I really hate the Super Bowl. I know this may sound absurd coming from a writer who constantly expresses that the NFL is the greatest game in the history of mankind. But I’ve never signed on to the notion that moving the final game out of a partisan stadium to a neutral location, adding an extra week in between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, and piling on all the fluff surrounding the big game to reach a wider audience of non footbal fans makes for a superior on-field product in any sense. And I say this with a current streak of four consecutive great Super Bowls (starting with the last time the Giants and Patriots met, more on that later). I also don’t like the fact that the Super Bowl has found a permanent home in the month of February. This started ten years ago when it was a necessity because of the games cancelled following 9/11 and it was quite a controversy back then, but now it has become the norm.
Then, just this morning, I read one of the most absurd propositions ever. The consideration of staging the 50th Super Bowl in London! Now, I know this was only stated by Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has a history of unwise, off-the-cuff remarks, but the very though that someone, somewhere would somehow think this was a good idea, adds fuel to conspiracy theory nuts (like myself) who think the current powers-that-be in the NFL are intentionally trying to self-destruct. I mean, in England they think football is soccer!
Further adding to the fluff, is this year’s first annual NFL Awards show. Hosted by Alec Baldwin the night before the Super Bowl, a whole bunch of lesser awards and the NFL MVP will be announced in an apparent Oscars-like setting (God help us). The only one that really matters is the NFL MVP and Tuesday Morning Tailback endorses Drew Brees as the MVP for the 2011 season. For most of the year, I considered Aaron Rodgers a shoe-in but then when Brees broke Dan Marinos all-time yardage record and absolutely destroyed the Detroit Lions in the Wildcard playoff, all while Rodgers sat, I thought the award should be given to whoever prevails in the likely NFC Championship matchup between the Saints and Packers. But then the 49ers and Giants would have none of that logic as they eliminated both teams in the Divisional round. So what to do? Share the award (No!!!) What about Eli Manning or Tom Brady? Both had fantastic seasons and one of these will lead his team to a world championship. To me, it’s Brees because he did everything possible to put his team in position to win, including driving the Saints down the field for a go-ahead score against the 49ers with less than two minutes left (the 49ers came back and scored with seconds left). In this Year of the Quarterback, Brees had a season for the ages, slightly ahead of these other great quarterbacks.
Now back to griping about the Super Bowl. The worst thing about this off-week is the loss of momentum, especially for us football fans. I know the NFL thinks this helps build anticipation, but I don’t like it.
All that being said, I really am looking forward to this matchup between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. As you can see, this site is a little partial to the Giants, but I think this could be another great game on par with the classic four years ago. We will see if I’m right next Tuesday in my final article of the 2011 season.
Tuesday Morning Tailback is a weekly article during football season which take a critical look at the NFL. We do this from the base belief that NFL football is the greatest game in the history of mankind, but some recent policies and the overall direction of the league has chipped away at this greatness. Our primary goal is to spark debate on these subjects, so please leave your own opinion on this article in the comment box below.