Your erstwhile correspondent has had a bit of trouble picking this grand event of Sport — this celebration of violence and committee meetings.  And like most things for me, it’s ruled by emotions.  How can you pick a Harbaugh over a Harbaugh? (It’s hard.  Yes — Jim led Tree out of the darkness. But John has the same DNA.  Tough.)  How can you root for a team from San Francisco (OF ALL PLACES) who carries a player who’s one carefully-worded press release away from throwing in with the Bryan Fischers of the world?  Swirling controversy over Ray Lewis (swirled by those who couldn’t bother to swirl the controversy that he mighta killed a guy thirteen years ago until, oh, about two months ago) continues to swirl.  It’s a stumper. (Both the game and the Lewis thing.  As you know, I’d prefer to just teach the controversy.)

But: time to decide.  How to do it?

Meet Courtney Lenz.  (Hi, Courtney!)  She’s 23, and a five-year veteran of the Ravens’ cheerleader squad.  But she didn’t make the trip to New Orleans.  Why?  Because over the course of four months, SHE GAINED TWO POUNDS.  And so Courtney — who, at a former stomping grounds of ours, would be described as either HOTT or HAWT — is grabbing some couch like the rest of us slobs.

That tears it.  Take the Niners (-3.5) with the points.  It’s Chicago Bureau’s world famous, often imitated, never duplicated 10,000 STAR LOCK.  And with that, the liveblogish OPEN THREAD XLVII is all yours for the commenting. Ready? BREAK!


Ray Lewis just on now, in the fourth hour of the formal pre-game, got asked questions about the incident in Atlanta. Can I see a Lance Armstrong v Oprah in his future? Possibly (though obviously not in the same way — too much on the line, both ways). I just don’t know enough about the murder story to say something definitive about it all.

No TV. Keep me updated. Great alt text.

They weigh them? 2 lbs? Is this ballet/figure skating/gymnastics/[insert pro-ani coach encouraged sport HERE]? Shit. Do these cheerleaders even DO stunts? Show me a scorpion at the fucking stupor bowl. Any good base could deal with 2 extra pounds. I call bullshit.

Let Courtney cheer!


Poppa Harbaugh shown on teevee — Over/Under at 1.5

Beyonce joined by Jay-Z (Mrs. Beyonce) during halftime — “No” 2:3 against

Post-game Gatorade Bath is —
Clear 7:4
Orange 5:2
Yellow 5:2
Field (Green, Red, Blue) 13:2

@JNOV: Base?? You think they do pyramids or something? Hahahahahahaha! They’re basically strippers without a pole. They dance. She was benched because being 5′ 3″ and 124 lbs makes you a porker by their ridiculous standards. Because anything other than a size 0 with a 36D bust is unacceptable. Let this be a lesson to all the young girls out there!

Fighting the black dog hard these days. Just returned from grocery store with 2 half-gallons of ice cream and two party-size bags of chips. And an 85% cacao dark chocolate bar. Mr Cyn is going to a Super Bowl party, I’m watching old Downtown Abbey episodes with a whiskey.

Whoever had the over on the National Anthem was a genius. Alicia here clocked in at 2:35. That’s gotta be a record.

Okay, the sign language interpreter is off the hook awesome.

And WTF was Jennifer Hudson wearing? Black leather top tucked into a white skirt. At least she didn’t lip-sync, nor does Alicia Keyes appear to be syncing. Love her dress.

Colin Kapertnack (sp?) would be so hot if he shaved the beard tuft and got rid of the tattoos.

@Mistress Cynica: Hang in there, sister. You know we’re here for you and familiar with chasing off the black dog.

@chicago bureau: Number of shots of Ma and Pa Harbaugh before halftime – 17.

@Mistress Cynica:

Yeah. But 5’3″ and 124#? She needs to lose 15 (and THAT is fucked up).

Yep with the black dog. Just ate what passes for a stromboli and some sort of chicken hoagie, 5000K lights not doing a damn thing. I hibernate and eat whatever someone will deliver. I’m a zombie at work. Now I know why everyone here goes on vacation so much.

