Super Bowl XLVIII: Hype Week Is a Popcorn Fart, Somebody Do Something
We are generally an impatient people. As soon as the AFC and NFC title games are over, most of us would like to see the Super Bowl played the following week because, quite frankly football is a drug and one week without it starts causing withdrawal symptoms.
The Pro Bowl doesn't satisfy the jones (although this year's was much harder hitting than usual, not saying much, but still), but I will say that over time I've begun to understand why there are two weeks leading up to the game.
Guys get time to heal a tiny bit, and healthy players are better players. Also, the entire Super Bowl production, from radio row to media day to all the parties, is a massive undertaking and better to have more time than to rush it.
I get it. But we need something to analyze and overanalyze during this upcoming week. It's what we do.
And this year we are bereft of such juicy nuggets.
Honestly, if history tells us anything, if one of the players gives us a nice Porterhouse of controversy to sink our teeth into, it won't happen until within 24 hours before or after the Super Bowl, which by then means it's too late (for radio purposes). You think I'm exaggerating? Well, behold the Mount Rushmore of pre game incidents, each of which touches a base on the crime diamond:
DRUGS, Super Bowl XXIII, 1989 Back in 1989, Bengals fullback Stanley Wilson failed to show up for the Saturday team meeting the night before Super Bowl XXIII. Wilson had told some teammates that he forgot his playbook, but when it was clear there was something bigger going on, some teammates went to his room and found him overdosed on cocaine, shaking and sweaty. Wilson never played in the Super Bowl, and the Bengals lost without him, 2016.
SOLICITING A PROSTITUTE, Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999 My how things can change in 24 hours. Leading up to the Super Bowl back in 1999, Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was presented with the NFL's Bart Starr Award, honoring his high moral character. Hours later, he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Miami. Robinson was bailed out by game day, but perhaps the Falcons would have been better off without him, as he was burned on an 80 yard touchdown by Rod Smith in the second quarter of a 34-19 loss to the Broncos.
MURDER, Super Bowl XXXIV, 2000 Amidst his celebrated career, his confetti littered sendoff, and his now burgeoning television career, we forget that Ray Lewis was in the crosshairs of going away for life for the stabbing murder of two people at the Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2000. (Technically, this occurred the night after the Super Bowl, but we count it for Super Bowl chicanery Mount Rushmore purposes.) Murder charges were eventually dropped, but Lewis was convicted of obstruction of justice. The story grew legs again the following season when Lewis' Ravens actually played in the Super Bowl, with Lewis taking home MVP honors in about of the Giants.
MISSING PERSON, Super Bowl XXXVII, 2003 You have enough Super Bowls in San Diego and I suppose it's just a matter of time before a player wanders over the border the night before the game. That's what happened on January 25, 2003, the night before Super Bowl XXXVII when Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl center Barrett Robbins took off for a Tijuana drinking binge, and was promptly sent home by head coach Bill Callahan. (As it turned out, Robbins was suffering from bi-polar disorder and depression.) The Raiders got smoked the next night 48-21 by Tampa Bay.
So it's been roughly a decade since we've had anything that would involve the local authorities. That's way too long. Last season, the best that the football gods could give us was a homophobic rant from Chris Culliver, a San Francisco 49er cornerback who was playing in the game. That was devoured and beaten to death inside of two days.
Bringing this whole thing back around, we are in New York for the Super Bowl, the city that never sleeps, where bars are open literally until all hours of the night, and all flavors on the debauchery menu are there to be served on a silver platter with the touch of a an iPhone or a short cab ride.
Hell, we are even just a scant few hours from Atlantic City, which is basically New York's Tijuana.
Somebody, either on one of the two participating teams or a player who is in from out of town, do something. I can't do five days on the weather, or on Richard Sherman's perceived thuggishness, or on the word "OMAHA."
I just can't.
Where's Aaron Hernandez when you need him?
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