It is always the strange Sunday. The one after the conference title games and before the Super Bowl. I like the matchup in this Super Bowl, though. It gets some new blood in there. And not some teams off in the distance like when Atlanta and Seattle made it. It is two teams and two cities we can identify with - Chicago and Indianapolis. It is the Big Ten Super Bowl. The Midwest Super Bowl. The Bears are known for their defense. Yet, their defense has not been dominant during the post season, while their offense has been better than advertised. The Colts are known for their offense, but at least until the second half of the AFC championship game, it was their defense which had been carrying them during the postseason. Peyton Manning is an extraordinary player. He is so good that we only recognize his failures. He was brilliant in the second half against the Patriots. He outplayed Tom Brady when it mattered. Yet, it was almost viewed as ho-hum - despite his failures in the past. It is OK. We can give Manning credit. I am always puzzled by the view people have of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher being overrated. He is not. He is a great football player. The coaches of these teams are ideal. Both are even-handed and calm. You do not see gimmicks from Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy. They are solid - and so are their teams. To me, this is the best Super Bowl matchup in a long time, certainly better than the one we had last season at Ford Field.
- I know VS takes a lot of heat for carrying NHL on a network nobody heard of, but they did do a decent job during the All Star Game. Having Marty Turco miked during the game and talking to him while he was actually playing was an effective and interesting concept.
- Reason No. 7,891 the Lions are a joke: Running pictures of Smith, Dungy and Lions head coach Rod Marinelli on their website together, as if they are equals, just because they coached together and are friends. Marinelli led his team to a 3-13 record last season. At this point, he has nothing in common with Smith and Dungy as an NFL head coach. I guess, the Lions will do anything to come up a contrived spin to try to justify their dismal bottom line.
- I wonder how good Brent Clevlen will be this season. He struggled at Double-A last season, but his tools were much better than I had anticipated when compared to major league players. It would not surprise me if he contributes significantly to the Tigers this season.