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The Super Bowl Exists, But You Just Can't Say It

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Security is tight at the Super Bowl. It's even tighter if you want to say "Super Bowl" out loud. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.
Security is tight at the Super Bowl. It's even tighter if you want to say "Super Bowl" out loud. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

The NFL has, in many regards, made the term "Super Bowl" off-limits to the great unwashed.

You can’t advertise a Super Bowl party.

Or a Super Bowl sale.

Or a Super Bowl raffle.

Or a Super Bowl-sized meal.

Or Super Bowl Sunday.

Or six more shopping days left until Super Bowl Sunday.

Or Super Bowl anything, other than the game. If you do, then the NFL SWAT team crashes through your windows, confiscates all the guilty items, arrests all the guilty people and makes them watch Miley Cyrus concerts.

But if you say you’re sorry and promise on the Lombardi Trophy’s honor – cross your heart and hope to die, or watch Miley Cyrus concerts -- that you’ll call it simply the big game, or the season’s most important game, or the game to end all games, or the game of games – and don’t try to be sneaky and capitalize anything so it’s Big Game, as in Super Bowl, because the NFL Secret Service is way, way too smart for that – then they might let you off nearly scot-free with only a second-degree felony.

Consider yourself lucky.

Just say Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks is for all the marbles, the grand salami, the future of mankind, paper or plastic, cheese or no cheese, caffeinated or decaffeinated, lite or regular, white or dark meat, standard or automatic, satellite or cable, salad or cole slaw, french fries or mashed, medium or well-done, over easy or scrambled, cash or charge, debit or credit, white or dark chocolate, skins or shirts, tackle or touch,    

Can you believe that?

The NFL has trademarked its championship game.

Paul Brown is called “The Father of Modern Football” for all the innovations he added that are key parts of today’s game, but rest assured that the man in the fedora and suit from Cleveland and Cincinnati never thought about trademarking any of his ideas like playbooks, a full-time coaching staff, the trap play, or the radio transmitter in the helmet. PB was simply donating those things to the game for the good of the game.

Can you imagine that, a guy with scruples?

And likewise, no one ever thought about trademarking the Los Angeles Rams’ Fearsome Foursome defense.

Or the Minnesota Vikings’ Purple People Eaters defensive line.

Or the Dallas Cowboys’ Doomsday defense, or America’s Team.

Or the Washington Redskins’ Hogs offensive line.

Or the New York Giants’ Big Blue, or New York Football Giants, team monikers.

Or the Chicago Bears’ Monsters of the Midway.

Or the Miami Dolphins’ Killer B’s defense.

Or the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Leap, or Cheesehead fans.

Or the St. Louis Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf.

Or the Oakland Raiders’ Black Hole.

Or the Cincinnati Bengals’ Jungle.

Or the Cleveland Browns’ Dawg Pound.

Or the Seahawks’ 12th Man.

Or the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steel Curtain defense.

Or the Steelers’ Immacculate Reception. Thankfully, say Oakland Raiders fans.

Or a Hail Mary pass?

Actually, a Higher Power has trademarked the last two, but He’s very charitable so bless you, my son, and go right ahead and use them as you wish.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is always ahead of the curve. He just might trademark Hoodie, or Spygate, or the Wes Welker Fan Club.

In New Orleans, they would just as soon not trademark Bountygate.

And in Miami, of course, they’ll tell anyone they can have Bullygate -- for free, in fact.

Could the Giants and Baltimore Colts have trademarked The Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958?

Could John Madden have trademarked “Boom!” or Brett Favre?

Could Joe Montana and Dwight Clark have trademarked The Catch?

Could the Broncos have trademarked The Drive or The Fumble? Not if the Browns can help it.

And as for Richard Sherman, can he be The Greatest and get away with it? Sure, just ask him.

The list goes on and on.

But now for the $64,000 question (wonder if that term is trademarked?): Are they in trouble in San Diego for singing that song, San Diego Super Chargers?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will let it go for now. He’s too busy watching The Game That Lasts Way Too Long Because People In the Eastern Time Zone Have To Get Up And Go To Work On Monday Morning And Buy All the Products They Saw Advertised During The Game That Last Way Too Long.