*1. The Career Validation Guy*
This guy is a veteran who often has been talked about as one of the best in the sport, but he has yet to get "a ring." Winning one will forever clinch his greatness and make him a lock for the Hall of Fame. And if he loses? TOTAL FAILURE. His whole life was a WASTE! This may have been his LAST CHANCE!
Granted, football is a team sport so unlike in tennis or golf, a player can be an all-time great even without a championship, but just go with it, okay? There are two weeks of pregame coverage to fill.
2. The Possible Arrest Distraction
If you had to pick one guy on the roster you fear will cause a big distraction for your team the night before the Super Bowl by getting nabbed with a bunch of hookers or doing some cocaine-fueled murder, he's the guy. The lure of a week of Super Bowl parties draws him in like a drunk moth to the flame. He's the one player the coaches will actually check on at curfew time.
3. The Heart-Wrenching Story
His mom died. Or his dad. Or his mom and dad. Or his mom and dad and wife and kids and neighbors and pets. And it all happened last week or last month or 20 years ago. It doesn't matter. It happened and his life story will now be fodder for a soft-focus sit-down interview with piano music in the background. And what will make the pain of the death of his mom, dad, wife, kids, neighbors and pets go away? Why, a Super Bowl title, of course. That's the only way to overcome grief.
4. The Character
It's usually not determined who The Character is until Media Day. But he'll make a name for himself with a bunch of hilariously wacky hijinks … which for an athlete is something like having a beard. Or asking the media questions. You know, revolutionary comedic stylings. The media will eat it up and America will have itself a new sports "personality": The Character.
5. The Small Town/Small School Guy
This guy grew up in a small town in Middle America or attended an FCS, Division II or Division III school. Every question he gets all week will be something along the lines of: "Did you ever imagine in your wildest dreams that you would play in a Super Bowl?" You know, because every player in the Super Bowl usually grew up in Manhattan and played football at Alabama.
6. The Future of the NFL?!?!?!? Guy
Remember when Tom Brady won his third Super Bowl? The Patriots were going continue to win every Super Bowl ever. Remember when Aaron Rodgers won a Super Bowl? It was going to be his first of approximately 17 in a row. Remember when Eli Manning won a Super Bowl? That meant he had finally put it all together and was going to be consistently dominant game after game and year after year. No one else stood a chance.
The Future of the NFL?!?!?!? Guy is the starting quarterback of each team. After the game the title will be given to the winning quarterback and the question marks will be dropped. He will be The Future of the NFL Guy!!!!! Because he is the new championship prototype and is destined to win every Super Bowl ever for as far as the eye can see! Only, you know, he won't.
7. The Out to Prove the Critics Wrong Guy
Everyone thinks this guy sucks and can't believe he is playing in a Super Bowl. This guy is using that disrespect as motivation to play the game of his life and prove all of the "doubters" and "haters" wrong.
Note: All players are The Out to Prove the Critics Wrong Guy. There are those who people legitimately think suck (Joe Flacco … or Alex Smith, if he was playing), and then there are those who were high school stars, college stars and high NFL draft picks, yet because they once saw a guy not giving them a standing ovation in 6th grade football, they think that means they have millions of HATERS. Whatever gets you motivated, I guess.
8. The Final Game Guy
He's a veteran who has said this will be his final season. Unfortunately, no one knew exactly when this guy's career would end: with a first round loss or a Super Bowl championship. So he's been getting stroked by the media for fives weeks by the time the Super Bowl rolls around and, instead of sports fans appreciating his final game, everyone is sick of him and just wants him to go away forever.
9. The Unknown Goat
This poor sap is naively enjoying the Super Bowl atmosphere and planning to play the game of his life. He has no idea that he's going to suck it up in the Super Bowl and become the next Scott Norwood/Neil O'Donnell/Wes Welker who gets blamed for his team's failures. And even if his team wins, he's the guy who will look like the weak link and the player to replace in the upcoming draft. Enjoy the week guy, because your life is about to turn to hell.