I’ll be falling asleep on some American Experience thing.

@SanFranLefty: What chords was she playing? What song was that with the minor tonality? Paging John Raitt, Mr. Raitt!

@Mistress Cynica: Hang in there. I’ve got the vanilla.

Live stream at CBS. A little pixely at full screen, but still.

First drive by Niners is turgid — a formation penalty nixes a great first down play. 3 and out, and Ravens to start near midfield.

Clinical Ravens drive. Touchdown, quick and easy.

ADS: Budweiser tries to pitch a craft beer; talking M&M doesn’t want to get, you know, eaten; Audi tries to make a geek cool with an Audi. Nothing notable.

We’re getting different commercials.

MORE ADS: Hyundai. GoDaddy comes again with Danica and (oddly) a computer nerd (which after all is THEIR FUCKING INDUSTRY). Doritos goes with a goat.

Meanwhile, Crabtree for Niners breaks tackle for nice gain. They’re off the mark!

Gore picks up a first down. His play tonight? SUBPLOT. SUBPLOT.

You know, this Ravens secondary is pliable. Malleable even.

But the Ravens’ front seven? As good as advertised. San Francisco forced to try the field goal from 36 yards which is…. good. SF 3:7 BAL.

ADS: Lo-cal Pepsi = PARTY, Amy Poheler harasses Best Buy employees making $9 an hour, and Budweiser again promotes piss that is darker than their normal piss. So they’re dehydrated in St. Louis. NOTED.

MORE ADS: Disney tries to do “Wicked” but fails miserably, Big Brother is a softie for Coke and acts of kindness, and Oreo cookies create MASS CHAOS.

My commercials are pedestrian.

Coke — cowboys, showgirls and mad max folks in a race.

Early candidate for play of the game — Flacco was in JAIL, but gets off a 20+ yard pass. Whoa.

I keep getting dandruff and RIM commercials. Like, the SAME ones.

Big play comes to naught. Can the punter pin the Niners deep? We’ll find out after the commercials. Which are….

Summertime smash-em-up with the Rock and Vin Diesel. Which works, or else they wouldn’t keep doing it. And Toyota makes your wishes come true with a crappy SUV.

As for the punt by the Ravens? Useless. Utterly useless. Touchback.

Kaepernick — ZING!

Next play? Kaepernick — ZING!

I’m sensing a trend here. ATTACK THE SECONDARY.

And the next play is set up for a run up the middle, and the Ravens don’t recognize it. Huh.

Oh, Frank Gore. Tries to spin to win and fails miserably. SUBPLOT. SUBPLOT.

WHOA — Ladies, set your faces to STUN.

(That Calvin Klein ad is not going to get made fun of AT ALL.)

Ravens with another clinical drive.

ADS: Bud Light goes with voodoo dolls? Huh? And GoDaddy — wait, what? An ad from GoDaddy that is slightly funny? And has nothing to do with awkward sexual tension? WEIRD.

Ads REDUX — Star Trek movie, the Rock goes out for milk in a totally sociopathic manner, and people need to drive that Huyndai REALLY FAST.

The Forty-Niners are in the process of laying a turd. And MORE DOPESLAPS. Did somebody tell these guys that hockey is back and we don’t necessarily need more violence? ‘Cos violence is bad and stuff?

Did I mention


And yet another Superbowl blowout in progress.

@JNOV: Tattooed kid not living up to hype. Film at 11.

The sea otters at Fisherman’s Wharf would be more useful than this team. Or tourists gawking at the sea otters at Fisherman’s Wharf, for no perceptible reason. What a shitshow.

Well, this Volkswagen Ad is … OK, mon.

@Dodgerblue: Heh.

Man, put the little soccer guy in there for the fake. Ballsy!

So a fake kick fails, and the Niners got three minutes to pull this thing out of the fire.

Kaepernick damn near rogered the whole damn game with a pick-six. This is NOT going well for S.F.

Yeah. Well. Where’s Alex Smith?

The cowboy gets glittered. That’s funny. Ish.

