NEVIUS: Dilly dilly, an event that’s super silly

The New England Patriots assemble for their team photo in U.S. Bank Stadium Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


Make the Super Bowl a national holiday?


Obviously it already is.

What you are really talking about is a holiday called Hangover Monday. Then you wouldn’t have to fake a sore throat to stay home from work. Sorry. That’s on you. You knew the game didn’t start until 3:30 when you showed up at noon.

SB Sunday remains a national day of collective consciousness. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing lately about football’s plunging TV ratings. But last year’s Super Bowl was watched by 73 million people. Just to take a random event, last week’s much bragged about State of the Union speech drew 45.6 million.

No reason to think there will be fewer this year. And I’ll bet a surprising number of them will be watching the only football game they will see all year. They’ve been caught up in the hype, the buzz, and the goofiness.

This is the time of year when hidebound mossbacks complain about the extra week of buildup. It is supposed to be about the game, they say. Now it has just become silly.

You bet it has. And it isn’t going to change any time soon.

As a cultural touchstone, the week attracts all manner of media, from all manner of outlets. In 2013, when the 49ers were in the game, Coldplay performed the halftime show. I went to their press conference and it was full of Entertainment Tonight cameras and music magazine writers. Think they cared about Colin Kaepernick’s passer rating?

You get some disconnects. Like this year, when Chinese reporters were trying to get New England’s Patrick Chung to say “Welcome to the Year of the Dog,” in Chinese.

“I’m from Jamaica,” Chung said.

And so, because you didn’t have the time, I followed the events at the silliest week in sports:

Most convoluted setup to the shortest answer: Former Olympic skating medalist and Patriots fan Nancy Kerrigan is a TV correspondent for SB LII because of … um … the Tonya Harding movie?

Anyhow, she scored an exclusive with Danny Amendola and didn’t waste the chance to break some news, asking, “What is your favorite Super Bowl Party food?”

“Nachos,” he replied.

Ready-made analogy. No assembly required: Bill Belichick got off the Patriots’ plane to coach his eighth Super Bowl wearing an old-time fedora.

He explained that it was his dad’s and he wore it on a whim.

So there you have proof. To Belichick, the Super Bowl is old hat.

Silly Billy: In a triumph for low expectations, Belichick has become the king of comedy at Super Bowl LII — at least to hear the quote-starved media tell it.

The first inking of the new soft and fuzzy Belichick came — in a moment that captures Super Bowl week perfectly — when a reporter asked if he could tell a joke.

“What did the football coach say to the pay phone?”

Belichick didn’t know.

“I want my quarter back.”

The fact that Belichick issued a short bark of laughter at that was reported by major media outlets all across the country.

Big Bad Bill has been so affable that reporters have taken to counting the number of smiles per appearance — 33 in one case.

And he’s not taking his foot off the gas. He was still coming up with the one-liners until virtually game time.

“Bill, what is different about this Super Bowl?”

“This one is in Minnesota.”

Bill. Stop it. We’re in tears.

Other moments:

First we couldn’t get him talking; now we’re kinda sorry we asked: There’s a Minnesota angle for everything and Tom Brady said he had “a pretty good story” about fishing in the state with his uncles. It took an ugly turn though, when he said the uncles gave him chewing tobacco and forbid him to spit.

“And,” Brady said, “within five minutes I’m outside of the car throwing up all over the place.”

What is the “over” betting line on number of times the phrase “Dilly Dilly” will be said during the broadcast? 12.5.

Somebody’s probably making fun of him, but I liked it: Asked to talk about his family, the Eagles’ Nick Foles started in about his infant daughter, born in June — “I want her to be proud of her daddy.” — and puddled up for a moment. (Pause for dads to wipe eye.)

Thanks for clearing that up: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took the what-is-a-catch-and-what-isn’t controversy head on.

“From our standpoint, I would like to start back, instead of adding to the rule, subtracting the rule. Start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start,” he said. “Because I think when you add or subtract things you can still lead to confusion.”

Unfortunately, a translation into English was not available at press time.

Three turns of events you did not see coming: First, apparently everyone in Philadelphia knows that if a Philly sports team wins something big, you climb a lamp post.

Second, two weeks ago, before the NFC championship, Philadelphia cops greased the poles with Crisco. But the determined fans slithered up the poles anyway.

Third, last week a pornographic website announced it was donating 110 pounds of its lubricant for the city to apply to the poles.

Because product placement is everything.

Contact C.W. Nevius at Twitter: @cwnevius.