Monday, February 05, 2007

What I Learned From the Super Bowl

I’d like to thank the Colts and Bears for providing an extremely enjoyable TV watching experience. OK, extremely enjoyable for most people outside the Chicago and Boston metropolitan areas, but still. I never thought I’d be so entertained by a game in which there were 8 turnovers, but as one of my viewing companions noted, the miscues were so evenly distributed (especially early on) that all they did was provide more intrigue. Since the sloppy weather was so much of a factor, just imagine how entertaining the game would have been had they played it in Fort Wayne, Indiana as Tony Dungy jokingly suggested they do, due to it being roughly halfway between Indy and Chicago (according to my brother-in-law, who lives in Fort Wayne, being mentioned by Dungy in the national media caused a big stir there; I think they’re going to rename the city Dungyville any day now).

On the whole, I did very badly with my pregame prognosticating. I did get the one right about Grossman playing poorly, but predicting that is like betting on seeing a borderline insane-sounding rant in any post-1989 Al Pacino movie. You know it’s coming since it’s the guy’s calling card, yet you’re never quite prepared for it because it comes at you out of nowhere. By the way, does anyone else hear all the talk about Bad Rex and Good Rex and half-expect Lovie Smith to be waiting on the sideline with either a scolding finger or a doggie treat for Grossman, depending on how a particular drive turned out? (“Yay touchdown! Treats for touchdown!”)

One prediction I am quite proud of, however, is getting within 9 total points of the correct score. As terrible as I usually am at predicting game outcomes and scores, I actually feel like I won my own personal Super Bowl. Those of you who read this blog semi-regularly know me well enough to realize that I’m just warped enough to believe this.

Peyton Manning said all the right things after being selected the game’s MVP, which was utterly disappointing, although by no means a surprise. Seriously, guys, would it be too much to ask for someone to pull a Leon in this situation to keep things interesting? Anyway, I wouldn’t be shocked, despite Manning’s outward graciousness, if somewhere deep within him he allowed himself this thought: “You know, I’m so glad we don’t have that idiot kicker anymore; he’s just not mentally tough enough to win a championship.” After last year’s divisional game against Pittsburgh, I’d have to agree with such a sentiment. Conversely, you can be certain that Vanderjagt is off somewhere thinking, “If I were still there, we’d have won by 3 more points.” You know what? He’d be absolutely correct, too. Since the field goal Vinatieri missed at the end of the first half had no bearing whatsoever on the game’s final outcome, Vanderjagt would have totally nailed it.

Back to the MVP award, I’m not surprised it went to Manning. There was no clear-cut candidate and when that happens, it always goes to the winning team’s QB. Plus, it makes for the best story given all that he’s gone through. While I don’t have a problem with any of that, and while Manning did make a number of nice plays, I would have given the award to Dominic Rhodes if I were making the decision at the end of the game. It just always seemed like whenever he was on the field, the Bears’ vaunted defense didn’t have an answer for his rugged, north-south style, and he moved the chains in some key situations. After listening to a post-game interview with Rhodes this morning, though, I think he had the best idea of all: give it to the Colts’ offensive line. They did play superbly after some early trouble with false starts, and without their efforts neither Rhodes nor Joseph Addai would have had nearly the impact on the game that they did. Plus, if the line play weren’t so flawless, we all know that Manning would definitely have showed off those happy feet that always got him into postseason trouble in years past.

I realize I’m about to become the 1,000,000th person to say this, but I’m really happy for Tony Dungy. I’ve known about him since his days as Vikings defensive coordinator, so obviously I have a bit of a soft spot for him to begin with. However, anyone has to appreciate a guy who paid more dues than he should have had to, watched another guy coach his players to the championship the year after he was unjustly fired, endured horrible personal tragedies and persevered through several near-misses until he finally got the title he so richly deserved. What’s more, he did all of this with a level of class and grace that thoroughly impresses everyone he meets. Congratulations, Coach Dungy; you’ve earned this and then some.

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3 Comments:

Blogger broccoflower said...

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1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize I’m about to become the 1,000,001st person to say this, but I’m really happy for Tony Dungy too :) GS

1:14 AM  
Blogger CanesFan said...

I realize I’m about to become the 1,000,002nd person to say this, but I’m really happy for Tony Dungy too. LOL!

Anyways, I felt the game started off superbly. Devin Hester (a former Cane) did his part in getting our emotions involved with his opening kickoff return for a TD. Then there was the wide open pass from Manning to Wayne that added to the first half excitement. Did I mention that Wayne is a former Cane? Overall, I was very pleased with the first half. Then came the halftime show.

Are you kidding me Prince? Sing your own songs. I never thought I would say this, but the NHL All-Star game was more exciting than the Super Bowl halftime show. What happened to Aerosmith being joined by Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears, and Run DMC? At least Janet gave us some controversy a couple years ago (this is probably why the past two years have been more reserved).

The halftime show was followed up by what I thought to be a very lackluster second half. Fortunately, I did not really care either way, who the winner would be. It was nice to see a team not named New England in the big game.

I still have a beef with Vinateri missing that field goal attempt. He cost me $50 in football squares.

4:07 PM  

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