That Taco Bell ad was OK. Too bad they make shit and sell it to suburbanites who don’t know better.

MY GOD! How many times are the refs going to ignore pass interference? It’s not the same as just letting them play. That’s two TDs lost.


@chicago bureau: That, 49s fans, was the worst pass defense in the history of football.

The Niners absolutely MUST SCORE here. Ravens get the ball to start the 2nd half. If there’s no score here, the Ravens can put this to bed in the 3rd quarter. Crucial drive.

I’m sorry, but that was inertia, not unnecessary roughness.

@Dodgerblue: I like most sleeves, especially on women, but I can’t make out that crap he’s sportin’.

@chicago bureau: I would have gone for the TD. 21-6, bfd.

Good drive stalls at the 9, so we get a 27 yard attempt which is… good. So HALFTIME — SF 6:21 BAL.

Talking point for the half — that Frank Gore fumble looms REALLY LARGE.

Someone wake up Benedick so he won’t miss Beyonce.

Greetings from Baltimore folks. I hear there’s some sort of football game going on?


Much better than JayZ!

Flipped over for the halftime show. The Destiny’s Child breakdown was easily the best part.

And after all that fireworks in the Halftime Show? More. Jones for the Ravens TROLLS SO HARD. Good God — this game is TOAST. SF 6:28 BAL.

It’s fucking HAWT when guys run like that! Seriously — it’s awesome.

Gonna be some celebratin’ at the office tomorrow.


Okay. I’m actually laughing now.

@chicago bureau: HA! I was laughing at the sack. But that too.

By rule, the game is official after the half. So if they don’t fix this? The game could, theoretically, be called a complete game at this stage. Which would be fucking AWESOME.

Okay, I’m switching from the Puppy Bowl. Failure is fun!

I have to assume the advertisers are thrilled at this electrical interlude. I wonder how this ad time is filled. I bet there are contingency buys. Probably some advertisers getting unexpectedly cheap Superbowl ad time.

“The surge in the building is called the Baltimore Ravens.”


“The power outage might work in the 49ers’ favor.” Uhhhh…wut?

Quick, somebody cue Barbara Bush to save these people trapped in the Superdome by hauling them off to Houston. I seem to remember her once saying that was the best thing for them.


Shades of “this is good news for Join McCain.”

@Serolf Divad: RIGHT!

And now they’re blaming Beyonce, which actually makes sense.

Twitterstan Super Fun Time Tweets Regarding The Power Outage:

(1) References to Katrina, of course.
(2) References to public utilities.
(3) Jim Harbaugh pulling the BEST GIMMICK PLAY OF ALL TIME.

But your winner comes from a college friend of mine, who suggests that Yoko Ono has just put on the best halftime show of all time.

And John Harbaugh is going absolutely BONKERS. I don’t blame him.


Probably strained the A/C to it’s limit. I know I had turn the A/C up a notch and its 28 degrees outside.

during a commercial in the walking dead marathon preparing for the new season next week I stopped by the big game and laughed outloud cause the first thing I heard, at the annual national testosterone festival, was Freddy Mercury and Queen. just struck me as funny and I wondered what Freddy would think about it. oh well. if you can use Zepplin to sell cadillacs i guess you can use queens to sell football. ok he was “bi”. still. funny.

hi kids

@Serolf Divad: Haha! Nice to see appreciation of the curvy ones.

@CaptHowdy: Well “We Will Rock You” is one of the great stadium anthems, along with “We Are the Champions” so Queen were quite used to being associated with sports.

Good time to catch up with on your Word with Friends games.

Wait — the 49ers sabotaged the Superbowl!

@CaptHowdy: I was having a difficult time figuring out if that was a music concert or a Victoria’s Secret runway show… and I’m totally OK with that.

Well, that was fun. TV’s back off. Don’t want Cyberdyne thinking I actually watch that shit.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing:

here and there. Detroit and central america. the great thing about not working is that you can dissappear as long as you have a stoner nephew to feed the animals.

