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I DON’T KNOW THIS PERSON. Photo by Mike Mozart, and it’s music to my ears.

There is nothing like the Super Bowl: shitty beer, junk food, and two teams that you don’t really like, playing in a game that will probably be a shitty, lopsided-affair, despite the pundits’ predictions on the contrary.

Let’s take this time to answer some pressing questions — sometimes even relating to the Super Bowl itself — from friends of the Clown Show.

I’m curious about your thoughts on the NFL’s treatment of Marshawn Lynch. My initial feeling is that it’s absolutely absurd. But then, he’s an employee who’s refusing to do his job, and he’s getting paid millions of dollars. I’d shit myself on a daily basis for his salary. 

This had to be the lead question.

I love Marshawn Lynch. In fact, it has developed into an obsession. Every time he touches the football, I have to watch. From his extraordinary runs — capped off with him holding his dick — to the one-yard gains that turn into fifteen yards: it is a man against boys. Every interview of his on YouTube is a must-see. He is a fascinating example of a running back that is peaking in his late-20s, during an era when running backs are viewed as damn near interchangeable, and his future is a complete question mark. All that, and we haven’t even gotten to why Marshawn has been the most popular non-Deflategate storyline of media week.

This week, Lynch not only did his job, by showing up to his designated press conferences, but he also worked overtime on the league’s behalf: never has one player generated this much singular attention during media week. The attention has been spawned out of the simple law of supply and demand: supply them with less, and the demand for more is sure to follow. Marshawn is a reporter’s wet dream, regardless of whether they are too stupid to realize that or not. To say he is generating them no material with which to write is hysterical — they have penned more garbage about his antics than they have about any other player in the NFL over the course of the last two months.

I will go one step further and say that this is a necessary critique of media-player relations: Lynch’s being terse speaks louder than any words he could say. He’s identifying the system as a broken one, in which every player is being asked to act the same way, answer the same questions with the same cliches, or run the risk of being alienated. Just look at his teammate — if Richard Sherman speaks his mind, he is vilified. If he tells them what they want to hear, we hear nothing of it. Lynch is thus casting himself as a martyr, and undermining an antiquated, rigid institution that seems to be trapped in the norms of two decades ere. Really, what is stopping the league from supplanting the current mic-in-face system with some actual, candid opportunities for one-on-one sit downs with players like Lynch that provide fascinating, gut-wrenching details about life, who these guys are, and why they act the way that they do? This man-to-man interview conducted by Deion Sanders prior to last year’s Super Bowl is worth watching, unlike 99% of the other interviews captured during Super Bowl media days.

Enough of this “I’m excited for the big game because there are 150 microphones in my face right now,” nonsense. Enough of the media crying about how hard they work, and how disrespectful Lynch is being: he is the most interesting interview they will ever have, sitting right under their noses, but they are too naive to appreciate it. Soon, the fans will start having to help send the message: the amount of trashy, pregame media hype that is assembled on “our” behalf is unwelcome, elementary journalism that is not worth reading, listening to, or watching. So yes, Lynch has been showing up to his interviews in order to not get fined, and he has been up front about that. And, to the league’s credit, they have not fined him for his lack of conforming, as he is technically fulfilling his contract.

Perhaps mainstream reporters need to strive harder to be like this woman:

Washington’s poet laureate? That’s right, folks: Marshawn Lynch.

Last thing on this topic: how much money Lynch gets paid is completely irrelevant. In fact, he is underpaid (8 million dollars this season). He can do something that nobody else in this world can do, and I mean NOBODY. So to say things like, “I would kill to have that kind of money, and I would talk to the media,” is beside the point: of course you would, but killing, or talking to the media, is something we all could do. Running the football like Marshawn is not.

He is the best back in the league, and one of the few running backs that can win games all on his own. And this boycotting of the media has turned him into a true household name, and earned serious cash for the media, the NFL brand, and to be sure, Marshawn’s brand as well. He could get paid 50 million dollars a year and I would not think that is disproportionate to the amount of money he puts in other peoples’ pockets.

Also, just to be an asshole/sadist: how are you feeling about the Browns’ prospects for next year’s passing offense after losing Hoyer, Gordon, Austin, and likely Cameron? 

-Sam, Portland, ME

I typed and deleted numerous sentences before opting to answer this question in the form of a music video:

“The truth… is you could slit my throat, and with my one last gasping breath, I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt…”

So, yeah, that’s how I feel.

