Super Bowl LIII can’t get here fast enough. But we have this week off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. A week to anticipate. A week to think. A week to overthink.

• Sunday: The first Sunday without football since early September. You read. You take a walk. You make small talk with your family. You almost watch the Pro Bowl, but decide not to. You want to watch football, not whatever the Pro Bowl is.

• Monday: You watch Super Bowl Opening Night, the chaotic mess formerly known as Super Bowl Media Day. You decide the guy dressed as a giant banana asks the most pointed, meaningful question of the night when he asks Sean McVay if he thinks Superman could beat the Hulk in a thumb war.

• Tuesday: You decide to play a game of Madden to simulate the Super Bowl. The computer Rams defeat you playing the Patriots, 38-30, so you play again. This time, you add Josh Gordon back to New England’s roster, because hey, you never know, right? This time, the Patriots win 34-27, so you decide to play again, just to break the tie.

The next thing you know, it’s 10 a.m. Wednesday, your boss is calling to find out if you’re coming to work, and you’ve played Super Bowl LIII six dozen times in a row. You think your thumbs are sore, but maybe they’ve always had that dull ache from repetitive use.

• Wednesday: You wake up from a dream in which you were falling, falling, falling. You wonder if this means something. Maybe subconsciously, you think ESPN talking head Max Kellerman is right. Tom Brady is approaching a cliff. Maybe your eyes lie every-time you watch Brady play. Maybe he’s a lucky, talentless fool.

No, you think before falling back to sleep. The lucky, talentless fool is Kellerman. Your last thought before you drift back to sleep is you’ve got to stop eating wasabi almonds before bed.

• Thursday: You watch highlights from New England’s Super Bowl wins. You cough conspicuously at work, laying the foundation of that sick day you’ll use Monday. You watch far too much NFL Network. Talking heads who praise the Patriots are geniuses. Talking heads who praise the Rams are clowns.

• Friday: Menu planning! Half the fun of a Super Bowl party is the food, right? You spend hours scouring the internet for interesting recipes. You have an idea that involves five kinds of dip, chili, homemade jalapeño poppers, dry-rub buffalo wings, and Black Forest cake. You take inventory of your kitchen, to make sure you have everything you’ll need.

You settle on chips and salsa, and program the phone numbers of three pizza joints into your phone.

• Saturday: You doodle offensive formations on napkins. You explain cover 1 defense to your dog. You wonder if anyone in the Patriots secondary can cover Brandin Cooks. You wonder if anyone in the Rams secondary can tackle Rob Gronkowski. You cross your fingers and hope this is the year Ty Law finally gets elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You post Law’s interception for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVI to all your social media accounts. You have another dream about the game. In this one, you’re being chased by Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald while the cast of Cheers watches and snacks on wasabi almonds.

• Sunday: Game day. Finally.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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