Digital Headbutt

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Say Hello to My Lil’ Friend! Live Blog of Super Bowl XLI: Indy wins 29-17

Posted by Mike on February 4, 2007

(Updated: 2/5, now with links!)

6:08 pm: Here it is, folks: the big game. Colts vs. Bears. For the Lombardi trophy. These are two really good teams; Chicago will give Indy a bigger run for their money than most people expect. I could be really cynical and say that this is a battle of choke artists at QB, and the game will come down to who throws the last interception, but I won’t. I’ll say that Indy will force overtime thanks to a Peyton Manning naked bootleg and ensuing tango. Adam Vinatieri will kick the game winner in overtime to give Indy the 23-20 win. This prediction is subject to change on a second-by-second basis.

6:12 pm: Everyone is introduced in the Super Bowl as a team now. They used to present individual starters, but ever since the patriots did it, everyone now thinks that introducing yourself somehow creates the illusion that the players are less individualistic. It doesn’t.

6:13 pm: Time to be honest: I’m rooting for the Colts because their center, Jeff Saturday, is a Tar Heel. Sure there are other reasons (Dungy, Peyton’s tango, etc.), but that’s the big one.

6:15 pm: Bizarre ad alert: NFL Network, party at Chad Johnson’s house. Every player who isn’t in the Super Bowl, no matter how they’re celebrating, must be pissed off that they are having a Super Bowl party and not participating in the game. The last person Chad wants in his house is Martha Stewart. She’s done time, she might take his plasma. And I don’t mean his TV.

6:19 pm: Billy Joel just sang the National Anthem. I always stand at attention during the anthem, but the top-heavy sign language lady didn’t hurt. Until I looked at her face, which…uh…no comment.

6:22 pm: Da Bears win the toss, and they will receive the opening kickoff. Adam Vinatieri made the call…I wonder if that was for good luck later?

6:27 pm: Hester return s the kick…AND HE TAKES IT IN FOR THE TOUCHDOWN! Wow, what a way to start the game. What was Vinatieri doing kicking it to him? he did this six times this season. 7-0, Bears, and it’s only 14 seconds into the game. Don’t think of this as a knockout blow, however. Ted Ginn did this in the National Championship game, and Florida proceeded to b—-slap them for the ensuing 59 minutes.

6:30 pm: Colts get the ball at the 30. Interesting…The colts have a tight end lined up at halfback. After Peyton Manning nearly has a pass intercepted by Urlacher (intended for Dallas Clark), Addai runs up the middle for 14 yards.

6:32 pm: Peyton almost gets intercepted again! He’s not starting off too well.

6:33 pm: Addai takes the swing pass for 8 yards. He’s the only offensive contributor so far.

Indy gets another false start penalty. That’s their second in this drive. The Colts have got to focus.

6:34 pm: Peyton tries to throw a deep pass to Harrison, but Chris Harris intercepts the ball.

I have come to the conclusion that all ads in this game are bizarre. I will give a full review of them after the game.

I found this one funny: Bud Light Rock Paper Scissors.

6:38 pm: Bears start at the 35 and Thomas Jones gets a good 7 yard gain.

6:39 pm: After Jones is stuffed on second down, Grossman throws a mirror image pass of Manning’s INT, and Indy almost intercepted that one. Indy is very lucky they are down big already.

6:41 pm: I’m a huge fan of inclement weather in football game, but I question SB XLI’s choice of music. Nothing signifies a battle between two tough teams form the super-masculine midwest like Gnarls Barkley on the PA system in Miami and Fergalicious at the before party.

6:43 pm: Marvin Harrison gets his first catch, and the Colts get a big first down. He needs to step up along with Peyton Manning in this game. Peyton can’t exorcise the demons if he has no one to throw to.

6:45 pm: Indy gets the first 3rd down conversion of the night, as Manning passes along the flat to Dallas Clark. How does Chicago not see this coming? Clark has been the go to guy in these situations all season.

6:46 pm: I love this! It’s really starting to rain now in Miami. If it were up top me, I’d hold a Super Bowl in Lambeau Field and wait for a blizzard to hold it.

6:47 pm: Peyton Manning finds a WIDE OPEN Reggie Wayne and Wayne waltzes in for the touchdown. Hunter Smith bobbles the wet ball and the PAT fails, though. Chicago still leads, 7-6.

6:49 pm: The beer commercials rarely disappoint in the Super Bowl.

6:50 pm: Vinatieri squib kicks the ball, and Indy forces a fumble on the return, and recover on the Bears’ 34.

