Archive for February, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Recap

Monday, February 8th, 2010

There is no Pro Bowl next week. They played it last week. Super Bowl XLIV (44) was the only thing separating leatherheads from a 7 month (213 day) offseason.

There is no time for sobbing. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints played for the right to be the 2009-210 National Football League Champions.

For those who want a discussion of the commercials, find another blog. Danica Patrick is stunning. That concludes the commercials. My annual Super Bowl party is not for commercial or halftime watchers. It is for people that actually watch the game. This football blog is about football.

Let’s get to it.

The Saints won the toss, and both teams were expected to light up the scoreboard like pinball machines, with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees firing at will.

Coaches Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton are both fairly stoic, but beneath their expressionless faces are different coaching styles. Caldwell is straight out of the Tony Dungy mode, which means playing fairly conservatively in key situations. Playing “not to lose” is often criticized, but this is unfair. Another unfair criticism of Caldwell is that he was handed the keys to a kingdom and merely failed to mess it up. You don’t get to a Super Bowl without being a good coach. Caldwell has nothing to prove. As for Payton, he is from the Bill Parcells coaching tree, which means a riverboat gambler mentality.

The Saints won the toss. In a game where punters were expected to stay on the sidelines and get a paycheck for nothing, the Saints went 3 and out and punted. The Colts took over at their own 27, and Manning went right to work. A pass to Dallas Clark went for 18 yards. On 3rd and 4, Manning hit Clark for 7 yards. On 3rd and 7, Manning hit Collie for 14 yards to the Saints 25. As wella s Manning was passing, the Saints were kept off balance by hard and successful running by Joseph Addai. The Colts finished last in the league in rushing, and the balanced attack was surprising. After 11 plays and 6 minutes, the drive stalled. Matt Stover kicked a 38 yard field goal as the Colts led 3-0.

The Saints picked up one first down on their next series, but punted again. The Colts took over at their own 4 yard line. Manning showed why he is the only 4 time MVP in NFL history at this point, with a ton of help from Addai. He found Brown for 11 yards, and Addai ran for gains of 16 and 11 yards. On 3rd and 1, Addai ripped off a 26 yard gain to the Saints 23. On 3rd and 6 from the 19, Manning fired to Pierre Garcon, who caught the ball in stride for the score. With half a minute left in the first quarter, the Colts led 10-0. The Colts had the ball for 10 1/2 minutes in the first quarter. In the second quarter the game completely changed.

Both of these teams were using kickers that had replaced legends. John Carney was on the bench as Garrett Hartley had the glory of winning the NFC Title Game a couple weeks earlier. Hartline was the kicker for this game. The Colts had 4 time Super Bowl winner Adam Vinatieri on the bench. Despite winning 2 Super Bowls on the final play and making other clutch kicks, he was injured earlier this year and replaced with 42 year old Matt Stover.  The Colts went with Stover for this game. Kicking would loom large later on.

This was a game with virtually no penalties, only one sack, and only one turnover. Yet the rare times these occurrences happened in this very clean and well played game, the drama was exponential.

In the second quarter, the Saints settled down. Starting at their own 11, Brees found Colston for 12 yards. An unnecessary roughness call on the Colts had the Saints at midfield. Brees hit Pierre Thomas for 9 more and Colston for another 10. On 3rd and 3 from the 22, Brees was hunted down by Dwight Freeney. Freeney had a bad ankle, and some thought he might not play. This was for the Super Bowl, and he played. He grabbed Brees by the jersey and threw him to the ground with one hand. The only sack of the game forced the Saints to settle for a long field goal attempt by Hartley.  From 46 yards out, Hartley connected, and after 11 plays and 6 minutes, the Saints were within 10-3.

The Colts picked up 9 yards on first down with a Manning pass, but the effective Addai lost 3 yards on a 2nd and 1 run. A well thrown pass on 3rd and 4 was dropped by Austin Collie, as the Colts punted for the first time.  The Saints took over at their own 28.

On 3rd and 3, Brees hit Colston for 13 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Indy 44, Brees hit Moore for 21 yards. Sean Payton then went into his bag of tricks, and a gadget play involving Devry Henderson blew up and lost 7 yards. On 2nd and 17 from the 30, Brees went deep to Colston for 27 yards to set up 1st and goal at the Indy 3. After a false start, Pierre Thomas ran 7 yards to set up 3rd and goal from the 1 at the 2 minute warning. Bell tried to run it in and got hit backwards, and the Colts took a timeout. On 4th and goal from outside the 1, Payton gambled again. Pierre Thomas got blasted by Gary Brackett and the Colts had the goal line stand. 6 minutes produced no points, and the Colts still led 10-3.

Although the Colts were 99 yards away, Manning had already led a 96 yard drive. Yet with 1:49 left in the half, Caldwell took no chances. Hart picked up 4 and Addai added 5 more. Despite running well, Addai did not get the next carry. On 3rd and 1 from the 10, Hart was stopped for no gain. After a less than stellar punt, the Saints took over at their own 48 with 35 seconds left in the half. Brees hit Henderson for 19 yards. With 5 seconds left in the half, Hartley was brought in for a 44 yard field goal. Hartley was good again, validating Payton’s earlier gamble at the goal line. They got the kick anyway, as the Colts led 10-6 at halftime. From a risk taking standpoint, Payton was just getting warmed up.

The time of possession had totally shifted, as the Saints held the ball for a staggering 12 1/2 minutes in the second quarter. The Saints ran over 20 plays to only 6 for the Colts, the last 3 of them handoffs at the end. Despite leading 10-6, the Colts defense were grateful for the extra long halftime show. They had to be tired. The Colts were lucky to be receiving the second half kickoff. If Manning could do his magic, the Colts would lead 13-6 or even 17-6. Manning never got the chance.

Sean Payton called for an onsides kick to start the second half. It was the first time an onsides kick had ever been called in a Super Bowl before the fourth quarter. Payton was rewarded for his balls of steel move as the kick bounced off Indy’s Hank Baskett’s helmet and led to a scrum that took over 2 minutes to unpile. Had it failed the Colts would have had the short field. Yet the Saints had the ball, as a stunned Colts defense had to go back on the field again. From the Saints 42, Brees quickly got it done. He hit Thomas for 12 yards and Henderson for 9 more. From the Colts 16, Brees hit Colston for the touchdown as the Saints led 13-10.

Despite not being in the game for what seemed like forever, Manning turned the offensive ignition right back on from the Colts 24. Short passes to Clark and Addai followed by an 11 yard Addai run had the Colts at their own 47. On 3rd and 4 from the Saints 47, Manning went deep to Clark for 27 yards to the Saints 20. On 3rd and 5, Manning hit Clark for 11 yards. From the 4, Addai finished the 10 play, 5 1/2 minute drive as Colts retook the lead 17-13 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

A strong kickoff return by Roby had the Saints at their own 34. A 13 yard pass from Brees to Reggie Bush had the Saints at the Colts 48. Brees hit Henderson for 12 yards to the 36. A 3rd and 7 pass to Jeremy Shockey only picked up 4 yards, so on 4th and 3 from the 29, Hartley was brought in again. From 47 yards out, Hartley nailed his third field goal. He became the first kicker in NFL history to make 3 field goals all at least 44 yards long. The Saints were within 17-16 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

There were two contradictory ways of looking at this game at this point. On the one hand, the Colts were scoring touchdowns while the Saints were settling for field goals. On the other hand, the Saints were winning the time of possession battle handily, putting more pressure on the Colts defense. While both quarterbacks were putting on passing clinics, Manning was throwing many slant passes. Tempting fate for too long is a dangerous thing to do.

The Colts took over at their own 11. Manning quickly hit Collie for 9 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, from the 29, Manning hit Garcon for 17 yards to the Indy 46. On 3rd and 12, Manning hit Reggie Wayne for 10 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Saints 46, Manning stayed on the field. With 13 minutes left in regulation, the normally conservative Caldwell decided not to punt. Of course, Manning has been known for waving punt teams off the field. He is a field general and perhaps the only quarterback allowed to do this. He again backed it up, hitting Wayne for 14 yards to the Saints 32.

The drive then bogged down as a pass to Collie actually lost 3 yards. On 3rd and 11, a running play to pick up a few yards would have made the field goal attempt easier. Instead, a deep pass to Collie was incomplete. On 4th and 11 from the 33, Manning was not going to be going for it this time. Adam Vinatieri would not be attempting any heroics today either. Matt Stover came in for a 51 yard field goal attempt. It looked good, and would have been from 45. At the end it hooked left, and the slice miss gave the Saints the ball in excellent field position at their own 41. This time it was the Colts that had the ball for over 6 minutes with no points to show for it. 10 1/2 minutes still remained in this one point game.

Reggie Bush picked up 12 yards to the Colts 47. Brees then threw 5 straight short passes to 5 different receivers. Between hitting Thomas, Henderson, Bush, Colston, and finally Robert Meacham, the Saints were at the Colts 14. Brees ran out of different names, so he went to Thomas again for 9 yards. Thomas then ran it to the 2 to give Brees’s arm a one play rest. Then Brees realized he did have more names to choose from, so he hit Shockey for the 2 yard touchdown to put the Saints up 22-17. Brees found another different name on the 2 point conversion. Initially it looked like the pass to Moore was dropped. Sean Payton challenged the incomplete ruling. Again, Payton was rewarded, as the call was overturned and ruled a catch. The Saints had retaken the lead 24-17. A strong kickoff return by Simpson had the Colts at their own 30 with 5 1/2 minutes left in this see-saw game. Drew Brees did his part. Now it was Peyton Manning’s turn.

After a false start, Manning hit Garcon for gains of 17 and 10 yards to the Saints 48. Manning then hit Wayne for 12 yards to the Saints 36. With 3 1/2 minutes to go, the Colts faced 3rd and 5 from the Saints 31. Manning was destined to tie the game 24-24, with the only question being which kicker would win a thriller in regulation. Perhaps the Super Bowl would go to overtime for the very first time. Every Super Bowl has memories to last forever, and Peyton Manning was abut to create one. Unfortunately for him and Colts fans everywhere, it was a bitter memory.

Manning threw his billionth slant pass, this one meant for Reggie Wayne. this was after having earlier nearly had one intercepted, and for completing a pass across the field that 2 weeks earlier allowed the Saints to intercept another icon and win the NFC Title Game. Manning went to the well once too often, and this pass was intercepted by Tracy Porter. Manning tried to make the tackle, but unlike a 2 time Super Bowl winner who made one in 2005 to preserve a win and beat the Colts, Manning is not a tackler. Porter was off to the races, pumping his fists as the French Quarter erupted in celebration. The Saints led by 14 points, and the only turnover of the game had the Colts needing a miracle.

