The hype machine knocks softly when the month of January begins, then gets increasingly violent as championship Sunday comes and goes. Diehard fans are thrust into the fray with wannabes and jigaboos, like a Los Angeles Lakers bandwagon gone wrong. The three-hour tour begins and ends before we can get a refund on our wasted time, and then the depression hangover sets in.
I just think the day's just flat-out overrated.
I wrote about this phenomenon briefly last year in an article for The Hilltop, choosing to cover a Federer/Nadal Australian Open final instead of the Big Game in a rather pithy measure of defiance. But you can't fault me for that. Do we really need another writer to give us a Flintstone vitamin analysis? Every year it's the same thing. You've got your bevy of pre-pregame shows, with talking heads spewing opinions and overused rhetoric faster than a Republican senator at a press conference. We get new ways to present old matchups, new angles for our superstar stories, new prose to decipher Peyton's facial expressions, and a new Pentagon-sized brief on Mr. Irrelevant. It's really a case of Project Overload.
We're in a trance, controlled by the advertisers and the networks, fake-laughing and jostling with the supermarket heathens to catch up with the rising tide. The Super Bowl takes everything the diehard loves about sports and hooks it up to a dialysis machine. And we'd better move with the cloud or risk getting left behind when water cooler conversation reaches sports for the yearly pit stop.
Then, in an instant, the conga line stops. Everybody takes off their beads. And it's time to get ready for school in the morning.
It's all stupid, really.
But to dismiss the whole ordeal as irrelevant would be treason. Super Bowl is as American as apple pie, America Online, and Barry Manilow. It's the only bearable moment during winter to emerge for a New York minute before submerging for those final six weeks of winter.
I had no team in the fight, and no player worthy of analysis. Maybe that has something to do with it. But the whole event just seems like a charade, an event set up by the affluent minority as a vehicle to siphon our resources and monitor our population. But perhaps this view is a tad too Soylent Green for an issue that may be just Veggie Tales at its essence. Perhaps I should just watch this particular game without bothering to deconstruct.But then…Manning happens. And Brees happens. And Reggie Wayne realizing he's not Marvin happens. And Garrett Hartley being clutch happens. And then…the inevitable happens. Pizza pie and chocolate cake take a backseat to the study of QB ratings and the 4-3 defense. I find a way to entertain myself while submerged in the fracas. I just can't help myself.
As a sportswriter, I can never dismiss it entirely. That would be an indictment on my credibility.
There's a thin line between love and hate, and Super Bowl week can really push the envelope.
But I'm not gonna hate too hard. Congratulations Louisiana. Even though that means we'll probably see Kim Kardashian shake hands with the President in a few months.
Then my brain will explode.