Alex Smith's week is over. That's it. His whole season, really. Probably his career in San Francisco. The Super Bowl will kick off tonight, of course, and unless Colin Kaepernick is injured Smith's experience will probably a lot like yours, just with a closer view and not as much guacamole.

In that way, Smith is the first winner of tonight's Super Bowl. This is a victory three months in the making, borne from an enormous loss — that of his starting position on perhaps the NFL's best team. What he's won is admiration and respect from a significant portion of the league's teams desperate for a quarterback in a year without a star in the draft.

Smith might be the best quarterback available, in other words, and he's played his hand perfectly. He's never been more popular.