February 5, 2010

Is the Super Bowl here yet?

Let’s pretend for a minute that I hated sports. Wholeheartedly despised them with a passion that made Rush Limbaugh seem subdued. If I had to choose between watching an entire football game or sticking my fingers in a pencil sharpener for three hours, call me Knubby McHands.

Let’s also say that last Sunday after a routine trip to the doctor’s office, I learned that my repulsion of sports had consequently given me a brain tumor, curable only by spending every waking minute watching Super Bowl coverage. With every aspect of this game meticulously analyzed by talking heads, what would I actually learn about these two teams, aside from the fact they’ll run around for three hours this Sunday and eventually one of them will go home with a giant phallic trophy? Here are the three overblown and repetitive Super Bowl subplots that  would replace the void in my brain left by the malignant growth.

1. Dwight Freeney’s ankle
The only other time I’ve seen a human body part receive this much media coverage is when Britney Spears unsheathed herself while exiting her car. This thing is a superstar in the making. If Freeney plays in the game, expect several cameramen devoted to working the “anklecam,” where his right appendage will be under constant surveillance from every possible ankle (unintentional typo, but I think it works). NBC is probably already in the process of hiring a top-notch doctor to report from the sidelines and conduct exclusive in-game interviews with the ankle. Any “Grey’s Anatomy,” “ER,” or “House,” celebrity attending the game will receive a gratuitous amount of airtime between plays. The pre-game teaser will end with “Up next: three whole hours of Dwight Freeney’s ankle, featuring a football game between the Saints and Colts.” Somebody amputate this thing before it runs for President in 2012.
2. The game’s outcome will determine whether or not New Orleans will fully recover from Katrina
The tragedy that struck New Orleans back in 2005 caused widespread devastation and…wait, this is an editorial, not a Brian Williams segment. Katrina was, like, almost half a decade ago. If a Saints’ Super Bowl victory is the only way the city can complete its rebuilding process, I’m suddenly a lot less shocked that a little rain and water managed to destroy it in the first place. This city wants something to celebrate (um, Mardi Gras? Hello??) so badly that it hedged its bets and announced that it would hold a parade regardless of the game’s outcome. Isn’t that like going to the racetrack and placing a bet on “all the horses will have fun”?
3. I’m drowning in flattery
Everyone loves a little trash talk. This game is far too devoid of it.  It’s sickening. The teams are exchanging pleasantries like two teenage high school girls whose life sustenance is the compliments that they disengenuinely exchange  to boost each other’s self-esteem. A few years back, Hall-of-Fame basketball coach John Cheney substituted a benchwarmer into a game with the sole purpose of having him injure one of the opponents. Is it too much to ask for the Saints’ third-string punter to call Peyton Manning a pansy or claim Dwight Freeney’s feigning injury? I’m begging, here.
Now let’s get real. My good health doesn’t require me to sit through a week of this stuff. I love to consume as much sports as my fanaticism will permit, but as the adage goes, “too much of anything, is never a good thing.” I’m practically counting down the minutes until this game starts, so all the pundits will shut up for three hours until the postgame stories emerge. Until then, my index finger moves ever closer to the pencil sharpener atop my desk.

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