So, how'd you like that game last night? (I know, I know, in the blogosphere it might as well have been weeks ago, but I had some stuff to do today, okay?) I thought the game was fine, nothing special, great if you're a Colts fan, lousy if you're a Bears fan, and reasonably suspenseful, in the sense that you wondered whether the scoreboard would ever reflect what a real blowout the game actually was. For the record, my nine-year old predicted a 28-17 Indianapolis victory. Vegas, baby, Vegas!
I guess I am happy for Tony Dungy, hard not to cheer for a guy like him. Peyton Manning certainly earned his place in history, especially on several throws where he had to absorb a defensive hit as he delivered the pass. The Colts' running game and defense were even more impressive, muscling the supposedly more physical Bears. And they wisely kicked away from Devin Hester after he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Bears' QB Rex Grossman might have been more dangerous than Hester ... to his own team. Take note, Rexy: Trent Dilfer played a pretty decent game against the Giants when the Ravens won the Sper Bowl, and found himself off the roster over the summer.
For my Baltimore-bred friends and neighbors, of course, it was painful to watch the Colts bring a championship to Indianapolis. "Get over it," you might say, but once you hear some of the tales of middle-aged men pining for lost youthful dreams, you can respect the sentiment a little better. I won't embarrass them by repeating the stories, but just as having a team to cheer for and suffer with as you grow into adulthood allows you to become more rational as a fan, having your team ripped away can keep you stuck in the emotional jungle of a twelve-year old. Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck tried to give some soothing perspective today, but it doesn't sound like many of the old Colts are any happier than their fans.
The Bears certainly had their chances but couldn't capitalize enough on Indy's early turnovers. Losing running back Cedric Benson didn't help, but they just got pounded into the turf by the Colts' running game in the second half. And when it was time for Grossman to make a play, he got sacked, fumbled, tripped and threw a couple really bad interceptions. I'm not sure what the future holds for the young QB, but maybe he could take the Kevin Federline role in next year's Nationwide commercial.
Speaking of the commercials, the Bud Light ax-wielding hitchhiker got the only big laugh in the room where I was watching. K-Fed was alright, but overhyped (Wow? Really? Gotta be a first for that guy, right?), and Oprah and Dave was very clever. The Snickers ad brought an awkward silence and then puzzlement as the actors did something "manly" by ripping out their chest hair. Okaaay ... And a big boo to Career Builders for abandoning the monkeys in the office for the savage office environment. It was an original concept, as was whatever that was Robert Goulet did for the nut company, but it just didn't quite make it for me. None of these commercials came close to Terry Tate, Office Linebacker, let alone, "Thanks, Mean Joe."
The on-field pregame show certainly was festive and very Miami, I guess, but the feeling I got was more of a watered-down Olympics opening ceremony from a European nation, sort of like when a Hollywood studio remakes a foreign film like "La Femme Nikita" or "La Cage Aux Folles." And now I challenge you to find another Super Bowl review that references those two films. Billy Joel did a very nice, straight-up National Anthem, but do you think Marlee Matlin ever gets tired of being the only deaf celebrity? Seriously, I think this is a real niche growth industry. Prince put on a good show at halftime, live or Memorex. And Jehovah's Witness or not, he still worked in some phallic imagery playing the guitar in silhouette.
So let's see, Billy Joel, Prince, lopsided football game ... are you sure we didn't somehow journey back to the 1980's yesterday?