6:51 pm: Just as quickly, Addai fumbles and the Bears recover on the 44. Chicago got to Addai before he even got the pitch.

6:52 pm: Thomas Jones runs right up the middle and runs all the way to the Colt’s 5. That was a 50 yard run. he got it because Jones ran one way, the Colts fell for it, and he cut back the other way. A great play, but Indy didn’t stay at home. They have to stay patient.

6:54 pm: After two runs are stuffed, Grossman throws the ball down the middle to Mushin Muhammad for the TOUCHDOWN. Nick Harper was defending Muhammad, and maybe his injury played a factor. 14-6, Chicago.

6:56 pm: Bizarre ad alert: Quick! Do something manly!

6:59 pm: YES! a Super Bowl ad with Carlos Mencia! WHOOOOOOO!!! I can’t believe Bud Light had the brass ones to put Mencia in thier ads.

UPDATE: There were actually two Mencia commercials. The first one was good, but this one is better.

7:00 pm: Rhodes comes in at tailback, and he is absolutely stuffed on first down.

7:01 pm: The Colts are forced into a quick three-and-out. Chicago is controlling the pace of this game. You know it isn’t good when the ultimate clutch kicker has to watch a kickoff return for a touchdown and a bobbled snap preventing the extra point.

7:04 pm: The bears fumble again! And Dwight Freeney recovered! Wow, that ball slipped out like jelly in a donut. The weather is really having an impact on this game. Which is super awesome, because this sport is all about the things outside of your control.

7:06 pm: Again, Indy is unable to take advantage of a turnover and great field position. Harrison almost had it, but Nathan Vasher did a good job of breaking the play up.

7:08 pm: The Colts have 4th and 3 at the Bears’ 36, and Indy punts. Boooooooooo……Indy should have gone for it. Manning has at least 3 surefire plays to Dallas Clark he could’ve used to get 5 yards and extend the drive.

7:11 pm: Two Bears players, Cedric Benson and Tackle John Tait, are injured. Benson almost had his left leg amputated by Cato June.

7:12 pm: Chicago runs on 3rd and long,but the fall short. Both teams are playing very conservatively. I enjoy games tha involve an abnormal level of strategy rather than talent to win the game, but the casual fan…

Oh Crap. CBS just showed a teaser of one of their new shows (starring Davis Spade) and then they show the stars of the show together in the stands. That may be the most blatant product placement in Super Bowl History, until about 10 minutes from now.

And that’s pretty much how the first quarter ends, Chicago leading 14-6.

7:17 pm: Coca-Cola’s ad: El Quesisimo. (The cheesiest.) SO bad it doesn’t even deserve a link.

7:18 pm: Manning connects with Harrison, and suddenly they’re in field goal range.

7:19 pm: After Addai runs for 7 yards, he gets the ball again right down the middle. He’s tough. The Colts are in the red zone. I’m glad the Indy is committing to the run instead of abandoning it, as they have in so many previous playoff games.

7:21 pm: Manning is getting a lot of pressure in this game. Chicago seems to be running a lot of zone blitzes in this game, and Peyton hasn’t been very comfortable.

7:22 pm: The Bears force a field goal attempt. Vinatieri hits it right up the middle. 14-9, Chicago.

7:24 pm: Bizarre ad: Mapzilla.

7:26 pm: Chicago gets the ball on their own 22. Jones’ first and second down runs don’t get much.

7:27 pm: Let me say this: I appreciate the milestone of Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy being the first black head coaches to coach in the Super Bowl. But I think it’s better to just think of them as great coaches, the kind of coaches you want to play for. Reinforcing the milestone every 30 second doesn’t advance the cause.

7:29 pm: Bizarre ads: Career Builder’s Workweek Jungle.

I don’t want to talk about the Chevy ad right now. I’m just staring at my computer screen trying not to puke after that one.
7:32 pm: Manning is really starting to click on his passes. He made to straight great passes to Harrison and Clark, and suddenly they’re in range again. He’s actually throwing better when he’s out of the pocket.

7:33 pm: Rhodes fights for a first down and gets it to the 8. He then goes right up the middle, and it takes an ankle tackle by Urlacher prevents the TD.

7:34 pm: But on the very next play, Rhodes plows it in for the touchdown. Indy now leads, 16-14. That was a big drive for them.

7:35 pm: Bizarre ad: Speaking of b—-slapping…

7:38 pm: I’m really looking forward to seeing this weather cause at least three more inexplicable turnovers.