Manning had 7 regular season comeback fourth quarter wins, and he began the desperation march at the Colts 14. 5 and 11 yard passes to Clark had the Colts at the 30 at the 2 minute warning. Manning then went deep to Collie for a 40 yard gain to the Saints 30. Passes to Addai for 17 and 6 yards followed by an unnecessary roughness penalty had the Colts with 1st and goal at the 3 with 1:33 to play. An near interception in the end zone was ruled out of bounds, but offensive pass interference moved the Colts back. Manning got the 10 yards back  with a pass to Addai. Manning called timeout, and then tried to wave off the timeout. His reasoning was that if the Colts scored and failed on the onsides kick, they would need the timeouts. It was too late to “cancel” the decision and the timeout stood with 1:16 left.

An incomplete pass to Collie set up 3rd and goal. Again, a bizarre coaching decision by Caldwell will be dissected. An attempt to fool the Saints with a running play fooled nobody, as Addai got dropped for a 2 yard loss. Yes, the Colts had ran well all day, but with just over a minute to play, this was not the time for running. Manning decided not to take another timeout, hoping to save them. On 4th and goal from the 5, Manning hit Wayne at the goal line. Wayne dropped it. Despite going 31 for 45 for 333 yards, Manning could not get the Colts a win. A stunned Colts team watched the Saints erupt in celebration.

44 seconds remained, and the Colts did have 2 timeouts. Caldwell chose not to use them and delay what appeared inevitable. Brees took a knee.Brees, who finished a ridiculous 32 for 39 for 288 yards, was the MVP. The 32 completions tied a Super Bowl record. The scoreboard read Saints 31, Colts 17.

Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, and Peyton Manning were all typically classy af6ter the loss. The Colts got the monkey off of their backs in 2006, so they are not exactly on the ash heap of history. Some will criticize this team for “only” winning one Super Bowl. That is crazy.

Tom Benson did the Benson Boogie. Benson might be the most “beloved” owner since the late Georgia Frontiere, but he failed to get in the way.

Forget Hurricane Katrina. The Saints go deeper than this for much longer than this on the pain scale.

They lost to the 0-26 Buccaneers in 1977. They went 1-15 and wore bags on their head sin 1980, becoming the “Aints.”

In 1983 they were 8-7 and on the verge of their first winning season and playoff appearance. They hosted the 8-7 Rams. The Rams scored no offensive touchdowns. They scored on 2 interception returns of Ken Stabler and a punt return for a score, and a safety. On the last play of the game, the Saints led 24-23. The Rams had a field goal attempt. Bum Phillips could only watch as the kick was good, the Rams won 26-24, and the Saints still did not have a winning season. A sign in the stands read, “It aint over till the fat man spits.” Bum Phillips spit and it was over.

General Manager Jim Finks and Coach Jim Mora came along and turned the team into winners. In 1987 the Saints had their first winning season in a big way, going 12-3. They hosted the 8-7 Vikings in their first playoff game, and lost 44-13. Mora coached the team for 11 years, and put together what might be the best linebacking corps in history, with Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, and Sam Mills. Yet they kept losing in the playoffs. They even played the Eagles, who also kept losing playoff games. The Saints led 20-7 in the third quarter and lost 36-20.

After 11 seasons, Jim “Playoffs!” Mora threw in the towel after a press conference where he said the Saints couldn’t do “diddly-poo.” He said, “We sucked.”

Jim Haslett took over in 2000, and the Saints hosted a playoff game against the defending champion Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf. A week earlier the Rams had beaten the Saints in New Orleans to make the playoffs. Mike Martz said “we beat them here, come back, and beat them again.” The Saints led 31-7, collapsed, saw the Rams come within 31-28. The Saints punted, the Rams fumbled the punt, and the Saints finally had their first playoff win after 34 years.

The Saints regressed, Mike Ditka took over, traded 7 draft picks for Ricky Williams, and the Saints got worse. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. The city was a mess, and the Saints were pretty bad as well.

Sean Payton came to town. He believed. Drew Brees came to town. He believed. They not only played great football, but they embraced the city when others (the beloved owner) were suggesting the team move to San Antonio permanently.

The Saints started 13-0, lost their last 3, and responded by beating Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, and Payton Manning. The last 3 Super Bowl losing quarterbacks have been Manning, Warner, and Tom Brady, another quarterback beaten this year by the Saints and Drew Brees.

Jim Finks is long departed. Jim Mora is retired, and proud of both of these teams he coached. He did not win a playoff game, but he turned them both into winners before Sean Payton, Tony Dungy, and Jim Caldwell arrived.

Rickey Jackson has just made it into the Hall of Fame, inducted one day before the Super Bowl.

Off the field, Drew Brees does charity work, and has helped literally rebuild the city with his good works.

On the field, civic pride erupted with his MVP performance.

Peyton Manning is still one of the greatest of all time, but was one tragic mistake from being the best in this game on this day. Archie Manning is hurt for his son, but will appreciate the Saints win as a gutty performance.

Archie Manning was the original Saints hero. He was there for the early years.

One thing is certain in all of this. The Saints are no longer losers. They are now the very best.

On this day, we all wanted to be in that number. The Saints went marching in.

In 213 days, the NFL 2010 season kicks off. Before that is the NFL Draft.

The Saints are the defending champions, and Super Bowl XLIV is in the history books forever.

31-17 Saints


Super Bowl Sunday and Hall of Fame Happenings

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. My recap will not be coming out until tomorrow. I will be watching the game with friends, rather than live blogging. The world will survive.

There is plenty of football news, from the positive to the negative to the controversial.

The negative comes in a pair of criminal allegations that always seem to be timed to mar the game.

The first involves Warren Sapp. He was arrested Saturday in a domestic violence dispute. NFL Network has removed him from Super Bowl and other NFL coverage pending an investigation. The former Buccaneers and Raiders defensive standout had crossover appeal when he was on “Dancing with the Stars.”

The only thing I can say is that we do not have all the facts. I will wait and see.,0,3150440.story

On Friday, another Hall of Famer and NFL analyst faced accusations when Michael Irvin was accused of rape. The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver has had trouble with drugs and women in the past, and time will tell if this new allegation has legs. The alleged incident happened three years ago, which works in Irvin’s favor. The timing seems suspicious.

The day before the accusations hit the airwaves, Irvin sat down for an interview with Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star. Whitlock might be the best sportswriter in the country, and his take on Irvin is fair and thoughtful.

Making the segue to Hall of Fame announcements, I still maintain that Michael Irvin’s induction speech is one of the great sports speeches of all time. Like Whitlock, I hope Irvin is innocent of the new charges.

The 2010 Hall of Fame class was just announced. As expected, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were locks. Joining them were John Randle, Russ Grimm, and Rickey Jackson, along with seniors Dick Lebeau and Floyd Little. None of these were bad choices, but Charles Haley missing the cut was a shocker. The man has five Super Bowl rings. Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, and Shannon Sharpe all missed the cut. Apparently there was a concern about too many receivers all at once. They should all get in sooner rather than later.

The NFL does a lot right, but there are some serious flaws in the Hall of Fame selection process. All the choices this year were fine, but too many people get left out due to category problems.

They should separate coaches from contributors. We watch the players, but there is an anti-contributor bias due to the number of quality players.

On the coaching front, Don “Air” Coryell absolutely merits inclusion. He learned from Sid Gillman, and taught Mike Martz. There is no “Greatest Show on Turf” without him.

Paul Tagliabue is one of the greatest sports executives of all time. It is tough to choose between him and Pete Rozelle, but Tags is at least Rozelle’s equal. Twenty years of labor peace and blockbuster teelvision deals means a record of virtually total success.

I was shocked to find out that Ed and Steve Sabol of NFL Films were not in the Hall of Fame. Ed Sabol should have been included years ago.

John Facenda might actually be the voice of God. God belongs in the Hall of Fame.

John Madden rightfully made it as a head coach, but he should have gone in as an announcer. Also deserving are Al Michaels and the very underrated Pat Summerall.

I would also consider ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “NFL Primetime” revolutionized how we watch football highlights.

The bias against special teams players has to stop. With punters, Ray Guy deserves it, and Shane Lechler one day should get in.

With kickers, Adam Vinatieri, Morton Anderson, Gary Anderson, and Sebastian Janikowski are some of many who should one day be considered.

Steve Tasker absolutely belongs in the Hall as a special teamer.

Also, how can we ignore the return men. Billy “White Shoes” Johnson was the original game changer (and the best dancer in the history of the game, sorry Ray Lewis). Mike Nelms, Vai Sikahema, Mel Gray, and Bryan Westbrook all got it done, and Dante Hall and Devon Hester took it to the next level. None of these players were thrilling on offense or defense, but special teams matters.

How about coverage guys? Anybody crazy enough to bust up a wedge on returns is special. Longtime Cowboys standout Bill Bates leads this group.

Getting back to contributors, it seems unfair that head coaches can get inducted but not assistant coaches. This is like inducting a quarterback but ignoring the offensive line. Some guys were only moderately effective or worse as head coaches, yet flourished as coordinators.

On the defensive side of the ball, Buddy Ryan should get in. He is the greatest defensive coordinator of all time.  Dom Capers should one day be looked at as well.

On offense, Bob McKittrick and Joe Bugel should go in as offensive line coaches. Bugel coached the “Hogs.”

The NFL has to fix these deficiencies. We all know about Peyton Manning, but he has had the same center his entire career, Jeff Saturday. Centers are famous compared to the many unsung heroes I have listed.

One other thought is whether non-football achievements should be considered. I feel that only activities specifically connected to football should get a player inducted. However, special achievements could lead to them getting an exhibit in Canton. While Pat Tillman is not in the Hall as a player, there is a Pat Tillman exhibit dedicated to the player who walked away from football to serve his country in Afghanistan. The exhibit is poignant and totally appropriate.

I would consider exhibits for guys like Warrick Dunn and Darrell Green. Green is in as a player, but both of these guys should be recognized for their charity work. I am not saying put Warrick Dunn in as a player. Just recognize his charity work with an exhibit. Every year he helps a single mother own a home.

On the lighter side of things, a hilarious Web site called “Loserville, USA” discusses the fact that nobody on the Atlanta Falcons has ever been inducted. Despite having the required last name, Falcons cornerback Deangelo Hall does not belong there.

It is never too early to debate the 2011 class. The five first ballot candidates are Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Dick Vermeil, Curtis Martin, and Jerome Bettis.

