Unless you have been hunkered down in a bunker since the middle of January I’m sure you’re aware tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday.

Of course for the last two weeks the Super Bowl hype has been incessant. Fortunately I record almost all the TV shows I plan to watch, so I can fast forward through the commercials and inane show segments that irritate me and waste my time. This time of year the DVR spares me from the Super Bowl party supply commercials and spots of football stars hawking this, that and the other product – and from the spots droning on and on and on about the upcoming halftime show.

I can’t express enough how glad I am that this pregame fortnight is over and they finally will get down to business and play football.

There are two things about this year’s Super Bowl that I would like to point out. For one, I am glad the New England Patriots did not quality. I am more than a little tired of hearing about them, and it doesn’t seem fair that a team caught repeatedly cheating has not been penalized more severely.

My other point is that the Detroit Lions are once again not in the Super Bowl. This year the Lions won a grand total of exactly three games.

You may think this is a sore point with me, but right now it is not. In fact, you might be surprised at some of the advantages that befall fans of teams that have an awful season. For example, you can get your team jerseys, T-shirts, sweatshirts and other apparel at rock bottom prices.

I’ve learned to shop at Meijer’s in Defiance in late January. At that time the Lions gear and apparel is at rock bottom prices.

Last year the Lions merchandise was 90 percent off – that’s right, a dime on the dollar. I purchased several Lions T-shirts and sweatshirts, a scarf, gloves and even miniature Lions helmets. I gave my dad a helmet and sweatshirt, and as tempting as it was to let him think I was being extraordinarily generous, I eventually told him about the 90 percent markdown.

Even so, I know he appreciated the gifts.

Last Sunday I again made the annual Meijer’s trek, and was disappointed to find the items were marked down only 80 percent. To top it off, the merchandise was pretty well picked over.

Even so I purchased a pair of Lions exercise pants for six bucks and change and two oversize Lions T-shirts for five bucks each.

My persistence in going through the nearby racks of NFL items paid off when I found a single beautiful dark gray Lions sweatshirt with the bottom of the price tag missing. I took it to the price scanner and was elated to see it was only $10.49. At 80 percent off, I landed a regular retail $50-plus heavy hooded sweatshirt for that low price.

Who says having your team win only three games all year is a bad thing. And a bit of advice here for you longsuffering Browns fans – you might want to check out Meijer’s, and be sure to bring your wallet.

Come game day tomorrow I plan to turn on the TV about 30 seconds before the scheduled kickoff. This is one rare time that I do watch most of the commercials, as they tend to be much more entertaining than the typical deadly dullness about prescription drugs and promos for TV shows that I will never watch.

At the end of the second quarter of the game I will head to the kitchen to get some snacks, thus avoiding the overblown smoke and fire and pantomime halftime act that is typically so flashy it drips of boredom. I’ve been so successful in dodging all the hype that I don’t even know who the halftime performer is, and I consider that an accomplishment.

I plan to settle back in my seat just before the second half kickoff.

At that point I will sit back, hope for a competitive game with no blown calls by the refs, and enjoy the last gasp of football before next season, when hope will spring eternal again for the Lions.

Don Allison is an author, columnist and retired editor of The Bryan Times.

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