Want to know my assessment? It was okay. The game was very competitive, but it wasn't that exciting. The last ten minutes were pretty thrilling, I will admit. But I didn't sit there afterwards and just stare at the wall, trying to come to grips with what just happened. In fact, I would say that at least four games this past year were better. I don't know if it was because I don't have any interest in either team, and I don't know anyone who does. In fact, the people who seemed the most happy about the outcome were Miami Dolphins fans and the 1972 Dolphins team.
I wanted something, you know, Super. I wanted something unbelievable. I think this is the problem. With the way that modern media is, nothing can possibly live up to the hype. We have a solid week of media blitz before the Super Bowl and twelve hours of pregame activities. This year, I tried a new approach. I didn't read anything beyond my normal columnists (Peter King, Bill Simmons) and didn't listen to sports radio except for Mike and Mike for my usual 15 minutes a day. I didn't watch any pregame stuff - except for Alicia Keys' mini concert [Side Note: Why don't they give HER the halftime show? The girl can sing. And she's had a hit since I was out of high school. Guess I answered my own question.]
With my self-imposed media blackout, I nearly forgot about the game. Well, not entirely. But it was certainly not a huge event to me. We had a fun dinner at home with lots of fun food. I gave Josiah Mountain Dew for the first (and last) time. We had banana splits. The kids ran off to watch Backyardigans. Heather called her sister-in-law. I sat there with my four month old Gabriel and watched the game. And mostly was unimpressed. The commercials were okay - but nothing absolutely incredible. The halftime show was okay, but hardly impressive. The game was good and competitive, but not something I am going to be crowing about in ten years. It was a blip.
Sports in general are becoming that to me. Want to know how much of the BCS Bowl games I watched? All combined, maybe three quarters. I maybe watched ten minutes of the championship game. I didn't care. I watched none of the World Series. I only watched bits and pieces of the NBA Finals. Unless it is one of the few teams I am pretty serious about (UCF, Orlando Magic, Yankees, Jaguars) I don't want to be that invested in the whole thing. I can't relate to these guys. They are freaks of nature - huge mountains of men, towering over us. They earn ridiculous amounts of money. We know too much about them. Back when sports coverage was limited to the paper and a few minutes on the local news, these guys were mysteries. We didn't know they were dating supermodels and using HGH and fighting with ownership over money. We never saw their agents. They were these Titans for us to look up to.
I remember when I was a kid, everyone had sports players as their heroes. Nowadays, I would never steer my boys towards an athlete as a role model. I mean, take a look at the people in the Super Bowl. You have the Patriots, a very driven and business-like team that has drained every ounce of fun out of this "game." Their coach is a humorless, rude, arrogant genius who treats everyone out of his circle like dirt. Their star quarterback is a celebrity with shaky morals. Their star receiver has been a cancer on every team he ever played on. Their main running back was so spoiled and wussy that his own teammates turned on him before he got straightened out. Their top defensive back held out for money - even though he was one of the five highest paid at that position. Their top safety was suspended for steroids, and for illegal hits. And the whole team has already been busted for cheating - and is probably going to be in bigger trouble soon. And it goes on.
The Giants? Their coach is a foul-mouthed and borderline abusive tyrant who only changed his ways when he was about to get fired. Their quarterback is a churlish and spoiled brat who bullied the team who drafted him into trading him. Their defensive star has publicly berated his coach, his teammates, and ownership and is one of the most arrogant and annoying players in the NFL. Their (injured) tight end is a loud-mouthed party boy. And it goes on. The player most people were most happy to see win the title? THE PUNTER!
It is the same story in every sport. We know too much, we hear too much, there is too much hype. And these teams and games cannot live up to all of it. As our access to sports grows and grows, I find that my interest gets smaller and smaller. I don't like what I see at the center. It covers all sports. Once upon a time, the Olympics were my favorite thing on TV. Now, I have a hard time getting into it. There are so many stories and backgrounds and fluff pieces. I just want to see the routines and races and fights. I don't want to hear about all the other stuff. I just want to know what country they play for. I want to see spectacular, spontaneous, super sports feats. I want to be blown away and awestruck - and not because the players or coaches or refs found a new way to screw up. I don't want to see someone do something awesome and wonder how many drugs are in their system. I don't want someone to have to tell me a hundred times that something was great - I want to be able to know it for myself.