The Super Bowl drinking game

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The Super Bowl drinking game

Yesterday morning, I wrote about the struggles of enjoying a Patriots-less Super Bowl, and within that post I wondered: What goods a Super Bowl party when theres nothing to celebrate?

Why bother getting the band back together for a night of football and fun, when theres a decent chance that it will end with the Ravens standing on top of the world?

Above all else, why submit yourself to the aggravation of watching Ray Lewis be Ray Lewis, when you could just as easily spend the night, say . . . licking the railings at the Kenmore T stop, taking a pavement nap in the middle lane on Storrow Drive, or bathing in a tub of lukewarm dog urine?

These are important questions, but at the end of the day, let's be honest, it's going to be really hard to avoid the Super Bowl. And once you tune in assuming the game's not a total clunker it will be even harder to change the channel.

And anyway, let's not forget that this is the last NFL football game for a long, long time. Starting next week, there are no more Sunday excuses. There will be errands to run, chores to be completed and not much else to take your mind off the fact that another Monday is fast approaching. So, we might as well enjoy the game while we can. Even if it means running out to Dick's, picking up a Kaepernick jersey or even better, Moss! and rooting for the Niners like Tom Brady's life depends on it.

Of course, in this scenario, you're voluntarily placing yourself back in harm's way; susceptible to another tidal wave of disappointment. But come on. This is America! This is the Super Bowl! Kenmore, Storrow and your dog's voluminous bladder aren't going anywhere, but this is football's last hurrah. We'll miss it when it's gone.

If you're still not convinced, may I suggest incorporating alcohol into the equation?

Obviously, it's important that any "lube" as a certain QB likes to call it is ingested with a certain level of moderation and common sense, and only if it falls within the laws set forth by the United States of America. But given all that, here's a little Super Bowl drinking game that might make the experience a little more enjoyable, and help take your mind off the fact that Tom Brady will be watching the game from the same place you are his couch . . . next to his billionaire super model wife . . . inside his 20M, 22,000-square-foot LA mansion . . . which is surrounded by a moat.

Standing Room Only Super Bowl Drinking Game
(Note: The choice of beverage is entirely yours. Beer is probably the safest, but I suggest having an enormous vat of whiskey andor tequila handy in the event of a runaway Ravens victory)
Take a sip . . .
Every time you hear the phrase: "America's Most Watched Network"

Every time Phil Simms says something that makes absolutely no sense.

For every commercial that features an animal acting like a human.

For every mention in any form of HarBowl, Super Baugh, etc.

Every time Jim Nantz discusses Ray Lewis in a manner that, out of context, could be confused with a description of President Obama or The Pope.

For every sideline shot of Alex Smith holding a clipboard.

For every completion allowed by Chris Culliver (two sips if the completion is followed by one of the announcers awkwardly making reference to the Culliver "gay teammate" controversy)

For every shot of an actor or actress currently starring on a CBS show.

Anytime anyone says "PISTOL"

Take a swig . . .

For the extent of Lewis' pre-game dance routine.

After every mention of "The Blind Side"

For any shot of a 49ers fans wearing deer antlers on his or her head.

Every time the camera pans to Jack and Jackie Harbaugh.

After every Randy Moss reception (with each swig preceded by a toast: "To Randy!")

Every time the words "Joe Flacco" and "elite" are used in the same sentence.

Every time Simms says something that does make sense, but is also 100 percent false.

For every reference to Art Modell (with each swig preceded by a toast: "To Cleveland!")

For every discussion of Colin Kaepernick's tattoos.

Take an aggressive chug . . .
After every mention of the Patriots, especially the AFC Championship.

Every time Bernard Pollard knocks a player unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.

If Dan Marino makes a statement about his love child during the pregame show.

If there's a fatality in the Puppy Bowl.

Finish every drop of alcohol in the house . . .

If the game's tied with less than two minutes left, the Niners are driving, and Ray Lewis intercepts Kaepernick for a Pick Six.

Next, proceed to pack your bags and moving the family to Guam. Far, far away from the insufferable insanity that's sure to follow.

And that's it.

Enjoy the game.

If you're boozing, obviously be safe, and most definitely don't drive.

And oh yeah, here's my pick:

49ers 35, Ravens 24.

I think we can all drink to that.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tomlin calls Patriots 'a--holes' in speech Antonio Brown posts on Facebook

Tomlin calls Patriots 'a--holes' in speech Antonio Brown posts on Facebook

Showing a knee-buckling lack of self-awareness, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown put up 13:35 of footage on Facebook Live after his team’s 18-16 win over Kansas City on Sunday night.

It was a weird betrayal of the team’s privacy by one of its star players. Brown, allowed viewers to see live (and on tape until it’s inevitably taken down) that, while head coach Mike Tomlin was around a bank of lockers addressing what Tomlin presumed was his entire team, Brown was mugging in front of his phone for a growing online audience.

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The video starts with Brown and teammates having fun in front of their lockers. As the team is called together for a postgame prayer, Brown keeps the camera rolling. After the prayer, Tomlin made a statement.

