It happens almost every year around here: There's no Bay Area team in the Super Bowl, so fans think “Why bother watching?”
There are definitely years when that sentiment makes sense, but this year, there are several reasons to join in. Here are 3.
#1: Peyton Manning. One of the best, nicest, smartest, funniest, and most successful QBs in the league, you gotta root for him to get another ring. Yes, he has one with the Colts, but it'd be nice to see him snag another one with the Broncos. And at 37, you've heard the rumors. If he leads the Broncs to a championship, he calls it a career and goes out on top. So you've got to tune in because it might be his last game ever.
#2: A classic good vs. evil matchup. With nice-guy Manning at the helm and nary a disparaging word about the rest of the squad, you've got to consider the Broncos the good guys in this one. Mostly because it's so easy to see the Seahawks as, well, if not evil, certainly full of themselves. Richard Sherman made it easy for everyone outside the Puget Sound area to root against them, but most fans were probably going to anyway.
This is a team that's only been in one Super Bowl and lost it, often doesn't make the playoffs, and has no real history of consistent championship success. So you'd think maybe they'd be happy to be where they are but also show a little humility.
It's funny that, if they hadn't given the country a reason to hate them, a lot of fans, who are normally indifferent to them, would probably have jumped on board. Why not pull for a team that's never won it?
Well, that ship has sailed. Maybe that's how they want it: Us against the world. If so, they got it. Rooting for Manning and the Broncos couldn't be easier.
And finally, #3: The weather. The geniuses at the NFL who thought it would be a good idea to have the biggest sports event of the year in cold-weather city that's been known to entertain blizzards in February may have gotten away with one. The current kickoff forecast for Sunday in the Tri-State Area is about 35 and cloudy, but there's no snow or ice in the forecast...for now.
Still, with all the polar vortices that've been hitting the rest of the country, including the New York/New Jersey area, you gotta tune in just in case it turns into an ice bowl. You know the aforementioned genius will be shaking in their shoes till it's over and they know they've pulled it off. Plus there is snow in Monday's forecast, so if that system speeds up...who knows?
There you go, three good reasons to say “sayonara” to the 2013 NFL season. Sunday, 3:30, channel 2. If you still refuse, see you in August.