Subscribe for 33¢ / day

This has been a season of steadily declining television ratings for the NFL.

The reasons are many. They range from fan apathy about national anthem protests from players to a poor product on the field due to injuries suffered by star quarterbacks to never knowing what is a catch or isn't.

With the final four set to square off this weekend, it seems only one thing can save the day and drum up big numbers for Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4:

The Minnesota Vikings becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl on their home field.

The Vikings needed a miracle last weekend to stay alive. But they will be favored on the road in the NFC Championship Game at 5:40 p.m. Sunday (Fox) against Philadelphia, largely because Nick Foles is the Eagles' quarterback with Carson Wentz injured.

Seeing the Vikings at their sparkling new U.S. Bank Stadium on Super Sunday would be spectacular. It would give the year's biggest sporting event a different kind of feel that would be must-watch TV for those who have stayed away this season.

Let's face it, watching the New England Patriots go against the Eagles will be pretty bland. Fans have had it up to here with seeing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hoist the Lombardi Trophy and will be just as likely to turn on the Super Bowl only to watch Justin Timberlake perform at halftime.

The Patriots face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game at 2:05 p.m. Sunday (CBS). The Jaguars pulled the biggest upset of the postseason thus far, knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend.

Can Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles possibly beat two Hall of Fame quarterbacks two straight weeks? Time to get real. That isn't happening. 

It's up to Case Keenum to lead the Vikings back onto their home field and put some sizzle into what could be a really boring Super Bowl, which would mirror most of the last five months.  

NBA: Warriors at Rockets (ABC, 7:30 p.m. Saturday): The NBA Saturday Primetime begins and features the league's two most dynamic teams. Chance of a shootout between Curry and Harden could erupt. 

College BB: Kansas at Oklahoma (ESPN, 6 p.m. Tuesday): West Virginia failed to hold serve against Kansas at home. Now the Jayhawks look to contain Trae Young and grab control of Big 12, once again. 

PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open (Golf, noon Thursday-Friday): Tiger Woods' return to the tour after a year off is creating a buzz that almost makes this feel like a major.

Contact Jim Benson at


Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

Load comments