The day virtually everyone has been waiting for is finally upon us

What day is it? No, that is not a reference to an old GEICO ad. I didn’t say, “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike!” Today is a long awaited day for many sports fans. It is Super Bowl Sunday.

For me personally, it’s not that big a deal. Oh, I am going to tune in, that’s for sure. But until the Browns make it to the big game, it’s just another Sunday.

Many people do treat this day as a huge event. I suppose some just like to throw parties and this is as good an excuse as any. Pro football fans want to see who will capture the Lombardi Trophy, even if it’s not their own team. I have to wonder how many Saints fans will be in front of their TV sets today?!

People will be watching, of that you can be assured. The seven most watched broadcasts in U.S. television history are Super Bowls. Do you know what show topped the list for 27 years until dethroned by Super Bowl XLIV?

If you correctly guessed the final episode of M*A*S*H* perhaps you need to get off that couch once in a while! I don’t mean you should get up to go to the kitchen, but if you do, you will be excused.

Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day in the U.S. for food consumption. You have to know what is first, don’t you? That’s right, Thanksgiving. Now I’m getting hungry.

Another major part of Super Bowl Sunday is watching the ads. Companies pay big bucks for the right to inspire us to by their products. By big bucks, I mean HUGE sums of money. Let’s look at this year’s event.

CBS is charging advertisers $5.25 million for a 30-second spot. Another way of looking at it is this: that computes to roughly $175,000 per second. Boy, blink and you missed a big cash payout.

Personally I’m not sure the cost is worth it. I have a problem with even watching the Super Bowl ads. Why? Well, first of all, I am programmed to do one of three things the moment the game action is stopped.

One is to head to the kitchen for another helping of whatever is on the menu. Another is to head to another room of the house because I have helped myself to way too much of the first thing. And maybe most importantly — it is a reflexive action to grab the remote and start sifting through other TV options.

You guys know what I mean, right? I am curious though. Does your wife complain that you don’t stay long enough on one channel to know if you want to watch what’s on? I’m not saying that is the case in my house as we have more than one television set!

I will watch most of the commercials. If you want to get my attention, put a puppy in the ad. I will say AWWWW, but then not realize what product the commercial was advertising.

Many people will take notice of the halftime show. Big name entertainers will be performing, but this doesn’t really get my engine humming. If I watch the commercials then halftime is when I do my wandering.

Then there is the game itself. As I said before, with the Browns not playing, my interest is casual at best. I don’t bet on the Super Bowl, so I have no monetary interest in the game. My fantasy league was over at the end of the regular season, so there is no interest in what player scores.

But I do enjoy the game of football, so I will not only be watching but I love making predictions. So here’s my take.

The biggest factor in this year’s Super Bowl is experience. The three areas where experience comes into play is 1) the coach, 2) the quarterback and 3) the team rosters. Let’s look at each in reverse order.

The Patriots have a ton of players with Super Bowl experience. The Rams have three.

The Super Bowl is not a regular game. Everything is magnified and the first time you are in one can be overwhelming. This should be a huge advantage for the Pats.

Say what you want about Tom Brady, but he keeps showing up in Super Bowls. I think we need to give him his due as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Rams QB Jared Goff is very inexperienced though talented. Advantage once again to the Pats.

Bill Belichick should also go down as one of the best coaches to strut the sidelines in NFL history. He guides the Patriots to one Super Bowl appearance after another. The Rams coach, Sean McVay, is the youngest coach in the league. He may be very smart, but this is his first rodeo. Advantage one again to the Pats.

A couple of other things to consider are 1) a bad officiating call (I don’t think there will be one) or 2) a significant injury (a distinct possibility). So who am I picking?

Los Angeles 27, New England 24.

Call it a hunch!

Al Stephenson is a columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune

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