Frank Deford: The Super Bowl as seen through Shakespeare's eyes - Sports Illustrated

The game's the thing

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The Super Bowl has grown so big that we could think of only one man to cover it: William Shakespeare. The Bard was in Arizona when the two teams met the media yesterday and filed this exclusive play.

Act One begins as a mob of sports journalists enter the field at The University of Phoenix Stadium. A FETCHING SIDELINE REPORTER of the Duchy of Fox steps forward.

FETCHING SIDELINE REPORTER: Since none of my sex 'tis allowedWithin the network booth on high,'Twill be my one sweet distaff voiceMidst these growling sports-page lowlifesWhich will, upon my sideline nunnery,Dare confront the pretty Brady.

Two heralds, KORNHEISERCRANZ and WILBONSTERN, wearing hideous matching ESPN doublets, elbow the Fetching Sideline Reporter aside.

KORNHEISERCRANZ: Upon this line-ed greensward set within A desert the Almighty fixed but for cactusWill be this, our strange stage for Sabbath's pigskin war,Waged by mesomorphs come from green Blue States afar.

WILBONSTERN: 'Tis stranger still the warrior names affixed,For they would better be the one, the other.Think on't: those called Giants are but dwarfs here,Mere ciphers in the point spread, a goodly dozen down.

KORNHEISERCRANZ: Yea, the true giants, these peerless monsters,Call themselves Patriots, e'en though they give shameTo that sweet address, trafficking more as traitors,Scoundrels in video deceit, cashing all manner of Belichicks.

FETCHING SIDELINE REPORTER: But, hush all you scribes who bloviate so,For comes now fair Brady, he who is as superIn his mortal company as e're this game is to sport.But soft! Let me look upon him as if I filled his embrace,Ohh! A visage that Narcissus would have traded for!And a manner that ne'er knows pressure or fear.But, alas, 'tis women of fashion that he favors,For one already has his babe, another his flowers,And I: only a sideline reporter who can but model dreams.

Brady enters

KORNHEISERCRANZ: Methinks the crunch upon his presence is so great,And the paparazzi do shine forth such a spangled glareThat the great golden orb above must be dimmedAnd the sounds of Niagara itself seem noiselessBefore the din of questions that confront our great Brady.

ALL THE MEDIA: Brady, Brady what is afoot with thou?

BRADY: Good men of the press box, I come whole to you,For always the feats I have achieved, were upon my two feet,And Sunday next, I shall play the same no less,One game at a time, one good foot before the other.But now, I bid you, let me take my leave to join my mates,For by rolling alone, there is no way for Moss to gather passes.

Brady exits

WILBONSTERN: But look now, who approaches from yon other way.'Tis young Eli, who seems, in his manner, yet a boy,No match for such a paragon as the dauntless Brady.

KORNHEISERCRANZ: 'Tis so, he is yet more Manning than man,But the football blood that fills that callow vesselIs as royal as Brady ever bought to his capture-ed throne.Eli is the magnolia seed of the sainted ArchieAnd thus branch from the same tree as Peyton,He, who made stallions of Colts but twelvemonth past.Mayhap the lad can, with a pigskin, find the same markLittle David did when the bookies of yore favored huge Goliath.

FETCHING SIDELINE REPORTER: So, withal, is the grandeur of Brady match for the legacy of Eli? Forsooth,With that I take my silence and send it back up to the boys in the booth.