John Dudley: Part-time fans can join the fun on Super Bowl Sunday

This is the one day each year when even casual football viewers will be glued to their TVs, wondering who will win. Here’s a guide to help them decide.

The Super Bowl will take place Sunday night in Houston, Texas, an event that annually pulls in viewers who might not otherwise watch a sporting event all year. This includes my wife.

Folks like my wife can use all the help they can get understanding what’s unfolding before them over three-plus hours of loud collisions and expensive commercials.

Lucky for you, this is one of the many services I provide.

Most casual sports fans want to know one thing: Who’s going to win?

That’s simple. The NFL and Fox are going to win, because tonight professional football again reminds us it’s the only organism capable of printing money faster than Drake.

Oh, you mean which team will win?

Well, in that case it’s best to read the tea leaves. Alas, I don’t have any tea leaves.

So, we’ll do the next-best thing and read the headlines, and the calendar, to try to determine whether it will the AFC champion New England Patriots, led by head coach Bill Vader — er, Belichick — and quarterback Tom Shady — er, Brady — or the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, led by nice-guy head coach Dan Quinn and nice-guy quarterback Matt Ryan.

Let’s start with an easy one.

The Super Bowl has been played in Texas three times previously. Twice, AFC teams won, including the Patriots in Houston in 2004. Advantage, Patriots.

Meanwhile, this is the fourth Super Bowl played following a regular season with a year ending in a “6.” The Pittsburgh Steelers won in 1976; the Chicago Bears in 1986; the Dallas Cowboys in 1996; and the Steelers again in 2006.

That’s two wins for AFC teams and two for NFC teams in such years, a push.

In Super Bowls played the January or February following a Presidential election in which a Republican was voted into office, NFC teams have won four times (the Green Bay Packers with Nixon in 1968; Washington Redskins with Reagan in 1984; New York Giants with Bush the elder in 1988; Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Bush the younger in 2004), and AFC teams have won three times (Baltimore Colts with Nixon in 1972; Steelers with Reagan in 1980; Denver Broncos with Bush the younger in 2000).

Advantage, Falcons.

Atlanta also is the pick of Buffett, a manatee in Sarasota, Florida, that has correctly predicted eight of the past nine Super Bowl winners.

Las Vegas oddsmakers, meanwhile, have installed New England as a three-point favorite. Advantage, Patriots.

So let’s turn to the new expert on all things important and meaningful, Amazon’s Alexa device. Turns out Alexa responds to questions about who will win Super Bowl XL by saying, “I can’t predict the future.”

Who among us can?

John Dudley can be reached at 870-1677 or Follow him on Twitter at