Enjoy Super Sunday, because after that, February flops

Once the last strand of confetti hits the floor in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, the sports calendar hits its annual lull in genuine excitement.

Football season will, at least officially, be over. We know better, of course, because there is no NFL offseason for the trolls who get off on stuff like pro days and the combine, which is basically a bizarro-world Victoria's Secret Show starring the occasional fat guy who runs freakishly fast. Or mock drafts and Mel Kuiper Jr.'s relentless pursuit of Donald Trump's “Worst. Hair. Ever” crown.

The Super Bowl, though, marks the end of the league's game calendar for the season, and it probably can't come soon enough for embattled Roger Goodell.

After handing the Lombardi Trophy to one of the NFL owners who has surely been all too happy to watch the commish take a barrage of PR bullets in exchange for footing 1/32nd of his reported $44 million annual salary, Goodell can slink away, leaving a wake of faux contrition before flipping his many detractors the bird and counting some of the cash he collected while selling Ray Rice jerseys at NFL.com during the infamous two-game suspension.

Think he fines himself for the bird flip? If he does, does he appeal, representing himself against himself, then pass final judgment? Of course he does. And you know what? His side wins!

Apropos of not much: You know the old adage that tells us there's no such thing as bad publicity? Time for a revision. Or an addendum. There's no such thing as bad publicity … as long as you're generating so much guap for your bosses that $44 million seems to them a very small price to pay.

And clearly, the owners have no issue with Goodell. His job security is akin to that of Gary Radnich.

Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, the sports world's slowdown.

After the Super Bowl, for which paying to perform at halftime Katy Perry is now not-so-flatly denying by saying she has “nothing to hide, basically,” there won't be another Big Ticket until March Madness, which still will be a month away.

Wait. “Nothing to hide, basically“? What exactly does that mean? Isn't that a little like “sort of pregnant” or “half-dead”? There's no gray area associated with truth, Katy. And whatever you obviously did basically pay for the privilege of following in the footsteps of fellow girl-power performers such as Janet Jackson (who objectified herself), Britney Spears (embarrassed herself) and New Kids on the Block (OK, the members weren't girls, but ohsoclose; couldn't resist), you also underscored the notion that when it comes to all that really matters, which is money, Goodell's a damn genius.

No wonder the owners love him. He monetized the halftime stage, for crying out loud! And why not? Companies this year have paid a reported $4.5 million to secure 30 seconds of air time for their lame commercials, which typically feature more barely veiled sexual innuendo or toilet humor than actual, you know, displays or mentions of product.

These companies pay so much because they're reaching an audience that totaled 111.5 million people last year. Perry's halftime show is said to have a running time of about 12 minutes. Perry probably didn't pay $118 million (do the math, smarty), but if she paid less than $10 million, she got one hell of a deal. Basically.

Now, where were we again? Oh, yeah.

Prior to March Madness, Major League Baseball hits the front pages of the sports section with the start of spring training. But is that a Big Ticket? Not when you look up in the eighth inning of a Cactus League game and see No. 68 digging in against No. 77. See you in Sioux Falls, fellas.

Hey, the PGA Tour officially opens this weekend. Well, not officially officially, but Tiger makes his debut. He's Big Ticket as a curiosity only at this point, though, more National Enquirer — headline: “Truck-Stop Hooker: 'I Have Tiger's Tooth!'” — than Augusta National.

NBA All-Star Game? Nah. It's entertaining and all, but if you really love the game you'd rather dust off the old VHS and pop in an early And1 mixtape.

So soak it in this Sunday, gang. Not much is waiting in the wings. Sports-wise, February is as cold as the punch that got Rice those two games.

Mychael Urban has been covering Bay Area sports for 25 years and has worked for MLB.com, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR (680 AM).

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