It’s Super Bowl Sunday, but I’m just not feeling the excitement this year.
Sure, it hurts that my Giants didn’t get to defend their title in the playoffs this year. But usually, I can develop some kind of rooting interest in the Super Bowl, even if it’s just out of sheer hatred for one of the participants.
Not this year. I hate both of these teams. A lot. And fairly equally.
Honestly, to me, the only way this game could be worse is if the Dallas Cowgirls were representing the NFC. But the Forty-Whiners are almost as bad.
On the AFC side, I know a lot of people are saying, “At least it isn’t the Patriots.” Sorry, but I don’t agree.
I don’t hold the same contempt for Bill Belichick that a lot of people seem to. True, I do have a bit of a soft spot for him because he coached the defense of the great Giants teams of the '80s. Yes, I would agree that he’s a prickly jerk with a history of cheating. Even so, there is no greater force for evil in the AFC than the Ravens.
Super Bowl XLVII, how much do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:
1. The 49ers. I started hating them in the '80s when the road to the Super Bowl often went through Candlestick Park and the Giants developed a bitter rivalry with them. The 49ers had a defense that played dirty and a physically soft quarterback who, unlike our guy, couldn’t take a hit. Yet he managed to win a lot. Yeah, I said it. I know a lot of Steelers fans will agree with me when I say I’m not anxious to see another Lombardi Trophy in San Francisco. No, I’m not weeping for Joe Montana’s aching joints or Ronnie Lott’s missing finger. Though, on second thought, I would give Ronnie one of my fingers.
2. The Harbaugh Brothers. Is there a whinier coach in the NFL than San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh? Seriously, this guy spends more time crying on the sidelines than a toddler with popping ears on an airplane. Brother John is nearly as ill-tempered. I know the media loves this brothers story line. But only Rob and Rex Ryan keep these two from being the biggest pair of sibling jerks in the NFL. I’d prefer a half-Manning Bowl – with Eli watching on TV – than endure another second of this.
3. Art Modell. The Ravens dedicated this season to their late, duplicitous and scheming owner, who in Cleveland, even dead, is about as popular as a norovirus. He was football’s answer to Walter O’Malley. He was a more coherent version of Al Davis, only without all those championships. I’ve heard that Art now owns Purgatory’s football team, but he’s looking to move it to Hell to get a stadium with more luxury boxes. He missed getting voted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame again this year. What a shame.
4. Ray Lewis. Another storyline the jock-sniffing sports media love: The last hurrah for one of the game’s great gladiators. Blah. Blah, blah. Blah, blah. I, like most non-Baltimore fans, would hate Ray Lewis just for that preening, arrogant pre-game dance he does. Never mind what happened in Atlanta 13 years ago, for which there remains a bunch of unanswered questions. Like, where’s the white suit, Ray? Two guys are dead and Ray Lewis – well, we can't say that he killed them, though we do know he obstructed the investigation. But for 17 years of playing linebacker for the Ravens, he’s a hero, right? Right?