'Tis the season for hype, an assault on our sporting senses from a variety of fronts.
Perspective, my friends, is so very easy to lose at this time of year.
We are only halfway, for starters, through the annual two-week's worth of Super Bowl hype. This was an event born in hyperbole - the SUPER Bowl - and that personality has only grown with the game over the decades.
Last week, it was all about Tom Brady and his choice of supermodel girlfriends. This week, there will endless analysis, right down to the kickers, all building and building and building to the opening kickoff.
And, of course, Paula Abdul's halftime appearance. If only Simon Cowell was going to be there to say in his over-baked Brit accent, "That was awwww-ful."
The NHL gets into the hype thing too, of course, with its all-star weekend, but this year there was the added tomfoolery of a judged breakaway competition in which players were going to unveil their inner Picasso and show the world the marvellous magic of which they are capable when armed only with hockey stick and puck. Every bit of the weekend is delivering with breathlessness, as though its utterly incredible the league can find a way to get Tim Thomas and Mike Ribeiro both in Atlanta on the same weekend. Well, somehow they pulled it off.
The NBA all-star game is just around the corner, and not to be left out, the Pro Bowl will rear its glorious head a few weeks down the road.
It's all an exercise in meaningless hype.
The exception - and yes, as a tennis fan, this is surely a biased perspective - was the conclusion to the Australian Open on the weekend. Four colorful participants in the men's and women's final - Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic - waged heavy battle in the first Grand Slam event of the tennis season.
Tennis isn't what it was in the 1970s, and yes, it lags behind the leisure activity known as golf when it comes to TV numbers.
But perhaps the death of tennis has been over-done. Over-hyped, maybe?
It has four major events every year - Down Under, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open - that draw huge crowds in major world markets, attract lucrative sponsorships and drag in millions of TV viewers.
Each Grand Slam event has its unique personality, none as dowdy and bland as, say, the PGA Championship in golf. The problem for tennis, surely, is that the rest of its schedule, including the Toronto/Montreal events, are light years removed from the quality and dramatic effect of the Grand Slam events.
But when they do battle in the biggees, it's exciting, tense and, in the case of the men's five setters, absolutely rivetting in terms of athletes being pushed to the limit.
And that's no hype, folks.