1. If the Patriots win, Tom Brady has as many rings as Joe Montana. If the Seahawks win, a bitter divisional rival has won back-to-back Super Bowls. As a 49ers fan, is the only palatable outcome for this Super Bowl a victory–for either team–on a blown/disputable call? Is there another scenario I could root for that doesn’t involve a player getting injured? 

It has, somehow, been a tough four years for 49ers fans. I say “somehow” because nobody is crying for a franchise that has won five Super Bowls, appeared in the NFC Championship three of the past four years, and seems to still have potential moving forward (on the defensive side of the ball, at the very least). You especially are not going to make this Browns fan shed any sympathetic tears.

On the flip side, though, Niners fans just watched their mostly-liked, always-embattled coach — the man that jumpstarted the proud franchise out of relative impunity — depart for a college program that recently hit rock bottom, after a tumultuous season in which the 49ers inexplicably lost all ability to move the football and finished 8-8, which must objectively be considered underachieving (even though some of us would kill to see our team finish 8-8). That offensive ineptitude has raised justifiable concerns for the team’s future prospects. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have gone from NFC West joke to the best team in the NFL, and now they just might repeat as Super Bowl champs.

And the other potential outcome of this Super Bowl — the Patriots winning — means Tom Brady would be the second quarterback to lead his team to four Super Bowl victories, matching Joe Montana. And — compounding the situation further — if you have any heart at all, you hate the New England Patriots.

I do have a heart, and thus, also have a long-standing hatred for the Patriots that is only rivaled by my distaste for the Steelers and Red Sox, so I would like to argue that you should be cheering for the Seahawks. But I’m sure that’s an impossible venture for a Niners fan, and you must think about this logically: how many Super Bowls did Joe Montana lose? Zero. And that, more than anything, is his legacy: Joe Montana will likely go down as the only QB one of two QBs to have at least four Super Bowl victories without having lost one. Even if Tom Brady wins Super Bowl XLIX, he will be 4-2 in the big game, and the tie goes to Montana (and Terry Fucking Bradshaw).

So no, there is no scenario you can root for that will make this okay, but Tom Brady going 10-30 with a couple of interceptions and the Patriots winning 2-0 on a safety is probably your best bet.

It’s not all bad, Niners fans: this guy is your new head coach.

2. Are the Golden State Warriors CLASSY enough to go far in the playoffs?

“To go far” is ambiguous, and “CLASSY” seems to be an Anchorman joke, or something else that I don’t understand, so I’m going to change this question to “can the Warriors make it to the NBA Finals?”

I should also preface the rest of this answer by admitting to having watched approximately 1.75 NBA games so far this season.

I so badly would like to say yes, the Warriors are going to win the West, but I don’t think they will. I think the Spurs are going to turn on the playoff switch and win again. I’m not going to bother defending this, as you know I’m probably right. I also would like to go on record as saying that the Atlanta Hawks can’t actually be this good, and that they won’t make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. PAUL MILLSAP IS THEIR LEADING SCORER.

To counter the above “argument,” the Warriors (and Hawks, for that matter) could not have picked a better year to be playing out-of-their-minds basketball. The Warriors have two legitimate top-20 players (Curry, Thompson), two All-Stars coming off the bench that bring entirely different things to the floor (Lee, Iguodala), a lockdown big guy that thrives on shutting down players like Dwight Howard (Bogut), and Draymond Green, who is the Draymond-Green-iest player in the league (that’s a good thing to be).

Around the rest of the league, nobody is dominant: LeBron and the Cavs are, somehow, a wild card. The Spurs youth movement is scary, but their vets are getting scary old, and that has to matter at some point, no? The Thunder have their own problems. The Clippers are… the Clippers: good, not great. The point is, for once the league is wide open. I’m all in with the Warriors in 2015, but that doesn’t mean I think they are going to win the Championship. But it does mean they could.

How’s that for ambivalent?

3. Bonds, Piazza, Clemens: fuck, marry, vote into the HOF?

Kati, SF

This is hard, because I don’t want to marry any of those people, as they all seem like assholes. And don’t try to tell me Piazza isn’t an asshole — I’ve heard him on Fresh Air, and he is a cocky, self-important asshole. It is then imperative that the marriage aspect of this question comes down to who has the most money, and I really couldn’t tell you who that is, but I would assume it to be Clemens. So I’m marrying Roger Clemens, which sounds awful. I’m fucking (slash, killing) Piazza — which sounds equally awful — and let’s not be foolish, Barry Bonds is getting his own plaque in Cooperstown that exists on a plane about seven feet higher than anyone else’s (762 feet in the air, that is).

