This, evidently, is what it has come to. Kerry Collins and Trent Dilfer are your Super Bowl quarterbacks.
Either Collins, a man paraded before the American sporting public not too long ago as a redneck, racist drunk, or Dilfer, who failed miserably as the last piece of the puzzle in Tampa Bay, will join the likes of Namath, Bradshaw and Montana as a championship-winning quarterback. Something is very, very wrong here.
I suppose it's my duty as a sports writer to watch the Super Bowl and all, but I really couldn't bring myself to devote a Sunday to the less-than epic conference title games. Raiders/Ravens and Vikings/Giants? Ugh. The Ravens/Giants Super Bowl subsequently spawned is even worse. This year, it doesn't really feel like an Event.
Back in the day (a time period that, for a 21-year old, means the early '90s) the playoffs were a clash of the titans, teams like the Cowboys, Niners and Packers that were filled with stars. These current playoffs aren't a clash of the titans, or even the Titans. They've given us a pair of Super Bowl combatants whose only nationally recognized players are Jason Sehorn and Ray Lewis. The former is most famous for his chiseled abs and actress fiancee, while the latter is best known for his involvement in the murder of two men during Super Bowl weekend last year.
(I fail to understand, however, why some have mentioned Lewis in the same breath with Rae Carruth, who was sentenced Monday to more than 18 years in prison for his role in the ambush murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Carruth had his son's mother killed - and wanted the baby killed as well - because he didn't want to pay more child support. Lewis was attempting to play peacemaker in the midst of a violent fight, even if he did help in the cover-up attempt afterwards.)
Even without megawatt stars, this Super Bowl could have been saved by the presence of two elite teams. That, alas, is not the case here. The Ravens might be worthy champions - after all, the case can be made that their defense is the best in NFL history - but I still don't believe in the Giants.
New York finished 12-4 in the regular season, good for first in the NFC, and crushed the Vikings 41-0 in the conference title game, but to me the G-Men look like the second coming of the 1998 Atlanta Falcons. The Dirty Birds - if you remember that nickname - overachieved to reach the Super Bowl, got pasted by the Broncos and crashed back to Earth the following season.
Hey, I'm an open-minded guy. I'd love to be proven wrong by both teams. But something tells me keeping my mind open Sunday will be easier than keeping my eyes open.