7:39 pm: GM and Coca-Cola’s ads today: SAA-WIIIINNNNNNG and a miss.

7:40 pm: Holy crap. I just realized: it’s almost halftime, it’s raining, it’s a the biggest game in Chicago in 20 years, and Rex Grossman hasn’t f—ed up yet. No INT’s, bad passes, fumbles, nothing. Wouldn’t it be insane if he plays out of his mind in the second half, gets the MVP award, the Lombardi trophy and the last laugh? I would actually love to see that, just so all of the football pundits have to shut up for two months.

7:44 pm: Indy gets the ball back, and again they’re driving down the field thanks to their running backs (Addai this time). He’s an excellent receiver at HB.

7:47 pm: Wow. During the two minute warning, the ads really sucked. The movie with Martin Lawrence and John Travolta (the third apostle of Scientology) actually seems promising, though.

7:49 pm: ESPN isn’t even trying to compete with the Super Bowl. They’re showing men’s figure skating. And you just know that some girl is making her whipped boyfriend watch it.

7:51 pm: Just as I thought: another series of bizarre fumbles. First, Indy TE Fletcher is stripped while fighting for yardage, and then Rex Grossman fumbles a perfect snap. He finally got his mandatory f— up. In essence, nothing happened. The turnovers cancel each other out.

7:53 pm: The Colts get into the red zone again, but again they are forced into a field goal attempt.

Oh no…Coke recycles an ad from a previous Super Bowl. Booooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I can’t believe there have been four ad breaks in the last four minutes. At least it isn’t Spain, where ad breaks are 15 minutes long. It’s good to be an American.

7:56 pm: Vinatieri misses the FG at the end of the half. I cant; believe he missed. He is usually money. The rain had to have been a factor.

The first half ends, Indianapolis leading Chicago, 16-14. Both teams have has spurts of playing very well and playing very badly, but as expected, it’s been pretty even. The Colts need to throw the deep ball more and force Grossman to beat them on defense instead of Thomas Jones. The Bears need to commit to the run, and not be fazed by Peyton Manning and Co. Both teams meed to keep control of the ball. The team that loses the turnover battle in the second half will likely lose the game.

I am SO not covering the Prince halftime show, so I will go eat something and be back for the second half.

8:15 pm: I stand INSANELY corrected. Prince is wearing a particularly ridiculous outfit, but the music was shockingly good. I couldn’t believe it. I seriously underestimated Prince’s guitar licks. Even the the FAMU band, the best college band in the country, played alongside with him. He even played a Foo Fighters cover, and came close to out Foo Fighter-ing the Foo Fighters, all while acting SOOOO gay and wearing a fashion travesty. I feel just like Charlie Murphy in his True Hollywood Story of Prince-seeing the ridiculous outfit and underestimating the man. It doesn’t make his outfit any less gay, but I was shocked that the Halftime show was actually good. Simply insane. And I had to be dragged into watching. I was the ultimate skeptic. I promised myself that I wouldn’t watch, that it was going to be the worst halftime show ever, because I saw Prince and I thought of that Matador outfit in the Chapelle skit, and the Purple Rain movie, when he was at his gayest. I was wrong. He may yet be gay, but he is a good musician.

8:25 pm: Chicago almost never had the ball in the first half. This has to change of the Bears want to win. The Colts get the ball to start the second half. Addai gets another swing pass; that’s the fifth time or so that they’ve run that play. The Colts get another first down and cross midfield.

8:28 pm: Nathan Vasher wants to take Oprah away from Stedman. Seriously. That guy needs help. Oprah is a lard covered alien robot plotting to weaken the earth’s humans and give rise to the crab people. If Vasher’s wish comes to pass, no one will be left on Earth except the robots (like Oprah and Stedman) and humans who are protected from radiation from tacky polyester clothing (like Prince and NC State basketball coach Sidney Lowe). I don’t want to live in that kind of world.

Oh, by the way: the Colts have once again driven into the red zone after Addai catches the swing pass for the 9th time. When will Chicago adjust?

8:34 pm: It’s really raining now in Miami. You gotta love a Super Bowl where the weather is bad enough to make hypothermia plausible. It shows you how teams react to circumstance beyond their control, which in my opinion is the ultimate measure of a team.

8:37 pm: Once again, I question the choice of music of music in the PA system. Really, emo is the ultimate symbol of manliness to go with football? Really?

Dungy makes a challenge as to whether there were 12 players on the field but the play stands, the Colts are charged a timeout, and indy is forced to kick another field goal. 19-14, Colts. Just like in the AFC title game, Hunter Smith salvages a bad snap for the field goal.

