This is the day when a great segment of our population is made homeless by the Super Bowl. Most of them are wom-en who have already seen more bowls than the latrine officer at Desert Shield. For weeks now, wives have cleaned around life-size Daddy monuments positioned in front of their TV sets who shout "Awriiiite!" but do not speak full sentences. These wives have bribed children into silence, recycled cans and braided their hair.

The only thing that has prevented them from declaring their husbands legally dead has been the promise of a few piddly timeouts and the half-time commercial break. For these few shining moments, the comatose figures come to life and either go to the bathroom or get another cold one out of the refrigerator.This is about to change. Today marks a serious showdown between two longtime adversaries in the Cola Classic. Today, the ultimate question will be settled once and for all. Who will hold the world's attention during the Burp Bowl? Pepsi or Coke?

The soft-drink companies have a game plan. Actually, they have two game plans. In an effort to keep viewers glued to their chairs, Diet Coke will have fans hold up game pieces they have collected over the weeks to a certain spot on their color TV sets. If they can unscramble a message, they are in line for millions of prizes, the top being a million dollars.

Pepsi's strategy to make sure that viewers don't move is to have them call singer Ray Charles (the toll-free number will be given when the game starts) and sing the Diet Pepsi jingle. They are offering three $1 million grand prizes. (As if Ray Charles is going to be sitting there waiting for your call, right?)

What's a sports widow to do? I know they won't rest until men have a catheter and an IV connected to them. We could wear a bikini made out of AstroTurf and warble "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," and they wouldn't move out of their chairs.

Most of the women I know have given up over the years. Unnoticed by their husbands, they slip out of the house during the game and go to the malls, where they spend more than their husbands make in a year. Others who have a little more anger clean out their husband's closet, tossing away his favorite running shoes and the only tie he ever loved.

I don't think the Super Bowl is going to stop here. Eventually it will control the minds and bodies of 750 million viewers from Thanksgiving to Easter if it has to reach out and grab them by the throats to do it.