CHRIS ERSKINE / FAN OF THE HOUSE

There's one sure Super Bowl bet: Spectacle will give way to sadness

It's not just that undeserving San Francisco is poised to pull in another world championship that bums out Chris Erskine; it's that it's the end of another season and a long layoff from football.

Bums me out that San Francisco stands poised to be a world champion in yet another sport. I was up there recently and it seemed to be mostly falling down. There are no right angles in that decaying city, and termites eat better than the tourists. Meanwhile, the teetering populace treats each night like Caligula's birthday.

If California has the equivalent to Anchorage, it is San Francisco. Notice how they put all the taverns at the top of the hills, so at the end of the night everyone just rolls home. In San Francisco, that's what passes for urban planning.

Most San Franciscans are among the nation's artsy unemployed, so I guess we should be happy for our Bay Area brothers and sisters. First they won it all in baseball; now they're about to win it all in our grandest sport, football. At least they have something to hang on to besides each other.

Point is, damp, dippy San Francisco seems the most unlikely great sports town in America. Brawny Baltimore? Sure. Fierce New York? Of course.

But San Fan Cisco? Not in Kafka's worst nightmare.

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Here's my story line for Sunday's game:

Colin Kaepernick get hurts and Alex Smith comes off the bench to lead the Niners to victory.

And at halftime, Lance Armstrong confesses that he was really Manti Te'o's secret girlfriend.

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The 49ers are a four-point favorite in Sunday's game, but oddsmakers say 60% of the public is currently on the side of Baltimore's Ravens.

More interested in the spectacle than the outcome? Here are some entertaining novelty bets, courtesy of Bovada, an online sports book (note, odds are subject to change):

•How long will it take Alicia Keys to sing the national anthem?

Over/under: 2 minutes 10 seconds.

•Will Keys forget or omit at least one word?

Yes: 3-2.

No: 1-2.

•Will Beyonce's hair be curly/crimped or straight at the beginning of the halftime show?

Straight: 5-7.

CHICAGO