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

Patriots making contract statements with OTA absences?

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Patriots making contract statements with OTA absences?

Malcolm Butler was one of many not spotted during OTAs on Thursday when the media got a looksee at one of the practices.

Butler wasn’t the only one. But he did stand out as a missing player who hadn’t (to my knowledge) had a surgery but did have a contract that needs addressing. Another one? Rob Gronkowski. If we really want to extend it out, throw in Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan.

This is the point where it’s important to point out that these workouts are voluntary – VAW-LUN-TERR-EEEE! Players don’t have to be there. Additionally, I’m not even sure Butler or Gronkowski (or Ryan and Harmon) weren’t at the facility. All I know is they weren’t on the field. And, per usual, nobody’s tipping his hand as to why.

But we do have this, relative to Butler. ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote Sunday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if it was related to his contract status.” Reiss said that Butler “told teammates and friends he plans to push for an adjustment to his contract before the 2016 season, and staying off the field in voluntary workouts would be a decision that limits injury risk and also could be viewed as a statement to the organization that he's unhappy with the status quo and/or the movement/specifics of contract talks.”

In the same vein, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gronkowski opted out as well for the same reason, especially since he threw out a tweet that signaled dissatisfaction with his pact in March.

But in terms of a statement, not going to OTAs is more of a throat-clearing than a noisy proclamation.

Not to minimize the move if Butler, Gronkowski or anybody else is actually staying away because of business. The Patriots usually enjoy almost perfect OTA attendance. Also, there hasn’t been much contract strife around here for the past five seasons.

Money matters were an annual issue for the Patriots from about 2003 through 2010. Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, Ty Warren, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Randy Moss, Adam Vinatieri, Mike Vrabel and – quietly – Tom Brady all had their contract dances back then. But the only one that got hairy in the recent past was Wes Welker.

It’s still too soon to know if any of these will get contentious. When will we know? When either a player or his agent spouts off. Or, when someone’s a no-show at mandatory minicamp beginning June 7.

That would amount to a shot across the bow. Of all the players likely to take that shot, Butler seems a reasonable bet. His base pay this season is $600K after a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015 that saw him check the opposition’s best wideout on a weekly basis. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year. He deserves longer-term security than he currently has. Gronkowski has a lot less to kick about. He may make less than lesser players, but he also was the league’s highest paid tight end when he was missing scads of games due to injury.

After Butler, Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower would figure to have the strongest cases to want new deals and want them snappy. Ryan and Harmon would be right behind those two. Then Jabaal Sheard.

Sheard, Hightower and Collins were all on the field Thursday. 

Can the Patriots get all these guys reupped? Will they even try? How do they have them prioritized? If the guy who howls loudest gets to the front of the line, the time to make some noise is close.

But we have yet to hear any of these players loud and clear.