For the record, I think all three of them belong in the Hall of Fame. Piazza is the only candidate that is questionable, and he deserves to be in as one of the best offensive catchers of all-time.

Katy Perry’s outfit is going to be a wardrobe malfunction. That’s a statement. 

-Anne, Vermont

Do you think the Legion of BOOM could cover both of Katy Perry’s breasts? Let’s see: Sherman on one, Maxwell on the other, and Chancellor and Thomas over the top for help… I think that even then, there would be some cleavage down the middle that Rob Gronkowski would find a way to exploit. Call me crazy.

How many yards will Marshawn Lynch go for? 

-Tim P., New York, New York

I feel like Belichick and Patricia’s scheme has to be centered around stopping the run, and most specifically, the read-option that so badly burned Green Bay down the stretch in the NFC Championship. I do not know how a team goes about stopping the read-option, but I assume it essentially entails the Patriots daring the Seahawks to throw the football, and relying on Browner and Revis to blanket Seattle’s two best receiving options (who are, what, Kearse and Baldwin?!). So, basically, unfortunately, I think Marshawn Lynch does not run for more than 100 yards in this game. I’ll go with 78.

Who is going to win it this year, the Monstars or the Tune Squad? 

-Owen, Oakland 

This seems necessary: an (almost) 20-year anniversary of the only Intergalactic matchup the Milky Way has ever known.

I gotta be honest, I don’t love the Tune Squad’s chances. Michael is over 50. Who knows what Bugs has been doing this whole time, but I guarantee you he isn’t in basketball shape — Bugs never struck me as the “coach’s son type,” if you will: his nose was more likely to be in Playboys than Playbooks IMO. I’m not sure Bill Murray offers much of a presence off the bench anymore — and he did say he was retiring and “going out on top” at the end of the first Space Jam. Hopefully, if there was a legit threat to the planet, Murray would get up off of your coach and rally, but he would be drunk and old. And those are really the only three guys the Tune Squad ever had — Daffy, Tweety, etc. always kind of sucked.

Meanwhile, the Monstars have just been hanging out in Looney Tune Land this whole time! Sure, they shot Swackhammer to the moon in an attempt to pledge good faith and save their own asses, but can we really trust these guys? 20 years later, they might get restless. And think about the talent they could abduct from current NBA players bodies! These Monstars would probably get their talent from LeBron, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Anthony Davis Hasheem Thabeet (we need a Shawn Bradley in the lineup). There is no way 51-year-old Michael is competing against those guys with a lazy Bugs and a washed-up Billy Murray as his supporting cast.

Our planet is doomed, folks.

UNLESS:

The Tune Squad executes a trade for Steph Curry. They first convince the Monstars that Bugs is a better player than Steph — maybe something like, “I mean, look at that kid, he’s like, 6’2″, malnourished, and bony!” — and then they convince Bugs to be a modern day Trojan Horse. He gets traded to the Monstars and practices like he means it for awhile, and then during the Big Game, he manipulates the shit out of his teammates, disrupts chemistry, and sets the stage for the Tune Squad’s bid to save the planet. Meanwhile, Steph and Michael are just running a two-man game with Bill Murray spotting up and cracking jokes in the corner, and the Tazmanian devil is being a goon and flagrantly fouling every Monstar he can trap inside his little tornado-thing.

Would you ever bet against Michael Jordan, no matter his age? Particularly with Steph as his sidekick? I’m not sure I could.

Also, writing this has brought about a revelation of sorts: the statement Michael Jordan is making in Space Jam is absurd. He is essentially saying, “despite the fact that I no longer play basketball, I could, with a cast of literal cartoon characters, still beat four NBA All-Stars (plus Bradley) in superhuman form.” That is some shit.

Which team will win the 2015 Super Bowl, and why will it be the Patriots? 

-Sam, Vermont

I see what you did there, Sam.

These are the reasons the Patriots will win the Super Bowl:

1. I’m going to be vehemently cheering for Marshawn Lynch (and, by proxy, the Seattle Seahawks), and every single team I cheer for loses. This is a fact. Some people think I’m drawn to losers. I cannot disagree, as all evidence corroborates that theory.

2. Seriously, every team I cheer for loses. The more I hate Boston teams, the more success they have. It’s like trying to fight the Incredible Hulk, or something.

3. I tempted fate. (This is a screenshot of a conversation I had with my friend Snoop during week 4, after the Patriots got curb-stomped by the Chiefs.)

