#inflategate is exactly what the Super Bowl needs
I love movies.
I love them so much that every Sunday a group of guys and I go to a new movie every week. I love the experience, I love the popcorn, and I love the stories.
As in most media, stories are what bring you in, capture your imagination, and allow you to pick sides. Over time your perception of what character you connect with changes.
Think about Star Wars - when you are a child you want to be the hero with a lightsaber, Luke Skywalker, as you age and get more complex morally, Darth Vader becomes the character most find the more interesting. I bring this up, not to talk about Star Wars, but to talk about this good vs. evil story bubbling into next week's Super Bowl.
Last weekend the Seattle Seahawks won a nail biter in overtime vs. the Green Bay Packers in order to head back to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots beat the Indianpolis Colts 45-7 to meet the Seahawks at the other end of the field. Which seemed to be the norm for Tom Brady and the crew, until late Sunday night when it appeared the Patriots adjusted the inflation of 11/12 of their footballs so they were easier to handle. Put another way, they might have cheated to get to the Super Bowl. Further, the NFL investigation seems to imply they fixed the balls in the second half as if they understood there might be some questions.
Regardless if you are a football fan or not, you are talking about the Patriots (SNL did a skit last night about to open the show)
Heading into Super Bowl Sunday where each American will spend on average $78 per person for snacks, gear, TVs, etc. people are looking to see if the cheaters will get what is coming to them. On a day where a 30 second commercial costs $4.5 million dollars, people want to see if the underdog who has won just a single championship to the Patriots three, can do the impossible.
This might be the best football movie never made, the rich quarterback with the supermodel wife plays for a team with the best of the best - all of the opportunity to win, and they still feel the need to cheat.
The Cobra Kai of the NFL.
Along comes the Seahawks with the 12th fan, the world record for the loudest stadium (broken by KC this year,) the team out of the Pacific Northwest becomes the only post-merger expansion team to go to back-to-back Super Bowl championship games THEY will attempt to defeat the bullies.
For all the discussion out of the NFL, I promise you nothing will happen to the Patriots which makes this narrative all the more powerful, if they actually got in trouble that would ruin the moment. "The man" is backing the rich kid team who complains about being called "a cheater" in the same way most of America views any given presidential administration or corporation, the story gains momentum off of that connection alone.
By in large most Super Bowl games end up being blowout scores and the Patriots are a very different team than when my beloved Bears destroyed them. The difference this year is that if the Patriot begin to pull away it makes the underdog story all the more irresistible.
As we stand on the edge of Super Bowl week and all of the stories that will rise up in order to build interest, but this should be the story. The NFL backed Patriots vs. the Everyman, the 12th man, the team from the grizzled northwest - the Seahawks.
Everything is marketing and this is some of the best I've seen in quite sometime.
Enjoy the game!