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The Super Bowl is the most hyped sporting event in America, and the confluence of circumstances surrounding the game this year has created a potential for Super Bowl 48 to be the most hyped event in the league's history.

The game features the two best teams in football, with the best offense in forever going up against the best defense in some time.

The game has a Manning brother, and not just any Manning brother, but the one that moves the needle the most. The game has a villain; Richard Sherman made certain of that after his NFC Championship outburst.

The game is in the media capital of the world, if you haven't heard, and on top of that, there is a good chance it's going to be "football" weather outside.

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If Richard Sherman ever flames out in the NFL, wrestling promoters will be lining up around the block for his services.

The self-proclaimed best cornerback—best player?—in the game cut one of the greatest postgame promos you will ever see in his brief but memorable interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews after his Seattle Seahawks came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night in the NFC Championship Game.

"Well, I'm the best corner in the game," a vociferous Sherman told Andrews.

Can't really argue there, as he has proven that he is one of the best at that position in quite some time. Plus, the guy did just come up with an amazing game-saving play to seal the victory—and a spot in the Super Bowl—for his team.

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Someone should take Percy Harvin's helmet away…forever. Someone should snap a photo of the Seattle wide receiver and print it 32 times to post outside every NFL stadium in America.


Harvin was removed twice from the Seahawks' NFC divisional round victory over New Orleans after taking a couple of wallops to the head, the second of which has put his availability for the NFC Championship Game in jeopardy.

I feel like at this point in his injury-riddled career, removing Harvin from the game—not a game, but the game—may be for his own good.

Harvin missed almost the entire regular season for Seattle after hip surgery, playing in just one game in November before eventually making it back for the playoffs. He was traded to the Seahawks in the offseason after playing in just nine games for Minnesota in 2012, as an ankle injury forced the Vikings to put him on injured reserve.

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Tell me if you've heard this already, but Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are playing in a football game this weekend. Yeah, I know, it feels like their involvement in the AFC Championship Game has been criminally underreported, but that's where they'll be, and the winner gets to take his team to the Super Bowl.

Despite not playing in the same division and not even facing each other all that much in the playoffs over their respective Hall of Fame careers, Brady and Manning might have one of the biggest personal rivalries in sports today.

Is it a rivalry? The two quarterbacks genuinely seem to like each other. At the very least, they respect the hell out of each other and never say an ill word publicly, which takes a bit of the sting out of any sports rivalry.

Contemporaries, sure, but rivals? You bet.

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This is a casual football fan's dream.

As sportswriters—heck, even just as fans of the game­—we all start the season by picking which two teams we think will get to the Super Bowl. Part of the decision is based on in-depth analysis, trends, matchups, coaching styles and good ol' fashioned football know-how. 

Part of the decision, to be honest, is usually based on which teams we want to cover. Let's face it, some teams just have a more interesting back story, and while that never—repeat never—makes one NFL team a more worthy champion than another, it does make the two weeks leading up to the title game that much more interesting. 

The Super Bowl has become such an enormous event that the actual playing of the game can become secondary to the buzz around it. 

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Eight teams are left with a chance to win the Super Bowl, and eight quarterbacks are charged this coming weekend with leading their teams one step closer to a crack at the title.

Is it that simple? Can the divisional round of the NFL playoffs be boiled down to the guys under center? Yes and no.

But mostly yes.

Certainly with all the schemes and reads and checks and packages and complexities of a modern football game, it's not as easy as a coach saying, "Hey Peyton/Tom/Philip/Andrew/Russell/Colin/Cam/Drew go out and win this game for us."

It's not that simple, but maybe it can be. This weekend—with eight quarterbacks who have been so critical to the success of their franchises this year—everything hinges on which ones will stand tall and which will falter under the playoff pressure. 

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Bob Costas, appearing Wednesday on the MLB Network, called it Hall of Fame purgatory. 

Maybe they can set aside a place in the vestibule of the Cooperstown shrine for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, unquestionably two of the greatest players ever to play baseball.

They could even put them on the floor, so people can wipe their feet on the game's recent history. Isn't that what the Baseball Writers Association of America is doing?

Neither Bonds nor Clemens will be making the trip to Cooperstown this summer—a hearty congratulations, by the way, to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, who all made the Hall in their first year on the ballot—leaving the BBWAA riding a collective high horse away from the time in the game's history they like to call The Steroid Era.

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Jameis Winston had a household nickname before he ever took a snap in college.

As the 2013 college football season rolled along and Florida State was outscoring every team it faced by an average of nearly 40 points, the legend of "Famous Jameis" grew and grew, nearly as big as Johnny Football; bigger, still, than RGIII.

The difference between Winston and the two most recent Heisman Trophy winners before him, however, is that Famous Jameis won a much more important trophy to end his season, both for his own legacy and his school.

"Jameis grew up unbelievably tonight," an emotional Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher told ESPN's Heather Cox after Florida State came from behind to beat Auburn, 34-31, in the BCS National Championship on Monday. "Tonight's probably the best football game he's ever played, because he struggled early, and that's what big-time players do. When the money is on the line, they can suck it up in the fourth quarter and do what they have to do."

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If I ran the Cincinnati Bengals, I'd probably fire Marvin Lewis after losing in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year, this time with a 27-10 home defeat to the San Diego Chargers.

When I mentioned that on Twitter, many Bengals fans—and more levelheaded football pundits—thought I was crazy. Lewis led Cincinnati on three consecutive trips to the playoffs from a division that routinely features Super Bowl champions…and the Browns.

Fire the guy? He should get a raise!

Or should he?

In today's NFL, is getting to the playoffs merely enough? Are we that hell-bent at celebrating parity that simply being in the top half of teams year after year warrants celebration and retention? 

The Bengals are one of just five teams in the NFL to make the playoffs each of the last three seasons. Three of the other four—New England, Green Bay and San Francisco—have made it to or won the previous three Super Bowls, while the fourth—Denver—won the AFC West three consecutive years, securing home-field advantage each of the last two. 

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Chris Kluwe is a pretty brave dude.

In addition to making a living kicking a football while trying to avoid 300-pound gladiators, the nine-year veteran punter has been an outspoken gay rights advocate despite being part of an NFL players' fraternity that hasn't exactly been open to that viewpoint. 

Kluwe penned an op-ed for Deadspin that ran on Thursday afternoon in which the former Minnesota Vikings punter called his former bosses "two cowards" and his position coach "a bigot."