8:42 pm: Bizarre ad: This Coke ad is better than the other Coke ads (which isn’t saying much), but do snowmen have to die for the sake of a cold drink? That is just wrong.

UPDATE: I take that back: this ad sucks too.

8:45 pm: The Bears are back on offense. I almost forgot they had an offense. The first play is a pass to Thomas Jones for 15 yards.

8:46 pm: Grossman just got sacked twice for a total loss of 22 yards, and the Bears have to punt again. Chicago cannot afford an offensive shutdown like this.

8:48 pm: Bizarre ad: Taco Bell taquitos, the African Savanna and Ricardo Montalban. That’s all you need to know.

8:50 pm: Dominic Rhodes gtes a HUGE run and again the COlts are in field goal range. Rhodes did an excellent job of breaking through arm tackles and following his blockers. And to think Edgerrin James bailed on this! He must be watching this, quietly weeping and eating Ricardo Montalban’s taquitos in Phoenix.

8:53 pm: Again, Indy finds themselves in the red zone, and again they fall short and are forced to kick a field goal. Eventually, not being able to get into the end zone is going to haunt Indy; I’m sure of it. 22-14,Colts. This is still a one score game. As much as Indy is dominating this game, The Bears are only one play away form getting back in it.

8:55 pm: Bizarre ad: Emerald nuts and Robert Goulet. Truly bizarre.

8:59 pm: Really bizarre ad: K-Fed smiling for the cameras. The worst part? He’ll be doing that for real in about five years.

9:02 pm: The Bears are finally in scoring range, but they seem to be stalling in the absence of the two back combo. Cedric Benson may very well have been their linchpin.

9:03 pm: Grossman scrambles and misses being intercepted by thismuch, and Chicago is forced into a long field goal in the rain. He hits it right on the money. The score is now 22-17 in favor of the Indianapolis Mannings. If the Bears make a defensive stand, suddenly the Bears will be able to control their destiny.

9:07 pm: It looks like Marvin Harrison caught the ball out of bounds for a third and short, but the refs rule it incomplete. Dungy challenges the call, risking his final challenge and his second timeout. The call is overturned, and the Colts are in good position to get the first down and tire the Bears defense further.

9:10 pm: The Colts get an easy first down pass to end the third quarter. 22-17, Indy. Still no sign of Manning doing his tango. Please Almighty, if you one thing, please let us see Peyton tango in the endzone.

9:13 pm: Bizarre ad: Budweiser has crabs!

9:17 pm: The Bears finally get a defensive break, as the pass to Harrison is broken up on third and 8. Harrison seemed to hyperextend his knee tendons. I don’t think I’ve seen a team so thoroughly dominated manage to still have such a good shot at winning such an important game.

9:20 pm: This has to hurt. Thomas Jones finally breaks a bug one, and the bears are called for holding and are sent back to their own 10.

9:21 pm: Grossman is able to get a pass up the middle to Mushin Muhammad, who takes it to the 35.

Just when it looks like the offense has a rhythm, Indy’s Kelvin Hayden intercepts the ball and returns the INT all the way back for a TOUCHDOWN. Grossman telegraphed that pass the whole way; Hayden was sitting on it the entire time. Chicago challenges the touchdown, but the touchdown is upheld. Indy now leads, 29-17. Who knew that Indy could win the Super Bowl this season playing shutdown defense?

9:28 pm: You have to give the Bears credit: they aren’t panicking, they’re still running the football. But time is running out.

9:30 pm: Phil Simms has already crowned the Colts. The kiss of death. The Bears get a first down immediately after he says it.

Again Rex tries a big pass, and the inclement weather change the trajectory. Bob Sanders interecepts the ball and returns it past midfield. If the Colts score again, it’s over. It’s truly unjust, but Bears fans are going to blame Rex Grossman if the Bears lose. In fact the defense is to blame. They haven’t been able to stop the Colts offense all night.

9:34 pm: WARNING: side effects of reading this blog include runny nose, dizziness, and decrease in semen. Upon standing a sudden drop in blood pressure may occur, rarely resulting in fainting. Oh wait, that’s Flomax. Reading this blog just makes you feel good.

9:37 pm: Indy is forced to punt in spite of good field position. The Bears have absolutely no choice; they need to score on this possession.

9:40 pm: Seriously CBS, do anything you want, but don’t make me watch a horror drama after the Super Bowl. Jesus Christ.

