Two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl give plenty of time for manufactured controversy. The first of Super Bowl XLVI popped up this weekend, after Tom Brady spoke to a crowd of Patriots fans that showed up to see the team off to Indianapolis.
"I wish I could take all you guys to Indy with us," Brady said. "We're going down there, and we're going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend."
Not exactly Joe Namath guaranteeing victory before Super Bowl III. But to the headline writers at New York's tabloids, it's perfect front-page fodder.
Both the New York Post and the New York Daily News found this rather bland comment worthy of front pageheadline status on Monday morning, and the Post writes that the Giants will "make Brady pay for already planning victory party."
That's funny, because it presupposes both that the Giants are dumb enough to get motivated by a "guarantee" that includes the word hopefully and that Brady told Gisele to order six-foot heroes, streamers and party hats.
You would think that writers from the town of Joe Namath, Mark Messier, Patrick Ewing and Rex Ryan would know what a guarantee sounds like when they heard one. If this is a guarantee of victory, it's the lamest guarantee of victory ever uttered in a public setting.
This isn't a guarantee. This isn't even a prediction. It's a sentence with hopefully in it.
If you had a sick relative who needed a kidney transplant that told you "hopefully, they'll find a match," would you run and tell your parents that Aunt Susan is going to be just fine because she said she had a new kidney coming? Of course you wouldn't, because you understand what the word hopefully means and it is perfectly natural for someone to hope for the best possible outcome.
That's not the way it works when it is time for the Super Bowl, though. It is a time when people who write for a living pretend not to know what basic English words mean so that they can create stories out of thin air.
Welcome to Super Bowl week, boys and girls.