WITH KICKOFF A DAY AWAY, it’s all about what goes on between the ears and between the lines.

No, Comic Riffs refers not to the rematch of the New England Patriots and New York Giants — at least not to the finely tuned athletes themselves — but rather to the finely attuned armchair humorists who have been drafted to mine laughs from Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI.

Drawing up your postgame satire typically makes for easier sport. The well-played pregame take, however, can be a more challenging assignment — especially amid the hype and the early TV ads and the hype and the betting and ... the fan hoopla that’s so impassioned it almost momentarily distracts us from the hype.

Amid the huddled mass of Super Bowl punditry and general gasbaggery, Comic Riffs — probably like many a flagging fan — can use a little genuine levity. So here are our Fave Five Super Bowl Cartoons.

And, as always with our picks: It’s never about the politics and it’s always — as with a Tom Brady “hot read” or a Jason Pierre-Paul pass-rush — about pure and simple execution.

To wit:.



(JEFF PARKER / Florida Today)


(DREW LITTON / Universal Uclick)


(GARY VARVEL / Indianapolis Star)

(CLAY BENNETT / Chattanooga Times Free Press )