Just not feeling the Super Bowl hype

Maybe it’s just the bitter and cynical 23-year-old in me, but I’m not really caught up in the hyperbole that is this year’s Super Bowl, which takes place Sunday night in Indianapolis after a 234-hour pre-game show (or at least it feels that way).
Perhaps I’m not interested this year because of the fact I’m experiencing déja vu over the fact that for the second time in five years, the New England Patriots are playing the N.Y. Giants for all the marbles, which is something that hardly happens in this age of parity in the NFL.
Even though their meeting in 2008, when the Giants upset the previously-unbeaten Patriots, is considered to be arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all time, I’m having a hard time believing this year’s version will come anywhere close to matching that.
But when I think about it, the reason I’m probably apathetic when it comes to Sunday’s contest is the fact that compared to other sports, or levels of football, quite often the Super Bowl isn’t all that it’s made out to be.
Okay, I admit the last few years have seen a number of classic games. But prior to that, you’d be lucky to possibly see one or two great Super Bowls during a certain timeframe.
However, in my opinion, if you watch one NFL game, you’ve seen them all as it has become very similar and homogenized in how similar the teams have become.
Sure, you could have the exact opposite of that, where teams have no defences and it becomes a video game almost like what has happened in NCAA football south the border. But I’d like to see a little bit more variety.
And as for drama, I’m sorry but I’ve seen local youth hockey tournaments that have had more atmosphere and excitement than the average NFL game brings on a weekly basis.
Heck, personally I thought the phrase “Super Sunday” was better applied to this past weekend’s curling playdowns across Canada to round the Scotties Tournament of Hearts field, which had me on the edge of my seat more from just looking at scores over the Internet.
However, I will admit the NFL has to be doing something right at the moment. They have become the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to sports in the U.S., and slowly but surely are making a huge impact here in Canada—and now even entertaining fans overseas with the annual game in London.
And despite my gripes, I’m already sure I’ll be watching the game itself Sunday night, mainly out of the fact that there surely will be nothing else on.
Oh, and the commercials will keep me highly-entertained.
• • •
While both sides are giving differing viewpoints on how the situation went down, the Todd Howarth era as head coach of the Thunder Bay North Stars has come to an end.
The most successful coach in SIJHL history, the 41-year-old Howarth and the North Stars parted ways Sunday evening, with former NHL’er Lonny Bohonos taking over behind the bench tonight for a game against the league-leading Wisconsin Wilderness.
While the team said in a press release that Howarth stepped down citing personal reasons, Howarth said in an interview with the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal yesterday that he had been let go.
During his nine-and-a-half year run behind the North Stars’ bench, Howarth’s teams had a regular-season record of 363-94-32, with five Bill Salonen Cups and a Dudley Hewitt Cup in 2006 in their trophy case.
When you think of Howarth, the first thing that comes to mind is his style of coaching. You can hear him yell at his players from all over the arena, especially when someone made a mistake, not to mention his sometimes over-the-top reactions when a play occurs.
My first encounter with Howarth actually occurred before I came to Fort Frances, when the North Stars travelled to Sault Ste. Marie to represent the SIJHL in the 2010 Dudley Hewitt Cup.
Besides his mannerisms behind the bench, Howarth had a no-nonsense and tell-it-like-it-is approach during his interviews, which immediately made him one of my favourite people in sports that I have ever encountered.
Although it’s still early to say what the future holds, here’s hoping Howarth has a role behind the bench again soon. While his methods may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying he has been extremely successful.

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