Super Bowl XLIV (44): Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints

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This Sunday is the unofficial American Holiday: Super Bowl Sunday. For those who watch football, it’s a match up of two of the most dominant teams from this past season. For everyone else, it’s one more excuse to drink beer, eat junk food, watch expensive commercials, and to observe people get way into a football game.

Football-related: On Sunday, we’ll get to witness a clash of the two teams who went undefeated for most of the season. They were both criticized for resting players and going ‘soft’ at the end of the season. However you felt about this at the time, it seems taking that rest didn’t hurt them. Both are led by powerful offensives. For the Colts, the hilarious Peyton Manning (this year’s NFL MVP) heads an offense with weapons all over the field. Though they don’t have much of a running game…it doesn’t matter when you have a QB like Manning. The Saints are led by ex-Charger Drew Brees. Brees had a monster passing year, completing over 70% of his passes (an NFL record) to a deep receiving corps. Their offense also led the league in scoring.

For both teams, the offense is the breadwinner. But their defenses aren’t exactly pushovers. They may not be the Jets or the Ravens, but they make plays when they need to. For the Colts, they benefit from plenty of experience. They’re anchored by one of the most feared pass-rushers in the league, DE Dwight Freeney (who’s questionable for the Super Bowl due to an ankle injury). The Saints also have several veterans on their squad. One of their breakout veterans from the year was a free agent pickup, S Darren Sharper. But overall, the Saints defense comes into the game with more questions, after giving up over 300 passing yards and 150 rushing yards. Though they came up with the plays to win the game, Brett Favre’s untimely turnovers helped the Saints squeak out the victory. They can’t really count on Manning to do the same. But if Freeney’s injury takes him out as a play maker, that’ll be a big blow to the Colts’ defense.

Non-football-related: This is the 10th time Miami has hosted the Super Bowl, most in the history of the game. Queen Latifah will sing “America the Beautiful” and Carrie Underwood will sing the National Anthem before the game. The halftime show performer will be ‘The Who’ (let the puns and jokes begin!). It’s been reported that they’ll play a medley of some of their top hits. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the game. I heard them do the play-by-play for a couple Charger games and thought they did a good job.

Commercials- This year, the cost of a 30 sec. commercial is an est. $2.8 million, down from last year’s all-time high of $3 million. Some notable companies not airing a commercial are Pepsi (first time in 23 years), FedEx, and all U.S.- owned car companies (2nd year straight…I wonder why). Doritos will be airing three viewer-created ads and the U.S. Census has a 30 sec. spot reminding everyone to fill out their census forms (sober, hopefully). I usually look forward to movie trailers the most, and we’ll at least get to see Iron Man 2 (yay!), Robin Hood (hopefully yay?), and Avatar: The Last Airbender (boo!). And of course, there’s some controversy. University of Florida QB Tim Tebow will appear with his mother in a commercial for the ever-so delightful group, Focus on the Family. On the flip side, the gay dating site, ManCrunch, had their 30 sec. ad rejected because “it violated CBS’ broadcast standards”. You can view the ad here:

So overall, the game, commercials, and performances should all be good and worth watching. After the game, I’ll put up a post talking about the commercials.

As for who I think is going to win? I’ll be rooting for the Saints for several reasons:

1) Drew Brees is a former Charger who still gets mad respect from us Charger fans
2) Saints RB Reggie Bush is a native San Diegan
3) My good friends, the Valen brothers, are huge Saints fans
4) As much as I want to cheer for the AFC rep, I still think the Chargers would have beaten the Colts. Not saying they don’t deserve to be in the Super Bowl…just a little bitter still about how our season ended.
5) Come on…it’s New Orleans! It took the Saints a while to get good and the city is STILL rebuilding and recovering from Hurricane Katrina. They deserve this celebration!

But…honestly, I think the Colts are going to win. Sorry. If the Saints have the same soft defense, Peyton will eat them alive. It’s hard to vote against the 4-time league MVP.

But what do you think? VOTE!

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