Deion and Marshall should get in on the first ballot. The others should wait awhile, perhaps not getting in at all only because so many of the others I mentioned are waiting far too long.

Anyway all, time to enjoy the Super Bowl.

(Prediction: Colts 38, Saints 24)

Enjoy the game everybody!


Super Bowl (Jeff?) Saturday

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I will not be discussing President Ronald Reagan today. I loved him and miss him terribly. Happy 99th in Heaven sir. God bless you as well Mrs. Reagan.

Now on to football. Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday.

On Super Bowl pre-game Saturday, I have decided to do an entire column about the player named after the day, Colts Center Jeff Saturday.

After all, what is more exciting than an entire column about a center?

Well what the hell should I talk about?

This game has no storylines.

Neither of these 2009 teams is a true feel-good story because they both were practically here in 2006.

I know the Saints have never been to the Super Bowl, but they almost did three years ago. This game will be billed as the big win after Hurricane Katrina, but that is not true. The really big Hurricane Katrina game was against the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 when the Saints had the greatest blocked punt in NFL history en route to a magical season. The second greatest Saints game would be in 2005 at the Carolina Panthers, where only days after Katrina they stunned a Super Bowl pre-season favorite on the road 23-20.

As for the Colts, Peyton Manning, even if he wins, will not be the very best quarterback ever. He is not even the best Colts quarterback. Yes Manning is all world, but Johnny Unitas is the best Colts leader. Even the storyline about Manning winning the big one disappeared three years ago.

The problem with the Colts is that they are the most boring team since the 1994 49ers.

I don’t mean on the field. Manning is a maestro. I just mean in terms of bulletin board material.

The 1994 49ers bragged about how quiet and “corporate” they were to the point they were insufferable. They reveled in being the anti-Cowboys. After the game they emptied the Gatorade buckets so nobody would pour it on ultra-stiff George Siefert. Until Steve Young began screaming joy in the locker room after the game did anybody on the team show anything resembling human emotion.

The only person on the Colts with any intensity is President Bill Polian. Jim Caldwell may not have made anything resembling a facial expression this entire season. It is like Tony Dungy made blandness a requirement for the organization.

Brett Favre rebeled against Brad Childress. Manning kept repeating the company line about how Coach Caldwell knows what is best for everybody.

Three years ago Tony Dungy became the first black head coach to win the Lombardi Trophy. When Mike Tomlin won last year it was his age everybody focused on. Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton prove that being non-descript and middle-aged crosses all racial lines.

As for Sean Payton, how does a guy grow under the Bill Parcells coaching tree without being caustic? The guy served under the ultimate grouch. Tom Coughlin understands this. Payton is so incredibly polite and respectful.

The players are all behaving. They are probably already asleep 24 hours before kickoff.

Oakland Raiders legend John Matuszak partied in Bourbon Street. When Tom Flores chastised him for missing curfew, the Tooz explained that he had to be in the French Quarter to make sure none of his teammates were violating curfew.

Neither of these teams have anything about them worth hating. You can’t hate any of the players.

There is no Joe Namath, Joey Porter, or anybody else making predictions.

My lord, Manning and Drew Brees were so lovey-dovey during their joint press conference with Chris Berman that I thought they were going to run away together to Vermont and call it official.

Yes, Gregg Williams said some barely pg-rated comments about some extra shots on Manning, but nobody knows Gregg Williams, and he was quickly muzzled.

These teams have bulletin boards that are empty.

Archie Manning is rooting for his son to defeat his old team. Wake me up when a story develops.

If the Saints win the game, it would be a big story in the same way it was when the Buccaneers won after the 2002 season. Yet going into the game, this is simply a pair of favorites that held serve at home.

Colts center Jeff Saturday is a fiery guy. When we are even talking about the center, that means there is a dramatically clear lack of compelling stories.

Maybe I am upset because I normally watch the Super Bowl, and next week take consolation in the Pro Bowl being there. Not this year. There really is nothing until September after this.

When the biggest story is a college player and a controversial political ad, we are in trouble. Once they show the Tim Tebow ad, people will go, “That’s it? That was the fuss?” Then pro-choice and pro-life football fans will unite and ask, “Yeah, but can he throw the d@mn ball to his receivers?”

I personally think the Super Bowl should be totally apolitical. I also don’t  like anything distracting from the game. Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake got all the attention after the 2003 season, when people should have talked about one of the great games of all time.

If Colts kicker Matt Stover misses a kick that gives the Saints the win, the issue of benching Adam Vinatieri will loom large.

These are big ifs. I am really grasping at straws here.

These teams have no history, no rivalry, and no animosity toward each other.

Dwight Freeney may not be able to play, but we heard for so many years how desperately the Colts needed Bob Sanders.

The Colts need Peyton Manning.

Then again, the Raiders fell apart in 2002 when Barrett Robbins had his pre-game emotional meltdown. So it really does come down to Saturday.

Jeff Saturday, everybody. In this game, he could be the MVP, at least in terms of storylines.

If only he or anybody else would say something.

This game had better be good, because the pre-game is lacking.


Hall of Fame notes: The 2010 Hall of Fame class includes Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Russ Grimm, Dick Lebeau, Floyd Little, Rickey Jackson, and the “Big Dog” John Randall.

The only surprises would be the quick elimination of Charles Haley, and the lack of receivers. Chris Carter, Tim Brown, Andre Reed, and tight end Shannon Sharpe all could have gotten in.

I am a huge John Randall fan, but Charles Haley ranks above Randall and Rickey Jackson. Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, and Pat Swilling worked very well together.

Russ Grimm was more deserving than Dermonti Dawson.

Besides Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice, everyone else could be argued.


Super Bowl History 1966-2010

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Super Bowl History 1966-2010

The NFL (National Football League) began playing in the 1920s. In 1960 an upstart league known as the AFL (American Football League) came into existence. A war broke out between the two leagues, and the teams agreed in 1966 to start playing a game at the end of the year between the best team in each league. That game would eventually be known as the Superbowl. The leagues merged in 1970, forming the modern NFL. The NFL teams formed the NFC (National Football Conference), and the AFL formed the AFC (American Football Conference). Below is the history of football in the modern era.

1966–The Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Title game 34-27, when the Packers intercepted a pass in the end zone as time ran out. The Kansas City Chiefs were the AFL champions, and they and the Packers met in Super Bowl I. The Packers were heavy favorites, and their Coach Vince Lombardi did not want to lose to what he considered a Mickey Mouse League. Although the Packers only led 14-10 at the half, a key interception broke the game open, and the Packers crushed Kansas City in the second half. 35-10 Packers

1967–The Packers again defeated the Cowboys in the NFL Title Game. The game was known as the Ice Bowl, since the game was played in 13 degrees below zero weather. Down 17-14, on the last play of the game, from the one yard line, the Packers went for the win instead of the tie, partly due to the cold. Bart Starr followed Jerry Kramer’s block, and the Packers won 21-17. They played the Raiders in Superbowl II. The game was only 13-7 in the second quarter, but a fumbled punt set up a Green Bay field goal before the half. Like the previous year, the Packers romped in the second half, including Herb Adderly’s interception return for a touchdown. It was the 5th Packer championship in 7 years, and their second Superbowl win. Vince Lombardi, who the trophy is now named for, retired after the game. 33-14 Packers

1968–With Lombardi retired, the Packers were done. The Baltimore Colts represented the NFL. The New York Jets, led by Broadway Joe Namath, defeated the Raiders 27-23 in the AFL Title game for the right to play in Superbowl III. The Colts were 18 point favorites, and Joe Namath angered the Colts and his own teammates by saying, “We’re going to win. I guarantee it.” The world laughed, but on the second play of the game, Colts defensive star Rick Volk went out with an injury. Running back Matt Snell carried 30 times following left tackle Winston Hill. Colts quarterback Earl Morrall was intercepted four times. The Jets led 16-0 in the fourth quarter, when injured legend Johnny Unitas replaced Morrall. It was too little, too late. The Jets had shocked the world. The AFL was no longer an inferior league. 16-7 Jets

1969–The Minnesota Vikings represented the NFL. The Chiefs were the best AFL team. Although the Vikings were favored in Superbowl IV, The Chiefs smothered them. Len Dawson was calm at quarterback, and the Kansas City defense was relentless. Kicker Jan Stenerud added three field goals, as the Chiefs raced to a 16-0 lead and never looked back. The AFL had tied the NFL at two Superbowls apiece. The leagues merged the next year. 23-7 Chiefs

1970–The Cowboys finally got to the Superbowl, representing the NFC. The AFC team was represented by the old NFL team the Colts from two years earlier. Superbowl V was known as the Blunder Bowl, with the teams combining for 11 turnovers. Dallas led 13-6, and were one yard away from a 14 point lead. They fumbled the ball away. Still leading 13-6, an intercepted pass set up the tying touchdown late in the game. Another interception set up Jim Obrien for a 32 yard field goal to win the game. Rookie kicker Obrien had an extra point blocked earlier, but his kick was good, and the Colts had won at the buzzer. This was the only Superbowl where the MVP played for the losing team, that being defensive player Chuck Howley. 16-13 Colts

1971–The Cowboys got back again, and the AFC was represented by the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys were heavy favorites, and Superbowl VI was the only game where the losing team failed to score a single touchdown. Miami Coach Don Shula was also the coach for the Colts in their shocking loss to the Jets three years earlier. Tom Landry had yet to become a Dallas legend. The game was uneventful, as Dallas coasted. 24-3 Cowboys

1972–Superbowl VII had the Washington Redskins representing the NFC, with the Dolphins again representing the AFC. The Dolphins were unbeaten, and looking to make history. The Dolphins led 14-0 late in the game, when a field goal attempt to lock up the game went awry. The kick was blocked, and kicker Garo Yopremian tried to pick it up and throw it. It was picked out of the air by Mike Bass, who returned it 49 yards for a touchdown for the Redskins. They did get the ball back, but went nowhere. This was the first Superbowl where the offense for the losing team did not score at all. The Miami Dolphins remain the only team in the history of the NFL to get through a season unbeaten, finishing 17-0. Every year when the last team to lose a game does so, members of the 1972 Dolphins pop champagne corks. 14-7 Dolphins

1973–Superbowl VIII featured the defending Superbowl champion Dolphins against the NFC champion Vikings. The game was a blowout, as the Dolphins ran 20 first quarter plays to only three for Minnesota. Miami led 14-0 at that point, and due to the running of Mercury Morris, Larry Csonka, and Jim Kiick, Miami only threw the ball seven times. Miami won back to back titles, and the Vikings became the first team to lose two of them. 24-7 Dolphins

