Every year around this time, the media does a phenomenal job out beating dead horses and desperately trying to make stories out of things that are non-issues. It’s unspeakably annoying. It’s as if they think a game the magnitude of the Super Bowl needs additional hype or something. Here’s a few that make us want to stab ourselves in the eardrums.
Torsten’s top three:
Number One Scoring Offense vs. Number One Scoring Defense: Ok, we get it. Denver has an explosive offense, Seattle has a sturdy defense. Here’s why it’s crap. Yeah, Denver scored the most points and Seattle allowed the fewest to be scored upon them. Does it make them the best? Maybe, maybe not. Sure, Denver’s offense is great, but their point total is somewhat inflated by the fact that they continued to bomb the ball down the field in garbage time of games that were already blowouts and their opponents had essentially thrown in the towel (See 12/22 vs. Houston). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping the pedal to the medal, per se, but it’s not a matter of debate that this type of philosophy will impact point totals. Additionally, Seattle’s defensive prowess is somewhat inflated because of how brutal the atmosphere is for visiting teams. At home, they’re liable to hang a goose egg on any offense. On the road, where offensive linemen can get off with the snap as opposed to a split second late, they can be run on a little bit, and that makes a difference. But anyway, this is the Super Bowl! Obviously, any team that gets here is going to be pretty good on both sides of the ball. They have to be. That’s why they’re the last two remaining.
Richard Sherman: It’s truly ridiculous. He goes on a WWE villain-type rant in his post-game interview after making the game-deciding defensive play, insulting Michael Crabtree, and everyone is quick to call him names, including “thug.” All of a sudden, people jump on the other bandwagon. Oh, Sherman overcame incredible odds to avoid gangs in Compton, demonstrate academic excellence in high school and again in college at Stanford, and look at the genuine distress he was in over NaVorro Bowman’s gruesome knee injury! Come on… having empathy when a colleague, even an opponent, suffers a terrible injury doesn’t make you special. It makes you not a sociopath. And his assertion that being called a thug is just a notch below being called the N-word, well that’s just lunacy. For those of you that care, the word thug originates from circa-13th century India about a nefarious group of scoundrels that gave people a bad time. It was and is commonly used to describe mafia and other organized crime henchmen whose sole purpose was to physically intimidate or harm people who didn’t “play ball.” And yes, it is used in connotation with black gang members as well, but if it’s equivalent to one of the more despicable slurs out there, why did Tupac Shakur start a hip hop group called Thug Life, alluding to thug life being more about overcoming adversity and achieving success? Anyway, what it boils down to is this. I’m not a shrink, but it appears Richard Sherman is an excellent football player, academic and intelligent, a little narcissistic, and perhaps a little underdeveloped socially. But ultimately, who gives a sh*t? He’s just one player, albeit a good one, who is gonna be on the field February 2nd.
The Weed: Granted, this is more of a joke than it is a storyline; the two states who legalized recreational marijuana use are represented in football’s biggest game. But believe you me, there are those people out there (who no doubt have done their fair share of recreational using) who truly believe that it’s some kind of cosmic justice or karma. Really? On the plus side, the topic has come up of medicinal pot use in the NFL, specifically pertaining to the treatment of concussions. Which, if it’s viable, needs to absolutely be implemented. Meanwhile, the joke is old. Let it go already. It’s not like stoners are suffering from a shortage of things that they find funny.
Shaun’s top three:
Before I jump into the three storylines I am sick of hearing, I want to add to one of Torsten’s. Usually Torsten is the one that loves to throw about conspiracy theories within sports, just ask him about Sepp Blatter or the NFL referees, but he completely missed one. We are probably all sick of the Peyton Manning and Papa commercials for Papa John’s, but is it really any surprise that main sponsor of the Super Bowl is a pizza company when the two teams that make it to the game come from states that have legalized marijuana? I think not. With that said, here are the three storylines I am sick of:
Peyton Manning’s Legacy: Really?!?! So, if Manning doesn’t win another championship, does that mean he hasn’t been a great quarterback? As a Patriots fan, I inherently cannot stand Peyton Manning, but there is no debating he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl, but guess what, he was great. One more championship won’t be enough to catapult Manning over Joe Montana in the eyes of anyone that feels Montana is the greatest ever. Trent Dilfer has won a Super Bowl. The NFL’s leader in interceptions thrown last season, Eli Manning, has two rings. Peyton’s legacy is set as one of the greatest ever, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game.
Weather: When it was first announced the Meadowlands would be hosing the Super Bowl, I was really hoping it would be about -20 degrees with 60 mph winds because I feel it is a terrible idea, but now that every sports outlet has a full time meteorologist on staff to let us know what the updated projected high and low for Sunday are every half hour, I no longer care. The two teams in the game come from dynamic home climates. One, the Broncos, play their home games at high altitude and cold weather. Meanwhile, the Seahawks play in the wettest city in America. Rarely does anyone look at the weather before the first cut to the stadium during a pregame show, so why should we this week?
Media: No, seriously, I am sick of everything on TV and radio in terms of the game outside of outlets that actually look at matchups and breakdown the game. My phone sent me alerts yesterday (Monday) when each team landed at Newark Airport. What?!?! Teams flew to Jersey for the game, the plane arrived, and that is news? Thank you ESPN, you make me a dumber sports fan one update at a time. Then there is media day. A whole event dedicated to the media interviewing players…which they do every day anyway, only media day is held on the field. Oh, wait, no it isn’t, this year the game is in an outdoor stadium with snow on the ground, so they are hosting media day indoors, you know, kinda like every other interview ever.