@Serolf Divad:

yeah I know. still always thought it was funny. I mean they are queen and admittedly I have no clue if he was or not but I would be surprised if Freddy was any more of a futball/sports fan that I am.

but who knows. he and the girls may have been infront of the tube every weekend with a bucket of wings.

So the Niners grab the first score after the blackout. Huh.

Kia Stepford Car Show model kicks a guy’s ass. A weird tee-shirt pitch. Pistachios get the Psy treatment. Turn out the lights again, please.

Do you guys realize the NEVER ENDING SHIT SHOW that would occur if the Niners actually come back? It could be on now — Niners to start from OPP 20. Whoa.

We might have a game after all.

And Frank Gore cashes in! Injury timeout before the PAT. Well, well, well.

Lincoln with an odd one. Speed Stick gets weirder. And Beck’s tries to do a different beer thing too. Which will also be skunked beyond all recognition, just like Beck’s Classic.

San Francisco team sports – TORTURE!!!!! /gasping for air, reaching for wine bottle #6

And thus and so — SF 20:28 BAL. Very interesting.

Budweiser Clydesdale spot turns, naturally, to Fleetwood Mac. NEXT.


And now the game is well and truly on. My God.

Now its Baltimore’s turn to give it all away.

Well, there’s something else. Missed FG from Akers — but he gets out of jail. Retake after the penalty — is GOOD from 34. Three points for free makes it SF 23:28 BAL.

Dude. My commercials really suck. Stevie Wonder in a Bud commercial?

The Ravens have to show that they still want it.

Throwing it all away, throwing it all away
Can’t you assholes make a play?
Throwing it all away…

Now, who will bring back darkness?

OK, so who thinks this game is going to be won by 3 points or less?

Bench shot of the Ravens looking like they’ve already lost. Bad juju.

@Serolf Divad: Right?!

Oh shit! Never touch the kicker! DANGEROUS!

So, did anyone get the Bloomberg gun control ad? I haven’t seen it.

When the lights go out in New Orleans
And the sun shines of SF Bay
Oh, I’ll be eating croooow at the office
I should call out sick anyway

How insane would it be for this game to come down to a touchdown and a two point conversion attempt?

On the next drive, Balto stalls. Now SF 23:31 BAL.


Pretty classy Dodge ad. Probably makes a bunch of lawyers with trucks feel like real Americans.

Er. So they’re allowed to CHOKE each other?

Right now San Francisco wants it more.

I thought they were supposed to choke each other.

Well, Phil Simms suggests that the Niners go for two here. YOU THINK?

As for the conversion attempt? NO DICE. But as it is — SF 29:31 BAL

Oh. An American white-bread family has difficulty talking about sex. Ha. Ha ha. Ha. [headdesk]

I’m thinking it would have been better for the Ravens if the 49ers had scored the 2 point conversion. They’re still under the delusion that they’re ahead.

Wait — they resurrected Paul Harvey and nobody told me?

@nojo: That’s just part of the story


I am fucking stroking out here.

@JNOV: +1
@chicago bureau: Chip Kelly, king of 2 pt conversions, is appalled.
@Serolf Divad: COTD

Hats off to Flacco. He can finish up War & Peace with the ball behind the line of scrimmage and still find someone to pass it to.

@Serolf Divad: Indeed

@SanFranLefty: Glad to see you’re still with us. ;-P

So the Niners bend but don’t break. The bad news is that the Niners can’t kick a field goal to win. The good news is that the Niners can’t kick a field goal to win.

Meanwhile — a Merc for less than $30,000? Really? That’s something.

Three extra years there through sheer force of will.

@SanFranLefty: It is a mistake to watch a Clydesdale commercial when fighting the black dog. As soon as I stop sobbing, I have to have another whiskey and another bowl of ice cream.

@chicago bureau:

I like to look at new car ads, because I know that that’s the car I’m going to buy used 5 years from now.

So it’s going to come down to a field goal isn’t it?

but I liked that they went for the TD at the time, so I still like it.

Yes, I am now totally having a heart attack.

Ads that go on for 90 seconds are 75 seconds too long.

