With all due respect to baseball and its fans -- many millions pay witness to character-building baseball in this city every season on both sides of town -- the national pastime of this country is football. It has been that way for a long time.
Nothing is bigger in football than the championship of the NFL, known since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger as the Super Bowl.
How big? Rabid fans dissect every nuance, real or supposed. Casual fans make sure to make some time for it. Even my mother, bless her, knows there is some kind of a big game coming because everyone is talking about. She's even pretty sure it will be played on Sunday.
So yeah, the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal. It has to be, or why else would companies pay more than $2 million for 30 seconds of air time to show their commercials in the spaces between the action of a football game?
Tribune Company is well represented in Indianapolis. From the Chicago Tribune, David Haugh and Dan Pompei are there reporting on preparations for Super Bowl XLVI (you have to admire the league keeping Roman numerology mainstream). They are joined by Sam Farmer and Bill Plaschke from the Los Angeles Times and Jeff Jacobs from the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, whose readership splits its loyalties between Boston and New York, between the Patriots and the Giants.
The Super Bowl is indeed a big game, one journalists can call by its proper name, as protected by the Constitution.
We know our readership has a strong interest in the outcome, even with the Bears in their regular offseason hibernation. We'll have coverage in Sunday's Chicago Sports section with more to come on Monday.
[I appreciate your reading. Kelly Clarkson is getting ready to sing the National Anthem and there's a lot riding on how long she'll go. The line is a minute, 34 seconds. But it's the Super Bowl, so I'd figure it will be a bigger scene and take longer than normal. I'll take the over.]