This is it: Super Bowl XLV (45, if you had to look it up, like I did) is upon us, almost. A quick glance at the media, any media, makes it clear that this is the weekend when America's love affair with the NFL culminates in a riot of parties during the game on Sunday.
Right, there is a game! This year it's in Dallas and it pits the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They're two of the League's most storied teams and this year's contest is a bit of a toss-up, in my mind at least.
Over at ESPN.com, where they actually know what they're talking about, the Packers are the favorite. But it's not a unanimous verdict.
Enough about the game, though, this is NPR after all. Let's survey some of the foam frothing up around this most important weekend of all.
—Snow has hit Dallas. Snow! Dallasnews.com details this surprising turn of events, including travel problems. The AP reports that six people were injured — at least one critically — by falling ice at Cowboys Stadium.
—Looming over the Super Bowl festivities is the end of the collective bargaining agreement on March 3 between NFL players and owners. USA Today says friction between the two could mean no football next year.
—Safety has been a big issue for the NFL this year, with growing concern about the long-term effects of football's hard-hitting play on the brains of players. The New York Times takes a look at the issue through the prism of the two teams in Sunday's big game.
—Super Bowl ads seem to be talked about as much as the game game itself. So The Wall Street Journal rounds up some of the most anticipated(!) ads, which cost millions air.
—The Post-Gazzette in Pittsburgh has put together a list of 45 football-themed movies to rev you up before the Super Bowl.
—Schools are turning the Super Bowl into a teaching opportunity in the Green Bay area, according to the Press-Gazette. Preble High School is one school playing off the football theme with its Super Bowl Math Trivia contest.