Since I’m going to watch the game and check on the latest in the news, I figured I’d do a bit of a laissez-faire live blog. I’ll update it during the pre-game, game, and post-game, but on a low-intensity basis. The opening Gloria Estefan number and its wretched excess convinced me I had to make at least a few comments. This should be a lot of fun, especially since I don’t have the pressure of having the Steelers in the game … which is a transparent effort to put the best possible face on the 8-8 season Pittsburgh had this year.
4:58 CT – I’m not sure what the point of the Estefan act was, but has anyone seen a weirder looking routine? I’m guessing that the theme was that even though we’re rooting for different teams, we’re really all the same … spectators, I guess.
4:59 – Today’s the First Mate’s birthday. We went out for a nice brunch, but since the wind-chill factor this weekend has hovered around -30, she has decided that we’ll celebrate another time.
5:10 – Non-XLI item: So how good is John Edwards’ vetting squad? Apparently, they need a little work. Hiring a blogger that has this much in the Google cache says something about the competence of Edwards’ campaign management, and that something isn’t Good Job.
5:25 – The NFC has won the coin flip ten years in a row now, but they’ve lost 7 of the 9 games played in that span. I’m sticking to my prediction of 31-24 Colts …
5:27 – “This game is brought to you on HDTV.” Well, not to me! I spelled HDTV C-P-A-C this year …
5:28 – Hester hits the runback jackpot on the first pull. You suppose Indy will kick it directly to him the next time?
5:34 – Not a great start for Indy, is it? A special-teams breakdown and an interception.
5:47 – Did Chicago forget to cover Reggie Wayne? It looks like they did, and Peyton hung in there to get him all alone. However, it still looks like Indy’s snakebit: they blew a PAT. Not exactly championship play here. Now, will they kick it to Hester?
5:50 – Did Chicago not think to put their hands team on the kick return? I guess not. Oops!
5:52 – Jeez, these are the two best teams in the NFL? It looks like Keystone Kops Take Miami.
5:59 – The Carlos Mencia commercial so far looks the best, although one has to give props to Oprah and David Letterman. I miss Uma, though …
6:06 – No one wants a piece of the rock, tonight. Both defenses are hitting hard!
6:09 – You absolutely punt under those circumstances. There’s no gray zone here. It’s a ground-position game.
6:15 – This is why Indy punted. They have the field position advantage now. It was a crazy first quarter, but I’d expect Indy to settle down now, and get back to ball control offense.
6:18 – Is it just me, or are most of these commercials old news? Even the new Go Daddy commercial is just the same old crap. They’re not exactly my favorite sponsor anyway — a lot of spammers get their domains from Go Daddy, and they won’t exercise any control over them.
6:24 – The Garmin commercial so far is the worst. Power Rangers? Pul-leeze.
6:29 – Colts defense looks pretty good so far.
6:33 – You think that all of these foggy, wet lens shots have HDTV viewers really pissed off?
6:34 – Indy takes the lead for the first time by going to the run. Dominique Rhodes shows that Indy can play hardnosed football, too.
6:45 – Indy’s playing pretty tough on both sides of the ball. They’re about to control the last few minutes of the first half, and after the opening kickoff, it’s been pretty much all Indy. Manning’s been looking solid, even though Grossman has avoided the big mistake so far.
6:50 – Turnover! That’ll kill the big Mo.
6:51 – Not if Grossman has his way. Ball back to Indy, and back to the Colts’ grinding offense.
6:56 – Vinatieri missed a field goal! Yikes! Call Mike Vanderjagt! That may give the Bears a lift, but it won’t change the domination that Indy put on them in the first half.
7:07 – So I guess Prince couldn’t even spring for a hair stylist for his big Super Bowl moment, huh? And how smart is it to have hundreds of fans run onto the field when the Colts and Bears have another half to play on it?
7:13 – Prince is doing a great job as the halftime entertainer, much better than I would have expected.
7:32 – Indy back in the same groove, making the plays to extend their drives and keep the Bears D on the field.
7:37 – I didn’t know that they could challenge for the number of men on the field. Maybe Dungy should have remained ignorant of it, too.
7:39 – Indy gets a field goal and makes it a five-point lead. If the Colts defense can get another three-and-out, the Bears are in deep guano.
7:47 – Deep, embarrassing guano. Rex runs a Riegel — twice — and gives the ball back to the Colts in good field position.
7:53 – Indy ran it down the Bears’ throats, but for some reason started throwing it from the 10-yard line twice instead of sticking with what’s working. They’re going to have to kick the FG instead.
7:55 – The Bears almost gave them four more downs from the 1. Their discipline is breaking down …
7:57 – The Charles Barkley commercial was pretty good. I lived in Phoenix when he played with the Suns, and he owned that town.
7:58 – Indy’s discipline needs a little work, too. Also, if they’re going to kick it that short, why not just kick it out of bounds and have it on the Chicago 40?
8:04 – So the Bears got it on the Colts 40, and only could move it 14 yards. Not exactly impressive. They’re not going to get those kinds of chances much in this half.
8:19 – The Bears got hit with their first painful penalty — a holding call that wiped out a nifty run.
8:21 – Grossman Strikes Again! He throws it at the wrong jersey and gives up six, the first TD scored in over 30 minutes of game time. Chicago will challenge it, but they’re going to lose it and be left with one time out left.
8:32 – Grossman Strikes Again … Again! He hung one up when he had the Bears moving, on a first-down play. Dumb play, and that’s why I thought Indy would beat the Bears.
8:43 – Indy needed to score on that possession, and the Bears have moved the ball since the punt. They have to face a 4th-and-8 in order to stay in the game.
8:46 – The Bears lost their opportunity to win the game on that dropped 4th-down pass. Grossman put it where it needed to be, but Clark just couldn’t come down with it.
8:48 – Who gets the MVP if the score stays the same? Peyton? Rhodes? Either one would do.
8:54 – Huh. 4th down at the 17. Should Indy try for the field goal?
8:58 – Peyton finally gets off the schneid, and so does Dungy. The Colts dominated the Bears, and not just because of Rex Grossman. We’ll see who gets MVP. I’m betting Rhodes.
9:10 – I think Shula was the last Colts coach to win the Super Bowl, too. Interesting …
9:13 – “There’s also social significance to this victory …” Dungy had a great answer, saying he was more proud that two Christian coaches could win “the Lord’s way”.
9:14 – Peyton gets the MVP, and he gets the Caddy, too.
9:16 – Andy corrects me in the comments; Shula took the Colts to Super Bowl III and lost it to the Jets. He wasn’t with them when they won Super Bowl V.
9:17 – Fabulous game, and I’m not surprised to see the Colts prevail. Their defense really jelled in the last few weeks, and Peyton is too good a field general to lose to Rex Grossman. This game was won in Indianapolis, in the second half of the Patriots game.
Thanks for sticking around all night — hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!