Sunday, January 24, 2010

Super Bowl Hyperbole

Tomorrow is Championship Sunday, the final day of NFL football season.

Sure there is still the Super Bowl to be played, but with it's Mardi Gras-style sideshow, the ridiculous hype it generates, and the overly tired second week of exaggerated reporting it brings, it is more of a carnival than a championship game. It's a far cry from what it was in 1967 when Super Bowl I was played, and it is a far cry from what it was meant to be... A simple game played to determine the greatest team of the NFL season. Luckily for me, NBC has announced that it will nationally televise the Capitals/Penguins game during the Super Bowl. There is no doubt what I will be watching.

First of all, two weeks is one week too long to space between the championship games and the Super Bowl. The NFL is aware of this but refuses to change it. Instead this year, in a feeble attempt to keep our interest, the NFL is having the Pro-Bowl played in Florida on the Sunday between. It could be an attempt to boost ratings for the Pro-Bowl, which generally is a dud as far as television ratings go, or is possibly meant to ease some of the pain that the second week of Super Bowl coverage conjures... (Suddenly the pundits are talking about the Pro-Bowl and not asking ridiculous questions of the Super Bowl participants. Trust me the world really does not want to know what color of socks Bernard Berrian is wearing during the week of practice leading up to the big game.) But this is a disater in the sense that now several of the games greatest players will be ommitted from the Pro-Bowl, because who in their right mind would take a chance of an injury in the week before the biggest game of the year and possibly the biggest game of their career? So now we have a Pro-Bowl which is meant to showcase the games greatest players without the likes of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, or Brett Favre...

Secondly, get rid of the Super Bowl halftime show. I know that The Who are playing this year, but who really gives a fuck? I saw The Who a couple of years ago and it was a great concert... But goddamn. If I want to watch The Who, I can go to YouTube or catch them on the Ovation channel. I don't need them upstaging the biggest sporting event of the year. Half time should be about strategy and weakness, game scenarios and statistics; it shouldn't be extended because it is the Super Bowl, and it sure as hell shouldn't take away from the game itself by featuring a concert in a circus style atmosphere.

The system is broken. How can the NFL not see how easily this could be fixed, by merely having one week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl and keeping the halftime show pertinent to the game itself... How are they missing this?

Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell has created a story book scenario for his match up against the Jets tomorrow. He arguably allowed the Jets to enter the playoffs by sitting Manning and several other starters in week 16 of the regular season. The Jets beat the Colts that day, which built momentum and steamrolled New York's improbable run through the final regular season game and throughout the play-offs. Now as only destiny would have it, these two teams are meeting in the championship game tomorrow, and in an epic display of irony, Caldwell is facing perhaps the greatest coaching backfire in the history of NFL.

On the other side, the Vikings travel to New Orleans for what could be the matchup of the year. There are so many storylines with this game, I don't even know where to begin. There's the Brett Favre situation, who joined the Vikings at the end of pre-season exclusively for this purpose, to win the Super Bowl. Of course it won't be easy for Favre as he faces another gun slinger in Drew Brees, who arm for arm might be the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. (Yes I said it.) The Saints are explosive. With Marques Colston and Robert Meachum in the receiving corps, and Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas in the backfield, with the addition of Brees at quarterback, the Saints are a hard team to keep out of the end zone. They seem to be able to score at will... And like a fine-tuned machine when all the parts are working, it seems like nothing is capable of stopping them.

However they haven't faced a defense playing as hot as the Minnesota Vikings' defense is for a long time. Jared Allen is a monster on the line who is capable of racking up 4-5 sacks during any given game. You also have Kevin and Pat Williams to contend with on the line, and the likes of Chad Greenway, Benny Sapp, and Antoine Winfield in the back field. This defense is fast, mean, and relentless. It is designed to win championships, and the Saints will have their hands full during the entire game.

Unlike in the AFC, the NFC Championship game matches the two best teams in the conference against each other, if not the two best teams in the league. Never mind that the Saints lost their last three regular season games... They just had the machine set to idle. They came out last week (when it mattered) against the Cardinals and made a statement on both sides of the ball. Obviously against the Vikings it won't be as easy for them because Minnesota with Favre,  has the offensive weapons needed to win big games plus a stronger and better defense than the Saints do to back it up. Minnesota is a far better team than the Cardinals are and will definitely prove to be a more formidable opponent as well.

Yeah I'm pumped. I am looking forward to tomorrow... The final day of the NFL season.



Len Cleavelin said...

I agree with Lewis Black, that the ultimate Super Bowl halftime show would be a fleet of airplanes flying over the stadium dropping shit all over everything. :-)

gooseneck said...

Lewis Black is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Great idea, but will this really work?