I hope at least some of you are getting the chance to relax and enjoy yourselves in the run-up to the Big Game. And in the interest of sampling which stories you’re watching this weekend, we might as well have an open thread while we finalize our tailgating plans. We’ll have the official predictions tomorrow, but if you want to put some last minute money down to fatten your wallet, do what I’m planning… pick whoever Ed didn’t take.

But in the meantime, in case your bookie wants you to post your wagers earlier, we’ll check in on what some of the experts are saying. An ape (specifically an orangutan) in Utah has a pretty good track record on picking winners and he’s already weighed in.

Eli, an ape at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, has correctly predicted the winner of the past six Super Bowls. He hasn’t been wrong since 2006 – if I were you, I wouldn’t bet against him.

His process is a simple one: he runs into a cage with two paper-machete helmets representing the two teams facing off in the big game. Whichever helmet he smashes first is his predicted winner. This year he went straight for the Seahawks helmet, “without any hesitation.” Tough break for the Denver Broncos, especially from an ape with the same name as Peyton Manning’s brother.

You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, particularly when a monkey is holding it, so we should probably get some other opinions. The two psychic manatees in Florida aren’t going to be any help, since they each chose a different team.

But going solidly with the Broncos, we have the Puppy Bowl puppies, a black rhino in Iowa, a raccoon in Nebraska and two komodo dragons. Just to show that there is no definite consensus here, in addition to the ape the Seahawks have gotten the nod from a psychic rabbit, a pot bellied pig and a porcupine.

Sadly, Paul the Octopus was unavailable for comment, having already gone to the great calamari buffet in the sky. (But he usually just picked soccer games anyway, so it’s probably not that much of a loss.)

If that helps you in any weekend gambling choices, you should probably stay away from the sports betting tables. Meanwhile, let me know what non-football breaking news you’re interested in.

Tags: animals NFL