Is this Singletary-era hill the primary reason this 49ers team is in the Super Bowl? Probably not, but we want a full investigation regardless.
I have a confession to make. I don't know how else to say this, so I'll just come right out with it: I'm Canadian. And while there are advantages and disadvantages that come with living on either side of the 49th circle of latitude north of the equator, I'll readily admit that you Americans do sports better than we do. Crowd support, tailgating and — for the most part — media coverage. You go big when we often go home.
But there's one annual fortnight in which I thank God for letting that white stork carry my infant self across the St. Lawrence River in the mid-1980s. During the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, I actually appreciate the fact I'm forced to watch Bob and Doug McKenzie as they break down the Ottawa Senators' penalty kill on TSN (they actually have a hockey analyst named Bob McKenzie), as opposed to the NFL overkill you poor American souls are forced to endure on ESPN and every other major sports network that broadcasts from within the contiguous United States.
I'm one of the biggest NFL fans on the planet, but the I've spent lots of time forcibly watching American media coverage of the Super Bowl simply because my job has required it, and I've often asked myself how it's possible that any average sports fan could tolerate it for more than a few days. Every year at this time, two or three storylines pollute our senses from the moment the Conference Championship Games conclude until the seconds leading up to kickoff.
ESPN and NFL Network and their peers refuse to stop beating the hell out of a handful of horses that died before getting to New Orleans. Unless we protest by abstaining, that won't change.
Eventually, a few brave producers and editors might finally notice the wear and tear on the letters H-A-R-B and L-E-W-I-S on their keyboards and wake up. Those Super Bowl week pioneers might even try to hit the secondary with their coverage by finding some of the lesser-publicized stories attached to the largest sporting event of the year.
Eventually, we expect some desperate souls to hit on vastly underrated stories like these. Or at least we hope they do…
1. A night on Bourbon Street with Bryant McKinnie: Just get this guy out in the French Quarter.
2. A closer look at Roger Goodell's security detail: Don't try to tell me the commissioner is coming to New Orleans with no more protection than he had at past Super Bowls. I'm half-expecting Goodell to arrive in The Big Easy in that crazy bulletproof car Mr. Obama usually rides in.
3. The roller coaster season of Colin Kaepernick's tattoos: From being called out in the press to becoming the center of the nationwide phenomenon Kaepernicking it's been quite the ride for Colin Kaepernick's ink. How will they respond on the big stage of the Super Bowl?
4. Can Leonard Davis finally get that elusive first Super Bowl ring?: Also, Leonard Davis is still in the NFL? Which team is he on?
5. Gerry Sandusky's Media Day Adventure: Just how many obnxious media day outsiders are going to confuse the Baltimore Ravens radio analyst with that other Sandusky guy? For what it's worth, the Ravens Gerry Sandusky still has to make his identity clear even in his own Twitter profile.
6. Frank Gore's socks: Will he dare wear them lower than the NFL prefers in front of a worldwide audience?
7. Where are they now, Ravens 2000 Super Bowl team edition: Subjects include notable NFL media personalities like Trent Dilfer, Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe. Man, those guys sure know how to stay in the spotlight, just imagine the potential of that roundtable…
10. How much would Tim Tebow help the Ravens in this game?: Just kidding.