We're not there.

No matter how loud the pregame hype may get, no matter how exciting we pretend Green Bay and Pittsburgh are, no matter how many QB profiles we read about Roethlisberger and Rodgers, the Jets and the Giants aren't in the Super Bowl this year.

And that's a fact that on a day like this is simply impossible to ignore.

The Jets got close and blew it. The Giants - don't even get me started on that. Half the players on both teams are where they deserve to be now, out on a golf course. Steelers? Packers? Old teams from cold places, who won some football games! What else do you need to know?

There's one statistic someone on Long Island really ought to gather this year: How many people are watching the commercials? How many people are just there for the party food? How many people are watching the game? Despite the heavy buildup, don't bet too heavily on "watching the game."

It's not like the Jets didn't give us some things to talk about this season. There was Rex Ryan and the foot-fetish videos. Sal Alosi tripping an opposing player. Ines Sainz charging harassment in the locker room. Braylon Edwards getting busted on a drunken driving charge. And it was a female Jets' employee to whom Brett Favre was accused of sexting.

Everything except winning quite enough games.

One day we'll surely get past the sad comparisons to 1969. The best quote that year was Joe Namath's, of course: "We're gonna win this game. I guarantee it."

One day, we'll get past that.

The latest lingering quote from the not-quite-Super-Bowl-ready New York Jets? And this is embarrassing, but it had to come from a baseball great.

"Shut up, play football," Reggie Jackson said.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Still thinking of serving low-cal Super Bowl eats? How soon before kickoff will you finally accept the obvious? No one wants THAT! . . . When Nassau top cop Larry Mulvey said he'll retire April 1, did he mean forever? He meant it last time, right? . . . Accused of threatening to kill an official at the National Futures Association? Can we agree that Long Beach securities dealer Vince McCrudden might have a pretty bleak future himself right now? . . . Hiding the problem will make it better? Is that the logic behind Steve Stern's bill to ban YouTube kid-fighting videos? . . . When smoking is banned on LIRR platforms - and don't worry, it will be - will train crews start yelling through the open doors: "Hey, you, put that out"? . . . With so many "major drug busts" on Long Island ("18 Charged on the East End"), how are drugs just as plentiful as ever? . . . Don't you get it? Why do you think TV news devotes so much time to the icy weather? On this diverse island, what else does everyone have in common?

E-mail ellis@henican.com

Follow at twitter.com/henican

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