The Super Bowl.
Also known as The Big Game.
The latter is actually more appropriate than the former as this always is a big game. It's a one-game showdown for the championship of the National Football League, the professional version of America's most popular sport (Football has surpassed baseball as the national pastime.)
It's the biggest one-day sporting event each year. It might not compare to the worldwide excitement and interest created by the Olympics and the World Cup, but those events are conducted over weeks.
Yet, this game isn't always super. We've had some downright ugly ones. Like 1986 when Ditka and his Bears blasted outclassed New England, 46-10. It was so bad, William 'The Refrigerator' Perry scored a touchdown.
Then there was 1993, when Buffalo scored first but Dallas scored all day long. It was 52-17 Cowboys when Leon Lett decided to lose the football between the 1-yard line and the goal line, much to the chagrin and delight of those who were in final score pools.
But because this game is played by the two conference champions and playoff survivors, it's more often than not competitive.
Five of the late six have been decided by six points or less. The point spread on today's game has gone back and forth with both the Seattle Seawhawks and the Denver Broncos being favored at times.
It is indeed a great matchup. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, 37 years young, seeking to add his to his legacy. A legacy that just includes one Super Bowl victory, that one with Indianapolis. Perhaps the most cerebral quarterback ever to play the game. He has had two weeks to dissect the Seahawks' defense. He and coach John Fox are all business.
Then there's the Seahawks, who represent a franchise still looking for its first Super Bowl championship and a city that has nothing more than two National Basketball Association titles to celebrate in its sports history.
A team guided by 24-year-old quarterback Russell Wilson. Yet, while he is the dominating player on this team, he is not its dominating personality.
That would be head coach Pete Carroll. He exudes passion. For the game. For his team. For its players. The Seahawks play with heart. They like each other. They have diverse personalities but Carroll has molded them into a team that believes in itself.
All season long, one of the major focuses regarding this game was that it was taking place in New Jersey, where weather conditions this time of year can be brutal. It seemed like a poor decision given that there are better venues in warm weather climates, but it appears it is going to work out as today's forecast calls for temperatures in the 40s and no precipitation.
It's time to see if The Big Game turns out to be Super. You can find our staff predictions on Page 2C.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org