@Mistress Cynica: When will Ben & Jerry’s come up with the “Black Dog Whiskey” flavor? Horses, hot men, and Fleetwood Mac. yeah, good.

Nice from Samsung. And… where’s the Bloomberg ad? Did I miss it somewhere?

WHATEVER. Niners, Second and goal from the five. Two minutes left.

DELAY OF GAME? DELAY OF GAME. Whoa. Brain fart. — never mind, Jim Harbaugh bailed out Kaepernick.

This next play determines the winner of the game.

The wird that springs to mind is Awesome.

@CaptHowdy: Good to see you here.

@Serolf Divad: My brand-new 2005 Civic just crossed 20k the other day. The CD player seemed like a nice idea at the time.

Fourth and five….. INCOMPLETE — jailbreak on the front seven. Good no call, in my mind.

Like I said. Game over. Maybe I’m right.

How much time left? Take a knee time?

Now Baltimore has the ball on their 5. Nail biter still. One screw up gives the 49ers a second lease on life.

The Niners will get the ball back IF they can hold off the first down. That 2nd timeout called to save the delay penalty is HUGE.

The Niners have to return the kick to win it. Cal-Stanford play?

The neighbor just screamed “NOOOOO!!!” I hope it’s game-related.

God — the Niners were sleeping on that intentional safety. Dumb.

I’ve never seen that dance before.

@JNOV: No. But that’s what this clownshow of a game needs I think.

Four seconds left on the clock, too. WEIRD.

OH GOD — Could they fair catch and go for the field goal? Could that even possibly happen?

Well, it would have been interesting to see that whateveritis.

Someone take Lefty’s pulse.

What a wild game. One for the books, really. SF 31:34 BAL.

3 points or less, baby! Didn’t I call it? Did I call it or what? Just glad it was the Ravens on the right side of those points.

@chicago bureau: Yep. I thought the kicker was gonna have to text somebody to get tackled.

@karen marie might be peeking just a little: Yep. No spoilers about Lady Mary, pls — DA isn’t on here for another hour.

Just walked out on my deck for a moment. It’s yelling and screaming and fireworks as far as the eye can see… in all directions. Good day to be a Baltimorean.

Every day’s like an open door
Every night is a fantasy
Every sound’s like a symphony

@Dodgerblue: James hasn’t shot himself yet.

Oh, wait. Streaming Upstairs Downstairs. Never mind.


hello Mr Benedick


If all of the dead are now living
And all of the livit ng will die
Buying their tickets and changing their trains
Into the city and back home again


@Serolf Divad: Ah! If I get this promotion thing, I might be in Baltimore for 8 weeks for moar training. Have family in DC and dead ones in Glen Burnie I might visit. I probably won’t know for a month or maybe two.


as someone said

“and I shaved my legs for this?”

@Serolf Divad: When is Ray Lewis going to prison? If he mentions Jesus one more time I’m going to puke.

@Dodgerblue: Thank you for not spoiling. I missed last Sunday’s DA because I was working on a brief, and one of the many queens watching football with me spoiled what happened last week. Now watching the Puppy Bowl until DA starts out here in the west coast.

Meanwhile, after the game, I dropped off a friend at the CalTrain station, on the way home through the Mission drove through some sort of SFPD shitshow at 14th and Valencia – hipster on the ground with blood and glass on him, an army of cops, good times.

@SanFranLefty: You can catch last week’s episode on while you wait. Prepare to sob helplessly.

@SanFranLefty: Given what happened last week, it would have taken a Herculean effort to sit on it.

Back to normal this week, except for those pesky Papists.


Cool, it would be great to meet my first Stinquer. Keep me posted and maybe we can do a lunch or something.


Now, now SanFran, that wasn’t nice. Anyway, I’ve watched enough tee vee interviews to know that the two groups of people who love Jesus the most are ball players and murderers on death row, so I’m pretty sure Ray Lewis especially loves Jesus.

@Serolf Divad: @chicago bureau: The Bloomberg ad only aired in the DC market.

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