January 19, 2011
This Sunday will be the last one in a while (perhaps a great while) that's all about the football.
The Sunday after this one has the Pro Bowl, which I guess is kind of about football, in the same way that MTV's Video Music Awards are about music.
That takes us to Super Bowl Sunday, which has evolved into a day-long battle to dig through the rest of the day's chaos to try to find the football. They'll eventually play a football game, sure, but chances are, you're going to be surrounded by people who care more about the commercials, the halftime show, or, I don't know, Rachel Ray's fabulous new recipe for Super Sunday Artichoke/Ketchup dip.
So which is better, Championship Sunday or Super Bowl Sunday? No question, Super Bowl Sunday is better for your Aunt Marge and that guy you know who calls himself a "huge Bears fan" but has never heard the name Olin Kreutz(notes).
But what about you? Chances are, if you've landed on this site, you've got a healthy interest in football, year-round. For you, which day is truly the pinnacle of the NFL season? Let's make the case for both:
• Two games are better than one.
• The week-long attention and hype is ramped up, but nowhere near the level of Super Bowl week. It stays at a level that allows the attention to remain on actual football. It feels way more pure.
• On Monday, you will not have to listen to Judy in Human Resources give you her opinion on why the coach should have run "the play where they throw it for a touchdown pass" on a fourth and 19 deep in his own territory.
• Championship Sunday is not accompanied by the nagging feeling that this is the last football you're going to see for a while, so you better enjoy it.
• A blowout can ruin Super Bowl Sunday, but if there's a blowout on Championship Sunday, it serves to boost a team's reputation heading into the Super Bowl. Sort of like how the WWE will have the challenger absolutely destroy some guy in a match shortly before WrestleMania.
Super Bowl Sunday:
• It is the game that crowns the champion. Champions are what we remember.
• No one will ever give you a hard time for watching the Super Bowl. You are expected to watch this game, even if it doesn't involve your favorite team.
• Not only are you expected to watch, but chances are, if you're at any kind of Super Bowl party, random people will have prepared and/or purchased food for you to eat during the game. That's kind of nice.
• The Puppy Bowl is the most adorable thing that's ever been on television. Don't fight it.
• There will be no part of the game -- from the frivolous fluff stories to the minute football details like the left guard's hand placement -- uncovered in the pregame hype. Any information you want will be available to you.
In the end, I still have to give the edge to Super Bowl Sunday, but it's a tiny, tiny edge.
I just can't get past that first reason -- it's still the biggest game, featuring the two teams that have earned their way there, and everything is on the line. You may have to work harder to find it, but it is the most important and most memorable game of the year. The ring is what it's all about. I can't get past that.
Let's hear your preferences in the comments.
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