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Sorensen: Life after NFL should wait a day

Tom Sorensen
Tom Sorensen has been a columnist at The Observer for more than 20 years and has been at the paper for more than 25, writing about nearly every sport in the Carolinas.

I’ve long advocated making the Monday after the Super Bowl a holiday. If the game is great, we can celebrate. If the game is terrible, a day off provides a soft place to land.

Either way, we don’t have to work. Roman Numerals ought to take precedence over the Gross National Product.

Seattle’s 43-8 victory against Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII was depressing. At kickoff there was a Saturday morning feel to it. By halftime, it felt like Monday afternoon.

I didn’t miss a play, but I did miss most of the commericals and all of halftime. I saw the dober-huahua commercial, which was hilarious. Also I’m a sucker for horses and puppies, and liked the horse-puppy ad.

The only effective horses were in the commercials. The Broncos were harmless. I felt bad for Peyton Manning, who was a human being before he was a quarterback. He’s one of the greatest regular-season quarterbacks of all time, but his ineptitude Sunday contributes to a legacy of postseason mediocrity.

All season Manning would fling 6-yard passes that a receiver would turn into 16- and 26-yard gains. Seattle allowed 6-yard passes to go for 6 yards.

Manning was upset when asked if Denver’s performance embarrassed him.

“It’s not embarrassing at all,” he said. “I would never use that word. There are a lot of professional football players in that room, that locker room, who put a lot of hard work and effort into being here and into playing that game. That word embarrassing is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.“

If a player chooses to be embarrassed by his work, that’s his call.

But I don’t get it when fans say their team embarrassed them (unless it’s a college team that cheats).

If I choose to be embarrassed, then it won’t be the result of something Jordan Gross, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly or Ted Ginn Jr. did. It will be because of what I did.

I don’t need help.

Although the Super Bowl was a forced march, the season was an interesting ride. Think about this: Carolina held its first practice of training camp July 26. That was more than six months ago.

Training camp was so long ago that, in an exclusive interview, NFL Coach of the Year Ron Rivera told me receiver Armanti Edwards was his Spartanburg Most Valuable Player. I wish the interview had not been exclusive.

Until he was hurt, Edwards played well for Cleveland, which picked him up after the Panthers cut him. He was on his way. I tell you. All you fantasy football guys keep an eye out for him – especially if you’re in my league.

Five months from now, the Panthers will convene in Spartanburg and start again.

Bovada.lv isn’t waiting. It released its odds for the 2015 Super Bowl. Seattle is the favorite at 9-2. San Francisco is 15-2 and Denver is 8-1. This assumes, obviously, that Manning returns.

Green Bay is 16-1, New Orleans is 18-1 and five teams are 25-1. They are Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Carolina.

The odds that Super Bowl XLIX will be better than XLVIII: like, really good.

Although I wish the end of the season had been dramatic, the absence of the NFL is freeing. I can dive into the NBA, have Sundays open and, on Feb. 19, hit Interstate 95 and drive to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the Daytona 500.

The Syracuse-Duke men’s basketball game was as mesmerizing as basketball at any level gets. With Duke playing well and North Carolina threatening to, the ACC will be interesting. Davidson has benefited from a rough early-season schedule and is playing like Davidson. In April, there’s the golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., one of the great events in sports.

So, yes, there is life after football.

But it shouldn’t start until Tuesday.

Sorensen: 704-358-5119; tsorensen@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @tomsorensen
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