Thursday, Jan. 29, noon p.m. ET
Super Bowl: Norman Chad's Team of Destiny
Thursday, January 29, 2009; 12:00 PM
The Couch Slouch, Norman Chad, was online Thursday, Jan. 29 at noon ET to discuss why he has adopted the Arizona Cardinals as his team of destiny, as well as his latest columns, the hype around the Super Bowl and anything else you want to talk about.
The transcript follows.
Norman Chad archive.
Richmond, Va.: Your ability to identify The Team Of Destiny (TOD) is amazing. Years back when the Colts were horrible, you chose them as your TOD. Last year Hawaii, this year the Cards. Do you credit this omniscience entirely to your mustache? If I grow a mustache, will I, too, realize fame and comped meals to the degree that you do?
Norman Chad: There is no spiritual or intellectual intersection between mustaches and prognostication. These days, mustaches generally are just good for dinner-party conversation, as in "Where did you get that '70s-style mustache?"
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Can you provide a recap of other successful teams of destiny? I recall you once choosing the Carolina Panthers with Kerry Collins at the helm. But I don't remember who else.
I'm a long-time fan. Bring back "Against the Spread" please. I'll even give YOU $1.25 to do so.
Norman Chad: M y NFL picks column, indeed, was my best work (which, I realize, ain't sayin' much). However, my success then picking games against the spread could not be duplicated now, due to a change in my daily Metamucil dosage.
Pittsburgh, Pa.: The Cardinals may be the team of destiny, but do you know what the destiny is of any bird, such as say a cardinal, is if it flies into molten steel? It is not a pretty sight.
Norman Chad: I had a pet cardinal when I was in the fifth grade that, in fact, flew into molten steel. It was not a pretty sight.
San Francisco: Which president would you say is most similar to your Cards?
Norman Chad: John Tyler. I mean, he just came out of nowhere.
Waldorf, Md.: If the Cards flame out Sunday, will you attempt to break the world land speed record for "Team Of Destiny, Dumping (individual)" that you set last year with Colt Brennan and Hawaii?
Norman Chad: I am loyal to my people, frankly, to a fault, until it's time to no longer be loyal to my people. It's like Patrick Swayze says in "Roadhouse": "Be nice until it's no longer time to be nice."
Aldie, Va.: So how many new pairs of shoes is baby gonna get if da Cards win?
Norman Chad: We shop at Payless Shoe Source, so we're talking ENTIRE AISLES OF SHOES.
St. Louis: Dr. Chad,
I read your insightful, groundbreaking, sometimes hairy, but overall very funny interview with the American Mustache Institute. Would you entertain a repeat engagement with that esteemed organization?
Norman Chad: Those folks promised shipment of a number of cutting-edge mustache grooming products. I waited by my front door for, like, a week. Nothing came but the rent.
McLean, Va.: Now that the Cards seem to be a good team, do you think they will finally change their helmet? This seems to be a trend in the NFL.
Norman Chad: Actually, the Cardinals are considering ditching helmets altogether in favor of wearing cones.
Anonymous: I caught the PBA finals over the weekend with my 4-year-old son while flipping channels. I found it oddly riveting. The announcers made breathless remarks that really gave it a big game feel. Is PBR and WSOP next for me?
Norman Chad: The year has a long way to go, but you will be hard-pressed to find better sports television than the Patrick Allen-Rhino Page title match in the Tournament of Champions this past Sunday. It was a three-PBR final, with a chilling conclusion. By the way, Rhino Page is the Bowler of Destiny, and I love the kid, but the next time he needs a nine-spare to win and throws a four-count washout, heads will roll.
Rockville, Md.: Is this online chat just a way for you to take questions without shelling out the usual $1.25?
Norman Chad: Inadvertently, you have just stumbled upon the problem for the future of newspapers. As you've pointed out, nobody pays for anything on the Internet. Indeed, I am saving a buck-and-a-quarter per entry here -- this does not stimulate the economy one iota.
L'enfant Plaza: Norman--
How do you think you stack up as a poker commentator against the likes of Gabe Kaplan? You may have the edge in terms of wit, but he will always have a relationship with the Sweathogs.
Norman Chad: Gabe is a better poker player, a better entertainer, funnier than me and has a better-groomed and better-dyed mustache and beard. I've got Lon.
Atlanta: Do you think that Warner knows that Jesus never saw a football, and doesn't give a flying vine or fig tree who wins the Super Bowl?
Norman Chad: Actually, the soccerazzi would insist that Jesus only watches MLS Cup.
Milwaukee, Wis.: When you used to write an NFL picks column, you said your point spread selections were "for recreational purposes only." Can we assume, given your massive financial responsibility to various ex-wives, that you made some serious coin with bookies on your Team of Destiny?
