Sunday, January 22, 2017

Patriots Day

See, the Blob knew it could make you run screaming.

Actually, it may not be Patriots Day, because the Steelers are rough and tough, the Steelers are feeling their oats, the Steelers are a bunch of other clich├ęs these days. People keep saying Antonio Brown's boneheaded filming of the Steelers' postgame locker room last weekend will be a distraction, but it probably won't be. Distractions of this nature are largely mythological creatures, invented by a bored news media. Once foot meets ball, they don't exist.

(I mean, come on. Anyone who thinks Brown is going to drop one of Ben Roethlisberger's throws or James Harrison is going to not get after Tom Brady because they had to answer a few questions about what Brown did is ... well, a pretty silly person).

So, yeah, the Steelers could go into Foxborough and win. But they probably won't. Which means we're likely to get yet another Patriots Super Bowl -- a statement akin to saying we're likely to get another root canal.

This leads me to a notion that seems heretical to me: If the Patriots are in it again -- and especially if the Falcons are in it, too -- I  may give the Super Bowl a miss this year. Mind you, I've never not watched the Super Bowl. I've always watched because A) it's an American tradition, and B) as a sportswriter for four decades, I always felt it was kind of my duty to watch it.

But I don't know if I can handle the Patriots again. And I have a feeling I'm not alone.

Sure, if you live in New England, you're never gonna get tired of seeing Belichick, Brady and whoever in the Big Roman Numeral. Outside of New England, however, the rest of us are heartily sick of them.

They are, first of all, the most boring team in football. Except for Rob Gronkowski, everyone has been so thoroughly Patriot-ized that Super Bowl Media Day with them is like wandering into a roomful of Siris. Brady, Belichick, the Whoever who starts at defensive end -- they're all androids.

That sort of regimentation, of course, is why they're so good. But it's also why they're so boring.

And if it's the Falcons they're playing?

I suppose watching Matt Ryan reach the zenith of his career, in this zenith of a season for him, might be mildly interesting. But, seriously, does anyone outside of Atlanta really care a fig about the Falcons?

That's why I'm rooting for the Packers today. I don't have anything against Atlanta, and I'm certainly no Cheesehead, but watching Aaron Rodgers try to close this amazing run of his in the Super Bowl would be worth seeing. That might save the Super Bowl for me.

If not ...

Well, there's always the commercials. But I can record those.

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