1974–Superbowl IX had the Minnesota Vikings in their 3rd Superbowl. The Dolphins were finally knocked out in an epic game with the Raiders 28-26 in the “Sea of Hands” game. For three straight years, the AFC Title game between the Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers was more epic than the Superbowl. In 1972, The Steelers defeated the Raiders in the “Immaculate Reception” game. In 1973 the Raiders throttled the Steelers. Both teams lost to the Dolphins. This year they were the big dogs. In Oakland, after 3 quarters, the Raiders led 10-3. They collapsed in the 4th quarter, as Pittsburgh exploded for 21 points and a 24-13 win. The Superbowl had the Purple People Eaters vs the Steel Curtain. It was all defense. The first half features only a safety and a 2-0 Steelers lead. A fumbled kickoff return to start the second half produced a Pittsburgh touchdown run by Franco Harris. Minnesota’s only touchdown came on a blocked punt. The extra point was no good. Pittsburgh led 9-6. Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers on the only real drive for either team of the entire game. 70 yards and much clock led to the final touchdown and Pittsburgh’s first title. The Vikings had lost their 3rd. 16-6 Steelers

1975–The Cowboys defeated the Vikings 17-14 in a very controversial NFC Title game. The AFC Title Game again featured the Raiders and Steelers. In ice cold Pittsburgh, the Steelers led 3-0 after 3 quarters. The offenses did get going, but the Raiders had their final drive end at the 5 yard line as the clock ran out. Pittsburgh prevailed 16-10. Superbowl X had the Cowboys leading 10-7 after 3 quarters. Early in the 4th, a blocked punt for a safety cut the gap to 10-9. Momentum swung, and Pittsburgh led 21-10 with time running out. Roger Staubach led the Cowboys to within 4 points, but his Hail Mary on the final play of the game was intercepted in the end zone. 21-17 Steelers

1976–The Vikings reached their 4th Superbowl. For the third straight year, the Raiders and Steelers met in the AFC Title game. The Raiders had the best record in the NFL at 13-1. The last week of the season, with home field advantage locked up, they could have lost their final game, rested their team, and eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention. By winning, Pittsburgh would be in. Many speculated the Raiders would lose to avoid Pittsburgh. This enraged the team, who throttled their final opponent, and demanded to face Pittsburgh. Oakland defeated New England 24-21, with 10 seconds remaining, to avenge their only loss of the season. They then finally beat Pittsburgh, destroying them 24-7. Superbowl XI was not close, with the image of cornerback Willie Brown returning an interception 75 yards for Oakland’s final touchdown. Minnesota lost their fourth Superbowl, and Oakland won their first. Owner Al Davis and coach John Madden finally reached the top. 32-14 Raiders

1977–The Raiders got back to the AFC Title Game for the 5th straight year, the only team to ever do so. They faced their archrival Denver Broncos, and the Broncos came out on top 20-17. The Cowboys represented the NFC in Superbowl XII. Bronco quarterback Craig Morton was the losing quarterback for Dallas in the 5th Superbowl. Roger Staubach led Dallas in their win the year later. Staubach won again, as Dallas cruised. It was their 4th Superbowl, and they had won and lost twice. 27-10 Cowboys

1978–Superbowl XIII had the Steelers back after a two year absence, against defending champion Dallas. This was the rematch of the Superbowl 3 years earlier. Pittsburgh led 21-14 when a short pass to a wide open Jackie Smith was dropped when he slipped and fell. Instead of the tying touchdown, a field goal cut the gap to 21-17, which was the score of their previous encounter. A pair of touchdowns 18 seconds apart put Pittsburgh up 35-17, and they hung on for a 4 point win for their 3rd Superbowl win. Dallas lost their 3rd Superbowl. Terry Bradshaw throwing bombs to Lynn Swann led to 4 catches for 164 yards. 35-31 Steelers.

1979–In the AFC Title game, Pittsburgh played the Houston Oilers for the second straight year. The previous year Pittsburgh won in a blowout, but this year it was a closer game. Houston thought they scored the tying touchdown, but it was ruled out of bounds. Pittsburgh won 27-13. The Los Angeles Rams, only 9-7 in the regular season, had won their division for the 7th straight year. In previous years they dominated, but could not get past Minnesota and Dallas. Superbowl XIV was supposed to be a Pittsburgh blowout, but the Rams led 19-17 after 3 quarters. Nevertheless, the Steelers took the lead, and sealed the game when Pat Haden was intercepted. The Steelers had their 4th Superbowl win in 6 years. 31-19 Steelers

1980–The AFC had all 5 playoff teams exactly at 11-5. The Oakland Raiders beat the Houston Oilers indoors, the Cleveland Browns 14-12 in the snow, and the San Diego Chargers in the rain, which slowed down the passing attack of “Air” Coryell and quarterback Dan Fouts. The Raiders were led by Jim Plunkett, who only a couple years ago was thought to be washed up. The owners of Oakland and San Diego hated each other, and Charger owner Gene Klein blamed Raider owner Al Davis for the rain, insisting that Davis hired a cropduster to seed the clouds. Davis has never denied this ludicrous assertion, because it burnishes his outlaw image. The NFC had 3 teams at 12-4, and the Cowboys defeated the Atlanta Falcons before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 10-7 in the regular season, but Superbowl XV was revenge. Rod Martin had 3 interceptions, and Jim Plunkett showed his talent. A swing pass to Kenny King went for 80 yards and a touchdown, and the special teams blocked a field goal. The Raiders won their second Superbowl, and coach Tom Flores, who had replaced the retired Madden a year earlier, reached the top. From a cultural standpoint, it was the first win with a Mexican head coach and quarterback. 27-10 Raiders

1981–The NFC Title game was an epic battle between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, led by coach Bill Walsh and quarterback Joe Montana. In the final minute, Montana’s touchdown pass to Dwight Clark would forever be known as “The Catch.” The 49ers won 28-27 despite 6 turnovers. They played the Cincinnati Bengals in Superbowl XVI. The 49ers led 20-0 at the half. The Bengals cut the gap to 20-7 and then drove to the 49er one yard line. The 49ers then mounted an inspired goal line stand, with 4 plays gaining nothing. The Bengals did eventually cut the gap to 20-14, but a couple field goals by the 49ers put the game out of reach. The Bengals scored again with 17 seconds left, but could not recover the onsides kick. 26-21 Bengals

1982–A strike shortened season had the Cowboys reaching the NFC Title game for the 3rd straight year, with Danny White leading the team all three times. He was the team leader when Staubach retired. This year they played their hated rivals, the Redskins. For the 3rd straight year, the Cowboys lost. The Redskins faced the Miami Dolphins in Superbowl XVII in a rematch of the Superbowl 10 years earlier. With the Redskins trailing 17-13, Joe Theisman had his pass tipped, with a certain interception to put the Dolphins up by 11. At the last second, Theismann knocked the ball from the Miami “Killer Bs” defense for an incompletion. This kept the game within reach, and the Redskins took a 20-17 lead. Facing a 4th and 1 at the Miami 44, “The Diesel” John Riggins burst through and rumbled all the way for a touchdown to ice the game. It was the first Superbowl win for the Redskins, and the second loss for the Dolphins to even out their two wins. 27-17 Redskins

1983–The Redskins returned, and faced the Raiders, who were now located in Los Angeles. Earlier in the year, the Redskins defeated the Raiders 37-35 in a game for the ages. That game had a 99 yard touchdown pass from Plunkett to Cliff Branch, and a 97 yard punt return for a touchdown by Greg Pruitt. The Redskins led 20-7, and then the Raiders exploded for four touchdowns and a 35-20 lead. The Redskins then came back with a touchdown, a perfectly executed onsides kick, a field goal, and a final touchdown by Theismann to Joe Washington with 20 seconds remaining for the win. Only a missed field goal and a missed extra point during the season separated the Redskins from a 16-0 season. Superbowl XVIII was not close. Marcus Allen rushed for 191 yards, Plunkett threw a pair of touchdowns, and the Raiders scored on a blocked punt by Derrick Jensen, and an interception for a touchdown by Jack Squirek. The Redskins only touchdown was followed by the extra point being blocked. To quote Joe Theismann, “They handed us our @ss on the tray, and the tray was bent.” The Raiders won their 3rd Superbowl in 8 years, and the Redskins lost their second one. 38-9 Raiders.

1984–Dan Marino Shredded the NFL for 5084 yards in leading the Dolphins to a 14-2 record and the team’s second appearance in 3 years. Joe Montana led the 49ers to a 15-1 record and their second appearance. The Dolphins led Superbowl XIX 10-7 early on, but the 49ers took the game over. They led 28-10 when the Dolphins kicked a field goal before the half, recovered a fumble on the kickoff, and added another field goal before halftime. The second half was uneventful, as the 49ers shut down the Dolphins and extended their lead. San Francisco won their second Superbowl, and Miami lost their third Superbowl in 5 appearances. 38-16 49ers

1985–The Chicago Bears did their Super Bowl Shuffle, and their defense, led by Mike Singletary and Richard Dent, destroyed the league. Fiery coach Mike Ditka, with intense defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, were unrelenting. Maverick quarterback Jim McMahon led the offense, with legendary running back Walter Payton leading the running game. William “The Refrigerator” Perry provided the entertainment. The New England Patriots won three road games, starting out by beating the Jets. They then shocked the Raiders and the Dolphins, who were both considered superior. The Dolphins were the only team to beat the 15-1 Bears that year. Perhaps neither the Raiders or Dolphins would have won the Superbowl that year, but they would not have been intimidated. The Patriots opened and closed the scoring in Superbowl XX, but the Bears had an avalanche of points inbetween. 46-10 Bears

1986–The New York Giants won an NFL Championship in 1956, and in 1958 lost “the greatest game ever played,” to the Colts. This was their first Superbowl. They played the Broncos, led by John Elway. The Broncos led Superbowl XXI 10-7, but a safety cut the gap to 10-9. Denver kicker Rich Karlis missed field goals of 23 and 34 yards, deflating the team. The Giants defense poured it on in the second half, led by Harry Carson, George Martin, and Lawrence Taylor. Phil Simms had a Superbowl record for accuracy, completing 22 of 25 passes. Head coach Bill Parcells became the victim of a new ritual that season that is now cliche. Harry Carson was guy behind the idea of dumping the Gatorade bucket on the coach’s head. It was a way of getting back at the often irascible Parcells. During the Superbowl, he nervously looked around for the bucket, but was ambushed anyway. This was also the first year that the MVP, in this case Simms, announced that he was going to Disneyland. 39-20 Giants

