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.
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.
Peyton Manning might go down as one of the top 3-4 in the history of the game at some point.
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
You gotta be kidding!