Friday, January 26, 2007

Best Super Bowl Matchup In Awhile

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.

Random thoughts

- 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.


Anonymous Tommy Mohan said...

It's the old school Superbowl...sure the Colts are in Indi now but I keep thinking about those old NFL films of Unitas and Butkis and their present day manifestations in Manning and Urlacher.

10:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tommy Mohan,
I like that comparison. The one thing, though, about Johnny U. is that he won three championships, Butkus didn't win any. One of the most amazing facts about football is that the Bears went 1-13 in 1969 when Butkus was still in his prime and Sayers rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

12:18 AM 
Anonymous sportznut said...

This is the ultimate offense vs defense matchup. You always hear about defense winning championships. The Bears defense is solid if unspectacular and their team is built old school. They have the great defense (most of the time), a solid running game, and Devin Hester is a special weapon. All they ask of Rex is not to mess it up.

Then on the other side of the field you have the ultimate field general, Peyton Manning. He's like a coach on the field, and he systematically can pick defenses apart. However his playoff failures and struggles have been well documented, including this year's postseason.

I agree that this is a great matchup. Who wins? The team who still gets no respect, with the QB who everyone believes to be one of the worst QBs starting a Superbowl?

Or the embattled QB destined to wear the "Dan Marino" label before he can finally win the big one like John Elway was able to do?

I see the Colts are the prohibitive favorite. I'm picking the Bears in an upset.

But ultimately I just want to be entertained DURING the game, and not just the commercials.

10:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I couldn't agree more. I love Super Bowl for the game itself, not the commercials and parties. But to be honest with you, I think with are in the minority on this. Most everybody else looks at it like a holiday. And that's OK. I just wish sometimes they would shutup and watch the darn game.

11:05 AM 

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