The hype has begun and it will continue non-stop right until kickoff. And I’ll do my best to ignore most of it, maybe even all of it.
The Super Bowl is still 12 days away, but already we’re being bombarded with stories about the Harbaugh brothers and Ray Lewis’ impending retirement and Colin Kaepernick’s rise to stardom and David Aker’s baffling slump and Joe Flacco’s eternal quest for respect. And that bombardment will only intensify the closer we get to the game, which is probably good for ESPN’s ratings, but not my sanity.
I enjoy playing sports and watching sports and I even enjoy writing and talking about them. I also enjoy ice cream, but if I have too much of it I get sick. And it’s the same with all the hoopla that surrounds the Super Bowl.
And it will get even worse next week, when the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers land in New Orleans for Super Bowl, er, … actually, we’re not sure exactly which Roman numeral this one is and we really don’t care.
I’ve covered several Super Bowls over the years and people always ask me what it was like to cover such a big game and how much fun it was, and I always disappoint them by telling them that it’s mainly a pain in the butt. The media crowds are oppressive, most of the story lines have already been hammered to death and you’re away from your family for a week. Also, when newspapers spend that much money to send you away for that length of time they actually expect you to produce.
OK, the parties are nice, although generally you’re too busy to really enjoy them or even attend them.
Plus the Super Bowl is a night game and you’re working on a tight deadline and you have to write a lot of copy and you don’t even get a chance to watch the game because you’re banging away on your keyboard.
Now, I sit at home with friends and family and eat too much and drink just enough and actually get to watch and enjoy the game. But I won’t watch one second of the pre-game shows, which seem to start at dawn – it’s a ritual for me to find something to do until kickoff and then sit down when the game actually begins, but not a second before.
I would also prefer to skip the commercials, not because I don’t like commercials, but because of all the hype (there’s that word again) that surrounds them and how clever they’re supposed to be and how much money they cost to air. Sadly, the people with whom I watch the Super Bowl often like the commercials more than the game itself, so it’s impossible to dodge them completely. But I try.
As for the game itself, this Super Bowl will be fun simply because I have a rooting interest, which is different from recent Super Bowls, where I was rooting for somebody to lose (usually Bill Belichick) more than rooting for somebody to win.
But, like most people around here, I’ll be pulling for the Ravens, who are kind of local for us. Plus they have that powerful Delaware connection in Flacco and Eagles connection in coach John Harbaugh. They’re both good guys who came from humble beginnings and now they’re at the tops of their professions and you have to like that.
That’s why I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl much more than I have in a long time. So, wake me up at 6:29 on Sunday night and I’ll be ready to go.
Contact Kevin Noonan at firstname.lastname@example.org.