1987–In another strike season, the Redskins prevailed in the NFC, while the Broncos returned for the second straight year. Denver’s first play from scrimmage was a touchdown bomb, and at the end of the first quarter, the Broncos led 10-0. A blowout was shaping up in Superbowl XXII. It was a blowout, but not for Denver. Washington had the best quarter in Superbowl history, scoring 5 touchdowns, including 4 touchdown passes by Doug Williams. He was the first black quarterback to play in the Superbowl, and he flourished. Unheralded running back Timmy Smith, who only lasted 3 years in the league, rushed for 204 yards, a current record. A 10-0 deficit became a 35-10 Redskins lead at the half. The second half was uneventful, as Denver lost for the 3rd time, and Washington won their second Superbowl in 4 appearances. 42-10 Redskins

1988–After 11 games, the 49ers were only 6-5, having just taken a beating to the Raiders. Montana was sacked 8 times in the 9-3 loss. The 49ers regrouped, finished 10-6, reached the NFC Title Game, and shocked the heavily favored Bears 28-3. They faced the Bengals, who defeated the Bills in the AFC Title Game. This was a rematch of the Superbowl 7 years earlier. Superbowl XXIII had different leader, with Sam Wyche instead of Forrest Gregg as coach, and Boomer Anderson at quarterback instead of Ken Anderson. The 49ers still had Walsh and Montana. They also now had a receiver that would become a legend, Jerry Rice. The game was 3-3 at the half, and with 3 minutes left, the Bengals led 16-13. The 49ers were 92 yards away, and Joe Montana earned his icy cool reputation by relaxing his teammates. With all the pressure on him, he said to his team, “Hey, is that John Candy in the stands? Cool.” The team relaxed, and Montana threw a touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left to win the game. Bill Walsh retired after the game, and the 49ers had their 3rd Superbowl win. The Bengals had lost their second one. Montana’s legacy was not done. 20-16 49ers

1989–The 49ers returned for their 4th appearance in 9 years, this time with a dominating 14-2 record. The Broncos returned for their 3rd appearance in 4 years. All 3 times they defeated the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Title Game. In 1986, John Elway led “the drive,” going 98 yards in the final minutes to tie the game and win in overtime 23-20. In 1987 they won 38-33 in the game know as “the fumble,” when Ernest Byner coughed it up near the goal line when it appeared he was about to tie the game. In 1989 the game was a blowout, with Denver downing Cleveland 37-21. Yet Denver was mauled in Superbowls, each time by a larger margin, losing by 17, 19, and 32 points. Superbowl XXIV was worse, the biggest blowout in history. A 45 point shellacking earned the 49ers their 4th Superbowl win, and the Broncos their 4th loss. 55-10 49ers

1990–The 49ers had the repeat, and were going for the “3-peat,” but fell short. They were 14-2, including a thrilling 7-3 defensive win over the Giants. Both of those teams started 10-0, and they met again in the NFC Title Game. It was another defensive thriller, and the Giants kicked five field goals. The fourth one cut their deficit to 13-12, but in trying to run out the clock, Roger Craig fumbled. The Giants recovered, and Matt Bahr’s 5th kick on the final play gave the Giants the 15-13 win and the trip to Superbowl XXV. The Giants were 13-3, with one of their other losses being to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills only won 17-13, but they had one of the greatest offenses of all time. The Giants held the ball for over 40 minutes to keep Buffalo off of the field. A safety by Buffalo seemed to be the difference, since their final drive had them down by one point instead of three. Jeff Hostetler had taken over when Simms was injured, and had played smartly. Yet he could only watch as Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas threw and ran the ball within field goal range. A 47 yard attempt by Scott Norwood on the final play had the world watching. The kick was wide right. The Giants had their second Superbowl win. Bill Parcells retired for the first of many times after the game. 20-19 Giants

1991–Superbowl XXVI Had the Bills and Redskins both getting back. The Redskins were 14-2, losing one game on a Hail Mary and another game on the last play in the final game when they had rested their starters anyway. So again they flirted with 16-0. After a scoreless first quarter, the Redskins proceeded to dominate, leading 17-0 at the half, and cruising to a 37-10 lead. Buffalo scored late to make the score close, and quarterback Mark Rypien was the MVP. The Redskins won their 3rd Superbowl in 10 years, and what made it more amazing was that coach Joe Gibbs did it with three different quarterbacks. 37-24 Redskins

1992–In the 70s it was the Raiders and Steelers. In the 1990s it was the Cowboys and 49ers. The AFC was an afterthought, with the Bills reaching the game for the third straight year. In the NFC Title game, after a 10-10 tie at the half, Dallas took over, and beat San Francisco 30-20. This was revenge for “The Catch” in the 1981 season, although that could have been revenge for Dallas defeating San Francisco in consecutive seasons in the early 1970s. Superbowl XXVII was a blowout, as Buffalo turned the ball over 9 times after taking an early 7-0 lead. down 14-7, an interception in the end zone prevented a tie. Dallas won by 35 points, and would have scored a record for points had Leon Lett not showboated and fumbled near the goal line. Jimmy Johnson yelled, “How ’bout them Cowboys!” The Gatorade bucket gained a new wrinkle when the players messed up his perfect hair, and owner Jerry Jones showed up on the sidelines with a comb to fix it. 52-17 Cowboys

1993–Superbowl XVIII was a rematch of the year before. The Bills reached the Superbowl for the fourth straight year. The Cowboys and 49ers met again in the NFC Title Game, which was an easy 38-21 Dallas win. Buffalo actually led 13-6 at the half, but on the second play of the second half, Thurman Thomas was hit and fumbled. The ball was returned for a touchdown to tie the game, and Dallas never looked back. They only led 20-13 after three, but put the game away in the fourth quarter. Troy Aikman and MVP Emmitt Smith brought Dallas its 4th Super Bowl win, and gave Buffalo their 4th loss. No other team has ever lost 4 straight. Despite the back to back titles, a feud between Jerry Jones and coach Jimmy Johnson led to Jones firing Johnson and replacing him with his friend Barry Switzer. 30-13 Cowboys

119–Superbowl XXIX was considered over before it began. For the third straight year, the Cowboys and 49ers battled in the NFC, and this time the 49ers triumphed 38-21. The AFC had an overachieving San Diego Chargers team in their first Superbowl. Head coach Bobby Ross worked miracles, and quarterback Stan Humphries was tough. They defeated superior opponents in Miami and Pittsburgh, and seemed happy to just be in their first Superbowl. Steve Young, desperate to escape the legacy of Joe Montana, threw 6 touchdown passes and zero interceptions, and had the highest quarterback rating ever for a Superbowl. As expected, it was a blowout, and Coach George Siefert escaped the shadow of his predecessor Bill Wash, since the win 5 years ago was considered Walsh’s team. The 49ers became the first team to win 5 Superbowls, with zero losses. 49-26 49ers

1995–The Cowboys and 49ers were expected to meet for the 4th straight year in the NFC Title Game, but a Green Bay Packers team led by Coach Mike Holmgren, aka “The Walrus,” and a young maverick quarterback named Brett Favre, upset the matchup. Favre was the league MVP, and Green Bay shocked the 49ers in the playoffs. In the NFC Title Game, they led Dallas after 3 quarters as well, before Dallas took over. In the AFC, The Steelers survived a Hail Mary attempt on the final play to survive against the Colts, to go to the game they felt they should have been in a year earlier. For the third time, Dallas and Pittsburgh met. Dallas was the better team in Superbowl XXX, but the Steelers kept hanging around. Dallas led 13-0 and 20-7, but Pittsburgh closed to within 20-17. The key play was when Neil Odonnell threw his second interception to Larry Brown, whose gift in his breadbasket led to the 10 point finale. Dallas had their 5th Superbowl title in 8 appearances, and 3rd in 4 years, and Pittsburgh had their first loss in 5 trips. Jerry Jones and Barry Switzer won without Jimmy Johnson. 27-17 Cowboys

1996–Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers got back to the Superbowl for the first time in 29 years, and the New England Patriots reached the game for the first time in 11 years. Again, they benefitted from better teams being knocked out. The first quarter was the highest scoring in history, with New England leading 14-10. Yet by halftime, the Packers led 27-14. After the Patriots closed to 27-21, Superbowl XXXI MVP Desmond Howard returned the kickoff 99 yards for the final points of the game. Bill Parcells took his second team to the Superbowl, but did not prevail. 35-21 Packers

1997–Superbowl XXXII had the Packers getting back with relative ease. The AFC featured the Broncos. The previous year the Broncos were favored in the AFC, and were shocked in the playoffs. The players even cried afterwards, saying they let John Elway down. He had three Superbowl losses, but this time the Broncos had running back Terrell Davis. The game was tied 24-24 in the 4th quarter when Elway made a leaping run for a first down. He spun like a pinwheel in the air, but made the yardage. The Broncos took the lead, and Brett Favre’s final drive stalled around midfield. Bronco Owner Pat Bowlen held the trophy and exclaimed “This one’s for John!” The Packers lost their first Superbowl, and the Broncos finally won one. 31-24 Broncos

1998–The Minnesota Vikings smashed the league and coasted to a 15-1 record with rookie receiver Randy Moss. They were practically a lock to finally win the big one when they collapsed in the NFC Title game. The Atlanta Falcons trailed 20-7, but fought back. With time running out, Minnesota still led 27-20, with Gary Anderson attempting a 40 yard field goal to lock up the game. He had not missed a kick all year, going 40 for 40, an NFL record. He missed this one, stunning the crowd. Yet The Vikings still led. Atlanta tied the game, and even though Minnesota got the ball first in overtime, it was Morton Anderson that kicked the winning field goal. Coach Dan Reeves was taking his second team to the Superbowl with a 30-27 overtime shocker. It was the first trip for the Falcons. In the AFC, The Broncos cruised during the regular season, but faced a tough Jets team led by Bill Parcells in the AFC Title game. He was trying to take a 3rd team to the Superbowl. The Jets blocked a punt and led 10-0 in the 3rd quarter, but the Jets could not overcome 6 turnovers, as the Broncos won 23-10. Superbowl XXXIII was not close, as the Broncos coasted to their second straight win. Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan took delight in beating the man who fired him in Denver, Reeves. John Elway retired after the game. 34-19 Broncos

