Monday, February 8, 2010
Some Notes On The Super Bowl
Here are some notes I want to post about yesterday's Super Bowl. If you want more complete reports, please read a newspaper, surf the net, or check the various broadcast media.
First, congratulations go to the New Orleans Saints for defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.
The game definitely turned for the Saints when they recovered an onside kick to start the second half.
At the time, the Colts lead 10-6, but six plays after New Orleans recovered the ball, Saints quarterback Drew Brees hit running back Pierre Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown pass. That gave New Orleans a 13-10 lead and a momentum they kept throughout the rest of the game.
If the Colts had recovered the kick and scored on that possession, they would've taken a 17-6 lead and probably would've won the game.
The kick was surprising and took guts to do. All praise must go to Saints head coach Sean Peyton for doing that.
Brees won the Most Valuable Player award for the game. He went 32 of 39 in passing for 288 yards and two touchdowns.
But I give the MVP award to the Saints' defense as a unit. It stymied the Colts' offense during the second half so much that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning never got his offense going.
Also, defensive back Tracy Porter returned an intercepted pass 74 years for a touchdown with 3:12 left in the game. That put the game out of reach of the Colts.
(Porter, by the way, went to Indiana University -- my alma mater.)
I had read and heard that the Saints played to win, while the Colts played not to lose.
If so, that's a big difference in approaches and mentalities.
It reminded me of the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game in 1966, when both teams were ranked high. Notre Dame kicked a field goal to tie the game 10-10, which was the final score.
And a local sports columnist started his colum about the game with this quote:
"Tie one for the Gipper."
The Super Bowl had anywhere between 106.5 million and 116.2 million viewers. If you wonder about the discrepancy, I can't find an accurate figure.
Whatever the exact figure is, it will be more than the 105.9 million viewers who watched the series finale of M*A*S*H in 1983.
(By the way, the United States has a population of 300 million plus. I wonder what the other people were watching or doing.)
I'm neither angry nor sad about the results. I follow the Colts, but I don't call myself a fan because fan is short for fanatic, and sure isn't me.
The results were a little disappointing, true,. But I remember a 9-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills in October 1997; the team has come a long way from that embarrassment.
Some Colts fans, I hear, said the second-half onside kick wasn't gentlemanly.
I must remind them that it was a football game, not a golf match. Golf has as unwritten etiquette, such as players calling themselves on bad shots.
Football is the third most violent sport I know. It's just above boxing and mixed martial arts.
Besides, all's fair in love and war. Sports is very often compared to war. Football is the sport most like war.
I heard too, too many Colts fans piss, bitch and moan about the loss. No doubt it fed their feelings of persecution and inferiority, which can get thick around here.
Ah, yes -- worrying about what other people think. Such provincials -- or, more strongly, hicks.
They especially mentioned folks on the East Coast and what they thought.
But something tells me that a lot of folks in, say, New York or Boston go around wondering, "Hey -- I hope Indianapolis residents don't think badly of me."
I didn't watch the halftime show, which featured the classic rock band The Who. It was an important band in my youth and their work meant a lot -- especially the album Who's Next.
But when I glanced at the TV set and saw Roger Daltry's father and Elvis Costello's grandfather performing ... I just couldn't watch any more of it.
The picture at the top of this post was taken by a photographer for Associated Press and downloaded from the net. The child is Brees' son, Baylin.