The Super Bowl is overrated. The Stanley Cup Finals are better. Allow me to explain so we all understand.
In case you aren't sitting on the NFL's balls or just "watch for the commercials", the Super Bowl is Sunday. Kickoff is at 5:18 in the evening, or something weird and stupid. Outside of Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers fans, is there anyone really passionately watching a couple teams bash into each other repeatedly with several breaks stuffed in between and a lot of loose talk about relocation, offending team names and Peyton Manning retirement flogging? Anybody?
The Super Bowl is not as good as the NHL Stanley Cups playoffs. It's not even close. The NHL playoffs all together are a different beast entirely. A field goal won't win or lose a game and allow a team to advance. A wicked bounce of the puck may just send the two teams to the next game. In hockey, you fucking earn the right to advance.
Hockey is where real athletes compete for at least four games that could go beyond four hours if the teams can't figure out how to score more than the opposition. There are only stoppages for stupid penalties, fundamental errors from players and the occasional TV timeout. Other than that, relentless action.
There are no commercials needed as a safety net in case the actual game sucks(plenty of Super Bowls in my memory). More people care about the probability of Bill Cosby showing up in a Cialis commercial than the players in the game. People are grading the halftime show more than they are a particular defense's performance midway through. "They didn't sing the song" or "Look at the stupid shark next to Katy Perry" will trend the next day over a particular big play.
Instead of watching Trent Dilfer, Joe Flacco or Rex Grossman lead an offense down the field, I'd rather watch wall to wall action between a pair of defensemen, a streaking goal scorer and a goaltender who can't move. It's not my fault Gary Bettman has bent the league and its fans over a globe and showed them the states while Roger Goodell has turned billions of dollars from a game slowly destroying human beings' futures as functional human beings. That's life. It rarely sleeps with fairness.
What I can tell you is that no matter who plays in the Stanley Cup finals, I will be watching. Panthers and Wild. I'm watching. Jets and Blue Jackets. I'm there. When it comes to hockey, the playoffs have no equal. Baseball can't match up, unless you have a 12 pack of red bull and a bottle of speed pills. Basketball is boring all together unless Lebron James or Steph Curry are on the floor. Football can't project the raw intensity and excitement of a shaking arena with two teams who really fucking hate one another. There are no postgame midfield ass grabs after the game or first base meet and greets. There's "Get your stick and keep it away from my goaltender or I'll break it off your asshole and hand the other half to your mother in section 112". When David Backes and Jonathan Toews hop on the ice, it's not gentle or polite. It's the Highlander. There can only be one!
The only reason I'm watching Super Bowl 50 is for Peyton Manning. He's my guy and has been since 1998. I want to see him collect ring #2 against all odds, hop on a Bronco and ride the fuck off into the sunset while he gives Stan Kroenke and that ridiculous LA Rams offer the greatest and tallest finger of them all. I couldn't care less about Cam Newton and his Superman complex. I will be watching for the Christopher Walken Kia Optima commercial so I can hear him say "Pizazz!" and learn it so I can acquire it for my Walken impersonation. I could watch Liam Neeson commercials all day long. That large Irishman is brilliant. Alec Baldwin and T.J. Miller are also funny. You see what happened there? I listed Super Bowl and reasons in a paragraph and most of them were non football reasons. That wouldn't happen with the NHL Finals.
I believe that someone who doesn't know a thing about hockey could turn on the Stanley Cup Finals and become a fan. I believe that someone who doesn't like hockey in general could turn on playoff action and reconsider. I can't say the same for the NFL's big game. The Super Bowl feels like any other game. The Stanley Cups Finals are something entirely different and unique.
The Super Bowl may be the most popular game of the year, but that doesn't make it the best. That title belongs to the NHL and its SEVEN game series.