If NFL owners have a sense of history and tradition, they'll award Super Bowl 50 to South Florida later today.
But if they want to deliver the latest proof that the sports world is ruled by hypocrisy and blinded by bling and the almighty dollar, they'll award it to the prohibitive favorite, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the shiny new sports palace being built in Santa Clara, Calif.
Expect the latter.
(UPDATE at 3 PM: The NFL delivered a strong message to South Florida Tuesday: NO SUPE FOR YOU! Meeting snub with snub, the NFL owners awarded Super Bowl 50 to San Francisco/Santa Clara and then moments later awarded Super Bowl 51 to Houston.)
The NFL owners didn't have any surprises in store with its decision (live on NFL Network). Given the way Florida politicians snubbed the Dolphins' request for public dollars to renovate their private stadium (even after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell showed up personally in Tallahassee to lobby for the handout), it was only natural for the NFL to snub South Florida right back.
I understand. It's strictly business.
And it is good business to go back to the Bay Area, to the high-tech heart of Silicon Valley, to celebrate a fancy new stadium and all the gadgets and incentives that come with it.
But it's also rank hypocrisy. Because the NFL started making noise about our roofless stadium -- and the need for a canopy -- after a freak February downpour during the 2007 Super Bowl.
Last time I checked, the new Santa Clara stadium doesn't have a roof.
And mid-February is the height of the rainy season for Northern California, when gloomy days, downpours and mudslides aren't unusual.
So I hope they get a right good soaking in 2016.
If I was ruler of the sports universe, I'd give South Florida Super Bowl 50, the Bay Area Super Bowl 51 and Houston some Super Bowl after that.
That's because the Super Bowl became the Super Bowl in South Florida, the moment Joe Willie Namath guaranteed victory for his runt AFL New York Jets after downing a few Scotches at a Miami Touchdown Club banquet before Super Bowl III in 1969.
A few days later, the Jets shocked Don Shula's NFL Baltimore Colts at the Orange Bowl.
It spurred a merger of the two leagues and the rest was history.
South Florida hosted three of the first five Super Bowls and 10 overall. (The first one was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a city that no longer has an NFL team).
Wouldn't it be swell to have a 50th celebration at Sun Life Stadium, with Namath and Shula showcased and maybe even smiling together as they conduct the opening coin flip?
Don't hold your breath.
That's the ideal world. In the real world, the NFL might return to South Florida for Super Bowl 53 in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Namath game.
If that's the price for not caving in to the NFL's extortion demands, it's worth it.
And if the NFL never returns to South Florida, I still say the Super Bowl will miss us more than we'll miss it.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun