Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Super Bowl With a Smirk: Excess reaches crescendo with pregame parties

Carolina Panthers players takes selfies with recording artist Snoop Dogg, second from left, during a press conference in preparation for the Super Bowl 50 football game Thursday Feb. 4, 2016 in San Jose, Calif.
Carolina Panthers players takes selfies with recording artist Snoop Dogg, second from left, during a press conference in preparation for the Super Bowl 50 football game Thursday Feb. 4, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. AP

You know the Super Bowl is getting really close when the biggest parties are happening. Hey, is that Snoop Dogg? Look, it’s a Kardashian! A Super Bowl city on the eve of the Big Game is when you might hear someone shout, “Ludacris!” and not be sure if they spotted the rapper or were commenting on the absurdity of it all.

Playboy’s 16th annual Super Bowl party happened Friday night under a 35,000-square-foot tent erected in the parking lot of the Giants baseball stadium.

At the party they handed out the first issue of the new-era Playboy that includes no explicit nudity. I believe that’s when the party immediately ended.

Rolling Stone, GQ, ESPN, Maxim and Vanity Fair were among other major party hosts. The ESPN soiree was highlighted by an appearance from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and a lurching, leering Chris Berman inadvertently sweating into women’s cocktails.

Smirk culled through his many A-list party invites and ended up at the annual bash hosted by the recently paroled half-brother of former Monkee Peter Tork.

Two major league-related parties happen Saturday night.

The fourth annual NFL Honors will include the announcement of major award winners including MVP and the naming of the newest Hall of Fame class, following voter deliberation in the Bob Kuechenberg Disappointment Room.

Elsewhere will be the 25th annual Taste of the NFL, a fundraiser featuring a dish by a chef from every league city.

Carolina will be represented by Springer Mountain Confit Chicken Wings Kentuckyaki, and Denver by Oak-Grilled Lamb Neck.

Miami, last in a Super Bowl 31 years ago, will be represented by Rum Pork Belly with a Glaze of Dolfans’ Tears.

▪ NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has killed the Dab. Cam Newton made the dance move Dabbing popular. But Goodell, un-hippest man in America, was coerced to do it by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, and so now the Dab is dead.

▪ Goodell announced the Raiders and Texans next season would play the first NFL regular-season game in Mexico since 2005, unless Donald Trump has sealed off the entire country with his giant wall by then.

▪ ESPN’s endless pregame show Sunday includes a segment called Riding With Vince, a Carpool Karaoke ripoff in which Cris Carter, Mike Ditka and a Vince Lombardi impersonator are lip-synching to songs. Oh how I wish I were making that up.

▪ A new University of Texas-Dallas study of NFL arrests between 2000 and 2014 found 573 players had been arrested 774 times, but only 209 of those arrests (or 27 percent) were for violent crimes. AWRIIIGHT!

▪ The NFL has issued a warning regarding counterfeit Super Bowl tickets. Folks, if you bought a Super Bowl ticket that seems exceptionally small, is stamped “Regal Cinema” and mentions the 4:40 showing of Dirty Grandpa, you might have been ripped off.

▪ Montreal’s Le Telejournal, a French-language news show, mistakenly used a Florida Panthers logo to preview Super Bowl 50. Wonder if they said the quarterback was Jaromir Jagr?

▪ Further indications we are out of stuff to write about and the game needs to start: ESPN reports that Robin Leach, ancient host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, picks Carolina 27-21. Also, the Amazing Kreskin offered his Super Bowl prediction on Friday, surprising analysts who thought the Amazing Kreskin had died years ago.

▪ Finally, Smirk signs off for the week after having seen way too many previews of Super Bowl commercials. Again last night I had that recurring nightmare in which Betty White is nursing the E-Trade Baby while running terrified from a herd of singing sheep.

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