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Greg Cote: Beyoncé goes whole 9 yards to prove talent

Super Bowl With a Smirk would like to set the record straight and deny that New York Post report. Smirk has never at any time cheated on Mrs. Smirk and did not father a love child in 2005. However, Smirk is a steady user of deer antler velvet.

Now on to our latest offering:

Super Bowl halftime star Beyoncé materialized Thursday at the media center in New Orleans to promote her performance, but the news conference was marred when a tape malfunction interrupted her lip-synched response to a question.

I kid because she lip-synched the national anthem at the presidential inauguration, of course. Beyoncé began Thursday’s media event by singing the anthem live and then asking the packed room, “Any questions?” — which is so perfect not even Smirk can make fun of it. She promised to sing live Sunday.

As you know, Super Bowl halftime shows have come to be every bit as anticipated as the game itself, according to Super Bowl halftime show producers.

This one might be even more anticipated than most because of the possibility of a Destiny’s Child reunion, because husband Jay-Z could make a surprise appearance, and because men from coast to coast will be trying to will a wardrobe malfunction.

It is widely speculated that Beyoncé’s first song Sunday will be Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It). I say that because of the allusion to a Super Bowl ring, but mostly because that’s the only Beyoncé song Smirk could think of.

• Heat star LeBron James, a huge football fan, was upset Miami’s travel plans Sunday would force him to miss watching the Super Bowl. “How disgusting is that!?” he told reporters. James has since announced plans to purchase the NFL and reschedule the game.

• Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco apologized for using the word “retarded” this week. Not to be outdone, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver has now apologized for antigay remarks. Fortunately for Culliver, no gay people live in San Francisco (!).

• Coach John Harbaugh revealed he invited Muhammad Ali to visit and inspire the Ravens before the season opener. Ali also was part of the Marlins’ opening ceremonies. That makes Ali 1 for 2 in inspiring successfully.

• Super scandal! Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz, 25, says she was left off the team’s Super Bowl travel squad because of a “minor weight gain.” In an unrelated story, the 49ers have won the endorsement of the American Society of Fat Cheerleaders.

• Super parents Jack and Jackie Harbaugh met the media and revealed which of the two coaching sons they’ve never particularly cared for. Film at 11.

• The Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic was held Thursday in Kenner, La. The clatter of pins could not be heard above the cacophony of 40 former players all sitting around griping about medical benefits.

• Only one change to the Super Bowl injury report: The 49ers have added wide receiver Randy Moss (inflated ego).

• The seventh annual Tazon Latino, a flag football game between ex-players and Hispanic celebrities, took place Thursday. Players included Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders. Celebs included the Food Network’s Aaron Sanchez and a bunch of people Smirk has never heard of.

• The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award will be given Friday by the great former Miami coach. Shula is expected to congratulate the winning coach and then taunt him for never having had a Perfect Season like the 1972 Dolphins.

• The NFL revealed that more than $13.6 million in fake merchandise, a record, had been seized this season. Folks, here’s a warning sign: Do not buy half-off jerseys that misspell your team’s name and are being offered by a guy whose trunk also included Goochie purses and Rowlecks watches.

• Jimmy Fallon on his TV show predicted the Super Bowl using five puppies. Three ran first to the food bowl marked Ravens, foreshadowing a Baltimore victory. However, a Smirk investigation has linked one of those puppies to serious gambling debts and possible mob influence. The puppy has had no comment.

• The Walter Payton Man of the Year award, for on-field excellence and community service, will be given Friday. The three finalists are the only three NFL players who have not yet been arrested. (Ooh. Too mean?)

• A Brockton, Mass., company makes the laces, made of a PVC resin compound, for the NFL’s game balls. “It’s a little hoot for our employees,” reports CEO Melissa Hopkins. “Our kids, every time we watch a game, say, ‘Great laces!’ ” So should we all, Melissa. So should we all.

• Finally, Thursday’s ceremonial arrival by barge of the Super Bowl XLVII Roman numerals was marred slightly when Somali pirates stormed the barge and stole the second “I” from the logo. Surprised nobody but Smirk has reported that.