Big Game was Anything but Super

    Well, on Sunday another football season culminated with the Baltimore Ravens beating the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV, or MXVZ, or whatever the stupid number is.

    Perhaps culminated isn’t the right word. It’s more like the drab, uninspiring football season gasped and sputtered its way to a standstill with about as much excitement and fanfare as the Absolutely Awesome Abs informercial on at 2 in the morning ($19.99 video cassette). And it’s about as predictable, too: “”How do you get such great abs? Sit-ups, every day!””

    Well, how do the Ravens win the Super Bowl? Score at least one offensive touchdown and rely on their defense, which they took care of early in the first quarter. The Baltimore defense played as expected, the Giants’ offense played as expected, the coaches coached as expected, the cheerleaders pranced around as expected, and even the waterboys fulfilled their expected roles.

    When the whole affair had ended (the actual game was over in the first quarter), all I could think of was suing the NFL so I could get back the four hours of my life it stole from me.

    Maybe last year’s Super Bowl spoiled me. Now that was a game. The Tennessee Titans, after performing a miracle just to get to the Super Bowl, comes within inches of tying the game as the clock runs out.

    There were stories behind the scenes — of Kurt Warner going from working at a grocery store to Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, of Dick Vermeil proving to all his doubters that he could win it all.

    This Super Bowl had the storylines, but not the conclusions. Trent Dilfer had a chance to harangue the franchise and fans, who after six years of abuse in Tampa Bay sent him packing, but all he could say was how he didn’t have any hard feelings. Yeah Dilfer, it’s easy to say that when you’ve got the Lombardi Trophy in your hand.

    Kerry Collins came into the game with the chance to prove he had merely been underachieving his whole career and finally shake off the alcoholic stigma attached to him.

    Sorry Kerry, and you can’t even drown your sorrows away like you used to. Well hey, your next Zima is on me buddy.

    However, there was one story that came to fruition. Ray Lewis, as congratulations for breaking his streak of killing people on Super Bowl Sundays, was presented the award for MVP by the NFL with a hearty handshake and a “”Thanks for not killing anyone today, Ray.”” He then took his plaque and proceeded to beat the Disneyland representative into a bloody pulp for choosing Dilfer to represent Disneyland instead of Lewis.

    OK, that last part didn’t happen, but if it had, there would have been at least some excitement associated with the Super Bowl. Even the commercials weren’t that great, although Budweiser had a couple decent spoofs of its let-it-die-already “”Wazzup”” commercials. But come on guys, think of something else.

    However, after watching punt after punt after punt (there was a Super Bowl record 21 of them in the game), the commercials were almost a welcome relief from the two offenses competing to see who could be worse. This is not how the Super Bowl is supposed to be.

    In its first year in competition with the XFL, this is not a good thing for the NFL. It’s a battle of sport versus entertainment, and the Super Bowl certainly showed that pure sport isn’t always exciting. If the XFL can deliver any football with its entertainment, then the NFL might have to start exploring new possibilities. Hey, I could dig a Super Bowl XXXVI between the NFL champion and the XFL champion. And to make things a bit more fair, Lewis could even bring his knife. In the XFL stabbing is only a five yard penalty.

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