Outsider’s perspective (by Kevin Trudgeon): Game should be Super
If anybody should not be excited about the Super Bowl on Sunday it would be me.
As a San Francisco 49ers fan I not only will have to watch our hated rivals (the Seattle Seahawks) try and win their first ever Lombardi Trophy, but they’re playing a team (the Denver Broncos) whose quarterback (Peyton Manning) is trying to make his case for greatest ever at that position (over my beloved Joe Montana).
Add in the fact that the last three years have consisted of my team missing (twice) or losing (once) the Super Bowl on last-second plays and common sense would seem to dictate that I spend Sunday evening doing anything but watching football.
But that of course isn’t going to happen.
For a sports nut like me, the Super Bowl is about as can’t miss an event as there is, no matter who’s playing in it.
But what I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the chatter going on about how “casual fans” aren’t as interested in this year’s game.
Aside from the weather, Richard Sherman’s mouth, Manning’s legacy and Marshawn Lynch’s media-phobia, the biggest story in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII seems to be that it’s not the kind of sexy matchup that will draw in those football fans who only tune in once a year.
There are no major media markets represented (it seems like only New York, Chicago and Los Angeles ever meet this criteria), it’s a pair of west coast teams (playing in an east coast stadium no less), and, aside from Manning, neither squad possesses truly name brand stars (someone your mom or grandma would recognize from those funny Papa John’s commercials he does).
The thinking seems to be that all of these factors will lead to only “die-hard fans” watching the game.
If that’s true then a lot of people are going to miss out on what’s stacking up to be a pretty good game.
Consider these few facts:
Denver had the No. 1-ranked offense in the NFL this season and Seattle had the No. 1-ranked defense
One team has a quarterback trying to cap the single greatest regular season ever with his second Super Bowl title while the other has a quarterback trying to win a championship in just his second year under center
The Broncos and the Seahawks were the two best teams during the regular season, each finishing 13-3, and it will be just the second time in 23 years that the No. 1 seed from the AFC will face the No. 1 seed from the NFC in the last game of the season.
If those aren’t enough to spark your interest, I don’t know what will.
Outside of having your favorite team actually in the big game, watching the two best teams duke it out on sports’ biggest stage is as good as it gets.
And as much as it pains me to say it — and I’m talking both physical and emotional pain here — Denver and Seattle were the two best teams in the NFL this season.
So why wouldn’t this be a Super Bowl for the ages?
Why isn’t the best quarterback in the game going up against the best defense in the game being viewed as must-watch TV for everyone and not just big football fans?
There will always be those who watch the Super Bowl more for the commercials or the halftime show and that’s fine.
And there will always be the segment of the population who will be watching their first football game of the year on Sunday.
But no matter who you are, you should want to watch a game featuring the two best teams going head to head.
It’s the reason I’ll be tuning in, and it’s why everyone else should too.
— Kevin Trudgeon is the sports editor at The Winchester Star