To football fanatics -- to people with team logos tattooed on their backsides, favorite team underpants and face-paint pallets stashed in their drawers -- the two-week time lag between Conference Championship Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday is more than a little dry spell sans their pigskin pastime -- it's a veritable desert in the oasis of National Football League action and entertainment.
You know, there are those who argue that the two-week wait for the big day is unnecessary, idiotic and evil.
Unnecessary because, for an entire, epic, regular season these guys bash heads every week (admittedly, they're tossed one bone at some point in the season in the form of a bye), so why the week off?
Idiotic because it leaves the poor football fanatic with no football to be found on the in-between Sunday, save for the charade known as The Pro Bowl, wherein some of the best players in the National Football Conference half-heartedly take on some of the best players in the American Football Conference in a colossal snoozefest from sunny Honolulu. Honestly, this is a game even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finds hard to digest, and has threatened to axe if the players don't actually... try. Yeah, Mr. Goodell, go ahead and go all Lizzie Borden on this baby. Axe to the max.
And evil because it leaves the North American Sports Media Machine with idle hands. And way too much spare time. Not a productive combo. So what happens is the hype is revved up to the point where everything is overanalyzed and overblown and the game has an impossible time living up to that hype.
To that end: if I hear one more word about the fact that this is the first time in league history that two brothers have faced each other in the big bowl as opposing coaches -- Jim Harbough at the helm of the San Francisco 49ers and his 15-month-older brother John piloting the Baltimore Ravens -- I may go batty (ah, battier). Which is to admit, I've already had my fill of HarBowl, or BroBowl, or (insert your own inanity).
Of course, it's not just the Super Bowl-specific stories that get blown out of proportion during the off-week. No, it's any story that can be linked to the sport for the sake of starved fans. Top story last week? Tom Brady's moat. Yep, Tom Brady has already stolen your life -- he's the star quarterback for the New England Patriots, his wife is Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and he has a brand-spanking new $20-million 22,000-square-foot home in California which, according to the Detroit Free Press, comes replete with "a resort-style pool, massive play area for children and a common medieval fortress system." That is, a moat.
Ah, Tom, livin' large, grabbin' life by the moat.
And in other off-week snooze, er, news: a poll by USA Today Sports found that only 39 per cent of NFL players polled approve of commissioner Goodell. The rest, not so much (hey, didn't see that coming; most people love their bosses)...
Alas, football fanatics, we've finally turned the corner. Super Bowl Week is upon us. Flex your glutes and show off your tattoo. Slip into your favorite-team underpants -- boxers, briefs, or sassy thong, however you roll. Slather on your face paint. The San Francisco 49ers touched-down yesterday in The Big Easy. Today, it's the Baltimore Ravens turn to take New Orleans by storm. Only six more sleeps until Super Bowl XLVII (which, in case you don't know, is Roman numerals standing for... I don't know what).