer NFL Picking Derby didn’t exactly go Vegas style, where people can bet on: if "Harbaugh" will be said over or under 20.5 times by the announcers during the Feb. 3 finale, if Alicia Keys will forget or omit at least one word during the national anthem, or the predominant color of Beyonce’s top at the beginning of the halftime show.

We were all asked what the final score of the 49ers-Ravens game will be, which player will score the first touchdown, which player will be named MVP, who we wanted to see perform during the intermission, and what our ideal commercial is.

Not that we had to think something up like frogs on lily pads sounding out the name of a beer, but the female in the group decided she would.

Bethany Coursen, who pulled off the sweep this year by winning the individual title with a 148-83-1 record and also joined forces with Gregg Morrow to take the tag team belt, dreamed up a commercial that would be something like the old Bud Bowls, except it would be the Frozen Waffle Bowl -- Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby vs. Schweddy Balls ice cream -- and pints of ice cream playing against each other, using a chocolate phish for the football.

Four of the others just decided on a product they’d like to see a certain celebrity advertise, like the Betty White/Snickers combination that someone previously made happen.

Morrow, a Ravens fan who joked that there’s room outside his house for 49ers followers during his Super Bowl party, would like to see President Obama in a car sales ad. Mike McCosker came up with PeeWee Herman advertising Viagra, Bob Audette would prefer seeing Wayne Lapierre in an AR-15 ad, and I went with Phil Hellmuth in a Hanes commercial -- thinking it would be funny if a pair of boxers was all he was left wearing in a strip poker game versus first-timers.

An AFC team hasn’t won it all since the Steelers defeated the Cardinals in 2009, and the 49ers are favored by five points to win the fourth finale in a row for the NFC. Yet five of the contestants went with the underdog Ravens, including "Big" John Lonardo who correctly predicted that Baltimore and San Francisco would win the conference title games.

The Hinsdale Athletic Director disagrees with his rivals. He sees the West Coast representin’.

As for halftime entertainers, I chose New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis, Coursen wants them to go country (Toby Keith), Audette voted for Bruce Springsteen, McCosker went with Billy Joel, and Morrow decided on Elton John.

But we’ll all be OK with Beyonce lip-syncing "Single Ladies" up on stage, as long as the team we’re rooting for is ahead, the food’s good, and the "singer" is wearing a top that’s the color we bet on.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.