Two Sundays ago I saw perhaps one of my favorite games in my recent memory of football games. I hadn't seen a gold and red jersey in the playoffs since I was in the single digits, and this was just what I need. Not only did the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL, but the game against the Giants was in one of those utopian filthy football games. The rain was pouring all day in San Francisco, and to see Eli Manning get shut down repeatedly over the four quarters brought me great joy, partially because I couldn't care less about the dynasties of Brady, the Mannings, Brees, and the other atypical greats. That's not to say that Alex Smith was that great. With a reasonable QB next year (and a legitimate punt returner), I can see them taking over in a heavy way in the NFC. For now, they showed a demonstrable impact against yet another high financed, popular, and smug team from the east. If the niners had actually pulled off the upset, which they should have, I would have loved to see them clash against the Pats, or the Ravens.
Either way, the 49ers had an ability nobody else (with exception to the Texans) had: the chance to make the game interesting. Every time I saw them play I always felt the intensity, mainly because San Francisco played a man-to-man that no one knew how to stop (as well, Houston with TJ Yates as QB threw the ball like it was high school, and mostly got away with it)
However, this did not happen, and so we're left with a rematch that couldn't be less interesting. Furthermore, the commercials look terrible.
Commercialism and legitimate competition are the two things I strive to obtain from the Super Bowl, but this year has left me not so much with a bad taste in my mouth, but a boring, stale taste in my mouth. Eli Manning and Tom Brady have both won championships in the last decade, and honestly when they played each other four years ago, the only thing that matched the ecstatic enthusiasm in a college dorm like that game-winning catch was the night Obama won a year later.
This year I hate both teams. I'm sick of the Mannings being the dueling archetypes (one of which, playing for a terrible team), and the other team I've learned to despise in a way that I can only match with the likes of the Lakers and Yankees.