The Marshall Plan: Man, beast and machine predict Super Bowl winner

Perhaps the most pressing question facing fans gearing up for Super Bowl XLIX is which team is more villainous? Despite the best efforts of Richard Sherman the Patriots have taken the early lead by riding the wave of an incredibly mind-numbing football deflation scandal.

Father Kevin, a friendly Franciscan father at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Quantico, summed up the whole â??Deflate-gateâ? scandal after Mass last Sunday.

â??People asked me about the controversy and I tell them that I shall not judge,â? he said with a notable New England accent. â??Only God knows whatâ??s in Brady and Belichickâ??s hearts.â?

He also might have told me not to stare at Katy Perry too long or I would turn to dust.

Once again we have assembled a stellar cast of man, beasts, a machine and a bass player to provide you with the most unconventional predictions for the big game.

The Columnist

For me it comes down to game-changing players and I believe Seattle has a higher number of those type players. I think that the Seahawks secondary will create turnovers and its running game will eat up yardage and the clock. Iâ??m also pulling for Kam Chancellor since Iâ??m a proud Virginia Tech graduate and I like the way â??Beast Modeâ? Lynch carries the rock. My pick: Seattle 26-17.

The Beasts

Animals have psychic powers, according to Ancient Astronaut Theorists.

Pierre, the Cajun Chihuahua from Louisiana sniffed, snarled and smirked then he chose the Seahawks for a second straight year. His accomplices Little George and Louis were divided Hawks and Pats respectively.

In Culpeper, Charley â??The Pug,â? who is named after a hurricane had a tempestuous weekend stressing out about the big game. He chose a chewy bone (representing the Patriots) over a chewy roll up. After his pick he burrowed into a couch cushion to await the game.

Baxter, a notable cat model for Purina and a North Carolinian, meowed his preference for a Seahawks victory reluctantly. He is a die hard Packers fan and no amount of catnip has softened the pain of that NFC Championship loss. His owner says heâ??s enjoyed birds since his kitten days.

New to our illustrious band of animal prognosticators are four psychic chickens named after various British ladies Camilla, Pippa, Gema and Petula. They reside in Fredericksburg.

â??The undeniable consensus between the chickens is for New England. I am not sure if this is a fair or proper pick as Camilla (the hen) is the queen of the roost and a Plymouth Barred Rock. The breed was developed in 19th century New England so I suppose her inner loyalties die hard—of course that’s a rather unfortunate choice of words though given Americans’ pension for large plates of chicken wings this coming weekend,â? commented Owen Conner, an urban chicken hobbyist. â??Pippa (also a Plymouth Barred Rock) also chose the Pats while Gema, a Yellow Buff Orpington, only likes English football. Petula, always the odd duck only cares about the commercials.

My sonâ??s lizard â??Beardy,â? a Bearded Dragon used the cricket method again this year. One cricket was named Wilson the other was named Brady. The lizard chomped Brady first indicating that Wilson is a more mobile quarterback and that his team will win the game by a narrow margin. Wilson disappeared a few minutes later.

â??Tiny Hindenburg,â? a portly-yet lovable cat and â??Cavaâ? the Beagle chose the Patriots.

Beasts: Animal Kingdom is divided Patriots 6, Seahawks 4.

The Machine

An Xbox One game system was used. We used Electronic Arts Madden 15 to simulate a single Seahawks and Patriots match-up inside an undisclosed location. The Patriots won 32-17.

The Metal Band Bass Player

John Campbell, bass player with the popular metal band Lamb of God had this take on the Super Bowl when I asked him to be a celebrity guest.

â??You want a sports ball prediction? I’m the last person to give an educated guess. I didn’t even know who was in the championship games! My prediction: All fans of ball-play will be excited and lots of taxes will be dodged by a surprisingly not-for-profit organization, the NFL.â?

Man, beast, machine and metal—what more could you ask for?

Marshall Conner is a freelance contributor to the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at