Norman Chad: I have not made a sports bet since enduring a career-ending wagering week in the summer of 1984. (Bet a baseball game six straight days, doubling the wager each time. Lost 'em all.) In what was the best decision of my adult life -- you don't want to know what my worst decisions were -- I determined that it was next-to-impossible to beat that game, that it was emotionally injurious to bet on any sport and that my life would be irretrievably damaged if I continued to wander around each afternoon trying to figure out which games I would wager on that night. With absolute certainty, I now know I was right.
Betting on the National Anthem: Jennifer Hudson is singing. Do you have an over/under?
Norman Chad: In a Super Bowl first, she has actually already started singing the 'Star-Spangled Banner.' Should wrap up just in time for Matt Millen to give us one more key to the game. ("Turnovers!")
Eating at My Desk: I just discovered that if I take alternate bites of my PBJ and leftover pizza slice, the flavor improves geometrically for both. Have I inadvertently invented the Lunch of Destiny?
Norman Chad: You haven't lived until you've had PBR with a PB&J while watching the PBA.
Stone Ridge, Va.: Why is Arizona the "Cardinals" while Stanford is the "Cardinal"?
Norman Chad: Arizona is a large state. Palo Alto is a small community.
Cherry Hill, N.J.: Who is the most famous Cardinals fan? If the answer is John McCain, this probably isn't going to end well, is it?
Norman Chad: Probably Jeremy Miller, who played one of the kids on "Growing Pains." I believe he sublets a loft in Biosphere 2.
Akron, Ohio: Should Earl Anthony's birthday be a national holiday?
Norman Chad: It is in Couch Slouch Nation.
Dupont Circle: Norman,
Can we now say that the Cardinals "are who (you) thought they were?"
And will your ex-wives "let (you) off the hook?"
Norman Chad: Tragically, I was who my ex-wives thought I was, at the time of the family-court hearing.
Arcola, Va.: Papa Fitzgerald needs to keep his cool in the press box while his son pulls down highlight reel catches on the field -- would you be able to do the same if a child of yours appeared in the WSOP?
Norman Chad: If a child of mine appeared in the WSOP, first of all there would be a blood test.
Scottsdale, Ariz.: For an encore, can you come up with Saturday's Powerball numbers?
Norman Chad: XLIII
Montclair, Va.: As a former St. Louis Football Cardinals fan, I have to say the owner sucks. Go Steelers!
Norman Chad: Bill Bidwill is no Art Rooney. But he does for bow ties what Tom Selleck did for mustaches.
Orange: When will the Super Bowl bring back Up With People? I know the wardrobe malfunction they had at Knotts Berry Farm was unfortunate, but they deserve a second chance, don't you think?
Norman Chad: Up With People is currently Down On Luck -- they had some Bernie Madoff stock.
The Future: Who's got the inside track on your team of destiny in 2010?
Norman Chad: This is never revealed until the eve of the new season. It is the ONLY thing I keep Shirley out of the loop on.
New York: Is it fair that a city has to play against an entire state? It doesn't seem fair to me. So why then are the Cardinals the underdog when they have an entire state to work with?
Norman Chad: The state is mostly tumble weed and strip malls.
Bethesda, Md.: If the World Series of Poker were played during the Super Bowl, which would you choose?
Norman Chad: Uh, have you ever played poker before? One of the joys of the game is that YOU CAN WATCH TELEVISION as you're playing! It's different than, say, a heart surgeon who might be distracted if he were watching "Lost" during a complex procedure.
Satan, Hell: What do I do with Peter King and Stephen A. Smith for suggesting Warner doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame?
Norman Chad: If Peter King "reported" that Kurt Warner would not be in the Hall of Fame, then I assume he will be.
Arlington, Va.: I don't believe you're really rooting for the Cardinals. The fact that you endorsed Rolling Rock, which was made in Latrobe, PA, which happens to be the home of the Steelers training camp can't be a coincidence. People like you (blue-collar looking, beer drinking, card playing) don't root for the Arizona Cardinals...they root for a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was disappointed enough that your chose PBR over Iron City but to chose the Cardinals over the Steelers is just too much.
Norman Chad: Understand this -- the Steelers are my favorite sports franchise of all time. Three of their current players -- Roethlisberger, Polamalu and Hines Ward -- are among my favorite players of all-time. And I will be thrilled if the Steelers win on Sunday. But am I supposed to dump my Team of Destiny on the mother of all destiny days? WHAT ARE YOU, NUTS? To make it up to you, I will buy a single can of Iron City this weekend.
Dayton, Ohio: Is it too soon for talk of the Team of Destiny to be a Team of 'Dynasty'?
Norman Chad: Dynasty? By this time next year, Kurt Warner could be halfway back to Pluto or working at Kroger's.
Washington, D.C.: Please tell Shirley to stop calling me. Also, did you know Boswell often tells her to "Pay the man"? Is he seeing her secretly? Isn't "Pay the man" your copyright? You could be rich after this lawsuit. No wait, as a thrice-married man, you'll never be rich ... never mind.
