A Super Bowl LXVII plea for focus on football on game day

Too much Super Bowl hype is funneled into the same tired storylines. Is a focus on football too much to ask?

Photo: AP: San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (left), and his older brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right), at their respective conference championship games.

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2013 — Only six days stand between the American public and the most-hyped event of the young year – Barack Obama’s second inaug- sorry, Super Bowl XLVII.

Just as it would be difficult to find an American who doesn’t know that the Baltimore Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, one would be hard-pressed to find an American unaware of the fact that this Super Bowl will be the last professional game for a Ravens cornerstone, that the opposing head coaches are brothers, or that neither franchise has ever lost a Super Bowl.

Yes, Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis will retire after this game, nearly twelve years to the day after he was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXV. Yes, John Harbaugh will be in charge on the Ravens sideline while his younger brother, Jim, directs the 49ers. Yes, one franchise has to lose a Super Bowl for the first time ever. Yes, chosen artist Beyoncé’s halftime performance might potentially include her husband, Jay-Z.

And it’s simply enough already. It’s clearly ridiculous to ask that there be a two-week silence between conference championships and the Super Bowl, but is it too much to ask for a brief moratorium on action in the industry of creating storylines that only take away from the enjoyment of the game and sport?

To be fair, this year’s top storylines are better than most. The Harbaughs are indeed the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in the Super Bowl, a fact made all the more impressive by their combined seven years of NFL head coaching experience. Lewis’ retirement could very well mark the end of the defense-first mentality that has been Baltimore’s calling card since their lone title twelve years ago.

When the game becomes an afterthought, everything else just needs to take a step back. The focus should be on the field, and when the situation arises, the sidelines as well. There are so many times that one can hear the backstory of every person remotely related to the game.

There is only so much free time to read the tired repetitive articles about a rivalry filled with the same tired repetitive platitudes delivered by players and coaches as they dream up schemes to wipe media day off the face of the earth. Let’s get creative or stay silent. Let’s say something intelligent about football instead of writing a timeline of Ray Lewis’s career. Let’s focus on the game — from now through February 3.

For at least a solid half of this country, football is king. To keep it that way in the sport’s finest hour of the year, don’t get caught up in the swarm of old headlines, just prepare for what all signs say will be a darn fine game of football in New Orleans.


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Arjuna Subramanian

Arjuna Subramanian is an aspiring baseball writer living in the Washington D.C. area.  He started his writing  with his blog Painting The Black on MLBlogs in May of 2009.  He fell in love with the sabermetric movement during the 2008-2009 offseason, and strives to provide balanced articles from both sides of the statistics/scouting divide.  

When not writing, watching/listening to baseball, over-analyzing his Chicago Cubs, staring in disbelief at the writing of Thomas Boswell, or keeping tabs on the latest Milton Bradley blowup, he can usually be found at the DC Fencers Club, where he is a competitive epee fencer.

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