The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote observes the circus surrounding today’s big event and opines “Super Bowl got away from the NFL and became a monster, a monstrosity. It became something approaching an embarrassment of excess, giving generous benefit of doubt that that threshold has not already been breached.”

Back in the beginning, you might find a handful of reporters gathered casually around Namath for a poolside chat. It was still a championship game then, largely unadorned, allowed to star on its own.

Now thousands of journalists are herded into a stadium for Media Day, and players stand behind lecterns on raised stages in the middle of a circus act. This year, one foreign ”journalist” let his hand puppet ask the questions. Thursday at the media center, I watched 790 The Ticket’s Jon ”Boog” Sciambi, live on the air, interviewing agent Drew Rosenhaus, who was standing beside his newest client, The Burger King.

The King stood there with his creepy, fixed grin, as accurate a snapshot of Super Bowl Week as any. (If the King would star in a commercial airing during the game, by the way, those 30 seconds would have been purchased for $2.5 million).

Also symbolic of the Super Bowl having come to represent the epitome of American excess: A new book about the first 40 games called ”Super Bowl Opus XL.” It weighs 88 pounds. Is 850 pages. Costs $4,000. Unless you want the limited edition signed by every living Super Bowl MVP. That’s $40,000.

You wonder if anybody connected with the NFL’s hierarchy has ever thought, “This whole thing has gotten a bit ridiculous, hasn’t it?”

It’s time to scale back and return the Super Bowl to a semblance of sanity, to make it less an event and more a game, and to give it back to real fans, not ones who arrive in limousines and private jets.

It’s time to make the biggest sporting event in America better by making it smaller.

An interesting proposition to be sure, but I wonder how many other large scale commercial enterprises Cote would like to see scale back for the sake of nostalgia? Surely the embattled Miami Herald wouldn’t be one of them.

ESPN’s protector of the shower caddy, Mike Golic is predicting a 31-23 victory for the Colts, with Adam Vinateri being named the game’s MVP. Pro Football Talk is too polite to add, “wtf?”

Based on a final score of 31-23, how in the hell does Vinatieri win the Pete Rozelle Award? By adding that key extra point when the Colts score a touchdown that pushes the score to 31-20? By kicking a total of eight field goals?

Vinatieri’s only realistic shot at being named the MVP will come if he kicks the game winning field goal in a driving snowstorm. So, barring a sudden and dramatic reversal in that whole global warming thing, we don’t see it happening.

And there’s no way Vinatieri is the MVP if the Colts win by eight.