The Harbaugh Bowl. "Super Bro I." The beat-you-over-the-head storyline for the Super Bowl is clear -- the match-up of brothers John and Jim Harbaugh.
It seems innocuous enough now, but just wait until next week, when it will be over-the-top.
That said: It is an INCREDIBLE storyline, arguably the greatest individual storyline in Super Bowl history. (What: You thought I'd say Jerome Bettis' Detroit homecoming?)
As someone who grew up with a younger brother and as a father to brothers who couldn't be more tight-knit, I welcome the crushing overexposure of the Harbaugh Bowl.
*Patriots schadenfreude: The reality is that there isn't an individual team whose non-championship conclusion to the season brings out the schadenfreude like the Patriots. In part, that's a testament to them -- we just presume that they will win the Super Bowl, to avoid the disappointment if they do... and to maximize the glee when they don't. As someone without a die-hard NFL team allegiance, "when the Pats get knocked out of the playoffs" is annually my NFL season highlight.
*What next for the Falcons: Let's be clear -- it was "Super Bowl or bust" for Atlanta, so consider their season a bust, compounded by giving up a 17-0 lead at home (a week after giving up a 20-0 lead at home and only getting through because Pete Carroll got cutesy with the ice-the-kicker thing). Unsure what happens for them next, aside from another season of regular-season superiority, followed by the inevitable playoff knockout.
*Super Bowl pick: 49ers over Ravens, although at this point it's pick-against-Baltimore at your peril.
*Manti Te'o Watch: I would like there to be more sensational details, but in the end, it sure seems like the story comes down to Te'o getting hoaxed, then being so traumatized by it that he couldn't figure out how to surface the story publicly. With the Couric interview, you can already tell that the Te'o family is planning to make a very big deal out of becoming the poster family for online awareness of scams and hoaxes (and it's a very smart strategy, one that you hope is moderately sincere.)
*Sacramento Kings are headed to Seattle to become the Sonics: On the one hand, I am thrilled for my friends in Seattle who were hurt so badly when the Sonics left for OKC. On the other hand, they are doing to Sacramento exactly what was done to them, and simply acknowledging that irony probably isn't enough. Sacto IS the Kings -- Seattle has plenty of other sports teams. I just hope that the city can one day bring back an NBA franchise. Otherwise, today is a day for lamenting a devoted fan base losing their team, not celebrating the return of the NBA to Seattle (a city that deserves an NBA team, btw.)
*Enjoy your Inauguration Day/MLK Day. Both are always a special day in America.