What will matter most? The fact that Seattle has no players with Super Bowl experience, or their youth and speed and top-ranked defense? Or will the game be won by Denver’s suddenly stout rush defense and Peyton Manning’s blessed right arm?
This is what we love about sports, and what we adore about football. We have the zero-sum certainty of the final score, and the game we’ve watched since birth has ballooned into the singular American event.
It’s easy to frame the Marshawn Lynch affair as the quiet athlete pummeled by the press, the self-righteous media wronged by an entitled player who should be honored to be there and to be coveted by the masses. But it’s hardly the case.
Everything is larger in New York, and Super Bowl Boulevard is no exception. It has the obscene, fun-house distortion you expect when a party is thrown in Times Square.
This game hasn’t grabbed America’s five-second attention span as it normally does. For lack of a more creative characterization, the Super Bowl, up to now, has been boring.
It’s not as toxic a topic as the New York/New Jersey border war, or as socially inflamed as the Richard Sherman saga. But, in a strictly sporting sense, it really is the topic du jour. If he wins Sunday’s Super Bowl, is Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback in NFL history?
If it took 48 years to get the Super Bowl in a cold-weather state, there’s a reason. It’s a bad reason. This game is meant to be played in warmer weather, for a thousand reasons.
In the days since his rant, Sherman has moonwalked from his outburst. Well, kinda. He didn’t apologize for humiliating Michael Crabtree, but insisted he was sorry for deflecting from his team.
It seems the Yankees were steadfast in their budgetary discipline. Until they weren’t. And thank goodness for that. Not only are we spoiled Yankees fans better off, but so is baseball.
This game will be framed as the mouthy Seahawks vs. the modest Manning, the Compton street ball anarchy of Richard Sherman vs the southern charm and royalty of America’s first football family.
If you’re going to be alarmed by any statistic, it’s Peyton Manning’s microscopic comebacks in the playoffs.
No matter who has the edge Sunday, it seems the nation is rooting for Manning, because it’s been harder for him to win, because he’s not so pretty, because he’s considered one of us, because you get the sense that his aw-shucks, southern refrain is real.
Since most men don’t have the time, money, and desperation for such municipal waste, we have the A-Rod apologist, who, like their fallen icon, has resorted to vast swaths of illogical reasoning, deflection, and denial in his defense.
Whatever synapse says “stop” never found its way to Rodriguez. Among the myriad malaprops and missteps, he never knew when to say when. And that is what killed what should have been a dream life.
My hands may be white from all the chalk I pick, you know there will be one supreme surprise this week. But where? Since we went 3-1 last week – losing with the wretched Bengals, like everyone else – let’s try our hand at the most heavenly weekend of a most horrible winter.