We're through the looking glass now, boys and girls.
Reggie Jackson, the man who helped usher in the era of the bombastic modern athlete, is upset about how much chatter is going on around the Jets and Patriots. He weighed in with a call for Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie to tone down his words in advance of Sunday's game which is kind of like hearing Richard Pryor criticize Chris Rock for working a bit too blue.
Jackson's stern words aren't stopping people from throwing fuel onto the fire. Mayor Bloomberg, flying high after not allowing snow to cripple the city for the second time in a month, predicted that the Jets are going to the Super Bowl on his Friday radio show. The Post lived up to high expectations for their cover by turning Sunday's game into the seventh edition of "Star Wars." In an effort to do battle with the best, Boston's Metro went with a foot-centric cover that suffers in comparison to another heelish attempt to call out Rex Ryan's infamous fetish.
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker met the press after practice on Thursday and proceeded to try to answer all the questions thrown his way with some reference to the foot. There was talk of putting your best foot forward, dipping toes into water and so forth as Welker ultimately landed 11 references during the meeting with the media. It was impressive work and as good a way as any to end a week of chatter that made it hard to remember that there was actually a football game to play.
There is, of course, but even the attempts to discuss the particulars of the contest are snooze-inducing at this point. It's the Jets and the Patriots for the fifth time in the last 16 months so you don't need anyone to tell you what to watch for when 4:30 on Sunday finally rolls around. You know about stopping Tom Brady, you know about the incredible weight on Mark Sanchez's shoulders and you know the personalities and styles of the two coaches.
No one has some secret bit of information that can offer more insight than the previous games nor is there some silver bullet that either team can use to wind up on top. The Patriots are heavy favorites, deservedly so, but it is hard to count out a Jets team that's proven more than once that they are capable of pulling out games on the road under adverse circumstances.
You could have just said that last Sunday and let the week play out without any further comment. The way the Jets and Patriots chose to handle things was a lot more fun, though. Now the game just needs to live up to the hype to cement this rivalry at the top of the sports landscape.