The great thing about 24-hour sports reporting is that even when there’s tons to talk about, talking heads still find the time to focus on what’s truly important: minuscule bullshit. Right now, the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals are in full swing, California Chrome might win the Triple Crown, the World Cup is coming up, baseball games happen literally every damn day, and Tim Tebow is proving himself the funniest man alive by actually claiming he plans to return to the NFL one day.
On the one hand, he’s never fumbled after running into a teammate’s ass. On the other hand, he’s Tim Tebow.
And yet, with all of that on their plate, the sports world has not forgotten what could end up being the most Earth-shattering story of the decade: the 2016 Super Bowl won’t use a Roman numeral. Feel free to faint anytime — it’s a natural reaction. After all, every single Super Bowl (well, except for the first four) has used Roman numbers to reassure us we weren’t watching watching a rerun, so for #50 to not be Super Bowl L is absolutely a press-stopping deal.
Not only is this story worthy of every single news site and station on the planet devoting time and space to it, it’s also proof that NFL execs, usually portrayed as heartless ogres who care only about money even when it means an entire generation of concussed athletes will reach age 50 and forget how to pee, are actually rather saintly. They studied “Super Bowl L,” realized it looked silly, and went with “Super Bowl 50″ instead. That way we, the viewing and consuming public, can actually watch the game in peace. If we were too busy being distracted by that lone letter L, we’d be so thrown off that we might forget to drink too much and eat an entire swimming pool full of nachos.
But for those traditionalists sniffling over the lack of dead languages a couple Big Games from now, your fretting shant last too long. By Super Bowl 51, the lettering shall return, because Super Bowl L looks ridiculous, but Super Bowl LI is positively sophisticated, the kind of logo you can drink too much wine to while eating an entire swimming pool full of caviar.
So don’t roll your eyes at what you might initially perceive to be an absurdly useless bit of journalism. This is not only an incredibly important breaking story, but proof that Roger Goodell and his band of merry men are actually thinking about us and not just our bank accounts. Yes, they’re still thinking about our bank accounts 99% of the time, but that remaining 1%? Total altruism.
Three cheers for the NFL, for saving us from the hell that is a lone L. And three hundred cheers for the many, many, many, many, many, many sources that made sure every living thing in the Solar System (even the giant frothing monsters at the bottom of the Europan ice ocean) are aware that Super Bowl 50 will now and forevermore be a thing.
Next up on the World-Changing Debate Table: will Super Bowl C warp our wee minds, or is Super Bowl 100 better for our collective eyesight and sanity? One can only hope the NFL is working on that problem right now, because they only have LII years to figure it out and there’s only a moderate possibility the game won’t happen because robot zombies will have conquered and enslaved us all by then.