This great pause, the one that comes at the end of the professional football season, pains me. The week between the final playoff game and the Super Bowl sits there like it was an option. A respite from all the hubbub that will build to a frenzy over the coming days. It's a countdown to the Biggest Game Of The Year, and yet I really can't get that interested.
That probably has a lot to do with the lack of Denver Bronco involvement. Last year's buildup was a blur of anticipation and adrenaline. I listened to every report, read every article, and willingly stirred the pot by being a fan of one of the last two teams left in the tournament. All the hoopla was enhanced by every speculative conversation I had with a third grader. They hype grew every time I crossed paths with one of our Kindergarten teachers who just happened to be a Seattle Seahawks fan. At least she's still having fun.
She can endure the non-stop coverage from Phoenix, waiting anxiously to hear about Marshawn Lynch's cleats or Tom Brady's haircut. I'll be here, clicking on links to find out more about the new coaching staff the Broncos are hiring.
That's what third place teams do. Fourth place. And so on. There is a whole lot of business going on behind the scenes. The teams that are no longer playing are now putting their collective houses in order with the hopes of getting one of those two spots next year. In two weeks, everyone will start over. Who will be coaching? Who will be throwing the ball? Who will be catching the ball? Will it matter?
For the next week and a half, the only game in town is the Super Bowl. The town is in Arizona, and even their team will be at home watching. Or not. I could choose, as some of those disqualified teams and players will do, to ignore the spectacle in the desert, There are a lot of channels on my cable lineup that could help me in this avoidance. I could pretend that this "Super Bowl" had already come and gone.
Or, as I have so many years in the past, I could pick a rooting interest and get on with the spectacle. I have no serious doubts that February will begin with my living room being one of millions that will be locked in on the NFL finale. Meanwhile, in offices and boardrooms across this great land of ours, plans will be made for next year. And the big wheels keep on turning.