1999–The St. Louis Rams had been a terrible team for a decade, but when Trent Green went down in the preseason with a knee injury, former supermarket checkout clerk Kurt Warner became a legend. For the next 3 years, the Rams offense was the “Greatest Show on Turf.” The Rams had relocated from Los Angeles several years earlier. Dick Vermeil had returned to the Superbowl after a 19 year absence, retiring form the Eagles in 1982, citing burnout, only to return to the league with the Rams in 1997. Marshal Faulk was the star running back, and offensive coordinator Mike Martz was a mad scientist calling plays. The Rams struggled in the NFC Title Game, but a late touchdown defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-6. 20 years earlier they had defeated the Bucs in the NFC Title Game 9-0. The Tennessee Titans, led by Buddy Ryan disciple Jeff Fisher, represented the AFC. The Titans were the former Houston Oilers. The Rams led 16-0, but the Titans fought back. tying the game at 16-16 with 2 minutes left. One play later, Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner threw a 73 yard touchdown bomb for the go ahead touchdown. He passed for 414 yards on the day. Steve McNair led the Titans back to within striking distance with 5 seconds left. His pass to Kevin Dyson fell one yard short when Mike Jones made “The tackle.” Vermeil retired after the game. The Rams avenged a 24-21 regular season loss to the Titans in a thriller. 23-16 Rams

2000–The Minnesota Vikings were again cruising towards a Superbowl when they collapsed at the end of the season. They did make it to the NFC Title Game, but were throttled by the Giants 41-0. The Giants were 7-4, and reeling from back to back home losses, when Coach Jim Fassell made a bold prediction. He was considered laid back, but he told the press that “this team is going to the playoffs.” The AFC featured a shocking Baltimore Ravens team with one of the greatest defenses in history. Cocky coach Brian Billick, defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, and fearsome defensive standout Ray Lewis backed up the talk. They knocked out Tennessee’s Steve McNair from the divisional game en route to defeating the favored Titans. They then knocked out Rich Gannon from the AFC Title Game, eliminating the Raiders. The Ravens had almost no offense, going 5 straight games during the season without a touchdown, winning two of them. Trent Dilfer was considered a stiff by many at quarterback. Dilfer did throw an interception to Jason Sehorn for a touchdown, but it was called back by a penalty. The Ravens led 10-0 at the half. An interception return put the Ravens up 17-0, followed by a kickoff return for a touchdown by the Giants. The Ravens then took the next kickoff for a touchdown. Three touchdowns in less than a minute had the Ravens up 24-7. Superbowl XXXV was a blowout, and the Giants had lost their first Superbowl. The Ravens were the former Cleveland Browns, and Art Modell ignored the death threats, moved his team, and had his first trophy. Due to controversy surrounding Ray Lewis, Trent Dilfer got the Disneyland commercial. It did not matter, as Dilfer became the first winning Superbowl quarterback to be traded before the next season. 34-7 Ravens

2001–The Rams returned for the second time in three years, coasting to a 14-2 record. They were facing a Patriots team that had started the season with Drew Bledsoe and finished with Tom Brady. The Patriots had defeated the Oakland Raiders in overtime in a blizzard in a controversial game that would forever be known as the “Tuck Rule” game. The Rams were led by Mike Martz, and the Patriots were led by Bill Bellichick, who was determined to escape the shadow of his mentor Bill Parcells. The Rams had defeated the Patriots 24-17 in Foxboro during the regular season in a game that was not that close. Yet Superbowl XXXVI featured a Rams team that perhaps was overconfident. They were leading 3-0 when Ty Law returned an interception for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead. The Patriots led 17-3 in the fourth quarter, when the Rams finally woke up. With under 2 minutes left, the Rams had tied the game 17-17. The Patriots defense was out of gas, but Tom Brady had 90 seconds to work with. He had only 75 yards passing up to that point, but on the last play of the game, a 48 yard field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri was dead center. Perhaps the biggest upset since the Jets in the third Superbowl had taken place. 20-17 Patriots

2002–The Raiders, who had relocated back to Oakland several years earlier, were seeking to avenge their disputed playoff heartache of a year earlier. They had difficult playoff wins over the Jets and Titans. The Raiders started 4-0, fell to 4-4, and then finished 11-5. Rookie head coach Bill Callahan led the team, replacing John Gruden, who left to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Speaking of the Buccaneers, the entire 2002 NFC was full of shockers. The 12-4 Packers had never lost a playoff game at home, but were stunned by the Atlanta Falcons, led by young sensation Michael Vick. The Buccaneers played the NFC Title game against the heavily favored Eagles, who had beaten them six straight times. The Eagles led 7-0 one minute into the game, but this time the Bucs shocked the Eagles. Ronde Barber’s 92 yard interception returned sealed the 27-10 win, and sent John Gruden to face his old team. The Raiders intercepted a pass on the 3rd play of the game, setting up a field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Bucs then crushed them, with a 34-3 lead. The Raiders did fight back, with a blocked punt for a touchdown, and were within 34-21 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. However, NFL MVP Rich Gannon was intercepted for a touchdown. On the very last play of the game, another interception was returned for a touchdown. The Bucs intercepted 5 passes, returning 3 for scores. Jon Gruden exclaimed, “How bout those Tampa Bay Buccaneers!” The team that started 0-26 and wore orange pants were now pewter wearing champions. They won the battle of pirates. “Chucky,” the nickname for Gruden based on his scowls, knew the entire Raider playbook in advance. As John Lynch said, “we saw these plays in practice.” Lynch, Derrick Brooks, and Warren Sapp delivered the Superbowl XXXVII win. 48-21 Buccaneers

2003–The Patriots finished 14-2, and faced the 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, who were led by Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben was 14-0 as a starter. The Steelers had crushed the Patriots during the regular season, but the Patriots had injuries at the time. The Patriots were favored in the rematch, and they won handily 41-27 in the AFC Title Game. In the NFC, the Eagles were in their 3rd straight NFC Title Game, determined to avenge their shocker from the previous year. They were at home against the Carolina Panthers, a team that entered the league in 1995, and reached the NFC Title Game in 1996. The Panthers injured Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb in the game, although he played. Carolina won 14-3, and Philly had lost again. Superbowl XXXVIII was a thriller. The first quarter was scoreless, the Patriots led 14-10 at the half, and the third quarter was scoreless. The 4th quarter was an aerial show. Tom Brady and Jake Delhomme rained bombs, and Delhomme tied the game at 29-29 with little time left. They would have been ahead by three, but they failed on three two point conversion attempts. Coach Jon Fox regretted calling them afterwards. The kickoff after the tying touchdown went out of bounds, allowing the Patriots to start at their own 40 yard line. Again, for the second time in 3 years, Adam Vinatieri nailed a 48 yard line on the final play of the game. 32-29 Patriots

2004–Superbowl XXXIX again brought the Patriots back to the big dance. In the NFC, in their 4th straight NFC Title game, and 3rd one at home, the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid had finally made it over the top, defeating Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. The game was tied 7-7 and 14-14, but the Patriots had a 24-14 lead late in the game. McNabb launched a furious rally, cutting the gap to 3 points. The Eagles did get the ball back, but ran out of time well short of field goal range. For the 3rd time in four years, the Patriots had won the Superbowl, each time by 3 points.

2005–The Indianapolis Colts, led by calm coach Tony Dungy and megastar quarterback Peyton Manning, had been torching the league on offense for several years. They just could not beat the Patriots, who had eliminated them in several straight games, often by one play. A missed field goal or a fumble at the goal line or a goal line stand would vex them. This year the Colts started 13-0, and were on their way. The Patriots had been eliminated, but the Colts were stunned at home by the Steelers. The Steelers jumped to a 21-3 lead. the Colts closed to 21-18, when Jerome Bettis, aka “The Bus,” was rumbling near the goal line for the final touchdown. He was hit, and fumbled. The Colts picked up the ball and were racing down the field for what appeared to be a miracle touchdown of their own. Ben Roethlisberger made the touchdown saving tackle at midfield. On the final play, Mike Vanderjagt missed the tying field goal. He simply choked, saving Bettis from becoming the goat. The game was also perspective for Dungy, who tragically lost his son a few months earlier. The football world felt bad for him. The Steelers played in Superbowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks, who were in their first one. They were led by Mike Holmgren, trying to win with his second team. The game itself had several controversial calls, and with the Steelers leading 14-10, Willie Parker ran for a 75 yard touchdown to ice the game. Coach Bill Cowher, after 15 seasons, finally had his ring. The Steelers had their 5th in six tries. Cowher would retire a year later. 21-10 Steelers

2006–The Indianapolis Colts finally got rid of the demons, throttling the Patriots in the regular season, and defeating them in one of the greatest AFC Title Games in history. From Raiders and Steelers to Cowboys and 49ers, the league was now Colts vs Patriots. The Chargers were 14-2 that year, but like previous Marty Schottenheimer coached teams, they melted down in the playoffs against the Patriots. An interception for a touchdown had the Patriots up 21-3 against the Colts, and it looked like the Colts were collapsing again. Manning throwing the ball was not getting it done, but Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes on the ground were chewing up yardage. Time consuming drives wore down the New England defense. The game was tied at 21-21, 28-28, and 31-31. The Patriots took the lead 34-31, but this time Peyton Manning finally lived up to his legacy. Keeping the ball on the ground, Addai ran it in for a touchdown with exactly one minute left. Tom Brady led the final drive, as Manning watched. Brady had won all their playoff games. Not this time. He was intercepted, and the Colts won 38-34. They played the Bears in Superbowl XLI. The NFC was awful that year, and any of the top four AFC Teams would have been favored. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman was the most criticized at his position since Dilfer. The Bears did have the most electrifying return man in the history of the game in Devon Hester. Not since Billy “White Shoes” Johnson had a return man been so celebrated. He returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Bears led 7-0 seconds into the game. Yet Dungy and Manning stayed patient, and led 22-17 in the fourth quarter. Rex Grossman had critical interceptions in the fourth quarter, with the last one being returned for a touchdown to ice the game. It was played in the rain in Miami, but mud did not stain the fact that Dungy and Manning had their ring. From a cultural standpoint, Dungy and Bears Coach Lovie Smith gave us the first Superbowl with two black head coaches. The men embraced after the game. 29-17 Colts

2007–The preordained AFC Title Game was again supposed to be the Patriots and Colts. The Patriots felt they had the upper hand by obtaining Randy Moss to go with an already potent offense. In the regular season, the Colts led 20-10, but the Patriots fought back and won the game 24-20. In the playoffs, the Colts were shocked by the San Diego Chargers. Led by Norvelous Norv Turner and backup quarterback Billy Volek, the Chargers stunned the Colts 28-24. The Chargers then lost to the Patriots. The NFC featured even bigger shocks, as the New York Giants, led by no nonsense coach Tom Coughlin and Peyton’s brother Eli Manning, stunned superior opponents. First the Giants defeated the 13-3 Cowboys 21-17, intercepting Tony Romo with seconds left. Then they defeated the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 23-20. Brett Favre and the Packers were also 13-3, and Favre was favored to get back to the Superbowl for the first time in over a decade, perhaps going out on top the way John Elway did. Yet it was much maligned Eli Manning and the Giants that made Superbowl XLII. It was also sweet for defensive star Michael Strahan, who contemplated retirement before the season.

