NFL’s biggest spectacle always worth watching


Published: Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 12:37 a.m.

One day I may write a book about being a sports fan and call it ďEverything I Know About the NFL I Learned on a Treadmill.Ē Because the only time I watch those NFL guys talk breathlessly about zone blitzes and salary caps is during workouts.

I find the pregame shows boring, the personalities stale and, like many of you, I much prefer the college game.

But this week is different. This week you have to watch. A little. If you watched all of the Super Bowl discussions this week youíll need rehab Monday.

Today, it all ends, thank goodness. We donít have to hear from former players turned TV guys. We donít have to listen to national sports talk radio hosts forget why we listen to them in the first place and instead spend mindless hours interviewing players not in the game. We donít have to watch Chris Bermanís comb-over dancing in the Tampa wind.

I know. Turn it off if itís so bad. But itís intoxicating because it leads up to the biggest event in sports. You donít have to love pro football to watch it. You donít even have to like football.

But youíll watch. You always do.

Maybe this year youíre not so sure. Pittsburgh-Arizona isnít doing it for you. The hype has numbed you. Youíre thinking about turning in early or going to a movie. So let me tell you why you should watch.

Itís historic. Itís the first time the Cardinals have been in the Super Bowl, leaving Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Cleveland and your Jacksonville Jaguars as the only NFL franchises not to play in one. Arizona being there is kind of like Vanderbilt playing in a BCS bowl game.

Itís almost historic. If Pittsburgh wins, it will be the second time in three years a black head coach has won. Mike Tomlin canít be the first, but Iím guessing he wonít complain.

Bruce Springsteen at halftime. First, Paul McCartney, then the Stones. Last year Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The NFL must have access to my iPod. If Weezer, Ben Folds or Sister Hazel plays next yearís halftime, Iíll know it for sure.

Itís a good excuse to go to a party on a Sunday.

Arizonaís Anquan Boldin may blow up on the sidelines again.

Troy Polamalu. The hair, the big hits, the big plays. Heís really fun to watch.

You can explain Roman numerals to your kids. And maybe to some of the adults.

Pittsburgh can set a record for Super Bowl wins with six. That means the Dallas Cowboys wonít be tied for the record anymore. Woo-hoo.

The commercials. Not as good as they used to be, but there are usually two or three that will induce more laughter than a whole season of ďCavemen.Ē

Al Michaels may be full of himself and John Madden isnít as good as Frank Caliendo doing John Madden, but they are still the best announcing team on TV.

Ben Roethlisberger has sore ribs. And you canít spell Roethlisberger without R-I-B-S.

Larry Fitzgerald is the best wide receiver in football.

Max Starks, one of the best Gators Iíve ever interviewed, is playing.

Itís a break from recruiting.

ESPN is showing poker from Europe. Iím not kidding.

Itís in our state, just like the college football championship was earlier this year. We rock.

You can see if Dr. Football misses another one. Iím picking Pittsburgh, 27-14.

This is it. This is the last football game of the season. The Pro Bowl doesnít count because itís not real football. So this is it.

Itís the Super Bowl. Itís a part of our culture. I think there is a law that says you have to watch it. If there isnít, Iím sure one will be enacted in the next four years.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or dooleyp@gvillesun.com.

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