Screenshot_2015-01-28-10-27-41

The confidence! The arrogance! The ignorance!

I DID THIS.

4. There are no other reasons. This is my sports world, y’all are just thriving in it.

Who is going to win the Super Bowl and how are the Patriots going to find a way to choke this year? 

-Ricky, Automatic City, Automatic, USA. 

GREAT QUESTION.

1. I can’t even remember the last time the Patriots won a Super Bowl. I honestly don’t remember watching them beat Carolina in 2005. I do remember, with great pleasure, them blowing the Super Bowls in 2008 and 2012. What’s one more?!

And “Mr. Clutch” being 3-3 in Super Bowls would be my personal dream come true — you see, as a Browns fan, I’ve given up wishing for the Browns to be good, just as the parents of shitty children eventually give up hoping their kids will become something. So instead, I cheer for other peoples’ kids to have unsuccessful endeavors in life (this is how I picture parenting. I probably shouldn’t be a parent.)

2. The Patriots aren’t going to choke because I just jinxed it.

I honestly think the Pats are going to find a way to win this one, just to drive a spike through my heart, like a Gronk TD celebration into my anus.

THERE IS A JOHNNY MANZIEL JERSEY HANGING IN MY CLOSET, FOLKS. THIS IS A SAD EXISTENCE. PLEASE SEND SYMPATHY, IN THE FORM OF MONEY, VIA PAYPAL.

You win a Super Bowl ticket giveaway from “shitty radio station of your choice,” but terms of the contest have you enjoying the game next to one celebrity or “celebrity”: Who would you least like to have to spend 4+ hours in a Glendale stadium next to, why, and does anything change if a post-Super Bowl “Budweiser Sponsored Bash” commitment is thrown in as well?

Okay, I want to get something off my chest first: there is no way I’m entering this contest, and if I somehow did, and won, I’m selling the ticket for 10 cents on the dollar. I want nothing to do with attending a Super Bowl. I really, really don’t. It looks like a completely miserable experience — the crowds, the waiting, the recurring, superficial “aren’t you so happy to be at the SUPER BOWL?!” chiding — and as we all know, football, and more specifically, the Super Bowl, was meant to be watched on the couch. It mystifies me how 70,000+ people are still getting this wrong every single year.

But to play out your incredibly hypothetical scenario, I will provide you with two answers.

The first, is the guy I would least like to be seen at the Super Bowl with, and that is Kid Rock. If the camera cut to a shot of the crowd, and there’s Ricky in his Browns jersey (that made me cringe) and Kid Rock in his wife beater and red bowler (that made me cringe less, somehow), I’m never living it down. There would be no point in trying. That said, I think Kid Rock would be a really fun dude to hang out with. Am I crazy? He seems like a chill dude. He would also definitely have snuck an enormous flask past security, and this supposed “Budweiser Sponsored Bash” would be all the more fun, as getting drunk with Kid Rock can’t be a bad thing. I would then, on the DL, compliment him on his duet with Sheryl Crow, “Picture,” and only sort of regret it in the morning.

There are so many people I would not want to watch football with, but at the top of the list is Jon Barry. There is nobody worse than Jon Barry. The number of garbage takes that would be coming out of his mouth is inconceivable. Things like, “Well, Marshawn Lynch can’t talk to the media and now he can’t run the football,” after he goes for one-yard, and then, “Seattle’s offensive line is really working hard out there,” as he breaks off a twenty-yarder. I hate the Barrys, all of them: worst sports family ever.

Did it feel good overall for your (brilliant) SB pick, the Indianapolis Colts to get soooo close, making it to the AFC Championship, or was the overall feeling tainted by how out of place they looked in getting their ass-kicked? All controversies excluded, please.

Nick, Portland, OR

Nick must be a dedicated listener of the possibly-already-defunct, official podcast of the Clown Show, “Dual Threat,” as he is referring to my Super Bowl pick from Week 6, or 7, that was the Colts over the Lions.

This pick was intended to be both plausible and against the grain, but it was also at a time when New England and Seattle did not appear to be on a Super Bowl track. I was banking on the fact that the Colts could beat Denver in Denver, and that happened, so that is the only real solace that I can hang on to. That, and the flag that got picked up, possibly costing the Lions the game in Dallas. Other than those two things, it was a terrible pick and the Colts were not a good football team and there was no way the Lions were going to win a competitive game on the road in the playoffs. But, alas, hindsight is 20-20.