“When you get to this point in the journey, not a lot needs to be said,” said Tomlin. “Let’s say very little moving forward. Let’s start our preparations. We spotted those a******* a day and a half. They played yesterday. Our game got moved to tonight. We gonna touch down at 4 o’clock in the f****** morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for that ass. But you ain’t gotta tell them we coming. Because some of us might not like the damn (woofkisses?) The chest pounding.  Keep a low profile.”

While Tomlin was issuing that low-profile request, Brown rolled on. Another Steeler then spoke up saying, “Keep cool on social media, this is about us, nobody else.”

Finally, what sounded like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger addressed the team saying of Foxboro, “That’s a lion’s den we’re going into this week. It’s a lion’s den. I’ve been there, a lot of us have been there. Keep your mouth shut.”

While people might fan themselves over Tomlin calling the Patriots a*******, that’s benign and likely will be matched in private by Patriots coaches this week.

What’s staggering is that a player of Brown’s ability and seeming intelligence would be so self-absorbed as to be agog at putting on a video show for Facebook followers at the expense of his coaches, teammates and franchise.  

Curran: Steelers' ongoing red-zone issues evident in win over Chiefs

Curran: Steelers' ongoing red-zone issues evident in win over Chiefs

For the third time in the Belichick-Brady Era, the Patriots will be trying to step over the Steelers to get to a Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh went into Kansas City on Sunday night and outlasted a breathtakingly sluggish Chiefs team, 18-16.

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If you spent the day stewing about the Patriots adequate-against-Osweiler-but-probably-nobody-else offensive performance Saturday night, maybe Sunday night calmed your nerves.

Despite having a more than 2-to-1 edge in total yards entering the fourth, Pittsburgh had managed just six field goals from kicker Chris Boswell. Their best chance at getting six on the board was squelched when Ben Roethlisberger got picked at the goal line in the first half.

That Kansas City was even in the game with a chance to tie it in the final three minutes has to be humbling for the Steelers. They dominated every statistical category of consequence while the Chiefs played aimlessly behind Alex Smith, who may be a cut above Brock Osweiler but is definitely a cut below every other quarterback in the Divisional Playoff round.  

On this night, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t much better.

Still, Pittsburgh’s got the best 1-2 punch in the NFL at running back and receiver – LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown were both at 101 yards after halftime – and New England’s entire defensive game plan will revolve around corralling those two and getting them horizontal.

The Patriots beat a Roethlisberger-less team in October, 27-16. Landry Jones was at quarterback that day.

The Steelers were in the Patriots’ red zone four times. They came away with 10 points. They were inside the Patriots’ 40 six times and finished with 16.

“In an offense like that with a bunch of very explosive players, one slant can turn into a touchdown so you have to be really careful in your coverages,” defensive end Rob Ninkovich told me after that game. "There’s not just one go-to guy. They got a running back that can catch it out of the backfield and make plays (Le’Veon Bell). [Antonio Brown] can catch it anywhere on the field and make plays. You just have to make sure with a guy like [Landry Jones] to have him make the throws. It’s hard in this league to be perfect. So to have him sit back there and try to make all the throws was what we chose and the secondary did a great job.”

Bell and Brown combined for 268 yards from scrimmage against the Patriots.

The Steelers scored one touchdown.

The ever-dawdling Bell, who practically walks to the line of scrimmage then skips around like a little kid with a full bladder before finding a crease to exploit, is where it will start for the Patriots.

If the Patriots are going to go to their seventh Super Bowl since Belichick’s hire, Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Donta Hightower and Elandon Roberts – their two best interior linemen and their two inside linebackers – will be the ones who start the bus. The overwhelming majority of Bell’s runs are between the guards so building a wall and out-patienting him as he probes for a crease is Job One.

The Chiefs weren’t stout enough at the line of scrimmage and Bell brutalized them. It will, of course, fall to more than just those four. Trey Flowers, Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, Vincent Valentine and Shea McLellin will also be in focus. Run-support from safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty will be a part of it as well, but that’s where the Steelers become tough to deal with.

Once Bell’s established himself, the Steelers can start to work play-action and get Brown into space. Creep too far and the numbers on the back end could wind up being insufficient to deal with one of the NFL’s fastest players.

That’s why you can expect the Patriots to not overexert themselves with pressures and blitzes against Ben Roethlisberger. They’ll want as many back in coverage as possible to deal with Brown and some of the other Steelers speed merchants.

The Patriots have dealt with Pittsburgh’s defense enough to know where to attack. LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards on 24 carries in the first meeting and

Tom Brady went 19 for 26 for 222 with two touchdowns.

The Patriots had Gronk that day and the Steelers didn’t have Roethlisberger. That tips the scales some when measuring the differences. But after watching Pittsburgh kick six field goals and keep afloat an underperforming Chiefs team, the issue that dogged them in October – red zone offense – looks like its still around.

And they are going to visit a team that does that led the NFL in preventing points.