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At least, not to me. And, I actually mean that more as a compliment than a slam. Let me explain.
When it comes to the playoffs, and especially the finals of most sports there is an intensity like no other time during the season. The players step it up, the fans step it up… the atmosphere and the play on the field, court, ice are electric. There’s a big difference for example between a regular season hockey game and a playoff hockey game of any level, let alone the Stanley Cup Finals or especially a Game Seven of the finals!
Other sports are the same way. Looks at the fantastic athletic event that is March Madness in college basketball. Play in the regular season may be exciting for die-hards, but come March, tiny schools who weren’t even on the national fan or media’s radar are suddenly playing like – and becoming? – champions.
There’s just a different level to the playoffs in most sports.
Except the NFL.
I don’t mean that as a knock on the NFL players, coaches, fans or anything. Again, it’s really more of a compliment. I don’t know if it’s because there are fewer games, or because of the sheer intensity of the sport, but I believe every NFL game offers the same level of competition, energy, atmosphere, and fun for the fan. Now, there are some that are a small step up. The Bills hosted their first Monday night game in over a decade this past season and their stadium was rockin’! Fans were totally pumped up. The team played out of their minds. But what for? Just a regular game.
This is my point. The NFL has the best overall product because every game can be – and usually is – as intense as if it were for the ultimate championship.
But then we have the Super (Hype) Bowl. Two weeks of incessant media hype, covering every story from every possible angle ad nauseam. We don’t watch much TV around here lately, so actually I haven’t been bombarded as much this year as past years. But it’s still there. I’ve caught the fringe stuff. And tonight there will be all the flashiness that the NFL wants to bring to their “showcase event”.
Does that make it better? Does that make it a more competitive game? Do we really need all that stuff?
In the end, I’ve already seen all the best games this season. (I could be surprised, but usually the Super Bowl does not live up to its hype…) The Patriots vs Dallas, Indy, and even Jacksonville in the playoffs. All the Bills games… 😉 And a handful of other very exciting competitions. Probably were better games than tonight’s game will be. At least they were better than some other Super Bowls I have seen.
So, I’ll stick with my vote for the NHL playoffs, March Madness, and maybe even a few others as being a bigger step up in the post season than the NFL offers. I’d rather watch most any NHL playoff series than the Super Bowl most year.
(Of course, it would help if my team was in the Super Bowl… then I might be saying, “This is going to be the best game EVER!!) 😉
Nah. Gimme some NHL playoffs and March Madness. I’m good to go.