Thursday, January 28, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Colts, Saints February 7
Now the whole world knows who is the “best of the best” in NFL jargon. Maybe that is not entirely accurate. Maybe it should be to determine the best of the best on February 7. If one were to ask the Colts or the Saints, I am sure the answer would be, “We are!”
The Indianapolis Colts appeased most of their fans with their convincing win over the New York Jets on Sunday. There were some who were disgruntled still with the decision which the Colts’ hierarchy made back late last year which prevented the Colts from achieving their perfect season. Those same Jets which they faced on Sunday had slipped past the Colts by 14 points in the game which was considered of little consequence to the Colts’ big picture. And that big picture is to be taken in Miami.
It is not possible to talk about the Colts’ immediate future without looking at their distant past. And the Jets figured prominently in that past which dates back to the days when the Baltimore Colts ruled. It was a cold day in January and the meeting was at Super Bowl III in 1969. A brash young quarterback by the name of Joe Namath had bragged that he and the Jets would “whip” John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.
The head coach at New York had taken over the Jets after being fired by the Colts after he and Unitas led them to two championships. The Colts had installed Don Shula as coach and gave the starting QB role to Earl Morrell. Shula chose not to play Unitas until the game had been lost. Broadway Joe prevailed, upsetting the Colts 16-7. That would be the one and only Super Bowl the Jets would play to date. However, they beat the Colts in a playoff game in 2003, giving the Colts their worst playoff loss at 41-0. Isn’t revenge and irony sweet?
The Colts will now meet the Saints in SB LXIV. It looked as if the “old quarterback” would pull off the upset in the NFC and go to his third Super Bowl. It was almost in hand until Brett Favre threw the last interception. If he had kept the ball and had run for the first down, chances are the Vikings would have gone to their fifth SB. Back in the days of the “Purple People Eaters,” head coach Bud Grant and the Vikes made four fruitless trips to the “greatest show on the gridiron.” Perhaps it is better that Favre went out facing Drew Brees and not Peyton Manning.
Since the Saints have made so much history the past few seasons, and since the Colts are no longer my team of choice, I just might have to pull for them on February 7.
Hey, I said pull for them, not bet on them!
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