Super Bowl Opening Night has become more church social

Updated January 28, 2019 - 8:34 pm

ATLANTA

The subject will undoubtedly arise again Wednesday when Roger Goodell addresses the media at Super Bowl LIII, the NFL commissioner sure to be questioned about the non-call heard ’round the world and one that has driven some in The Big Easy to become The Big Crazies.

The billboards and lawsuits are a hoot, but put the thing to rest, already.

Rest assured, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has and on Monday took aim at a new target — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — before later softening his comments.

Which was more disappointing than the fact those TV Azteca reporters are beginning to act like, say it isn’t so, journalists.

Opening Night has become more church social than conglomeration of lunacy, a tradition the Rams and Patriots officially gathered for at State Farm Arena, the only time both teams will congregate in the same venue before Sunday’s game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

If you saw someone dressed as a nun roaming this event in the past, she would have proposed to Brady.

Now, she would offer him a blessing.

There was a guy in a clown costume Monday, cheerleaders being interviewed more than some players and Guillermo Rodriguez, the security guard Jimmy Kimmel made a star, back to convince people he still is (ever was?) one.

Some folks were handing out cooked scorpions to eat, but I figured there is no way it’s a staple of the TB12 diet, and if I ever have a craving, all I have to do is head out my back door in Summerlin in June and call the little buggers out from those rocks.

Or just look in my shoe.

Where was the dude impersonating a shark on Opening Night?

Where were the reporters trying to teach Bill Belichick to speak Chinese?

When did the event the league moved into prime time four years ago become so professional?

Is no level of stupidity sacred any more?

It’s a good thing, then, Robey-Coleman followed being involved in one of the more notorious plays in NFL history by suggesting Father Time has paid a longer visit to Brady’s skill set than most believe.

Which is sort of like telling those along the Eastern Seaboard that they didn’t invent … everything.

It also means every soul in Louisiana and now Massachusetts can’t stand the player whose name was hardly of the household variety with fans a few weeks ago.

Robey-Coleman prematurely hit Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis on third down in the final minutes of regulation in the NFC championship game and deep in Rams territory, forcing New Orleans to kick a field goal and not run out a majority of the clock in a game the Rams would rally to tie and then win in overtime.

And then New Orleans instantly combusted into an inferno of rage and death threats toward Robey-Coleman, who made headlines early Monday when evaluating the 41-year-old you-know-who.

Whining continues

“Age has definitely taken a toll,” Robey-Coleman told Bleacher Report. “For him to still be doing it, that’s a great compliment for him. But I think that he’s definitely not the same quarterback he was. Movement. Speed. Velocity. Arm strength. He still can sling it, but he’s not slinging it as much.

“Whatever he was doing — because of his age and all that — he’s not doing as much of that anymore. … And sometimes, it’s not the sharpest. But it still gets done.”

Robey-Coleman would back off those words during Opening Night like he might if covering Randy Moss in his prime, predictably saying they were taken out of context and Brady is the greatest quarterback in history and is a legend and yada, yada, yada, we can’t even get any real smack talk to stick any more.

Thank goodness, then, there were billboards to mock.

All across downtown here and within the surrounding areas, they have been popping up degrading the non-call. They are the financial work of a New Orleans car dealer who paid for the signage on behalf of Saints fans.

Read one: “NFL Bleaux it!”

Read another: “Saints Got Robbed!”

But if there is a time to move on from one of the most egregious officiating errors in NFL history — you know, for everyone outside the 504 area code — it’s now.

They’re going to play a game Sunday, and no billboard or grandstanding attorney filing lawsuits will change that.

Super Bowl week has commenced, despite the fact no one could save Opening Night by having a nun propose to Brady while shoving a scorpion down his throat.

We miss you, stupidity.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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