Let’s look at the bright side here, people: It could have been worse.
Imagine if this were 2014, with MetLife Stadium preparing to host the New York area’s first Super Bowl, featuring the New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Can you write “barf” in a family newspaper? OK, fine, let’s just call it a nauseating thought.
Instead the Seahawks blew out the Broncos, and we were able to enjoy the spectacle with geographical indifference, even if Eli’s big brother was playing for one of the teams.
Back to 2018: The Patriots are playing the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, with the hype about to be dialed up to 11 beginning with media day Monday night, thankfully from the safe remove of the upper Midwest.
This widely has been portrayed as a worst-case scenario for metropolitan-area fans, what with the Patriots and Eagles being hated, longtime rivals and their cities being nearby branch offices of our New York hegemony.
That, in turn, has led to nastiness, as evidenced by a remark by “Weekend Update” co-host Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live” that was so cutting and insensitive even the New York-centric audience gasped before laughing the other night.
“The Philadelphia Eagles will face the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, making it the first Super Bowl where the fans have even worse brain damage than the players,” Jost said. “Go Giants. Go Giants.”
Yikes! Jost grew up on Staten Island, by the way.
But I would argue that the best approach here is one that is the opposite of both hate and love: indifference.
Let’s let our two satellite burgs have their fun, because soon enough Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge of the Yankees will be hitting baseballs in Florida.
It appears many New Yorkers have taken exactly that approach.
For the AFC Championship Game, the Boston area averaged 50.2 percent of homes tuning in, No. 1 among measured markets, while New York was 42nd out of 56 at 23.9.
For the NFC Championship Game, the Philadelphia area averaged 50.3 percent of homes, No. 2 among measured markets, while New York was 44th at 21.2.
It is not unusual for New York to lag in sports ratings, given its vastness and diversity, but still: You would think at least some of New Jersey’s New York/Philadelphia border regions might have had added interest in the Eagles.
But no. This concept is foreign to most of America. For example, support for the Broncos radiates many hundreds of miles in every direction from its Denver epicenter.
It is less than a hundred miles from East Rutherford, New Jersey, to Philadelphia, yet it is another sports planet.
There are other places with separate sports and media markets in close proximity, such as Los Angeles/San Diego, Chicago/Milwaukee and, especially, Baltimore/Washington, D.C.
But none of those gulfs runs as deeply as the one between New York and Philly, which does not even necessarily rate as New York’s second-biggest sports rival.
Boston? Yes. In baseball, obviously, and now in football, too, at least on the AFC side.
But Philadelphia is no higher on the most-hated list in the NFC East than the Cowboys or Redskins, and in baseball the Mets’ rivalries have fluctuated over the decades based on which divisional opponents were riding high at the moment.
In other words: meh.
We’ve been through this before. In 1915, when Boston and Philadelphia met in the World Series, both the Yankees and baseball Giants went 69-83, so we had our own problems.
The last time the Patriots and Eagles met in the Super Bowl, the Giants were coming off a 6-10 season and the Jets off a maddening playoff loss to the Steelers.
Now the Giants and Jets are sitting on a combined 8-24 finish and studying the top of the upcoming NFL Draft in search of quarterbacks, while the metropolitan area is in the middle of its longest pro sports championship drought since 1905-21.
So let Boston and Philadelphia have their fun this week. It’s fine. Just hold your nose and pass the guacamole come Sunday.
We have other things to worry about.