The Super Bowl is an amazing thing. It is the championship game of the NFL at its most basic analysis, and a cultural phenomenon at it most explicit.
In a five-hour span, about one-third of the United States population tunes in intending to watch something. It may not even be the actual football game. It could be the halftime show musical act. Some people like Katy Perry; they may even like her music. Some people can’t wait for the commercials; I’m one of those people who still uses commercial time to go find some more dip. But Super Bowl commercials have become as big as the game itself. Even people who hate sports will watch the Super Bowl to see how some companies have used the most expensive air-time available.
And yes, there is a football game, with teams that must endure my pregame breakdown. This is the final asinine game preview of the NFL season. This is the Super Bowl for asinine analysis.
Sunday, February 1
New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
In one corner, we have the Seattle Seahawks, the team that came from behind in the NFC Conference Championship against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The epic comeback occurred in the game’s final minutes and was finished off with a touchdown bomb in overtime. It’s the sort of game that gives both Seattle and Green Bay fans heart attacks, for much different reasons.
But it hasn’t been all lollipops and rainbows for the Seattle Seahawks. Okay, there were plenty of Jim Carroll hugs, but that’s to be expected. The Seahawks had to praise Marshawn Lynch as much as they had to endure him. Contract holdouts, stereotypical Lynchian press conferences and a few crotch-grabs have made a great season for a running back seem like a running joke that only Lynch knows the punchline to.
As far as the Seahawks finding themselves in their current situation, the preseason speculation hype was half right. They have weathered the loss of some of their defensive players to establish themselves as the premiere defense again this season. The Seattle Seahawks have almost proved that they have what it takes to be Super Bowl champion repeats. Now they just have to get past the last team, coach and quarterback to repeat: the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady.
Ah, the New England Patriots. This was a season where quarterback Tom Brady seemed to have a resurgence. It’s not that he fell apart last year, but that’s what happens when you don’t make it to the Super Bowl for a year. The fans start screaming for resignations from the Hall of Fame-bound players and coaches, that the team is horrible and lost and needs to start from scratch again. Some have labeled this Yankee Syndrome due to its origins with fans of the New York Yankees. Interestingly, it has never affected New York Giants fans, but has become an epidemic in the Boston area.
And let’s not forget tight end Rob Gronkowski, the pass-catching giant who was healthy for the whole year. At least, he was healthy when I wrote that last sentence. I don’t want to be blamed for jinxing Gronk to the point that he twists his ankle leaving the podium during a Super Bowl press conference.
Yes, the New England Patriots seemed to glide controversy-free through the whole season, and be poised to show the NFL once again that they have not faded gently into that good night reserved for the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s. And then, well… balls.
That’s as far as I’m going to get into that because, seriously, you’ve probably heard more coverage from NFL reporters about balls in the past two weeks than a doctor at a urology convention.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.