I can’t remember any non-Patriots Super Bowl in recent years that I have enjoyed as much as Sunday night’s game between the Saints and the Colts. And no–it wasn’t just because I had predicted the upset a week earlier right here on my blog. There were a number of reasons that I had a great time at my good friend Arthur’s Annual Super Bowl Party—great company, tons of munchies, a delicious half-time feast, and a game that was worthy of the title SUPER Bowl.
Now as my second-ever YouTube video (and the first one featuring Yours Truly) I also reviewed this game at http://www.youtube.com/user/mrgrosky1. I’m trying out an idea that I’ll call “Just Three Things” where I’ll focus on three major points. In any case, a little of this may look familiar if you have already seen my video on You Tube. If not, I’d appreciate your checking it out, and telling me what you think. I know I look excessively serious—but hey, it was my first time on You Tube, and I was really nervous! I know, pretty strange, considering my dramatic background.
Anyway, back to the Super Bowl!
I guess I was rooting for the Saints because I felt that the city of New Orleans would really be uplifted by a Saints victory. After all, Hurricane Katrina’s effects continue to impact nearly everyone in the city–their homes and their families. Secondly, I had read a lot about Drew Brees and all that he and his teammates had done for their adopted home city.
Speaking of Brees, what an amazing clutch performance! 32 completions in 39 attempts for 288 yards–tying Tom Brady’s Super Bowl record for completions! Two touchdown passes and NO interceptions. He spread the ball around to EIGHT receivers: Marques Colston caught 7, Devery Henderson another 7, Pierre Thomas 6, and Reggie Bush pulled in 4, along with some nifty running. In the go-ahead touchdown drive, he even hit seven in a row to seven different receivers–absolutely Brady-esque! But what impresses me most is that he’s not only a great quarterback, he’s also a good man–a kind and decent man, and even (dare I say it?) a good role model. Look, he came back from a serious injury four years ago when San Diego didn’t want him, when nobody wanted him, except for the Saints. And he won over them AND the city of New Orleans!
Now what about Peyton Manning…? Well, from everything I hear—another really decent guy—-BUT—he’s got two problems: 1. He’s the nemesis of my favorite player and team (Brady and the New England Patriots) and he’s a bit overexposed as far as commercials go. I really wasn’t eager to see him win the game and hear all those Colts brag about how he had won two Super Bowls and was just one behind Brady. So how did he do? All things considered, pretty well overall–just not good enough in a game where Brees was better. Manning was 31 for 45, 333 yards’ worth of completions, with one touchdown and (oh, yes) just that one KILLER interception. He had a couple dropped on him, but then again, so did Brees! So, I guess that mean that he’s now just 50 percent lifetime for both the playoffs (9 wins, 9 losses) and for the Super Bowl too (where he’s now won 1 and lost 1). Now, sorry about that Colts fans, but that just doesn’t cut it when you compare that to Tom Brady 14 wins and 4 losses in the playoffs and his 4 wins and 1 loss in Super Bowls. I give Manning his due: he IS a great quarterback, but “Quarterback of the Decade?” THAT would HAVE to be Tom Brady.
Before I wrap up, I’ve got to give a huge amount of credit to two coaches: first of all, to Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams. Hey, anytime you can hold Peyton Manning to 17 points, you know that you’ve devised a great defensive game plan. Secondly, kudos to Coach Sean Payton for an extraordinary job overall. He had his team ready to play hard–with emotion–but also with control. He also took the game right to the Colts with three gutsy decision. First of all, he went for it on fourth and one early in the game when the safe call would have been a field goal. At the time, especially since they were stopped on the fourth down try, it looked like it may have been a huge mistake. But then, the Saints defense stopped the Colts offense cold, forced them to punt, and took advantage of a short field to score a field goal just before the half.
The second gutsy call was the shocker of an onside kick to open up the second half, with the Colts leading 10-6. Sure it worked, but if it hadn’t (and let’s face it, it usually DOESN’T) then Manning might very well have brought the Colts in for a quick score, a 17-6 lead and an avalanche of second-guessing the coach’s decision to go for the onside kick at that point. “What in the world was he thinking? all the experts and pseudo-experts would have proclaimed. Instead of a goat, he’s a genius—because they made it!
The final gutsy decision was to go for the two extra points (instead of the nearly-automatic one point) after their go ahead touchdown. Two point is tough to make, but those two points meant that even if Manning had been able to rally his troops for another score (plus a Colts extra point), the game would be no more than tied–possibly heading for the first overtime in Super Bowl history. So Congrats to the coaches–as well as the players.
Finally, as I think about all the problems that we have in our country at this time, I can’t help but wish that more people thought and spoke as Drew Brees did after the game on Sunday night. If you missed the interview, think about what he said for a moment. Maybe we can all learn something from Drew Brees:
“Four years ago, who ever thought this would happen? Eighty-five percent of the city was under water, all the residents evacuated all over the country, people never knowing if they were coming back or if New Orleans would come back,” Brees said. “But not only the city came back, but the team came back too…When the players got there, we all looked at one another and said, ‘We’re going to rebuild together. We leaned on each other. This [the Super Bowl victory] is the culmination of that.'” From the ashes, the Saints and the city that loves them, have arisen. May they both continue to prosper.