Alright, I’m better now. I just had to get that out of my system, and now I’m sure everything throughout the rest of this week will be entirely normal, and we won’t have any dudes in orange capes (see above) who scare the bejesus out of me. No, your childhood wasn’t normal.

It’s officially Super Bowl week ya’ll, and around here we’re so excited that we’ve deemed it acceptable to say “ya’ll”. As fans of the football this is the pinnacle of the sport, and while one game is the focus, what makes the NFL unique is that this week functions as a sort of football convention. Everyone who’s anyone in the media is currently huddled into their broadcasting cubicles down in New Orleans, creating a constant buzzing discourse about Sunday, and about anything that can possibly be discussed related to the NFL.

For fans and media, being bombarded with flapping football gums can be a little overwhelming by the time we reach even mid week, but it’s mostly glorious. You like football, which is why you’re reading a football blog. Therefore, you’ll thoroughly enjoy a week of talking about football and reading about football, and then likely yelling about football. It’ll be great fun.

But this question comes up every year, because few people on this Earth are lucky enough to even play in the NFL, let alone participate in a Super Bowl. Are all of the extra media responsibilities and the blur that is this week truly a distraction for the players? Or are they able to block it out, and still focus?’s Jeff Darlington was kind enough to ask those questions — or something like them — to a few large men who have been to and won a Super Bowl.

“Our plan for the game was already mostly in place before we even left Green Bay for the Super Bowl. We had our preparations set. We got the bulk of our work down before we got to town.” — Packers nose tackle B.J.¬†Raji (Super Bowl XLV)

“We made sure to keep the meetings the same, too. We got all of our work down before we got to Dallas so we didn’t get caught up in the media distractions. We understood the magnitude of the game, and we just wanted to be playing our best ball. You want to keep a little bit of normalcy, so we took a few days off, and then you get right back at it. You study your opponent and put in the majority of your game plan. You rehearse it and you feel good about it. So whenever you get to the city, you can just polish things up so you’re clicking on all cylinders.” — Packers linebacker Clay¬†Matthews (Super Bowl XLV)

Win or lose, merely being a part of the Super Bowl experience as a player is for many a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So in the same sense that you want to soak in other major life moments (i.e.: your wedding day, the birth of your first child), there’s surely a desire to absorb the moment for each player. They’re still human, you know.

But therein lies the mental battle between absorbing the moment, and getting lost in said moment. That’s where routines become key, and tomorrow a major disruption (MEDIA DAY OMG) looms. Then blissful normalcy sort of returns Wednesday: practice, go to meetings, repeat.

Just get to Wednesday, guys. For now, though, at least you can look forward to Ines Sainz’s yearly day of relevance.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • One team in New Orleans is already dealing with the realities of the offseason, as yesterday we learned that Alex Smith will likely request his release. [PFT]
  • Enjoy the Super Bowl everyone, and the next 29 Super Bowls. But after that, Bernard Pollard doesn’t think football will exist anymore. [CBS]
  • A football game of some kind was played in Hawaii last night, and Kyle Rudolph was named the MVP. [Shutdown Corner]
  • Oh good, now Terrell Owens is giving advice to Titus Young. [Detroit News]

Pic via AP