By GARY SHELTON and JOHN ROMANO,
Times Sports Columnists
GS: You have a week of interviews, a half-dozen subjects and a thousand questions to ask over the next few days. On the other hand, who cares? Tell me who you think is going to win this Super Bowl between the Steelers and the Packers ? now, before the betting window closes.
JR: Gary, Gary, Gary. You don't drink, you don't smoke, and you obviously don't gamble. The betting window is open all week. My son knows a bookie at school, so I can wait until the rest of the first-graders go to recess on Friday before committing. But I will say I'm leaning toward Pittsburgh. Wanna change my mind?
GS: I was going to pick Pittsburgh, too, right up to the point I read your section. Not anymore. In the name of Max McGee's liver, Gilbert Brown's onion rings and Clay Matthews' last haircut, I'm all in with the Packers. Such is the faith I have in your expertise.
JR: I was going to argue until I realized I had no ammunition. The last winner I picked was at my wedding. So let me ask you this: Why were we both inclined to pick Pittsburgh when the oddsmakers have been leaning toward Green Bay?
GS: Probably because we've seen Pittsburgh win a Super Bowl recently. I think the Steelers are solid everywhere, and I think the AFC was much better than the NFC this year. The oddsmakers, I think, have been influenced by all the cheese that has been bet on the Packers. I'll say this: I think this could be another close game. Good thing the Super Bowl finally discovered those, huh?
JR: Particularly if this is the last NFL game for the foreseeable future. With labor clouds looming ahead, this game could be a football junkie's last fix for a while. If the game goes to overtime, does Roger Goodell get paid time-and-a-half on his $1 salary?
GS: Personally, I think Goodell is just angling for a McDonald's commercial about the 99 cent menu. Let me ask you this: Do you think this Pittsburgh team is as good as the one that beat the Cardinals in Tampa two years ago?
JR: Pretty comparable. A lot of the same faces. My only question is whether Hines Ward, James Farrior, James Harrison, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel are the same players as they get deeper into their 30s. Perhaps the bigger issue is whether the Packers are better than that Arizona team.
GS: I think they're better. Almost as good on offense and better on defense. Whether they're better in the final seconds, we'll see.