Here is my 2016 Super Bowl matchup pick: Packers-Ravens, Packers win. Don’t ask questions.

(Folks, you are now entering the Gorski zone: where my friend Gorski asks me ridiculous and/or personal questions that I really don’t want to answer but feel obligated to anyway.)

Marshawn lynch, greatest running back of all time?

Yes. See above.

Russel Wilson, most underrated and overrated qb of all time?

I like Russell Wilson, but the crying and the God stuff was way, way over the top after the Packers game. Act like you’ve been there, before, Russell, and yell things into microphones like the rest of your more interesting teammates.

Tom Brady, prettiest footballer of all time?

I legitimately don’t find Tom Brady attractive. And it’s not that I don’t find other men attractive — I do — I just don’t see it with Brady.

The most attractive footballer of all time is obviously Rob Gronkowski, and it’s not close. Gronk is also my favorite Boston athlete ever. It’s not like he has much to compete with — a distant second would probably be Pedro, but ONLY in retrospect, and I still hate that fucking guy so much — but Gronk is impossible not to like, and he happens to be really good at football. For me, this Super Bowl is Beast Mode vs. Gronk.

Speaking of, I’m a little too excited for this, and I really, really don’t like Conan:

UPDATE: This did not let down. It was everything I ever could have dreamed of. Marshawn even teaches Conan (and the viewers) how to properly grab testicles while entering the end zone, because sometimes the sun shines on all of us, folks.

Most importantly is this superbowl gonna be boring as shit again?

There is no question about this. Indisputably, yes.

What baseball player playing right now has the best shot at one day making an impact in the most super of all bowls? And by that I mean tell me why Jason kipniss is the best football player of all time.

Jason Kipnis, true.

And no, I don’t see the Deion crossover thing happening, but you would have to think that if it did, Terrance Gore playing cornerback would be a good fit. (To my dear friends that are A’s fans: I promise, it is in your best interest that you do not, under any circumstances, click on that link back there).

Are u gonna watch the superbowl/hang out with friends and shit???… cuz yeah im not.

Yes, I am. We are all really impressed that you’re not going to be. We wish we could be as Canadian as you are.

Whats a lucky habit of urs that actually makes ur team win?

My teams lose.

U rooting for the Yankees this year… pussy?

No.

How hard is kluber gonna fall?

Um, not that hard, maybe?

I actually think Kluber is going to have a solid year — sure, some regression may be due — and I think the Indians rotation could be pretty interesting. Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer, MacAllister/House/Gavin Floyd… sign me up (for another heartbreaking year).

Why don’t you love me/the Phillies/ Philadelphia?

-Gorski, Philly 

Second-rate person, second-rate team, second-rate city.

Who has more of a chance to play in the NFL at some point in the future: Josh Gordon, or Tim Tebow? 

-Handsome Jesse, San Francisco 

Ughhhhhhhhh.

At first glance, I instantly feel as though Josh Gordon will play in the NFL again. The guy is far too talented, and he will be 25 heading into the 2016 season. 25! Somebody has to take a flyer on him, right? That is, if the NFL lets them.

Consider this for a second: Gordon has tested positive for marijuana, alcohol, and codeine. That’s it. He hasn’t hit his wife, he hasn’t been involved in bar fights, and he certainly hasn’t killed anyone. It’s insane to me that he will have been suspended for 31 games in just three seasons for such offenses. And sure, is it also insane that he couldn’t be sober for five years and rack up 50 million dollars prior to retiring and smoking himself silly? To some degree, yes. But if you haven’t read his open letter that was published today, please take a moment to do so. It’s difficult to disagree with.

But, truly, I have no idea. The NFL is crazy, and they seem to have an agenda that centers around punishing players more harshly for non-violent crimes.

I also am about to make an argument that I do not want to make, but here it goes: I kind of feel like… I don’t know, maybe Tim Tebow deserves another chance?! And look, I get it: every person that evaluates film and understands football 100 times better than I do, has looked at this guy on film and said: no thank you. I have no rational reason for believing Tim Tebow is good at football: like Tebow Himself, I just have faith. I have to be honest — I got caught up in Tebowmania that one year! I truly believed his teammates were going to find a way to win every game for him.

But yeah, his career is over, and that’s fair, too. So I’m giving the slight edge to Josh Gordon, but it would by no means shock me if Tim Tebow played another NFL game and Josh Gordon did not.

Under-explained Super Bowl Pick:

Seahawks 27, Patriots 17, but only because I couldn’t live with picking the Patriots.

Enjoy the game, folks.