The snooze bowl
The Super Bowl: the "most epic day in America," according to that ridiculous Visa commercial I'm sure you've seen several thousand times by now. Most years, I tend to agree with the advertisement. After all, who doesn't love a day when the entire country shuts down, you can gamble semi-legally and your most difficult decision all day is whether you want wings or pizza at the party that evening? It's a magical afternoon filled with friends, family and football and at the end of the day, regardless of the score, you go home a little buzzed. What could possibly be better?
This year, however, things took a sudden and drastic change for the worse. Having failed to steal Christmas several weeks ago, the Grinch exacted his revenge on America by thieving the most epic day in the nation. Instead of a potential San Francisco vs. Baltimore matchup filled with countless intriguing subplots, in two weeks we must gather around our televisions to watch the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots. Please, that's so 2008.
Had the Ravens' and the 49ers' special teams not conspired to ruin this unofficial holiday we could have seen brothers Jim and John Harbaugh go head-to-head for football's ultimate prize in a battle between two of the NFL's brightest young coaches. Now, I'm no Elias Sports Bureau, but I would wager a pretty penny that this would be a first.
Instead, we get to see a battle between geriatrics. Thankfully the game will be played indoors so we won't have to see Tom Coughlin's nose turn Crayola red, but we'll still have to see Bill Belichick looking ridiculous in that torn gray sweatshirt. Boy, won't this be fun?
I'll admit that neither of the coaches are actually playing in the game, but just look at the Giants and Patriots quarterbacks. Now we'll get to see Golden Boy Tom Brady take on Eli Manning, a gun-slinger best known for his impeccable pedigree and permanent clueless expression. Hoping either player wins another ring is about as fun as rooting for George Clooney to win another Sexiest Man Alive title.
I'd rather cheer on Alex Smith - the San Francisco quarterback who all but fled town after being taunted for everything from his decision-making to his unusually small hands. Or how about Joe Flacco? In addition to having the best moustache in the NFL, Flacco also comes from Delaware - an FCS school - and received similar criticism, not only from every analyst on television, but also from his own teammates. This is America. We love underdog stories. A win for Brady or Manning is as good an underdog story as Batman beating up one of the Joker's unnamed henchmen.
I know this all probably sounds like the disgruntled rumblings of a jealous Dallas Cowboys fan and maybe it partially is, but deep down you know I'm right. The Giants last won the big game in 2008, while the Patriots triumphed as recently as 2005. What happened to parity, or the joy of someone like David Akers finally winning a ring after almost 15 years of trying and coming up short? What happened to hoping the cameras caught Ricky Williams attempting to drill a hole in the Lombardi Trophy to use it as a bong in the Ravens' locker room after a Baltimore victory?
All these hopes which would have made for a great Super Bowl weekend are now gone. In their place we'll be treated to two weeks' worth of stories about how Eli will try to take down big brother Peyton's biggest rival in Peyton's own house. Get your popcorn ready.
Two Sundays from now, the nation will gather around to watch a game which promises as many thrills as the number of field goals Sammy Zeglinski made against Duke and Tech combined. Let's hope the Mayans miscalculated the end of the world and whatever catastrophic event is planned for December is moved up 10 months. See, when faced with the choice of either watching the end of the world or watching Eli or Brady winning another trophy, there's really only one good option. At the very least, the end of the world won't be narrated by Cris Collinsworth - and that's something we can all get behind.