Yet these teams played in the final regular season game in New York. Manning played well, but the Patriots won a thriller 38-35. The Giants finished 10-6. More shockingly, the Patriots finished 16-0. Owner Bob Kraft, personnel guru Scott Pioli, coach Bellichick, Brady, and Moss, looked to make history. The 1972 Dolphins nervously held their champagne bottles, knowing that their status as the only undefeated team in history was tenuous. That Dolphin team was 17-0. The Patriots, thanks to a schedule lengthened in 1978, were shooting for 19-0. The Giants were looking to shock the world. A game expected to be an offensive shootout was a defensive slugfest.

If anybody knew David Tyree before this game, they did not tell me about him. He was the Giants fourth receiver. Yet he entered the record books when Manning found him over the middle for a five yard touchdown pass. The Giants led 10-7 with 11 minutes remaining in the game. New England’s dynasty was now teetering. Yet despite the fact that Brady was getting hit on every play, he showed his championship toughness that champions exhibit when it matters most. He led the Patriots 89 yards, eating up over 8 minutes of clock. On 3rd down and goal, the Giants needed one more stop to force the tying field goal. They had stopped the Patriots the entire game. They could not stop them this time. Neither could the rest of the league. A touchdown pass to Randy Moss, who had been held in check the entire game, put the Patriots up 14-10 with 2:42 remaining. The Giants started at their own 17 yard line. They had all three timeouts plus the two minute warning. At the two minute warning, the Giants faced third and 10 at their own 28. Manning completed the pass to Amani Toomer, but Toomer had to come back for the short throw, leaving him less than a yard short. On 4th and 1, with everything on the line, the Giants were granted a measurement, allowing the clock to temporarily stop. This allowed the Giants to get up to the line.

They could have punted, given that they had all three timeouts, but going for it was the right call with 1:40 remaining. Battering ram Brandon Jacobs picked up the first down, and the Giants called their first timeout with 1:28 left. They were still at their own 38 yard line. The next play had Eli get caught after a five yard scramble, forcing the Giants to burn their second timeout with 1:20 left. Manning was almost intercepted on the next play, but the ball was just high enough. It bounced off the outstretched fingertips of Asanti Samuels. On 3rd and 5, a play occurred that will be in NFL history forever. One of the craziest plays I have ever seen occurred, and I saw it live. I still could not believe what I witnessed. Eli Manning stepped back to pass, and was caught in the pocket for what appeared to be a certain sack. There were two or three Patriots with a shot, and one had him by the Jersey. He spun out, and heaved the ball before being hit.

This was only half the miracle play that should forever be known as “The Scramble.” His Fran Tarkenton impersonation was fabulous, but the reception was even more spectacular. David Tyree, with Rodney Harrison defending him perfectly, caught the ball against his helmet one handed. Harrison tried to pry it loose, but somehow Tyree kept the ball lodged between his hand and his helmet. Going to the ground, the ball never touched the ground or came loose. That catch could not be made in the circus. David Tyree made it as Harrison and the rest of the world remained stunned. One minute remained, and the Giants were at the New England 25. Manning lobbed an end zone pass to Plaxico Burress. Burress had been silent the entire game, but he faked out Ellis Hobbs, who had intercepted Manning earlier. The 14 yard touchdown pass put the Giants up with only 35 seconds remaining. History had been smashed, obliterated, and poured upside down. 17-14 Giants

2008–This was one of the least sensible seasons in NFL history. Records, seedings, and momentum meant nothing. The Colts and Patriots were again expected to be the two best teams, but the entire league was turned upside down when Tom Brady went down for the season in Week 1 with a knee injury. Matt Cassel took over, and the Patriots went 11-5, becoming only the second team to miss the playoffs with that good a record. The Colts began 3-4, won 9 straight, and at 12-4 lost their wild card game to the 8-8 Chargers. The top 3 seeds in the NFC, the 12-4 Giants, 11-5 Panthers, and 10-6 Vikings all lost. The top AFC seed, the 13-3 Titans, were led by Kerry Collins, who took over in Week 1 from an injured Vince Young and never looked back. 3 teams reached the playoffs with rookie head coaches, with the Falcons and Ravens also possessing rookie quarterbacks as well. The 1-15 Dolphins of 2007 became the 11-5 Dolphins of 2008, with Bill Parcells in the front office. Nobody went 16-0, but the Lions became the first team to go 0-16.

The AFC Title game saw a brutal defensive bonelock between the # 2 seed Pittsburgh Steelers and their archnemesis Ravens, who had knocked off Tennessee in a head-crusher 13-10  The Steelers led 16-14 late when Troy Palomalu ran an interception back 40 yards to ice the game. The NFC Title Game featured a pair of teams that each won only 9 games. The 9-7 Cardinals finished 2-4 down the stretch before shocking the Falcons at home and the Panthers on the road. The Eagles were 5-5-1 before winning down the stretch and going 9-6-1. They beat the Vikings and then stunned the Giants, both on the road. In the NFC Title Game, the Cardinals led 24-6, the Eagles came back to lead 25-24, and the Cardinals finished the scoring for a gritty 32-25 win.

The Cardinals had Matt Leinart, who stayed on the bench as Kurt Warner turned back time. He had the Greatest Show in the Desert, and Coach Ken Whisenhunt was passed over for the Pittsburgh job in favor of the current coach Mike Tomlin. The Cardinals made their first Super Bowl appearance, and the Steelers wanted to be the first team to win six rings. The game itself was a thriller. On the last play of the half, with the Cardinals going in for a touchdown, Warner had a pass intercepted and returned 100 yards for a touchdown.

Late in the game Warner rallied the cardinals, and a slant pass to Larry Fitzgerald went for a 64 yard touchdown. Fitzgerald looked at himself on the jumbotron as the Cardinals had the lead 23-20 with under 3 minutes to play. Big Ben Roethlisberger rallied the Steelers. With about a minute to go, Roethlisberger fired to the corner to the end zone. Santonio Holmes mad e aridiculous ballet catch where he somehow got both of his feet down in bounds. The Cardinals had one final shot, but Warner was hit and fumbled. The Steelers won 27-23 to win their 6th ring. Mike Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win a ring at age 34.

2009–This was the first year since 1993 where both top seeds made it to the show. It was also the first time where 2 teams started 13-0. In an even bigger surprise, both of these teams then began losing. In the NFC, the 13-0 Saints lost their final 3 to finish 13-3. The Colts got to 14-0 before benching players and finishing 14-2. The team deliberately decided not to chase 16-0, preferring to ignore history and get players healthy.

In the AFC, the 9-7 New York Jets under Rex Ryan shocked the 13-3 San Diego Chargers and Norv Turner 17-14. The Jets led the Colts 17-6 before Peyton manning and the offense got going and won the AFC Title  Game 30-17. The NFC featured some legends. Kurt Warner and the Cardinals beat the Packers 51-45 in an OT thriller. The Saints dispatched the Cardinals 45-14 and then faced off against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Title Game. The Gunslinger and his offense outplayed the Saints, but costly turnovers killed the Vikings. In overtime, the Saints won 31-28 after some very controversial calls.

The Saints and Drew Brees are a feel good story, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Sean Payton is coaching in his first Super Bowl. As for the Colts, they are a corporate machine. Jim Caldwell is a rookie head coach who is sticking with the successful Tony Dungy model. Peyton Manning is looking to be the greatest quarterback of all time.

Are you ready for some football!

Superbowl XLIV is here! Colts vs Saints!

Let’s get it on!


Stupid, Imbecilic, Moronic, Retardation Thursday

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The stupid people are winning.

Despite my very best efforts, the dumbing down of America might officially be complete.

Making matters worse, I am forced to stick up for a couple of Democrats. I do not like defending Democrats.

Yet credibility trumps ideology, and a pair of incidents are forcing me to step in and restore sanity.

The first incident involves the inappropriate use of the term “Las Vegas.”

For those who do not know, Las Vegas is the gambling and screwing capital of the world. Yes, I know, there is more to sin city. Let it go. People go to Vegas for the decadence. Such trips are enjoyable luxuries, not necessities.

Speaking of something that has nothing to do with necessity, Barack Obama spoke again.

While much of what he says is insincere and irrelevant blather, he said something sensible this time. He said that people should not go and blow their money in Las Vegas if they have a mortgage to pay off.

This was a completely harmless comment that was about preaching fiscal responsibility.

If one wants to criticize Obama for hypocrisy on fiscal matters, that is fine. Yet the comment itself was an intelligent comment.

The people of Las Vegas were not amused. They treated the remarks as if their city was under nuclear attack.

Are we at that point in society where telling people not to gamble with the rent money is a crime?

Harry Reid criticized the remarks. Harry Reid could use the moral high ground, given that his last dustup with Obama involved a racial epithet.

I defended Reid then because I felt people needed to chill out. Now Reid and everyone else in Vegas should do the same.

Vegas is a great city. I love Vegas. I don’t gamble much, but the lights are gorgeous, and the women jiggling in their pasties are very pleasant. The buffets are better. Combine eating buffet food off a stripper’s belly, and the night is perfect.

What was my point again?

Oh yeah. Much ado about nonsense.

This is the second time Obama was accused of “attacking” Vegas. Nevada politicians have bigger things to worry about.

The only thing Obama was guilty of was violating political correctness.

Yet if Vegas was an ant, another retarded matter was an elephant, and not a Republican one.

It kills me, but in a dispute involving Sarah Palin and Rahm Emanuel, I am siding with Rahmbo.

Sarah Palin is one of the best human beings in politics. Rahm Emanuel is one of the worst. Yet in a retarded issue that should never be stupid enough to become an issue at all, I have to defend Rahm.

In a private meeting, Emanuel referred to liberals as “f*cking retarded.”

He was 100% right. They are retarded. They need to hear that every single day.

Rahm Emanuel has few redeeming qualities, but at least he is politically incorrect. In 2006 he dragged the Democratic Party kicking and screaming into normalcy. Normal means non-liberal.

Like an intelligent strategist, Rahm does not want ideological purity. He wants winning. Liberals are threatening to go after moderate Democrats. This is nuts. It is insane. It is retarded.

Retarded is an insult because it refers to people of low intelligence. What else would one call liberals who cut off their noses to spite their leftist faces?

