From my latest article for WorldMag.com:
We all know that “the big game” is on Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, that is. And how could we have missed it with all the hype and controversy? It started with allegations of the New England Patriots cheating by deflating footballs in the AFC Championship Game. Of course there were subsequent calls for the tar and feathering of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Such a strong reaction always happens when you have football’s biggest stars and biggest egos in the spotlight. And the Patriots aren’t alone. The NFC champion Seattle Seahawks tote a trailerful of egos to Glendale, Ariz., for Sunday’s show, as well featuring their rather verbose head coach Pete Carroll and defensive back Richard Sherman.
As part of the show we’ve had the opportunity to see star running back Marshawn Lynch turn himself into an internet meme by answering every question at media day with “I’m here so I won’t get fined.” At various times both teams have claimed to have had hurt feelings or to have been saddened by all the accusations and trash talk going on. Poor souls, what drama. In all it is one enormous social media stirring, television feeding, and a heap of a spectacle.
Which, of course, is a genuine shame because it’s a distraction from the real story: one of the best Super Bowl matchups in recent years between two teams on historic runs of success. In the era of free agency, being a playoff and championship contender year in and year out is nearly impossible. But the Patriots have consistently done it since 2001. And of course the Seahawks are playing in their second straight Super Bowl, a rare feat on its own these days.
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