Monday, January 22, 2007

Playa Hater's Ball: Super Bowl XLI

At this juncture in my life, I don't see myself as a pessimist anymore. My unbridled cynicism has infested every aspect of my being. Pessimist is far too soft a label for a hater of my stature. We have reached the point where I can't help but find the negative aspects of even my favorite things in this world; i.e., the Super Bowl.

It's America's quintessential national holiday - a time when family and friends get together, eat fattening snack foods, down several alcohol-infused beverages, and gather around a glowing piece of metal to watch hundreds of ploys for you to buy shit you don't need. And there's some kind of football game of large significance being played - but half the people watching could care less. This inevitably leads to inane questioning and bitching of monumental proportions by those not immersed in pro pigskin - and, correspondingly, great agitation of people like myself, who wonder why the hell we went to a party to watch this game with these people, knowing damn well that a six-pack, batch of chicken wings and a closed door with the game would bring us more joy.

At this time I would like to redirect your attention to the negative sides of this year's festivities. This year has brought us sensational parity in the NFL. By parity, I mean bad quarterback play, poor decision making and a lot of three-and-outs. The big game pits the embattled Colts against the tradition-heavy Chicago Bears, in a showdown sure to make Sprint, Gatorade, MasterCard, the NFL shop, and a myriad of other Peyton product pitchers salivate.

I bring to you an open vent, teeming with frustration and disgusting over-analysis. The following are 5 storylines you will be tired of in two weeks, after they have been incessantly bashed into your skull by the media powers that be:

1) Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are great friends.
Remember the Herm Edwards - Tony Dungy snugglefest that we were treated to in the wild card round? Imagine that, ad nauseam, times 3450 this week. I expected all-out man groping at the end of that game after the fluffy sideline reporters' pieces about those two lovebirds. Now, let's dissect this same storyline, again and again, only now all the media outlets who DON'T cover sports 355 days a year can get in on the act, too.
My realistic hope is that the friendship aspect takes a back seat to the fact that these two men are the first African-American coaches in the history of the NFL to make it to the Super Bowl. This is a big moment in the history of the league, and should be treated as such. No sarcasm there, just keeping it real.

2) Peyton gets the monkey off his back
Well, not quite. My early pick is the Indianapolis Peytons in this game, but we'll be treated to 'he doesn't have the big win' angles for another X amount of seasons if he goes Marino on us and loses in 2 weeks. Unlike most of the country, I DIDN'T want to see him beat Captain America and Coach Obi Wan in the AFC title game. Why? Because the Peyton Manning face brings me great joy. His reaction after Logan Mankins fell on that loose ball in the end zone was the best laugh I had all week. Please don't take that away from me, football gods. A relieved, smiling Peyton isn't nearly as entertaining as a laser-armed ball of frustration.

3) Can the Bears win in spite of Grossman?
Oh, Rextasy. Your monumental douchebaggery cost me many a fantasy game this season. Now, after leading 'On The Clock' to a staggering 4-9 mark, you've gone and rode your great defense through a weak NFC all the way to the promised land. I'd like to think that The Sex Cannon (name credit - KissingSuzyKolber sports blog), who looked like a 4-year old who lost his Mommy in the mall at the end of the first half Sunday, would be inept enough to fold under pressure, but the guy is just as likely to throw a tipped-touchdown pass to Berrian. And no, the Bears can't win in spite of Grossman. They'll need a solid effort from him if they expect to win big XLI.

4) The Colts D was crap in the regular season
And now, they're... well, less crappy. Bob Sanders is making himself into the biggest difference maker in the league at safety for the way his presence has changed the persona of the Colts defense the past three weeks. If it were up to our instant-oatmeal-society ESPN analysts, we would send him to Canton right now. We also would have put Tony Romo somewhere between Staubach and Aikman the day after Thanksgiving, though, and you know how that turned out. My circumvented point is that Sanders turns the Colts defense from horrible to slightly below average, and that will probably be enough to slow down Rextasy and the Bears' solid running game.

5) Prince: too risque for halftime?
This is for the Fox Newses of the world. Who cares? I'm 22, not 32. Prince is before my time, and I've never claimed to be big on old school jams. My best memory of Prince was the time Charlie Murphy and I got our asses handed to us at his crib playing basketball. I say we bring Janet back, nipple clips and all.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go serve Harris, Jennings, and Wideman pancakes.

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