I don’t want to blaspheme or be branded a heretic, but I’m already sick of the Super Bowl and it’s only Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I love how much America embraces the game. It’s become a hallmark of our sports calendar and attending one and all of its associated festivities must be a pleasure for anyone that can afford it.
But at some point enough is enough. The problem isn’t the fan experience or the parties or events. The problem is the hype machine that inundates you with the most inane perspectives, opinions and interest pieces for the week leading up to it.
I can’t blame the NFL for selling out its biggest stage to make money. That’s their right and they do it to perfection. But I also don’t have to like it. I understand why after nearly six-months of die-hard support from a ravenous fan-base the NFL pushes them out of the way and caters to a less interested, but larger mainstream audience for their championship. I get it.
I just think on some levels it ruins the Super Bowl.
First of all two weeks between the championship games and the Super Bowl is too long. Nobody cares about the Pro Bowl, especially when none of the Super Bowl participants are at the game, so the extra week is pointless from that standpoint. Just play the game.
Second, the 24-7 sports cycle is out of control. There used to be one, but now there are two channels that cover the Super Bowl non-stop with NFL Network joining the fray.
That’s two channels that have to fill at least a week up with nothing but one game. ESPN had overdone it by 2 PM on Monday of Super Bowl week. That’s not even a slight at the channel, there are just a finite number of ways to discuss a football game and those don’t even fill up a whole day most times, let alone a week.
So that’s why you get predictions from Snooki, Shaun White and Dirk Nowitzki. You have entire segments devoted to chefs (that clearly don’t watch football) teaching people to make sandwiches and tailgate snacks. You see every story ESPN has run on either team during the course of the regular and post season re-heated and served up at least three more times. You get an interview with any quarterback that finished the season with a passer rating over 80 or has a name that rhymes with Slim Slebow. There’s a press conference with Madonna, they interview anyone with anything to do with the event or the host city. And have you see what media day has become?
At some point it becomes about anything but football because all the good football-related talking points were made on Monday, reiterated on Tuesday and beat into the ground by Wednesday.
It’s gotten to be too much. On Sunday they’ll have a red-carpet so you can watch celebrities arrive at the game. They’ll take 31 minutes for the halftime show and you’ll be getting celebrity tweets and predictions read to you all day.
And the sad part? There’s a really great football game happening on Sunday.
After being absolutely blitzed with coverage, stories, images, pictures and more inane garbage than you can shake a stick at you slowly become numb to the fact that at the heart of all this is a rematch of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, a game that is likely to be a real joy to watch.
The media, ESPN, NFL Network, they may try to tell you that there are some truly great stories this week at the Super Bowl. They’re wrong, there were some great stories. But those were all already told, several times in most cases.
To me, the only real story is that all of this, all of the glitz and over-produced glamor, are only detracting from the game at this point.