Sometimes, there are other components to the Super Bowl that have just as much of an impact as the game itself. Here is hoping the NFL Awards Show on Saturday night fits that role.
In addition to MVP, the league will announce the winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player's community service as well as playing excellence.
The other AP awards are Coach of the Year, Comeback Player, Defensive Player and Defensive Rookie and Offensive Player and Offensive Rookie, according to ESPN.
Last year, the awards were presented on the NFL Network throughout the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Hosting the event will be none other than by "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin, who could, in his own way, be the highlight of the evening.
The Super Bowl is the event itself, but the NFL has moved toward it becoming more than just a sporting event, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL execs have an opportunity to use the week's events as a platform to bring in the masses for entertainment value.
Baldwin helps fill that role.
So while we have seen other awards shows where entertainers have risen to the occasion and made the event fun, in most cases, it does not fit the bill. On a rare night, Billy Crystal or Robin Williams will trip the light fantastic. But Baldwin's ability to capture a crowd with dry humor may be just what the NFL needs to make its events that are not "on the field" more accepting in the public perception.
The NFL has become a year-round league where everything it does takes center stage, usually with a serious tone, with the media in touch with every breath every single member of the league takes. Baldwin offer some levity to this, and with his dry wit and imposing stature, he could be a hit for those who may not have the personality on camera as they do on a highlight reel.
Drew Brees is a likable guy, but he is quite stoic. Aaron Rodgers is learning the value of television and product endorsement, but honestly, he is not Brett Favre in that category. Eli Manning still looks wet behind the ears, and we all may be getting tired of seeing Peyton Manning endorsing MasterCard.
The awards show is a way to honor those who deserve credit for a job well done and, again, bring the masses to the NFL. Everyone loves the spotlight, and everyone seems to like red carpet affairs. This one, with the stars in attendance, could be stolen away by the one man not related with sports, who understands the importance of a good show and delivery.
And an opportunity to bring sports and entertainment together.