When it comes to sports, my brain is wired in weird and quirky ways.
I don’t remember numbers as numbers—I remember numbers as uniform digits. So 243319 isn’t 243319—it’s Freeman McNeil with the Jets, Ken Griffey, Sr. with the Yankees, Tony Gwynn as a Padre . I don’t think of towns and cities as towns and cities. I think of them as, “Home to the Cannons” or “Where the Mud Hens” roam.
And, when it comes to matchups between teams, I always like to imagine it as the [fill in a random, top-of-the-head guy who played for both clubs] bowl.
Mets play Yankees—it’s the Rafael Santana Bowl.
Brewers vs. Cardinals—the Ted Simmons Bowl.
When the Raiders and Broncos meet up, it’s Mike Harden’s game. If it’s Knicks v. Celtics, I’m talking Gerald Henderson. Heat and Nets—Pearl Washington. Packers and Vikings: Favre. Redskins and Jets: Art Monk. Mavs and Lakers: A.C. Green.
Which is why, as of this moment, I am declaring Super Bowl LV to be The Steve DeBerg Bowl.
Yes, Steve DeBerg.
If you don’t remember, or don’t know, Steve DeBerg was one of those guys who lasts forever, plays for a gazillion teams, is replaced by stars (in his case, Joe Montana with the 49ers, John Elway with Denver, Steve Young with Tampa Bay)—and happens to be pretty damn good. Yeah, DeBerg threw a ton of interceptions. And his arm wasn’t of Joe Flacco quality. But the dude lasted 17 NFL seasons, including 4 1/2 with the Bucs and four more with the Chiefs. His 196 touchdowns and 204 interceptions are big numbers that speak less of mediocrity and more of durability and desirability.
Put different: Teams wanted Steve DeBerg.
So celebrate, dear Steve.
This Super Bowl, you can’t go wrong.
PS: Wisely, and correctly, noted by a Facebook pal …