Page 2 columnist
Wartime Super Bowls are always dismal and lame -- if they happen at all -- due to "tragic National Security disasters that we cannot, of course, disclose to you at this time, because of etc, etc, etc."&. Alas, I know that story well. It happens every time you find a huge police agency seizing control of all sporting events, in this country or any other.Indeed. But that is what happens in War-time, eh? Yes sir, the War Machine comes in and takes whatever measures are Necessary to make sure our boys have plenty of bombs, wherever they happen to be. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice ... Hot damn, there's a war on, bubba. That's for sure -- but at least it won't happen until the day after the Super Bowl -- and that is when the shades will come down. Beyond that, Nobody knows. It will all be up in the air. So we should all take a nice long look at the Big Game on Sunday in San Diego -- because it may be the last one we'll see for a while, at least until the War ends ... Ho ho. That is a nasty thought, as thoughts go, but it is the melancholy truth. Certainly it will be the last peacetime Super Bowl for another five years, maybe more ... But by then we will all be wearing uniforms, of one kind or another, and only the "Trusted Travelers" among us will be allowed to come and go as we please -- within reasonable military limits, of course, as long as we don't make waves and never gather in groups of more than three, and don't spit. Whoops! Why are we drifting into negativity here in this hour, with the final game of the season about to happen and the war about to start? Nevermind that morbid gibberish about --
"You know what?" the Sheriff interrupted. "The last place in the world I'd want to be this weekend is San Diego. It will be like hell on earth.""Not for the Oakland Raiders," I said. "They will be on top of the world, such as it is." "That's what I mean," he said. "The Raiders will have fun. All the others will suffer. They will all be detained, or locked up for military crimes. Military crimes. Military police, military tribunals. Military justice -- get used to it. That is the Military way." I agreed, and quickly changed the subject. "How many draft picks did the Raiders get for Jon Gruden?" I wondered aloud. "Many," said a voice from behind me. "They also got enough money to pay off many signing bonuses. Al Davis will rule forever."
Which may be true. The Raiders dynasty is already a fact, whether they win or lose on Sunday, and the dynasty is moving in full harvest mode. Stand back. Prepare to salute and pay tribute ... That is how Davis and his people are seeing it, anyway, and I think I agree with them. This is a serious football team, folks.Which is not to say that Tampa Bay is not. No sir. But the Oakland Raiders are serious in a different way. They're deadly serious, and you can take that for whatever it seems to mean. They are assassins, in a word, and they have everything they need in their arsenal: extreme speed, beautiful talent, smart coaching, preternaturally fine chemistry, and a rare level of individual intelligence among players ... This is a high-class unit, exactly the kind of team you would buy for yourself if you wanted to win a Super Bowl. Tampa Bay's chances of winning the game on Sunday are about one in 500. You're welcome. I might be wrong, of course. I might be wrong. Hell, that's always possible. Nobody can win all the time. That would be fishy. It would mean that something is wrong with the system. Why bet on a fixed game? That is nonsense, of course. The Super Bowl can never be fixed -- not in Peacetime, anyway ... and even if it was, I would never offer to bet on the Raiders and give 500-1 odds. Not on the internet. That would be illegal and probably insane. Think of the trouble I would have in collecting on my bets, eh? Or pay off. Wow. That would be horrible, truly horrible, like a plague of lizards and leeches fighting, all around you on the ground. These rodents are always in heat. Whoops. Strike that. Leeches are not rodents. They are blood-sucking members of the Hirudinea family, a sub-species of the hermaphroditic sucker-worm that is frequently applied to headache-victims and other human wounds. Leeches used in human treatment range in size from three inches to 13 inches when fully bloated. They have two ugly mouths, one on each end, filled with tiny, razor-sharp teeth by which they attach themselves firmly to the flesh, prior to sucking. The leech has many eyes.
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Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His books include "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "The Curse of Lono," "Generation of Swine," "Songs of the Doomed," "Screwjack," "Better Than Sex," "The Proud Highway," "The Rum Diary," and "Fear and Loathing in America." His latest book, "Kingdom of Fear," has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears regularly on Page 2.