The phrase “another day at the office” fills me with more dread and annoyance than I can express. In Spanish: me molesta tantísimo. My work experience in offices bothered me enough to push me to this line of work, where the office doesn’t make me regret living in a first-world country. This Super Bowl matchup feels like another day at the office. It doesn’t matter if that office is Goldman Sachs or a mop closet at a Taco Bell, it’s still an office. “Oh, hey Tom. Your hand hurts? Bummer, dude. Welp, gotta go stare at Excel for a few hours.”
It’s not Pretzel Day, it’s not the beyond exhausted Ugly Sweater Party around Christmas, hell, it’s not even Casual Friday. It’s a Wednesday afternoon, the water cooler is empty and your belt is at home. That’s because it’s another Patriots Super Bowl, and we’ve seen this movie almost 10 times now.
All this being said, it’s still football, and that’s always a good time. It’s like working at one of those fun offices where everyone has beards and expensive glasses and there’s a ping-pong table and food trucks and political correctness runs through the veins on everyone’s skinny arms. How do we know there isn’t a storyline yet? Because sports outlets are reporting, literally, on the color of gear being used by either team. One headline was about Tom Brady wearing red gloves at practice. Another discussed the Patriots’ choice of white jerseys for the Super Bowl. Tom Brady could wear forearm-length Cruella Deville white gloves and the Patriots could wear Indiana Pacers jerseys for all I care, and probably you, too. If we focus on this as a Patriots Super Bowl, it’ll be as hyped up as Bob Ross on PBS.
The Patriots have, relative to other years, been even more boring, more predictable in their success. Tom Brady’s diet has already been analyzed and broken down a thousand times. Deflategate ran its course. We aren’t aware of any practices being filmed…yet. The fact of the matter is that the Patriots have been so successful and so prominent for so long that there is nothing more to examine apart from their dominance on the football field, and how much people hate them. Some tried to report that the Patriots are falling apart, that Brady is too old and Belichick has proven all he needs to prove. Yeah, Brady is old, which is why his dominance is even more captivating. Belichick has absolutely nothing more to prove, but as long as he’s given opportunities to further establish himself as one of the greatest coaches of all time, he will. And he’ll mumble the whole time. But the Patriots aren’t falling apart. Sure, maybe having their entire coaching staff leave will hurt for five seconds, but the system is there, and it’ll be hard to break.
There’s another team here that, despite odds against them, make this an interesting matchup. Nick Foles was a backup to the likely league MVP just a few weeks ago, and he just thrashed one of the top defenses in the country. What does this mean for him? Have we forgotten about Carson Wentz already? Is there any way the Eagles can outsmart the Patriots and shock the world?
Sure, there’s no controversy this time around, but it’s an opportunity for everyone to watch one of the strongest, albeit most evil franchises in sports history go about their work. It’s an opportunity to watch an underdog on an underdog team try to topple the empire and immortalize themselves in the process. That’s your storyline. Enjoy.