The Super Bowl, in case you’ve been living in a coral deep in the ocean, is this Sunday. And, once again, I do not care.
It’s been this way since I can remember. I’m 26 years old and a die-hard, borderline obsessive football fan. I have spent the bulk of my journalism career as a sports reporter and then as a sports editor. I used to live, breath, scratch, shower, shampoo and sleep with sports, so much so I had burned out multiple times. There was rarely a minute I wasn’t caring about some sort of athletic event. And, again, I loved it to the fullest. Sports and I had a simple, mutually beneficial relationship.
But in the case of the biggest sporting event in the country, I have a hard time caring. You see, I am a Buffalo Bills fan. There’s a picture of Bruce Smith hanging in my Man Cave, just to the right of a portrait of iconic quarterback and western New York hero Jim Kelly.
To get even more personal, I even slept with a small teddy bear that turned inside-out into a football with little Bills logos everywhere until I was 19 years old. Nineteen years old!
Some of you probably are laughing at me right now because I’m a Bills fan. The team synonymous with the transitive verb “choke”; the group of misfits who managed to storm to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s. It’s the same Bills that showed up late for each of the four Super Bowls, prompting four crushing defeats.
It’s the reason I cringe every year at the same time on that mid-winter Sunday. The Super Bowl has become far less a super game and more like a toilet bowl. The Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999 but there have been plenty of teaser seasons, especially this past one when they started out 5-2, notching a huge victory over the New England Patriots, who get a chance for revenge against the New York Giants, the team that ended the Pats’ undefeated dream season in 2007.