If there is one certainty in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, it's that there will be a few storylines and topics discussed ad nauseam until there is literally nothing left to say on the subject.
This year is no exception. Not only do I identify those stories in this article, but here they are ranked based on how hyped up each one was.
That's right—we're now ranking popular stories. We've reached that point in the week. Let's rank stuff!
10. Did You Guys Know There Is a Game Being Played?
While all the cool kids know that the Super Bowl is all about commercials, halftime shows and stuffing your face full of Buffalo wings, hors d'oeuvres and those little cocktail weenie things, some people have actually spent time breaking down the Big Game itself.
These misguided nerds have been talking about things like the 49ers controlling the line of scrimmage, the sudden disappearance of Aldon Smith, the Ravens' vertical passing attack challenging the 49ers secondary and how exactly the Ravens will deal with Vernon Davis.
Super boring, I know. Who wants to talk about football during the Super Bowl?
9. Randy Moss Thinks He's the Greatest Wide Receiver to Ever Play the Game
He isn't—that honor obviously belongs to Jerry Rice—but it was certainly the highlight of Media Day.
8. Let's Talk About New Orleans
Did you know that New Orleans is a great place to party, stuff your face and get (sort of) free beads? How about that the entire town despises NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and some restaurants won't serve him?
If you've watched any coverage of the Super Bowl, you know these things. It's incredibly important that every last bit of history about the host city be mentioned every 15 minutes on SportsCenter, so in the past two weeks, you've basically become a citizen of the city yourself.
Oh, and the locals pronounce it New Awlins, not New Or-Leens, you square. See, I've been learning things too!
7. For Heaven's Sake, Beyonce Can Sing
6. Joe Flacco Gon' Get Paid, Son
Yup, he's earned that contract extension. No, he's not elite. He throws an elite deep ball, and he's proven to be excellent in the playoffs, but he's not elite.
There are four elite quarterbacks in the NFL: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck may join that list. Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning are fighting for the fifth-place spot.
Joe Flacco is not in that conversation.
5. Colin Kaepernick is Super Good, Alex Smith is Sad
But hey, he's also really professional. Smith could be walking around like a sad Charlie Brown, but instead he answers all of the questions, supports his team and doesn't remind everyone that his demotion after a concussion really isn't good for the league's supposed focus on head injuries.
But hey, how about this Kaepernick fella? So versatile, so poised, so much more equipped to open up this 49ers offense and make them dangerous. Plus, he predicted he would be 6'4" (now listed as 6'5") as a child! Oh my gosh, you guys, that's so adorable!
And he's adopted. And he has tattoos, but it's OK, he's still a good guy. And he's changing the game. And he gives four-word answers. And...crap, we now know everything about him, from his 100-pound tortoise Sammy to his tattoos to his quarterback-record 181-rushing yard performance. On to the next story!
Can we move on now?
3. Ray Lewis Allegedly Used Deer-Antler Extract, Vehemently Denies Charges
Since when did Ray Lewis become a character in Skyrim? Does he also need a few fur pelts, an apple and the teeth of a rat to mix up his performance-enhancing potion? He would totally be a Nord, right?
Luckily for all of us, Lewis is too blessed to be stressed. Because you won't like him when he's stressed...
2. Ray Lewis is Retiring
The somewhat self-righteous but nonetheless compelling speeches and press conferences that often ended in tears?
The ability to control the middle of a football field and flow seamlessly from sideline to sideline?
Yes, Ray Lewis is retiring. Yes, you are tired of hearing about it. Yes, despite your opinion of what may have happened on that one fateful day in Atlanta, one of the greatest football players to ever step on the field is ending his career.
And he'll be missed.
Hey you guys, did you know the coaches of the Ravens and 49ers are brothers? Have you met their parents yet? Hear any good stories about whether they fought as kids, who was the pickier eater or which one was smoother with the ladies?
Without question, this has been the most discussed story in the two weeks before the game. If I have to hear anything else about the Harbowl or Super Baugh or read any more parallels to the Manning brothers, I might spontaneously combust.
It's a cool story, yes. But for heaven's sake, there's nothing left to be said about it. There hasn't been anything left to be said about it for about two weeks.