Monday, January 25, 2010

SuperBowl Plot Lines

After a 16 week regular season and 3 rounds of playoffs only 2 teams remain the Colts and the Saints. The two best teams in football will meet 2 weeks from now in Miami in the SuperBowl. This will be the first time since 1993 when the Cowboys played the Bills that both #1 seeds will be playing each other and even though I am a Jets fan I couldn’t be happier about the match up.

Before I get to the SuperBowl itself I need to talk about what happened today.

First my Jets. Mark Sanchez played a solid game but for some reason we just couldn’t establish the run at all. Shonn Greene left the game early with an injury and that seemed to knock some life out of us. The gameplan of shutting down Wayne and Dallas worked for the most part and we forced the other receivers to make plays and they did. Collie and Garcon were both amazing.

It would have been nice to see the Jets in the SuperBowl but it just wasn’t our year. Next year Sanchez will be a little better and maybe we will add 1 more guy to the secondary to compliment Revis. Overall it was a good season with lots to build on.

As for the Vikings I couldn’t be happier with what happened to them today. Brett Favre got destroyed all game and never looked comfortable. Adrian Peterson fumbled so much that he was eventually replaced by Chester Taylor. The best part was how all the Vikings fans got strung along like this team was going to win and then they lost in overtime, its poetic really.

Never mind I lied. The best part of the game was Favre throwing that interception with under 20 seconds left. That play right there defines his whole career. He is a gunslinger aka a moron who tries to force everything and win it all on his own. That was the dumbest pass I have ever seen and it will haunt Favre forever. What makes it better is that if Favre chooses to retire, again, then that would mean his last play as a Packer, Jet and Viking would be an interception. There is a God.

Now for the Colts and Saints.

This SuperBowl is going to be an awesome game. You have 2 high powered offenses and 2 mediocre defences. The two best quarterbacks in the league are going to be facing off and there should be tonnes of scoring. It would take a miracle for this game to be boring.

There are a lot of really interesting plot twists for this game though:

Saints Try to Win #1

The New Orleans Saints have never won a SuperBowl. I remember back when I was a Saints fan my dad told me that I would never live long enough to see them win and now they are just 1 win away from losing the nickname the “Aints.”

Only 15 teams have never won a SuperBowl: Bills, Bengals, Titans, Chargers, Eagles, Vikings, Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks, Cardinals, Browns, Jags, Texans, Lions and of course the Saints. Of those 15 teams the Browns, Jags, Lions, Texans and Saints have never even played in a SuperBowl game. Well now that list will shrink to 4.

Meanwhile the Colts are trying to win their second SuperBowl in three years and establish themselves as the best team in football. For them this game would mean just another trophy in the case and just another stat to put on Peyton Manning’s Hall of Fame resume. That isn’t to say that it isn’t important for them it just lacks the impact that a Saints win has.

The City Needs This Win

New Orleans desperately needs this win. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the city it was the Saints that helped rejuvenate the people. People rallied around the success of the Saints and saw the resurgence of the team as a sign that the city was resurging after the disaster. It is safe to say that no team means more to its city than the Saints do to New Orleans (with the possible exception of the Packers).

How much would it mean to the city of New Orleans if the Saints won the SuperBowl? Imagine the parade that will be held on Bourbon Street, it will be like Mardi Gras on crack. A city that was almost completely under water only 5 years ago will have come full circle and will be able to move on and be known for something other than a natural disaster.

Indianapolis on the other hand won 2 years ago and doesn’t need this as bad as New Orleans does. This is why 99% of North America will be cheering for the Saints. How could you not want them to win? There is no one on the team to hate and it would be such a feel good story.

The Archie Manning Angle

To the people of New Orleans Archie Manning is a hero. He was the quarterback of the Saints for 11 years and still has strong ties to the city. Archie is also the father of Peyton Manning. What does he do?

Does he cheer for Peyton and turn his back on his adopted hometown? Or does he root for the Saints and look like a terrible father? There is no real win-win here as clearly someone is going to be upset.

Archie came out after today’s game and said that he would support his son. "I'm pulling for the Colts 100 percent," Archie Manning said. "It's not even close." Even though he said this I still think he would be alright if the Saints won. He knows how much the victory would mean to the city and how much good it would do.

The 16-0 Discussion

It wasn’t long ago that both these teams were headed for 16-0 seasons. The Colts felt that 16-0 wasn’t important and opted to rest their starters to save them for the playoffs (worked out well) while the Saints went for 16-0 and failed. Two different philosophies and yet the very same outcome. Neither team finished undefeated and yet they are meeting in the SuperBowl.

This is a plot line I really don’t want to be covered greatly as it has already been beaten to death but knowing the sports journalism world there is a 0% chance this doesn’t get discussed as great length. “What if the Colts had played their starters in weeks 15 and 16?” There are way too many other good stories to focus on for this to become the major theme of the game.

No matter what happens this is going to be a great game. I am really excited about the fact that I don’t have a vested interest in who wins. Last year I was pulling for the Cardinals because I hate the Steelers but this year I can just sit back and enjoy the game for the football.

If the Colts win I will be happy because I like Manning and it would further cement his status as ‘best quarterback ever’ and if the Saints win I will be pumped for the city of New Orleans. Going into the playoffs all I wanted was the Vikings and Chargers to lose. Had those two teams met in the SuperBowl I probably wouldn’t have watched the game. Thankfully that didn’t happen and instead we are treated to a championship game with the two most deserving teams playing.

This game has all the potential to be a classic.

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