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Waiting with Bated Breath


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


It is here, the Super Bowl. The NFL's answer to all that ails the world right now. A week of bacchanalian festivities run by the wealthiest of corporate America. By comparison and evaluation, the preparation of this annual rites of winter...eat, drink and be merry, then a tackle or two, a few touchdowns, cover the 5 1/2 and how good it is.

Had I been the messenger of favorable news these past few weeks, choices of teams that proved to be accurate, I would not be boasting or thinking about a parade laden with floats, cheerleaders and ardent throngs heralding my brilliance but, immodestly, would have taken a bow or two. However, right now, waiting with bated breath for my words of wisdom will mean going the other way for too many who are loyal and avid readers of this column and all else available to you and them on our site.

Peyton Manning is, without question, the best quarterback in the NFL and might go down as one of the top 3-4 in the history of the game at some point. Drew Brees has developed into a formidable force of his own and just might have the hungrier team supporting him right now. Being the underdog, the one that is supposed to lose but might keep it close without their own personal concern for the opinion(s) of the oddsmakers, makes them a looser aggregation, bent on fun and being there. The Colts came for the Lombardi and Manning or Brees will go home with the MVP title and hardware.

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning might go down as one of the top 3-4 in the history of the game at some point.
Neither team has a running attack that strikes fear into the hearts of the nearest high school defense. Yes, they will run on occasion because the playbook encourages them to "establish" a running game that does not exist. Explain that to me some day. In reality, the intention is to give the receivers a bit of a rest...a breather of sorts. Consequently, a lot is riding on the secondary, the zones that never really work and then the man to man of the faster, taller receiver or defender, the catch that never should have been made, the toe that grazed the grass before stepping out of bounds, the holding penalty that picked up 35 undeserved yards and an interception or two, not to mention fumble recovery.

So, the defense will determine the outcome?

Not really but they will play a role, at times a significant one. This one will be an offensive display and that does not necessarily mean a total combined score in excess of 56 but that is where the "smart" and "wise guy" money will go, mingled with that of the great unwashed masses. Vegas and Costa Rica will need the Saints and the under...no doubt about that.

It will be "touch and feel" until Manning decides what works best and then his personal floodgates open. Brees will follow a pre-determined game plan from the beginning and his defense will do all they can to let Manning know they are in the game and their getting close to him is not an act of affection or admiration, seeking a mid-game autograph.

The public that does not invest will root for, and empathize with, the Saints. They will be rooting for the underdog, for the team that came from New Orleans and Katrina. It is definitely the American way, the dream realized, the way it should be. The Colts are the surgeons come to dissect the secondary of the Saints...cool and collected, lunch pail practitioners that know what has to be done and are not depending upon chance or anything less than the artistry and talents of their leader and the recipients of his passing expertise and general knowledge of what has to be done to win. It is payback for not being permitted to go undefeated. The win will vindicate the decision makers of that travesty, something not shared with the team when made. It will also send a message of what might have been...undefeated and Super Bowl winner. The rest that the starters apparently received did not alter the outcome of their getting to Miami.

Be that as it may, and point acknowledged and taken, the opposition, the Saints, believe. They love this position in which they have placed themselves. Even if they lose, they got here. They invited themselves to this big dance that takes less than a quarter of an hour when broken down into actual play that will decide the NFL's best for this season. Just minutes to prove themselves better than Manning and Company.

All ethereal dialogue, but it means that I like the Colts minus the 5 1/2 believing that they will be up by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, maybe a point or two more and will need that to stop the Saints from tying or winning. If they are, and they do, then they cover. If they both do what they do best then a low 30's to a high 20's makes the over.

And, oh yes, the weather on the east coast makes the NFL look like geniuses for making certain that their SB be played in good weather or domes all the time. Frankly, I would have preferred to watch this one up north just for the change and fun.

In any event, you have the choices. With my track record during this season most will turn to the Saints and the under. Do any of us know or have a real clue?

You gotta be kidding!