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Here's looking forward to Super Bowl 51
Pembroke Mafia Football League
football play diagram

This is a Pembroke Mafia Football League column about the Super Bowl.

It is being written for one reason and one reason only: because the Atlanta Falcons are in the Super Bowl.

Otherwise, our illustrious leadership — most notably B.J. Clark, retired Navy, whose statue marking his win at the Battle of Trafalgar sits somewhere in greater Pembroke, serving as a warning to all who sail the seven seas — would still be grumbling about Colin Kapernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem.

That led us PMFL’ers to boycott the NFL, lest you forget, but of course back then none of us figured Atlanta would get to the Super Bowl. This because the Falcons do not make getting to the Super Bowl a habit. They haven’t been to one since 1999, which was so long ago a certain co-worker of mine was just 4.

He might not remember what happened in that Super Bowl, but I do. I especially remember what happened the night before the Super Bowl, when a Falcons’ team leader noted for being an all-character guy was busted for, well, for putting an unintended spin on the "Dirty Bird" craze that swept Georgia like Sherman, had he been able to dance.

The Falcons promptly lost 34-19 to the Broncos. The only way that could’ve been worse is had it happened in German. Now there’s a language that is alternately hilarious and downright scary, and I have plenty of German friends.

"Das Falken verlieren halwildes Pferd."

"Nicht mehr schmutzigen vogel."

No wonder the Germans are so cranky.

Besides, as a South Carolinian, I must admit to having mixed feelings about the Falcons and Atlanta, a city where a good number of my relatives on my mom’s side are from and lived before most of them had the good sense to leave at some point not long after the War of Northern Aggression.

I even had a cousin who was a firefighter with the city of Atlanta back in the 1970s, before he fell off a burning building and got early retirement. Last time I saw him he was driving a Cadillac. Nice guy, for an Atlantan.

And I must admit to being a fan of the Braves and Hawks, though both are habits I am trying to break. But the Falcons? Never.

There’s just something about the Falcons that rub me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because if you look long enough at a photo of Matt Ryan he starts looking like that girl on "Little House on the Prairie," the younger one, what’s her name. Give Matt Ryan pigtails or her, a Falcons helmet, and you’ll see what I mean.

Note: I realize I’m no prize to look at either, despite the fact many people tend to confuse me with a younger version of James Caan in "Roller Ball." But at least short fat sportswriters aren’t mistaking me for the younger sister on "Little House on the Prairie."

Anyhow, I’m conflicted on whether to root for the Falcons — even though as a rule I tend to pull for teams from the South over teams from other places, though I’m not sure Atlanta qualifies as being in the South anymore.

But what the heck. We’re doing this picks column, a kind of Super Bowl special.

And, since B.J. makes the rules, we’re doing something that involves sailor suits and the new president’s proclivity for using Twitter like Don Rickles.

Here’s how he explained it.

You pick the Falcons or the Patriots and a final total score. You then in 140 characters or less (As President Trump does daily), you explain the "X and 0’s" explaining your pick. The winner will be the one who picks the winner and is closest on the tie breaker.

And, since this is his idea, here’s his pick:

Patriots win, 37-31 equals 68.

His tweet: "Patriots to win; "Belichik ‘s experience will put pressure on Matt Ryan he hasn’t seen all year. They sack Matt several rimes, gain a turnover and get revenge for Deflategate. Brady is MVP." Pats 37-31=68

Here’s the pick from Ernest "Nimble Knees" Mitchell, who like B.J. is a big wheel in the Pembroke American Legion. The main difference between B.J. and Ernie, is, unlike B.J., Ernie does not have a statute of his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Ernie — Falcons to win: "Georgia has been my home for the last eight years, the weather and people are warm. I was stationed in New England in the Navy, weather is cold and the people are cold. It’s time to knock off the cold Northerners." Falcons 45-37=82

From our youngest member, Mark "I want out of my car seat now" Rogerson:

Mark — Falcons to win: Falcons are hungrier, they are our family" Falcons 39-31=70

From the PMFL’s own country rapper and entrepreneur, Mike "Easy Credit Yo Boyzzzzzz pickups hey" Clark:

Mike — Falcons win: "Falcons young defense comes out strong and surprises Brady and crew the same way they owned Rogers and the Packers, Julio remains a beast, Ryan walks away with MVP." Falcons 41-35=76

Here’s the pick from Development Authority of Bryan County CEO Anna Chafin.

Anna — "I’m very conflicted. I grew up a Falcons fan, but with David Andrews and Malcom Mitchell (former UGA Bulldogs) playing for the Patriots now I took a liking to the team in the Northeast. I’m going with my home state team in this one. Go Falcons! Falcons 37 and Patriots 33."

Here’s District 1 County Commissioner Noah "Ponds Dug Cheap" Covington’s pick.

Noah — FALCONS!!! 66 Points: "66 cause that’s the year they played their first game. Favorite players Buddy Curry and Jeff Van Note. It’s time for the Gritz Blitz and the Dirty Birds to rise up and win one — there can only be one Buffalo Bills team. And besides Clemson’s high scoring offense just squeaked by the all-powerful BAMA defense. Born to be a Falcons Believer!"

Is it just me, or does this sound like Noah is doing some recruiting on behalf of the county. Maybe he’s hoping to get Arthur Blank — who looks like one of Dracula’s kindhearted uncles — to build a Falcons’ practice facility in Pembroke.

We’ll see.

Have a great weekend and "aufgehen."

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