Now we are told that retarded is the sacred r-word, similar to the n-word.

Absolutely not. Black people were 3/5 of a human being. They had fire hoses turned on them. Nobody is taking special needs children and dousing them with water or gasoline.

The Black Eyed Peas are black skinned human beings. Their song “Let’s get retarded” was sung at the Democratic Convention in 2004. True they altered the lyrics in some venues to make it “Let’s get it started,” but the song is “Let’s get retarded.” Should the entire party apologizing for wanting to get “ign’nt,” which is is the same as getting ignorant, except with more slang? (Apparently getting ign’nt is like getting stupid, which in the world of hip hop dancing, is a positive thing, in the same way Michael Jackson meant “bad” to be good.) Will we burn Black Eyed Peas music like we did with the Beatles?

An episode of South Park dealt with 9/11 conspiracies. Cartman stated that 25% of people believed in them, and asked if that made 25% of Americans retards. Kyle responded to Cartman that “There are 4 of us. You’re a retard. So, yes.”

Liberals have wrecked society with political correctness, and conservatives should not join the fray. I totally sided with Sarah Palin when Letterman attacked her kids. Yet nothing Emanuel said was a slap at special needs children.

The Democrats are an entire political party of special needs children. When they turn on themselves, it is quite the spectacle.

I am sick of terms like “special needs” children and “handicapable” people. They are not handicapable. They are handicapped. They have limitations. This is not in any way a slight. It is a statement of fact. Ask any kid with a limitation of they would rather be like other kids, and they would say yes. Calling a kid “special” may make them feel good, but kids are not stupid. They know it is a euphemism that masks the fact that they have to work harder to do tasks other kids do with ease.

I once played in a basketball game where we all played so badly that one of the guys said we were playing like the “Special Olympics of Basketball.”

Fine, we are insensitive b@stards.

Should Rahm Emanuel called the liberals a bunch of p*ssies? Or would that have affected the feline lobby? How about morons? Or would dyslexic Mormons think he meant them? How about stupid idiots? Would that have been better? What about dumbos? Would flying elephants complain?

I am so tired of mentally ill people being called special. I have dealt with many of them. They are not all special. Some of them are just f*cking crazy wack jobs.

Yes I take a small amount of glee in watching Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel get cannibalized by their own. Oh wait, I have to be careful not to offend Hannibal Lecter supporters.

The madness has to stop.

Rahm Emanuel’s job is to take liberals and beat the sh*t out of them until they stop acting like liberals so that normal Democrats can maintain their seats. If that takes ruffling feathers, he gets paid to do that.

Sarah Palin is beautiful inside. Rahm Emanuel is ugly inside. That does not change the fact that Rahm Emanuel was insulting people who deserved it, and not in any way attacking innocent little children.

Oh, and the next time the National Organization for Women complains because a football coach tells his boys to stop playing like girls, they can shut up and join the NHL (National Harpie League).

I don’t like defending Democrats.

I just love defending freedom of speech more.

The political correctness must stop.

Those who don’t grasp this are more retarded than the congressional leftists Emanuel was b*tchslapping.


UCLA–Islamists Good, Gays Bad

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Another recent lecture at the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies offered a delightful mixture of intellectually deficient material mixed with a dash of coriander bigotry, delivered by a nutmeg professor.

Joseph Massad is the Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia.

For those who want to know about the “Oil for gays” scandal, or to understand the proctological confusion that is Joseph Massad, my column today is at Campus Watch.

The way these Islamist professors act, you would think were marching in the streets of Kuwait going, “We’re here, we’re queer, we demand to see the Emir.”


Michele Bachmann and her simian critics

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

For those of you in the Northeast, enjoy six more weeks of winter. You choose to live there.

I prefer Los Angeles, where I recently had the pleasure of meeting Michele Bachmann.

Given that the event was private, I did not discuss her remarks. This was a voluntary decision on my part. At no time did anyone associated with her give me instructions, nor did I seek any. I understand decorum.

For some reason, my incredibly uneventful column merely describing my experience was picked up by somebody who writes for the politico.

I felt that the description of my column was riddled with inaccuracies.

The title of the column was wildly off base.

“Bachmann, in Malibu, targets Waxman, Harman”

This never happened.

I decided to leave a comment correcting the record.

“Mr. Thrush, This is my first visit, but since you referenced my blog, the Tygrrrr Express, I wanted to correct the record.

1) While a pair of Jewish Republicans running for Congress were in attendance, that was not the purpose of Congresswoman Bachmann’s visit. She was there to raise money for her own reelection. The 2 Republican Jewish candidates were guests like everybody else, did not speak, and were not referenced in her remarks.

2) Criticizing Ari David for a spelling mistake is really not necessary, especially since you have a grammatical error in the very sentence you criticize him. Change the word ‘will’ to ‘while.’

3) Nothing in my column implied that she spent time bashing Waxman or Harman. She had nothing to say about either of them.

4) I was a stock trader from 2002 to 2004. I am not currently a trader.

5) My last name is well known. I left my last name off of my book because my parents live in a liberal neighborhood. I say controversial things, and do not want them to suffer for that. Unlike some people who hide, as I said, my last name is well known.

6) Yes, Michele Bachmann is gorgeous. You got that part dead-on accurate.

7) This event was a fundraiser for Congresswoman Bachmann by supporters of hers. This does not in any way change that the Pelosiraptor has her at the top of the target removal list. The Pelosiraptor has stated this herself. I just want to make sure that everything is reported accurately. I was in the room.


eric aka the Tygrrrr Express”

I decided to check back and see if others had responded. Once again, hard core leftists decided to act like uncivilized baboons.

Normally I would never print such vile comments about such a lovely human being, but I want the world to see what liberals consider to be “debate.

I am not cherry picking. The comments on the left were all vile, with not a decent thoughtful human in the bunch.

This is how the left goes after Michele Bachmann.

“Michelle Bachmann is nothing but some bubble headed eye candy for the GOP who needs weak minded and weak willed women to try and convince women voters that the party is not as sexist as it’s platform indicates. Fortunately, women see Michelle for what she is: a shallow, shrill jelly-brain”

Minnesota Fats

“Michelle Bachmann is so stupid, she shoved a cell phone up her rear because she wanted to make a ‘booty call’!”

Oliver Clothesoff

“As a former streetwalker, Bachmann has no class or manners. The only time she acted like “a lady” was as a lady of the night in the Minneapolis red light district back in the early 1980’s. Real ladylike to get the clap, cold sores, venereal scabs and crabs.”

Seymour Buttz

“Michelle Bachmann looks like a man in drag! That or some pre-op tranny! No wonder wingnut men use her as their little fantasy!”

Alexis Arquette

“Michele’s crotch is so stank, when she spread her legs for me I got sea sickness!”

Marcus’ cousin Randy Cox

These people have proven that they can quote jokes from The Simpsons that came on tv about 15-20 years ago. These people do not even have the guts to say who they are.

These are liberals. This is how they debate. They won’t condemn these remarks. They find them funny.

After all, why discuss tax cuts or the War on Terror when we can call a woman a streetwalker or make remarks about her female body parts?

I do not expect the leftist hags at the National Organization for Women to condemn these remarks.

Michele Bachmann, unlike her simian critics, is every bit the lady.

She is classy, dignified, and very intelligent.

Until her legitimate critics distance themselves from these savages, they will all be lumped together.

I became a blogger to combat ideological bigotry.

These liberals attacking Congresswoman Bachmann are as bigoted as it gets.

The Politico should delete every one of the offensive comments and apologize to Congresswoman Bachmann for printing them.

Congresswoman Bachmann did not ask me to do this.

Again, decorum does not need to be communicated to humans.

Simian leftists are another matter.


Meeting Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Monday, February 1st, 2010

At a private function in Malibu, I recently got to meet Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

I have met her once before, and this time was just as pleasant if not more so.

Normally I would provide her remarks, but on this occasion I will not be doing so. The event was private, so I just never asked if I could blog about it. For those wanting to hear specific comments from Congresswoman Bachmann, I did interview her several months back.

The event itself featured a pair of people I know through political circles who are trying to join Ms. Bachmann in Congress. Ari David is taking on Henry Waxman and Mattie Fein is taking on Jane Harman. They are both Jewish Republicans, which is a source of pride for me.

As for Congresswoman Bachmann, my problem with her is the same as my problem with Sarah Palin. I can’t stand their position on traditional marriage. I think it is awful. What I mean by that is I can’t stand the fact that they are married to somebody who is not me.

Out of respect for the dignity of her office, I will use a g-rated euphemism and say that Congresswoman Bachmann is very easy on the eyes.

Sorry boys, but her husband is not a fictional creature she uses to deflect potential suitors. She really is happily married. Her husband is an incredibly nice, thoughtful man. I had the chance to speak with him for a decent amount of time, and he is just a very likable, sincere human being.

One thing that more people should know about Congresswoman Bachmann is that she and her husband have taken in 23 foster children, in addition to the five children she raised. I don’t care where somebody is on the political spectrum. Being a foster parent is an act of kindness that truly warm souls partake in.

Of every member of Congress, Michele Bachmann is numero uno on the list of individuals targeted for defeat in 2010. The Democratic Speaker of the House is frothing at the mouth to remove her.

Liberals describe her either as stupid or evil, but those charges are so old they are boring. Every conservative in this country is stupid or evil. Liberals do not hate Michele Bachmann for anything she says or does. They  hate her because she is.

She is a female conservative. That is reason enough. Now that Sarah Palin is a private citizen, Michele Bachmann is the new bogeywoman to despise.

It would be nice if liberal would just admit that they hate her because she is a threat. She is very conservative and very telegenic. She captures a room.

If the left ever decides to judge people by the content of their character, they would see what I saw the other night. They would see a warm, caring, sensitive person that is truly concerned about the direction this country is taking.

I really don’t agree with Michele Bachmann on every issue. I do find her to be a very thoughtful and decent human being. In a world where many people fall short, it is refreshing to meet somebody honest.

In a world where people have an unquenchable lust for power, Congresswoman Bachmann is comfortable with who she is. When her political career ends, she will still have a happy family life.

When she was done speaking, she took many questions. She stayed for hours and spoke with people, posing for many pictures.

When the talking heads on the left try to destroy this woman, I will remind them that they have never met her. Well I have. She is as genuine as they get.

America is lucky to have her service, and Minnesota is even more blessed.

As for Malibu, it was nice that a hotbed of liberalism for a few hours was an oasis of sanity and clarity intellectually and morally.

I wish Congresswoman Bachmann and her family well always.