The stage is now set for Super Bowl XLVIII as the Denver Broncos and the NFL's most prolific offense in history will face the current No. 1 defense and NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.
Already disappointed following an 8-8 season and missing the playoffs, watching the championship games on Sunday may have been the most difficult for Ravens linebacker (and former Denver Bronco) Elvis Dumervil.
Dumervil is no longer a Bronco and it wasn't by choice (we think). As news broke that a 4:00 p.m. deadline to submit paperwork on a restructured contract had been missed by Dumervil's agent, Marty Magid, we all found out that the NFL actually relies on fax machines and Dumervil found himself unemployed.
Signing a five-year, $35 million contract is a great consolation prize to losing your job over a technicality, but given the above-average competitive drive that football players possess, it has to be disappointing for Dumervil to see many of his former teammates succeed without him to be there for the ride.
Remember, the Mile High Miracle ended not only Dumervil's season, but his seven-year career in Denver, and it was something he was often asked about once he joined the Ravens. Dumervil was very honest in his feelings towards missing out on an opportunity to play in a Super Bowl.
"It hurts every time I watch it, even being here [now]," Dumervil said, reflecting on a play named the Mile High Miracle as Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco with under a minute left in regulation.
In his first season as a Raven, Dumervil notched 9.5 sacks along with 31 combined tackles. Much his team's 8-8 record, Dumervil's season was average. While Dumervil may be happy for many of his friends and former teammates for reaching the Super Bowl, not being a part of it has add a little salt to the wound.
The Ravens made a significant investment in Dumervil this past offseason with the intentions of returning to the Super Bowl, if anything, hopefully this acts as even more motivation for 2014 and beyond.