Back in the 1990s, Ed Manuel was known as "The Singing Mayor of Contra Costa County" because of his affinity for composing impromptu lyrics and persuading everyone to bellow out a song with him on the spot.
His passion for song may be matched only by his passion for the San Francisco 49ers, so it's no surprise the two intersected. In honor of the 49ers' second Super Bowl championship in January 1985, Manuel composed a tune titled "49ers All the Way."
Now, decades later, Manuel wants to share his musical tribute on a grander scale. A video of Manuel crooning was uploaded to YouTube last week in preparation of the 49ers' latest Super Bowl run.
But Manuel is not content to share his musical talents with
And Manuel has every reason to believe that Lee will have the chance to take him up on the offer. Though neither a numerologist nor an oddsmaker, the 49ers fanatic says his team has a better than 2-1 chance of winning Super Bowl XLVII.
"History is on the side of the Niners against the (Baltimore) Ravens," says Manuel, who served on the Hercules council from 1991 to 1996 and now lives in Concord.
The actual odds of a 49ers win Feb. 3 are 18-7, "better than the Vegas odds," Manuel
It's gotten more lopsided recently. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in 2010; the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in 2009 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2006.
The New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams in 2005, 2004 and 2002, respectively. The only exceptions since the turn of the millennium were the Ravens over the New York Giants in 2001 and the Rams over the Tennessee Titans in 2000 -- assuming Giants and Titans are human.
Animal teams held their own in the Super Bowl's first decade.
"The (Miami) Dolphins spoiled my thing because they won twice in the 1970s," against the Washington Redskins in 1973 and Minnesota Vikings in 1974. "The only animal team to beat a human team twice," he adds.
Manuel has spent the last few days refining his technique of predicting Super Bowl winners, and on Tuesday he said he was close to "cracking the Super Bowl Code."
One component is "The Magic Four." When teams from the same conference win three Super Bowls in a row, the winner in the fourth year usually will be from the same conference, Manuel found. In the fifth year it could go either way.
The last three Super Bowl winners -- New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints -- are NFC teams. Guess who's going to win on Sunday.
The pattern has held true all but once since the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970, Manuel said. AFC teams won in 1973-1976 and 2004-2007; NFC teams in 1985-1988, 1989-1992 and 1993-1996. The exception to the Magic Four rule was 1982, when an NFC team won following three consecutive AFC wins.
Guess who the 1982 team was. (the 49ers, who beat the Cincinnati Bengals that year in Super Bowl XVI).
That brought on a discussion about luck and the importance of auspicious patterns within your division. For that, Manuel takes a page from Feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of configuring structures in harmony with spiritual forces.
He calls it "Super Bowl Feng shui."
His studies so far suggest that, "When you are an 'animal team' surrounded by three 'human teams,' then you are the most unlucky, your Feng Shui is negative."
He cites the NFC East, with three human teams -- New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins -- and one animal team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
"The Eagles have been there (to the Super Bowl) twice and lost twice," Manuel said.
Somewhat messing up his theory of the unluckiest, he concedes, are the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings -- human teams that have each been to the Super Bowl four times and lost each time -- the Bills four in a row, 1991-1994.
Manuel has fewer doubts about applying Feng shui to pick the luckiest team.
"I think it's a human team surrounded by three animal teams," he says.
The NFC West is composed of the Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and ... the 49ers -- who also are 5-0 in the Super Bowl.
"So who's Lady Luck?" Manuel said.
Manuel has some advice for the team the 49ers beat in the NFC championship game: "If I were the Atlanta Falcons, the first thing I would do is change the team name."
The next thing they might want to do is hire Manuel to compose a new team song.