USA TODAY Sports
The plea of a simple man to the sports media about the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
Dear Members of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, and All Other National Sports Media Outlets:
I am writing to you this afternoon on behalf of NFL fans nationwide. While I have as of yet been unable to converse to the entire football-watching world about the subject matter of this letter, I feel confident that I speak for all of us regarding the events that are about to transpire over the next few weeks. My hope is that you receive this letter and choose to heed its message rather than take the path I fear you are going to take in the days approaching the Super Bowl.
This year's matchup is quite unique in that it pits two head coaches who just so happen to be brothers up against each other. While siblings competing in the NFL is by no means an anomaly, to have two coaches who are brothers going head to head in the biggest game of the year definitely isn't something that you see every day. And it is because of this unique situation that I'm writing you today. You may currently be under the impression that we as sports fans find the concept of "The Harbaugh Bowl" absolutely fascinating. You may also be under the impression that we cannot wait to read article after article about the Harbaugh family, the history of their sibling rivalry, and all of theother times that these two brothers competed against each other. You may also believe that constant and nonstop coverage of Jim and John Harbaugh is exactly what we as sports fans want to see.
Please trust me when I say that all of that could not be farther from the truth. Believe me when I say that we don't care.
I think that this bears repeating. We. Don't. Care.
The fact that there are two brothers coaching against each other in this game is not interesting to us. Stories from Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh about what their sons were like growing up have absolutely zero impact on the upcoming game. We don't care which team extended Harbaugh family members are rooting for. What John Harbaugh's second cousin has to say about this game is completely irrelevant. Which brother won the sack race at the 1981 Harbaugh Family Reunion has absolutely nothing to do with the Super Bowl.Absolutely none of that matters, and nobody wants to read about it. So I'll thank you not to write about it.
There are plenty of storylines within the game itself that warrant your attention. The resurgence of the hard-nosed defense. The emergence of the read-option quarterback. Youth vs. experience. Running game vs. running game. Randy Moss vs. Ray Lewis as the next legend to get a ring. Whether or not we are witnessing the birth of a new type of NFL quarterback. And these are just a few angles you can take in the coming weeks; there are plenty more storylines for you to explore. And because there are so many levels to this game, I implore you: please, please PLEASE keep your focus on the Super Bowl itself and not the brothers Harbaugh. Because trust me - none of us care.
I can only hope that, now that you have taken the time to read this letter, you do us, your readership, a favor and allow us to read about real, actual football. That you allow us to focus on the game and not the kind of human interest story that has kept daytime television in business. That you don't grab ahold of the "Harbaugh Bowl" storyline, strangle it to death, beat it until it is a pile of dust, collect said dust, reshape it, strangle it again, and beat it some more. Because with all that's going on with the upcoming game, I fear that what we are going to be reading about the most is the story that we all care about the least.
Thank you for your attention, and keep up the good work!
Alec Shane, On Behalf of Everyone