All this Super Bowl hype is making me, well, hyper. Can we please stop talking and start playing? Toss the coin and kick the damn ball, already.

Is there any annual sporting event that is hyped and dissected more than the Super Bowl?

There is no denying the National Football League’s final game of each season always is a fun-filled, party-inducing, sporting spectacle. It is, by far, the most anticipated one-day American sporting event on the calendar each year.

But I simply cannot stand hearing one more person predict the final score and why the New York Giants or New England Patriots have the edge in this year’s “Big Game.”

Almost never does anything anyone thinks or says before the game actually happen. And, frankly, all this talk is making my ears and eyes burn.

I, like so many, are stressed to the max wondering and worrying about how the Patriots will do. It is difficult to enjoy the two-week ride to the big game because of all the sporting sensory overload.

All one has to look at to understand predictions do not mean squat is the outcome of the Super Bowl between these teams four years ago. The undefeated Patriots were a two-touchdown favorite on a Giants’ team that simply got hot at the end of the year and won three tough road playoff games to reach the big dance.

Of course, we all know what happened next.

There are many similarities between that Super Bowl and this one, perhaps the most glaring is the fact the Giants also got hot at the end of this year and won must game after must game, week after week against top opponents to reach the final game. So, it appears they are, once again, battle tested and playing their best at the right time. And that means something in any sport.

On the other hand, the Patriots proved to be consistently strong throughout the year, and one could make the case, among the best offensively all season. Their defense has been, well, a never-ending work in progress, a mish-mash of players few Patriot diehards could name from week to week.

So, do I know who will win the game? Of course not. I have no clue. And neither does anyone else, whether it is a former NFL player or the bag boy/girl at the local grocery store. Everyone’s opinion on this matter is the same.

I know I want the Patriots to win and I think the Patriots have the ability to win, but so do the Giants. It really is too close to call, but no one really knows how these things will turn out. It really is a domino effect, akin to a chess match played with large, muscular and athletic human knights, rooks and pawns. Too much is up in the air until one watches the game unfold.

It all comes down to who plays the best overall — and limits mistakes. That is about it. One team taking advantage of, or exploiting, if you will, the other team’s weaknesses.

To make matters worse, I cannot muster the necessary hatred I need for the Pats’ opponent. I do not have the animosity for the Giants I do for opponents of my other favorite New England pro teams (New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Montreal Canadians, Vancouver Canucks and New York Jets come to mind). How can you not like Tom Coughlin, the man who always seems on the hot seat but finds a way to get his team to pick itself up by the bootstraps and make an annual run for the Lombardi Trophy? Or the Giant players, who are just a bunch of blue collar, lunch pail guys who go to work and get it done more often than not.

Then there is Eli Manning. For the first few years of his career, I was not impressed with his play. I felt his brother, Peyton, was far superior. But Eli certainly has elevated his overall game and now is knocking at the Peyton Manning-Aaron Rogers-Drew Brees-Tom Brady elite door. So, that fact scare me.

There is a lot that scares me about the Giants who, on paper, probably are a little better overall than the Patriots. New York’s defensive line can create havoc and the offense can score points, especially with three talent receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz. Then there is New York’s solid running game, which is solid, if not spectacular.

When clicking, the Patriots certainly have plenty of offensive firepower and their defense has shown improvement in recent weeks, but with Rob Gronkowski expected to be less than 100 percent with an ankle injury, Tom Brady coming off one of his worst postseason performances (against Baltimore) and the Patriots’ secondary’s propensity to give up large chunks of yardage through the air, the outcome of this Super Bowl might make Pats’ fans as sick as the previous super game between these opponents.

Only this time it will not be the end of the Patriots’ quest for perfection and history on the line, but simply another missed opportunity for the Brady-Bill Belichick quarterback-coaching tandem, whose tenure together certainly is on the back nine.

Ultimately, the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl will come down to, as I use my best Belichick-speak, which team blocks, tackles, catches, throws and runs better for 48 minutes, give or take a little overtime.

Pretty simply prediction, right? But one that certainly will hold true when the hype ends the real game begins.

Village NetMedia Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at