Norman Chad: Boswell's a punk not man enough to type a single word on my 1977 Smith Corona portable. What, I'm supposed to respect a guy who treats the World Series of Baseball like it's high art?
Pittsburgh: The city is mostly weed and strip malls.
Norman Chad: But they get the good weed, from Brooklyn.
Arlington, Va.: Norman -- Doesn't all the Jesus talk coming out of Warner and some of his teammates bother you?
Norman Chad: It would bother me more if they were in contact with bin Laden.
McLean, Va.: With the economy the way it is, it's pretty hard to make a living $1.25 at a time. Could you consider raising the payout for our pearls of wisdom to $1.50, or at least give us a cut of the book and movie rights to your columns?
Norman Chad: Listen, pal, postal costs are up and my revenue stream is down. Plus I live in California, where the governor wants to tax me if I pick a dime up off the street. You're lucky it's not the 99-Cent Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway.
New York: Do you think this Super Bowl is a matchup of the smallest markets among NFL cities? The suits must be hating this. I think the only combination that would be worse for them would be a Buffalo-Green Bay matchup.
Let the good times roll.
Norman Chad: I don't think the Super Bowl matchup ever makes much of a difference, viewer-wise. What, if it were Titans-Vikings, everyone's gonna tune in to Lifetime TV for "The Patty Duke Story"? Everyone watches the Super Bowl. You cannot walk into a bar, restaurant or hotel anywhere in America without TVs tuned to the Super Bowl.
Roanoke, Va.: Being a Gonzaga Grad...guess I have to cheer for the Steelers since Bidwell went to Prep. Will this game even be close?
Norman Chad: Bidwell went to Georgetown Prep? Man, it pays to have connections.
Burke, Va.: With the game, commercials, and Bruce as the halftime show, when is a guy supposed to pee? How can I convince my wife to allow me to use that container they gave me in the hospital?
Norman Chad: I bought a nine-inch, black-and-white TV at Rodmans in 1982 (for $49) and placed it in my apartment's men's rest room to solve this very problem. Now, 27 years later, my rabbit ears are no longer gonna be good with this damn digital conversion next month.
NYC: I can understand why the Steelers are your favorite sports franchise of all time, but why are Roethlisberger, Palumalu, and Hines Ward three of your favorite players of all time?
Norman Chad: What, I am supposed to like Bill Romanowski, Terrell Owens and Jeff George? How can you NOT like those Steelers? They play hard and they play right.
Washington, D.C.: Though I have facial hair I don't agree with the AMI. They refer to us as men as mustached, while I prefer the more politically correct term of mustachioed. Will you support my cause?
Norman Chad: You have a mustache, sir. 'Mustachioed' sounds like a dessert at a Swiss bistro.
Props: Has Boomer called to congratulate you on your team of destiny pick?
Norman Chad: Norman Esiason is too busy with his myriad broadcasting obligations to call a fellow Norman. (I understand he wanted to endorse Nutri System for Men, but they told him he wasn't heavy enough.)
Anonymous: Your apartment had separate bathrooms for men and women. Brilliant!
Norman Chad: Separate twin beds for my ex-wives, too, a la Rob and Laura Petrie.
Obama's Stimulus Package: Elsewhere in today's post George Will quoted Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, who said: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." So the deference accorded this president should be proportional to his willingness to acknowledge that neither he nor anyone else can know whether the stimulus will work. Would Obama therefore have just as much chance stimulating the economy if he took AF1 to Vegas, baby, and put $853 Billion on red?
washingtonpost.com: George Will on Stimulus Math (Post, Jan. 29)
Norman Chad: You are a wise, wise soul.
Washington, D.C.: Can the NFL please enforce the "Hevad Khan rule" to players making routine tackles? I'm tired of seeing players acting like fools every time they make a tackle.
Norman Chad: I agree with you. Plus, the next time Tom Coughlin runs onto the field to whine to an official, I'm going to reach through my TV set (the large screen) and drag him off the field by the scruff of his neck.
$1.25... a mere pittance: Did you hear that Phil Ivey bet $1 million on the game? And did you hear which team he bet on?
Norman Chad: Phil Ivey bets $1 million on the over/under for a traffic signal to change at the intersection of Sunset and Vine. He likes action.
Anonymous: As someone named Norman doesn't it bother you that someone with the same name asks people to call him Boomer? I mean, Norman ain't great, but Boomer is worse. It's like this woman I know named Miriam who calls herself Muffy. My grandma was Miriam. Muffy is just crap.
Norman Chad: I believe I dated Muffy -- we went Dutch once at IHOP, she said I was cheap and she left in a huff. I finishes her short stack.
Anyway, that's it for me. It's been a pleasure. Drive safely, and please come back.
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