ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 04: Super Bowl merchandise sits in a store window ahead of Super Bowl XLV at on February 4 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Super Bowl is a completely different animal compared to the 19 weeks played prior. Though one can simply blame 13 days of nothing but stories, updates, predictions and prophesy, the fact is by the time the Super Bowl arrives, there's a sense of exhaustion. I'm ready for it. Not because I'm excited for the actual game, rather because I'm exhausted with the time filled exploring the most obscure stories regarding players I otherwise care little for. Maybe that's it. Maybe my interest is based on the team's playing, failing to pool enough care, outweighed by an antagonism that the gmae should feel nothing more than another high-profile game on Sunday Night Football.
But then it wasn't like that for the Conference Championship games; a week I've often referred to the true finale in a season, even though one game obviously remains. The emotions are higher, the energy is greater. Players talk about reaching the Super Bowl as the one true dream; is that same feeling remaining after two weeks of being showcased for two weeks? Teams play in front of their chaotic home crowds, generating an energy at the stadium that's never replicated at the Super Bowl's neutral site.
Transitioning from football to a single game that's encapsulated within a bubble of Corporate America's greatest work has slowly defined what the Super Bowl is about today.
That being said the Super Bowl is America's greatest sporting event. Yes the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 are tremendous events in their own right, bringing massive crowds with week-long events leading to their respective show. Whereas America's brand of Auto Racing is generally a local phenomenon (in terms of viewers), the Super Bowl covers the world.
+ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis isn't feeling rushed to replace his defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle, who recently signed with Miami to become the Dolphins newest defensive coordinator.
+ Based on how teams finished in 2011, the Cincinnati Bengals will have the league's 14th toughest schedule in 2012. The jump from having one of the league's easier schedules last season to a more difficult schedule next season is largely due to the divisions they'll be facing.
+ Mocking the Draft put together a five-round mock draft with the Bengals selecting a cornerback and guard with their first two selections | Another draft has Cincinnati selecting a cornerback and running back in the first round.
+ Dan Brugler of CBSSports.com uses his mock draft to select a cornerback and perhaps a safety. I definitely could live with that.
+ On the other hand Rob Rang from the same company has Cincinnati selecting an offensive guard and a defensive lineman.
+ Anthony Cosenza's latest mailbag.
+ Wes Bunting of the National Football Post believes that Utah State running back Michael Smith and quarterback Aaron Corp would be good fits with the Bengals. Unless the Bengals use him to develop into a long-term backup solution to Andy Dalton, I don't see the team drafting any quarterbacks this year.
+ Now that Cris Collinsworth is at the Super Bowl preparing to call this weekend's game, he reflects on the two Super Bowls that he lost as a player with the Bengals.
+ Jason Garrison grades the safety position during the 2011 season.
+ With the Bengals changing their training camp venue to downtown Cincinnati, the players need a place to stay.
+ Tony Dungy impressed with quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green.
+ Brian Billick: Bengals President Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis have a shared vision.