Football fans have waited all year for this day. We've dreamed about championships, cheered when our favorite teams won, and pouted when they lost. Many fans put together their own fantasy teams and spent as much or more time and money on them as on the real games.
What football fan hasn't done his/her best to point out to the refs when they were wrong, and congratulate them when they got it right?
Now, finally, we're about to find out where the bragging rights really belong. Bookies and fans all over the country are dreaming of, not just bragging rights, but "dragging rights" when they haul all that cash to the bank.
Predictions are flying back and forth across the country more often than Southwest Airlines and they carry just as much baggage - season stats, injury details, weather reports, who's bullying who . and the list goes on.
Excitement is even at a fever pitch among many who don't care two hoots about the game. Teens and music fans will be tuning in only to see Bruno Mars do the half time show. Football non-fans will dial up the game just to see the new Super Bowl ads and vote for their favorites. After all, who wants to be the clueless goat at the water cooler come Monday morning?
It all gets a little distracting from the real issue at hand - which team will play the better game. Which coach has done the best job of preparing his squad for every possible challenge? Which quarterback will truly be on his game and in control of his nerves? Which defense will psyche out the other team with their confidence and aggression?
I know which team I'm rooting for, but I'm not going to venture any predictions, especially not in print. However, I think there's one other factor to be considered in this year's contest.
Today is not only Super Bowl Sunday, it is also Groundhog Day, the annual time when Pauxitany Phil comes out of his hibernation to check the weather and let us know how soon spring will arrive.
This year, however, has been such a cold and snowy nightmare for most of the country, with the deep freeze reaching clear into northern Florida, we don't need Phil to tell us that it will be at least six weeks before most of the country digs out, let alone warms up.
So, I have a proposal. Instead of Phil coming out to look for his shadow and predict what we all already know, how about if we convince him to tell us who will win the big game? His prediction could be at least as accurate as anyone else's and a whole lot more fun.
Maybe we could have the two quarterbacks or their coaches, or just the team owners, stand a distance apart and call Phil. Whoever he goes to wins.
Or maybe we could block the door to Phil's den (or cage, as the case may be) then put a Bronco's helmet and a Seahawks helmet on the ground and see which one the sleepy little guy decides to curl up in.
Perhaps we could get each team to try to tempt Phil to a trough of food. Seahawks would offer fish, Bronco's hay.
I definitely think we're onto something here. This may be so much fun that the powers-that-be will decide to schedule the Super Bowl around Ground Hog Day every time. Of course, if they keep lengthening the season, as they've done every year for the last millennia, the Super Bowl will soon be played on the Fourth of July.