Seriously, let's not take Super Bowl so seriously

It's another week of Super excess, and the media can't get enough

When it comes to Super Bowl week, this column represents failure XLIX. The topic should be ignored, but it's a red flag in front of a bull.

Holding my breath until I turn blue hasn't worked. Nor has wearing a sleeping mask and ear plugs. Seeing 12 movies in five days failed. So did asking my wife to hide my laptop.

In the end, such Super foolishness, bordering on stupidity, cannot be ignored. They are going to play a big football game in a huge stadium near Phoenix on Sunday, and it has us flat on our backs with our paws up, panting and asking to have our stomach scratched.

More. More. Wiggle, wiggle. Pant, pant.

There is no desire here to be a killjoy. I have no problem with the game. Two great teams will play what is often an exciting game.

Nor is there anything wrong with having parties and watching the game. This can be, and often is, fine sports entertainment.

The problem is our total loss of perspective during the lead-up. The NFL, enabled by an increasingly shallow media, has us in a conga line from which there is no escape. During Super Bowl week — every Super Bowl week — we need to stop and take stock of what is being tossed at us. More and more worms are being dangled and we keep chomping away.

The only thing dumber than Super Bowl week, and the adoration we give to it and its perpetrators, is Twitter.

Let's stop and think.

The NFL lurched its way through a season that started with a video showing one of its stars, Ray Rice, cold-cocking his wife-to-be in an Atlantic City casino elevator. That was followed by another case of an even bigger star, Adrian Peterson, punishing his young son by whipping him and stuffing leaves in his mouth.

Then there was the commissioner of this league, Roger Goodell, holding a "get all this bad stuff behind me" news conference and coming off like Dick Nixon in the early days of Watergate.

The good news for the NFL was that those things distracted many of us from writing about all the former NFL players who are penniless, pension-less, concussed, replaced of hip, knee or both, and suicidal to the point of shooting themselves in the heart rather than the head so a doctor can explain to the families why their husband and father lost his senses.

It also distracted many journalists from reporting more about the cheap settlement deal the NFL is trying to push through on these old guys.

None of that seemed to change the prevailing perspective. Hundreds of fans, many of them women, wore Ray Rice jerseys to the next Baltimore Ravens game after the knockout punch in the elevator went public. We watched, shrugged, and kept right on adoring on the road to the Super Bowl.

So here we are, in the week before. And what do we have?

Deflate-gate.

Has there ever been a more silly story? Is there nobody in suit and tie in media central who will just say no to giving it more than lip service? Apparently not.

NBC and its Nightly News with Brian Williams, as distinguished a group as exists in broadcasting, breathlessly reported and analyzed. People are starving, wars are breaking out, big corporations are finding new ways to mess with their customers, and we get two minutes of whether Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are trying to get an edge.

Of course they are.

Nor will it matter in the least. Maybe the Patriots will get fined. Pocket change for the team's rich owner. Did they forfeit the game? No. Will they throw some equipment guy under the bus? Of course.

The score of the AFC championship game was 45-7. The Patriots would have won if they used Nerf balls.

Why do we have to listen to this? Because there is no way to tune it out. Mainstream news is now a knee-jerk reaction to a flood of mindless Internet emotion and a bunch of conspiracy theorists wearing Seattle Seahawks jerseys. If it's trending, we are bending.

Somebody actually started a petition to have the deflated football game replayed and 40,000 people have signed it. That's 40,000 people who need to get a life.

Tuesday was media day in Phoenix. Players sat at tables and answered questions from reporters. That's pretty non-compelling stuff. But thousands showed up and paid $28.50 each.

Yes, the NFL is now making money on media day! As we texters say, OMG.

A Phoenix TV station ran a segment gushing over the uniforms each team would wear — to media day! You can't make these things up.

Finally, there was Marshawn Lynch, who got it right — for all the wrong reasons.

He is the Seahawks running back who has decided he won't talk to the media, even though he is contractually obligated to do so. Poor Lynch. What a pain to have to answer questions from people who are your conduit to a public that pays your multimillion-dollar salary.

Lynch sat in an indoor arena, wore sunglasses and repeated a form of the same phrase 29 times in answering questions: "I'm here so I won't get fined."

He said nothing. There is nothing to say. He deserved to be ignored, like all this other stuff.

He wasn't, of course.

Sunday will be here in no time, mercifully. So eat, drink, watch and be merry. But see it for what it is — a circus of excess and gluttony disguised as sport and leading us to the next inevitable step: soldiers rounding up Christians and herding them to the Coliseum.

It's an easy transition. The Roman numerals are already in place.

Follow Bill Dwyre on Twitter @DwyreLATimes

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