Super Bowl 2012: Seven days of hype before three hours of football

There is no point ranting about how the pre-Super Bowl hype is ruining the Super Bowl. That ship has sailed. The die is cast. The tweet has twittered, or whatever.

If you love being able to bake Eli Manning’s favorite cookies or seeing the commercials — sometimes the highlight of the Super Bowl telecast — before the game even begins, then this is the golden age of sports for you. If you don’t, you ignore it the best you can, flipping channels, hitting the mute button and shutting off your computer for a week. (Good luck!)

I am part of the Luddite clique during this week, trying to avoid as much of the blather as I can so that Sunday evening, I can enjoy the game like what I vaguely remember a normal person once was. I don’t want to see the commercials before they air, even the one featuring Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller. (Bueller? Bueller?) Not even naked David Beckham. (I can’t believe I just wrote that.)

I don’t want to hear the ginned-up sob stories about every member of both teams, a la the Olympic coverage. You know the stuff: “[Insert player’s name] is trying to concentrate on the biggest game of his life this week while across the country, his cousin’s sister-in-law’s brother’s co-worker is battling athlete’s foot.”

And I really don’t want to know that married women would prefer to sleep with Manning (yes, Eli) than with Tom Brady. (Maybe it’s the cookies?) This is according to a survey by a “notorious extramarital affair service,” and let’s have a moment of silence for the combination of those four words as a part of our Super Bowl lexicon.

But here’s my biggest fear: What if the Giants win, and this group — filled with its own success instead of self-loathing, which would be more appropriate — decides to pick the winner of other sporting events, and it is successful? What if, ah, how can I put this, married women of questionable moral fiber become our sports prognosticators?

I like my prognosticators a little more wholesome, I guess, and a little less human. It’s charming — or it’s supposed to be — when a top hat-clad dude in Punxsutawney, Pa., hoists poor Phil the groundhog in the air and predicts how much longer winter will last.

(What if, long ago, someone had started this tradition with a bear cub instead of the patient and malleable ground hog? The Punxsutawney Bear Cub Club would have been a small band of brave weather lovers — the forerunners of Jim Cantore, but with nine fingers — who after waking Mama Bear a few times, would have died out long ago, literally.)

But I like animals making predictions as long as they aren’t forced into it. Paul the Octopus — God rest his tentacles — correctly picked the winner of each of Germany’s games in the 2010 World Cup, plus the winner of Spain versus the Netherlands. Paul’s prognosticating came while he was being fed his mussels, so it was a win-win for everyone — except the mussels, I guess.

We all know someone who has made NCAA bracket picks based solely on the cuteness of the mascots, or the team colors. And we all know someone — or someone who knows someone — who has won his office pool using that system. And while it enrages some, dopey or clueless humans have just as much right to enter and win as the rest of you.

Somehow, though, we have to draw the line at loose married women, don’t we? Or else lock one in a box under a tree and let some guy in a tux haul them out once a year to get her Super Bowl pick. The rest of the time, she can eat mussels and make soccer picks. Underwater. More from Washington Post Sports

For Tracee Hamilton’s past columns, go to washingtonpost.com/hamilton.

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