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Sunday, February 06, 2005 

Super Sunday

I have watched every Super Bowl since stumbling upon Joe Montana taking apart Ken Anderson and the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI (hey, I was only a kid then). And I'll keep watching them the same way: I turn the TV on at kickoff time, turn it off during halftime and put the radio on, then turn the TV back on when the third quarter starts. The one exception was Super Bowl XXXVI when U2 was the halftime show. This strategy has always worked ok, though I did miss the "wardrobe malfunction" last year.

I do this because the Super Bowl has become a circus that they stop just long enough to play a football game. It has become the ultimate American sports holiday, where sports, big business, advertising, and sex appeal all come together. Take your pick of what is the most ridiculous: two weeks of hype, pre-pre-game entertainment, pre-game entertainment, the halftime "show", the commercials.

Part of what makes the NFL playoffs great is the reaction of the fans. When the home team is winning, the roar of the crowd is awesome to listen to and the celebrations are wonderful to watch. On the other hand, as Larry Bird used to say, there is nothing quite like a quiet home crowd as the visitors are pulling off a big upset. In the Super Bowl, none of that happens. There are enough fans for both sides to always make mediocre noise, unless they get bored with a lousy game.

Wouldn't you like to see tonight's game played in New England or Philadelphia? The business guys sure wouldn't (who wants to party in the northeast in the middle of winter?). I know that logistics could be a nightmare in a potential bad weather site. If the Jets could have closed out the Steelers a few weeks ago, the AFC Championship game would have been scheduled for New England on the same day that a snowstorm dumped over 2 feet of snow. The speculation was that the game would have been postponed, and if that would have been a Super Bowl, think of the ramifications.

However, the games themselves have been better than most people give them credit for. Yes, there have been 46-10 and 55-10 blowouts (thanks again Denver), but even the more recent Tampa Bay-Oakland blowout was exciting. Plus, there have been a lot of exciting finishes in the past few years, beginning with St. Louis holding on against Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV, then New England's two last second wins in XXXVI and XXXVIII.

Enjoy the game.

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