SuperBowl 41

Stop with the Roman numerals. They were cool for the first 15 or 20 SuperBowls. Now, let’s just count normal.

This wasn’t a great SuperBowl. There were great stories. Peyton Manning who may be the best quarterback of the last 5 – 10 (or more) years never won the big one. Tom Brady was getting all of the praise. Tony Dungy who was fired for bring success to Tampa Bay but not a SuperBowl. Could the Monsters of the Midway slow Peyton? Could the porous defense of the Colts stop the fierce rushing attack of the Bears?

Weather played a large factor in the game. Peyton didn’t throw that much. The Colts ran the ball. They threw short passes under the linebackers. The story of this SuperBowl was the Colts ability to run the ball. There were huge cutback lanes for Rhodes and Addai. The Colts offense kept the Bears offense on the sidelines. Rex Grossman never had a chance to get hot or into a rhythm because it was 3 and out. He forced the ball in the fourth quarter when the game was almost over. Rex Grossman wasn’t good Rex. People spend a lot of time talking about the cerebral aspect of football. What defense to run against what offense. If this offensive zone blocking in this defense is controlling their gaps and where should the running back run? This is not a game of chess. It was not even a game of checkers. This is a game of tug-of-war. A macho, testosterone laden struggle in the trenches. The speed and grace of Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison really did not play a major factor in this game. This game was about Jeff Saturday and his crew physically dominating Brian Urlacher and his crew.

We’ve seen this before just not in SuperBowls. When the elements play a large factor (rain, snow, extreme cold) the finesse part of the game goes out the window. When it is raining buckets, the unsung heroes of the hogs in the trenches.

The most valuable player of the game was not Peyton Manning. Yes, he got the trophy and I’m happy for him. The offensive line of the Indianapolis Colts deserves to be named the most valuable players. Perhaps, the two running backs, Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai, could have also been named co-MVPs. The Colts defense could have been named. They dominated the line of scrimmage. They allowed only one big play (a long run from scrimmage by Thomas Jones). Now, don’t misunderstand me, Peyton Manning was critical to the Indianapolis win. He is clearly the leader of that team. But, we are used to seeing Peyton Manning dissect a defense of secondary. There was no surgical dissection on Sunday.

Super Win for the Colts. Both teams are relatively young. I suspect that both teams will be back in the hunt next year. Unfortunately, that is not a guarantee. Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Seattle Seahawks.

(I sure hope the Cowboys will interview and hire Lovie Smith. He is exactly what the Cowboys need.)

Congratulations to the Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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