TURNABOUT: A mere year ago, it was nothing but wine and roses. Puppy dogs. The smell of freshly-baked bread. Money in the bank, and six-pack abs.

Perfection. Total vindication. Proof positive of unquestioned galactic superiority. Confetti descending from the rafters.

The football team I root for every year was the undisputed champion. Best in the world, the solar system, and our neck of the Milky Way. Top of the heap. That day, there was nothing in the history of mankind better than being a fan of the football team for which I root.

That was then.

This, sadly, is now.

There is a new best and undisputed champion of the solar system, as of Sunday. The wine and roses, puppy dogs, the freshly-baked bread, and the six-pack abs now reside in New England. Some folks can’t even remember last year’s greatest team in the history of mankind. Our big day is discarded, forgotten, and perfection in every way is a mere memory.

Enjoy your moment in the sun, Patriot fans. Because — take it from a Bronco fan — even after proving your total galactic superiority, the garbage still has to go out when the chicken wrapper starts to smell bad, old joints still ache in the morning, and tax time is almost upon us.

Even for the fans of world champions.

Your team winning the Super Bowl is kind of like scoring the closest-in parking space at Walmart. It’s nice, maybe even worth mentioning at dinner, but it’s a fleeting victory.

They do this Super Bowl deal every year, and chances are the confetti will be falling on some other best team in the history of the universe in a mere 12 months.

THIS IS CRAZY: I catch myself trying to score the closest-in parking space every day when I go to exercise, and I’m curiously happy when the space closest to the door is available.

I pay good money to trot on a treadmill for a half hour, then ride on an exercise bike for an hour, sweating copiously in the name of fitness and good health. But, subconsciously, I can’t stand the thought of walking an extra 25 yards across the parking lot.

Go figure.

I MISS IDOL: I don’t know about you, but I miss “American Idol.”

Every year at this time, a couple evenings a week, The Wife and I would sit down in front of the TV and watch “American Idol.” She was a fan from the beginning, but I was a late adopter.

I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I don’t think it was necessarily the singing that attracted me. No, it was the incredible enthusiasm of those thousands of young people, risking probable defeat and sometimes humiliation, to make a dream come true.

In a world full of young people all too often hardened by skepticism, cynicism, and even anger at perceived promises not fulfilled, it was wonderful to see youngsters so head-over-heels excited to pursue a nearly-impossible dream.

Cold February nights aren’t the same without “Idol.”

SAY AGAIN?: A relative used the term “husband ears” recently when telling The Wife about her husband perhaps not hanging with eager anticipation upon her every word.

This reminded me of the old guy at exercise who sometimes wears a t-shirt that says, “My wife says I don’t pay attention to her. Or something like that...”

The challenge of hanging with eager anticipation upon a spouse’s every word can be difficult after, in our case, over 30 years. We’ve both heard each others’ favorite stories hundreds of times. (My favorite: The property taxes on my land in the mountains came to $7.28 a year before I built my cabin. The punch line: “And they let me pay it in two installments!”)

I love that story, but if The Wife is around, I can’t tell it, because I can see her lips moving, and her eyes rolling, when I get to the punch line.

What with ears that don’t hear like they used to, and loved ones who sometimes mumble, and the proclivity to retell golden oldie stories, I think it’s overly simplistic to chalk this phenomenon up solely to “Spouse Ears.”

Contact Dave Simpson at davesimpson145@hotmail.com