Super Bowl (Jeff?) Saturday

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.


One Response to “Super Bowl (Jeff?) Saturday”

  1. You “loved” Ronald Reagan “and miss him terribly?” Wow. To hear Republicans talk about The Gipper is like hearing a small child mourning their passed bunny rabbit. This myth of Reagan gets to a popular myth about football that we see espoused in this post…

    Tuna was never as “grouchy” as many people think. He’s actually very warm and remains close friends with many of his players and coaches from over the years. He was tough, yeah, and could be a little curmudgeonly with the press, yeah, but when you look back at him over the years, you recall his sense of humor, warmth and humanity.

    Coughlin had a personality problem that sorely needed to be fixed. Players got fed up with his problem. So he finally fixed it, and sure enough, the year he fixed it, a team of his finally won the Big Game.

    There’s this myth that great coaches must be tough and gruff and nasty. Really, no nasty coach has ever won anything of note in the NFL. Too much of a “players coach” or too much of a “tough guy” never ultimately suceed in the NFL. It’s a balance. But I can see how a conservative wouldn’t get that. For conservatives everything is always all one way or the other, and if it isn’t all their way then it must be wrong – and if it’s right, but it’s not their way, then they just imagine it was their way.


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