Once again, I got caught up listening to a sports talk radio show out of Philadelphia on my way home from work tonight. Like it has been for much of the last week and a half, the Super Bowl was the topic of conversation. The question posed to the listeners today was “Is this the least-hyped, most boring Super Bowl ever?” Seems silly when you consider the fact football is the most popular sport in America and the NFL basically owns three days of the week for five months a year. But then I got to thinking: do I care about this Super Bowl less than previous Super Bowls? Could it be?
The answer is, begrudgingly, yes.
Perhaps I am on football overload, or perhaps I am just sick and friggin’ tired of the Patriots, but I can safely say that I am less excited about this Super Bowl than I have been about any Super Bowl since I stopped watching the event just for the commercials. As I thought about this, I began to come up with a few reasons why this Super Bowl just doesn’t have the excitement of Super Bowls past…
1) It’s the Patriots. Again.
Aren’t y’all just sick of the Pats? I know I am. I mean, except for the first four weeks when Tom Brady was suspended, we all knew it was gonna be the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The rest of the AFC was just that weak. We could pretend for a few weeks that the Steelers or the Chiefs, maybe even the Raiders could upend them, but really, we knew Tom Brady and Co. were going to be in the Super Bowl. We just knew it.
2) The media really only covered, like, two football teams plus Colin Kaepernick all year.
…And yes, one of those teams was the Pats. I watched a ton of ESPN and FS1 this year and honestly, the media seemed to only talk about the Pats and the Cowboys. Lord, can you imagine the circus we would have if Dem Boyzzzzz and the Pats were in the Super Bowl? It would be insane. Like, ESPN would probably cease to function and Skip Bayless would be even more intolerable than usual. See, the problem is that the sports media focused so heavily on those two teams that every other team flew under the radar. For example, most people didn’t know the Chiefs were really good this year. Heck, most people didn’t know the Falcons were good! Not only that, but Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests got way more media attention than we thought it would (not that it was necessarily a bad thing). The media was so focused on the Pats, Dem Boyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, and Colin Kaepernick, we never got to see how good some of the other NFC teams were (I say only NFC teams because let’s be real: the AFC sucked hard this year).
3) The election.
Nothing takes the joy out of the football season like a contentious, ridiculous, rancorous election. Seriously, I had a hard time focusing on how miserable my Arizona Cardinals were because I was too busy languishing over comments about sexually assaulting woman and banning entire religious groups from entering our country. Unlike the World Series, which offered us a wonderful break from the vile, rape-y rhetoric courtesy of our soon-to-be-elected president, the Super Bowl has not offered us a respite. In fact, even the sports talk shows are talking about Trump because the athletes are talking about Trump (you know, except Brady. Yeah, I went there.). Donald Trump’s executive orders (and the subsequent protests) have dominated the news in such a way that the Super Bowl has become an afterthought. Leave it to The Donald to ruin the Super Bowl.
This might sound crazy, I know. You can’t blame LeBron James for the lack of Super Bowl hype, but sports shows are endlessly covering the LeBron vs Charles Barkley feud. If LeBron stopped complaining, there would be more time to cover the Super Bowl. Not that LeBron needs to stop complaining, but he could hold off until Monday.
5) Pitchers and catcher report in exactly two weeks!!!!!!!!!!
BASEBALL IS ALMSOT BACK AND I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF.
I’m sure there are other reasons this year’s Super Bowl is not as exciting as years past, but these were the big five that I could come up with. I’m still looking forward to the game, and I will watch it gleefully, but this year is so different. It’s a shame that I can’t be as excited about this year’s Super Bowl. It will still be a big day and it should be a great game, but gosh darn it, I wish I was a little more enthusiastic.