Ah, the Super Bowl: culmination of a football season and a notice to families across the nation that dad will be back, muddling in your business and acting like he hasn't just been off for the past six months staring at his fantasy lineups and the injury reports and the Thursday Saturday Sunday Monday games. Games that were shifted at the last minute to accommodate COVID protocols that kept threatening to end up in the cancellation of a regular season game. Or a playoff game? Or the Super Bowl?
A hush fell over the crowd.
Not that crowds were in evidence for most of the season, unless you mean the cardboard cutouts or the sprinkling of fans that were allowed in to witness this or that contest while the league worked to end systematic racism and make sure that all two hundred fifty-six games would be played and all the corporations that would not survive without the ad revenue generated by the express train to riches called the NFL.
I won't lie. I watched a great many of those two hundred fifty-six games. I got caught up in the excitement. Partly out of habit, admittedly, but there was also a large element of "the only game in town." After I had tired of binge-watching whatever dramas my wife had uncovered on Netflix, there was a void that needed to be filled. And on February 7, the folks at CBS breathed a sigh of relief and congratulated themselves and everyone associated with the National Football League for bringing the ship in for a landing. Intact. All games played. TV contracts paid. Systemic racism? Well they did put up two hundred fifty million dollars to make it go away and they let players put Breonna Taylor's name on the back of their helmets.
They did not find Colin Kaepernick a job. Colin Kaepernick who, like Tom Brady, has played quarterback in a Super Bowl and lost.
As the Super Bowl failed to live up to its modifier, it became apparent that the goal seemed primarily to be completion. Making it to the finish line. The game was as lackluster as the halftime show as the commercials. Football season now complete. Check. Next year will be different. Next year will be better. Next year will be Coke and Pepsi and Budweiser and pickups galore!
Side note: Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif chose to take this season off and do his other job: doctor. He spent this football season working on the frontlines saving lives. He missed the whole football season.
How about that?