Welcome to Super Bowl Sunday.
In recent years, in spite of the oppressive hype and seemingly endless delays after the championship games, the nation's biggest sporting event usually produces games worthy of the astounding television ratings they annually garner.
Because beyond the commercials, the "this-is-the-biggest-guacamole-day-of-the-year" and the 8-hour pregame show, the game has one key, compelling component: It actually determines something important, a championship.
Even in the stretch of boring blowout games of the mid-1980s until the late 1990s, the Super Bowl was worth watching because it was the culmination of a season's worth of games.
Never miss a local story.
On the other hand... there's the Pro Bowl.
It's so easy to pick on the NFL's awful scrimmage, it almost doesn't seem fair. Personally, I thought the idea of moving it to the week before the Super Bowl made the game somewhat more palatable.
At least it was no longer the headache-raging hangover following the big game.
Between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl could safely be ignored as the terrible Hawaiian shirt-draped exhibition it is.
I was content to leave it alone to the diehards who would rather watch that instead of college basketball.
However, I cannot ignore last week's Pro Bowl.
In a game traditionally bereft of defense and effort, the 2011 Pro Bowl still somehow managed to disappoint.
No single play summed up the reason there should not be a 2012 Pro Bowl better than the final touchdown of the 55-42 abomination.
The play starts with 41 seconds remaining. As soon as AFC center Alex Mack snaps the ball to the Chiefs' Matt Cassel, all five offensive lineman stand up without engaging their counterparts.
That's no problem, because the NFC defensive linemen also just stand around, possibly thinking about the evening's Hawaiian luau.
After a few seconds of standing around himself — perhaps he's mentally checking off five "apples" before he throws — Cassel finds Dwayne Bowe for about a 20-yard reception. It's a nice moment for Chiefs fans, showing the progress the team made in 2010.
Bowe laterals the ball to Montell Owens, who avoids a couple of tackles — actually let's not use that word, how about attempted "freeze tags?"
Eventually Owens is wrapped up by an NFC defender. It should seem that the play would then be over, but because it's the Pro Bowl, the effort to finish the tackle is lacking, Owens is able to lateral the ball again — to Mack!
The offensive lineman lumbers the remaining 40 yards for the touchdown, capping the run with a dive that results in a possible wardrobe mishap. Let's not dwell on that last part.
It was atrocious football.
It was a play one might expect to find in a sports movie, where the filmmakers had never actually seen that sport before. Please see any Disney sports film except for "Miracle" for visual evidence.
Did I mention this game contained six interceptions and three fumbles?
For whatever reason, people still watched. The game grabbed its highest rating since 2000.
Maybe it was because people were drawn in for that 42-0 lead the NFC jumped out to?
On a related note, the NFL experimented with long pants as part of the teams' uniforms. I say, why not? It's not as if the game will look any worse.
When the impending labor mess starts wiping out games next season, hopefully Roger Goodell will let this game be the first casualty.
Super griping — In another annual exercise, one couldn't go far without reading or hearing a media member ripping on the Super Bowl host city.
Yes, Dallas-Fort Worth is awfully cold this year. Yes, it's icy.
But is it really necessary that we have to complain about Super Bowls that aren't in the magic rotation of Miami, New Orleans or San Diego?
The weather won't affect the game itself today.
Even realizing that media members are actually working during the week of the Super Bowl, it just seems so petty to complain to the rest of the 300 million or so Americans who aren't at the game.
It's a corporate event. It's not for fans. It's just a venue from which the game will be televised to the rest of us.
There are plenty of folks with crummy jobs who have to take business trips to places that they don't want to go either.
Nobody wants to read a column on how the brushsellers convention in East Podunk was a drag either.
Run 'n' Gun is The Eagle Sports staff's weekly look at the offbeat side of sports.