Remember the Super Bowl?
That big football game they play this time every year? The one with all the fancy commercials and the halftime show everyone just complains about? That game the Patriots are always in?
The one that’s this weekend?
It really does feel like nobody is talking about the Super Bowl this week. It’s not that there’s no media coverage of it. But compared with past years, it really does feel like the Super Bowl is more like the Pro Bowl — this thing that’s happening that we’re just not paying much attention to.
A few thoughts:
Of course, for the Super Bowl to be driven off the top of the sports page, something has to take its place. And in this case, it’s the NBA. First it was the Anthony Davis trade request. Today, it was the Kristaps Porzingis trade the Knicks inexplicably made.
If you accept the idea that transactions have become the coin of the realm in sports journalism, then this makes sense. A game that hasn’t happened yet is far less interesting than trades that may happen or are happening - especially trades involving stars. These are stories that can be broken on Twitter and instantly reacted to, creating a kind of tidal wave of news. The Super Bowl just isn’t providing that.
Let’s not overlook this factor. ESPN isn’t broadcasting the Super Bowl, but it does have the rights to the NBA. It has a vested interest in reporting on, discussing and analyzing news about the NBA. All things being equal, it’s logical that ESPN will promote and push news about a property it broadcasts rather than an NFL game it doesn’t;.
It’s not even fun to root against the Patriots . Their sustained excellence isn’t really interesting anymore. Plus, it just feels like there’s this general fatigue around the Super Bowl as a whole. Everything — radio row, media day, the commercials, the back and forth between the teams feels pro forma.
The no-call against the Rams that cost the Saints a place in the game has cast a pall over the Super Bowl. Think about it: What’s been the most talked about aspect of the NFL the past two weeks? That call. The reaction to it, the proposed remedies to it.
This is the media’s “fault” — we pick which stories to write and focus on, so this is the choice sports outlets are making — but it’s hard to look forward to a game when the main storyline seems to be something that happened in the past.