It's Super Bowl Sunday, our country's national holiday of food, gambling and television.
Some of you will sit in front of the television for 16 hours today, watching Rachael Ray whip up some appetizers, model Bar Refaeli make out with a nerd in the new Go Daddy commercial, Beyonce (fingers crossed) sharing the stage with Jay-Z at halftime and, maybe, a minute or two of the actual championship of professional football. To get you ready, here's a guide to today's Super Bowl Sunday:
ESPN's Chris Berman begins to introduce all the analysts, insiders and reporters on the network's special Super Bowl edition of the Sunday NFL Countdown show.
Berman concludes the introductions.
The New York Post breaks a story claiming CBS analyst Dan Marino never even gave the mother of his love child a ring. Of course, Marino never was fond of giving or, especially, receiving rings.
Go to church. Find out if God really does own a No. 52 Ravens jersey.
Of course, we would never encourage gambling, but this is when you could get in your wagers on these actual cross-sports prop bets:
Which will be higher: Rebounds and assists by Heat's LeBron James versus the Raptors, or the number of tackles and assists by Ravens' Ray Lewis?
Which will be higher: Points by Clippers' Chris Paul versus the Celtics, or completions by 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick?
Which will be higher: Points by Lakers' Kobe Bryant versus the Pistons, or receiving yards by 49ers receiver Randy Moss?
Which will be higher: Minutes played by the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin versus the Penguins, or shortest field goal in Super Bowl?
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg (above) and St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster make plans to watch the Super Bowl together but end up canceling when they can't agree on where to meet.
The Animal Planet channel airs live coverage of Puppy Bowl IX. The winners get all the nachos they can eat and then get free run of Michael Vick's front yard.
During its Walking Dead marathon, AMC shows clips of former Steelers receiver Hines Ward's upcoming Walking Dead cameo. The network also shows clips of his past Walking Dead cameo with zombies Kirstie Alley and Ralph Macchio. Oh, wait. Sorry, my mistake. That was Dancing With the Stars.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley interviews President Barack Obama from the White House. Pelley will ask Obama who will win the Super Bowl and Obama manages to work in a White Sox reference. Yes, Mr. President, you're from Chicago. We get it already.
A couple more over/under wagers to think about (strictly for fun, that is):
Largest lead of the game: 13 points
Longest touchdown: 46½ yards
Shortest touchdown: 1½ yards
Longest field goal made: 44½ yards
You bite into your first chicken wing of the day. Congratulations, you're doing your part in eating the 1.2 billion pounds of chicken wings that will be consumed this weekend. Chase it with a beer from one of the 49 million cases sold this weekend.
Watch Ray Lewis do his goofy dance for the last time. The key word is "goofy." No, wait, the key word, the most beautiful word of all, is "last."
ESPN begins a four-hour marathon of the World's Strongest Man competition. That's not a joke. Meantime, E! is in the midst of its Kourtney and Kim Take Miami marathon as the two Kardashians search for the only two athletes left on the planet that they haven't dated: Mercury Morris and Garo Yepremian.
The official prop bet over/under on Alicia Keys' length of the national anthem is 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Did you know that last year's over/under on Christina Aguilera's rendition was 1 minute, 54 seconds, and she sang it in exactly 1 minute, 54 seconds? I don't know if Keys (below) will go over or under because I'm still trying to figure out why the woman who sings Empire State of Mind isn't singing the anthem at next year's Super Bowl outside of New York City.
A coin flip is a 50/50 proposition, right? The Super Bowl proves it. In 46 Super Bowls, heads has come up 23 times and tails 23 times. But heads is on a four-year streak and neither heads nor tails has come up five Super Bowls in a row. In the past 15 games, the NFC team has won 14 of the tosses. Ipso facto, the 49ers will win the toss, which will come up heads.
Over the next 3½ hours, more than 111 million people in the United States will watch the Super Bowl. Want to feel like a dope? Only 38 million watched President Obama's State of the Union Address.
CBS announcer Jim Nantz says the name "Harbaugh" for the first time during the game. One official prop bet is to pick the over/under on the name "Harbaugh" being said. The number is 21½. Go with the over. The more compelling bet is what Nantz says more during the game: "Harbaugh" or "The Masters, a tradition unlike any other."
Early second quarter
After 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis fails to cover Ray Rice on a screen pass, cameras catch 49ers assistant coach Jim Leavitt (above) slapping Willis on the bench. Leavitt later denies it.
Beyonce lip-syncs All the Single Ladies. Backup dancer Lennay Kekua has a wardrobe malfunction, which, fortunately for CBS, nobody sees.
Dr. Phil McGraw interviews Katie Couric (top right), who interviews Oprah Winfrey, who interviews the deer who supposedly supplied his antler spray to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. The deer denies selling his spray to Lewis but does admit to being "confused'' about his relationship with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.
Out of the tunnel
49ers cornerback Chris Culliver says deer "have to get up outta here," then issues a statement saying it might be best if he never speaks again.
Early third quarter
Ravens QB Joe Flacco (left) comes out for one play with an equipment problem and backup Tyrod Taylor (right) successfully hands the ball off to Ray Rice for a 1-yard gain.
30 seconds later
Local talk-radio phone lines are jammed with Bucs fans demanding the Bucs trade two first-round picks for Tyrod Taylor to replace Josh Freeman (below).
The Ravens and 49ers exchange leads four times and the game ends with Jim Nantz saying, "Good night friends and we'll see you at Augusta." ... Oh, the Ravens win 31-27.
You go to bed because you have to work Monday. Well, that is if you're not one of the estimated 7 million Americans expected to call in sick. Meantime, Ray Lewis can take some time before he starts crying and dancing on the ESPN set next to Chris Berman, who will now have one more name to announce before next year's Super Bowl.