Jim O'Donnell: If Kyle Shanahan can't pick a winner, how can America?

AN ESTEEMED ANTIGUA-BASED ODDSMAKER once said: “Everything in life starts out at 50-50. It happens or it doesn't.”

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs +2 today?

It happens or it doesn't.

Kardashian / Skims u-trou model Nick Bosa and the Niners minus-2?

It happens or it doesn't.

Sometime before 10 p.m., CST, grand glades will cash on Super Bowl 58 while encrusted Las Vegas sharp-a-nots will curse (kickoff, app. 5:37 p.m., CBS).


As SF head coach Kyle Shanahan told NBC's Peter King: “I cannot believe people gamble on this game. I just can't believe it. Because I think I know more than anybody coming into a game. But most of the time, I am totally, 180 degrees wrong. What do they know?”

They know nuzzing, Colonel Hogan. They suspect many things.

Until late in the week, more than 70% of all game-line action was suspecting that Andy Reid and KC will roll. (That surge has trended back toward 63%.) The central Q. under that swell was the very simple:

How do you bet against Patrick Mahomes in a mainstage game?

Some even drew parallels between Mahomes and prime-time Michael Jordan. And there is something to be said for unflappable resourcefulness in the clutch and an indomitable will to win.

BUT THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS-BASED Odie Stats and Info (not yet available at osin.nil) has an even better way:

Find a weak media outlet's panel of in-house NFL “experts,” clock their picks against the spread and then go the other way.

The chosen bobos were local, their gambling credentials were essentially non-existent and the consensus was 5-to-1 that the Chiefs +2 will be a winner.

So the Osin contrarian choice is … Gore and Usher take Florida!

Actually, SF+2, especially because in the current post-season, the Niners have been good enough closers while the Swifties of KC had to rope-a-dope to get home in their last two second halves.

So, maybe Kansas City early, but Bosa and skivvy mates approaching the payoff moment.

Or, Option 3, the failsafe, as Ian Anderson sang in “Thick as a Brick”:

“Really don't mind if you sit this one out.”


THE IMPOSSIBLE YEAR OF PAT FITZGERALD continued with the recent death of his father, Pat Fitzgerald Sr.

Mr. Fitzgerald, 79, was a longtime electrical engineer and manager for Illinois Bell, AT&T and other corporate successors. When his only son became head coach at Northwestern in 2006, he also took on the seasonal role of game-day sideline communications coordinator for the Wildcats.

As for the son, his $130M lawsuit against Northwestern University, president Michael Schill and others continues to move forward through the Cook County Circuit Court system.

Fitzgerald is seeking remedy for wrongful termination and related diminishments. He was abruptly fired by Schill in July amid allegations of hazing on his watch over the NU football program.

Few expect the case to go to trial. An extensive discovery phase would force university officials and key patrons to produce a voluminous amount of relevant data and backlogged communications.

Such revelations could quake and shake all the way from The Enchanted Lakefront to some deep tunnels of power in the city of Chicago.


Moon tide longshot pick for SB 58 MVP from Osin.nil: KC edge George Karlaftis. Accept no less than 250-1 if you can find it. Only three defensive linemen have ever been selected: Randy White and Harvey “Too Mean” Martin split the award for Dallas in SB XII and, of course, “The Sack Man” — Chicago's very own Richard Dent — in SB XX. …

Hard not to notice that since leaving the immersive toxicity of Bear Down Flats in Lake Forest, Matt Nagy will be prominent on a second straight Super Bowl sideline. He must miss Chicago as much as Lester Holt. …

Joe W. Namath — the NFL's forever hero of Super Bowl III — is not in Las Vegas for SB 58. Namath, age 80 (!), told media that traveling is “not as easy” as it used to be. (That also means plans for a sequel to “C.C. And Company” (1970) with Ann-Margret have also likely been shelved.) …

A regional business weekly and a non-profit downtown tabloid have become primary outlets for leaks from forces friendly to Jerry Reinsdorf and his quest for leverage in a new deal for the White Sox and some kind of fresh home ballpark. (What a surprise in The Captive Sports City.) The Fail Hose at “The 78” would be a colossal waste of some choice riverside acreage on the Near South Side. …

Savvy basketball insider Kenny McReynolds has received the Distinguished Media Service Award from the Illinois High School Association. As a broadcaster and coach, “Kenny Mac” is in his fifth decade around area b-ball courts. Three Daily Herald stalwarts have been so knighted: Bob Frisk, John Radtke and Marty Maciaszek. A stunning omission is Taylor Bell; he and Frisk remain the most artful Illinois prep sports columnists of the past 65 years. …

And Ricky Hummel, on reports that America will spend more than $17 billion on Super Bowl 58 watch parties: “Couldn't they just do Ramen Noodle dip and crackers and bet the rest?”

Jim O'Donnell's Sports and Media column appears each week on Sunday and Thursday. Reach him at All communications may be considered for publication.

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