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Norman Chad’s Super Bowl XLIX handy, dandy viewing guide

BY NORMAN CHAD
Special to the Sun-Times

If I had known that Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick were going to meet in Super Bowl 49, I would’ve just watched college football all season. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 — yes, youngsters, that’s pre-ESPN, but it was a big deal — there have been few coaches Couch Slouch has disdained more than Carroll and Belichick.

Next thing you know, the 2016 presidential election will come down to Donald Trump and Wile E. Coyote.

Among other vices, neither Carroll nor Belichick wins with grace or loses with grace. But Sunday, as I try to watch with grace, one will win and one will lose. So, as a public service, I am here to provide my 49th annual Super Bowl Viewing Guide:

Healthy snacks are in. Uh, not on my watch. Apparently, the trend is toward seaweed chips, kale crackers and toasted coconut shavings. Please. I’m sticking with Fritos and Bugles. Plus, remember: Everything tastes great when it sits on a Ritz.

The other big health trend of 2015 is meditation. Super Bowl Sunday’s seemingly a tough time to think deeply. But if you’re going to dive in, meditating during the entirety of the five-hour pregame show on NBC isn’t the worst idea in the world.

When you’re done meditating, you’re gonna be thirsty. Be smart. Budweiser’s all about the marketing; Yuengling’s all about the beer.

It’s time for me to cop to how spectacularly wrong I’ve been about Carroll and Belichick. I used to blast Carroll when he was with the Jets and Patriots and blasted Belichick when he was with the Browns. But you don’t make back-to-back Super Bowls, as Carroll has, or make six Super Bowls in 14 years, as Belichick has, without being a very, very good coach.

Then again, Belichick only had a winning record at one of his three NFL coaching stops. He’s 175-65 with the Patriots, 36-44 with the Browns and 0-0 with the Jets. And once in a while he hornswoggles.

So how much of a genius is Belichick? He might activate Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Tony Gonzalez for the game, line them up on the same play and declare each of them ineligible receivers.

One other thing about Belichick — and I hesitate to say this because I don’t have definitive proof. I believe he would cheat his own mother playing mahjong.

I want to dislike Tom Brady, but I can’t. I mean, the guy’s got GQ looks, a supermodel wife and too much success. Plus, he sells Uggs. But he’s so good, no matter who is surrounding him. Every year, he wins with receivers and running backs who were working at Radio Shack a month earlier.

In case you think I’m exaggerating about the Brady Bunch, here’s a list of the Patriots’ top wide receivers and running backs this season. Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Jonas Gray, LeGarrette Blount.

The most overrated, overhyped aspect of the Seahawks is this whole ‘‘12th Man’’ business. I just figured it out: All their loyal fans were walking out of CenturyLink Field with five minutes left in the NFC Championship Game because they KNEW the Seahawks would rally and wanted to get a jump on making their way to Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl Sunday.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is not a statesman. He’s something else. I have no problem with Lynch not talking with the media. First of all, have you looked at the media lately? Second of all, I’m not sure Lynch really has anything to say. I base this on his signature touchdown celebration, in which he grabs his crotch.

This Super Bowl also matches Patriots owner Robert Kraft against Seahawks owner Paul Allen. They say the rich get richer. To be honest, I’m tired of the rich getting richer. Which means, by default, I guess you have to root here for Kraft, whose net worth is only $4 billion, as opposed to Allen, whose net worth is $17 billion.

Actually, most people outside of the Pacific Northwest don’t like the Seahawks and most people outside of New England don’t like the Patriots. Frankly, the game is unwatchable. So follow my lead: At your Super Bowl party, radio only!