9:43 pm: Chicago has been driving the ball well so far, but then the tight end drops a pass. You can’t have those kinds of plays in these critical situations. This ultimately leads to a 4th and long and five minutes left. At this point, I think the Bears have to go for it.

9:45 pm: Oh, man. I know I’m rooting for the Colts, but what a heartbreaking way to lose your last real chance at staying in the game. Grossman fires a bullet into the hands of tight end Desmond Clark, but then he gets absolutely lit up by the Colts defense, and he drops the pass, and Indy gets the ball back. At this point, I would give the MVP award to either the Colts offensive line, the Colts defensive line, or Dominic Rhodes.

9:53 pm: I know there are two minutes left, and I know that the Colts have this one in hand. But I can’t believe that fans are already leaving the stadium en masse. It’s the friggin’ Super Bowl! You paid thousands of dollars for your seat! was the weather really that bad? Are the Bears fans that distraught? Did Prince really shock people so much with the guitar and stage shaped like his symbol?

9:58 pm: The game officially ends: The Colts are the Champions of Super Bowl XLI! 29-17, Indianapolis! Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning are finally vindicated. More importantly, Tar Heels Jeff Saturday and Dexter Reid bring another ring to Chapel Hill! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

10:04 pm: I feel bad for the Bears. I feel really bad for Rex. But do you know for whom I feel the worst? The cleanup crew. It rained cats and doge in this game, but they did the postgame confetti anyway. That’s going to be a real b—- to clean up. Combine that with the beer, nachos and puke from Bears fans, and this shapes up to be the hardest cleanup in Super Bowl history. At least they could condemn Tulane Stadium in New Orleans after Super Bowl IX.

10:12 pm: Jim Irsay just received the Lombardi trophy for Indy. The city of Baltimore must be rolling in its grave.

10:15 pm: Peyton Manning receives the Super Bowl MVP. He looks almost too giddy holding the Lombardi trophy. What, no tango? I can’t believe he didn’t do the tango! Of all times, that stage was the one time for him to let loose and become football’s lord of the dance! What the hell? I think I’m starting to get pissed off now! WHY DIDN’T GOD MAKE HIM TANGO?!?!?!?!?!?

Final Analysis (2/5): This game very much mirrored the BCS National Championship game is the way it developed. It began with a highly touted return specialist taking the opening kickoff all the way for a touchdown. It involved QB whose big game mental fortitude was questioned stepping up. It showed a team from a superior conference taking over the remainder of the game. It showed the winning team displaying an unexpected defensive prowess at the same time that one of the best defenses in the country got clobbered. And ultimately, the best-dressed coach didn’t win.

Just a thought: Lovie Smith is from East Texas. He is also the lowest-paid coach in the NFL. I smell a ridiculously high offer from the Dallas Cowboys for Smith (say, 7 years, $40 million?).

Players of the Game:

Dominic Rhodes, Colts. When the Bears defense were getting tired, Rhodes really put them away. He had 21 carries for 113 yards, including the touchdown that gave Indy the lead for good in the first half. More importantly, he helped to dictate the pace in the second half and keep the Bears out of reaching the lead.

dominic_rhodes.jpg

Joseph Addai, Colts. He was valuable both as a runner and as a receiver. in addition to his 19 carries for 77 yards, he led the Colts with 10 receptions for 66 yards. In fact, I’m preety sure all 10 receptions were the same swing pass play. How did the Bears not stop that play? It just boggles me.

addai2.jpg

Thomas Jones, Bears. One of the only bright spots in this game for Chicago, he carried 15 times for 112 yards (an amazing 7.5 yards per carry), including the 52 yard run that led to Chicago’s only offensive touchdown. He would have had more, but one of his big runs in the fourth quarter was negated by a holding penalty, and ultimately led to Grossman throwing the interception returned for a TD which ultimately sealed Chicago’s doom. If the holding wasn’t called, Chicago may have with the run, Jones would’ve had more yards, and maybe the Bears could have won this game. That’s how big penalties can be.

thomas_jones.jpg

Prince. There’s still no way I’m buying his album, but like Charlie Murphy, I now know better than to underestimate the guy (at least as a guitarist). But did he really need to show his chest hair to a billion people? Or use the shadow thing to make his guitar look like a giant schlong? Please.

prince_sbxli.jpg

The inclement weather. I believe that inclement weather is a part of football, that it demonstrates how good a team is that overcomes circumstances beyond their control. That’s why I loved the rain in this game. Everyone thought that the wet track would favor the Bears, and the fast paced Colts would have to slow down. But the Colts adjusted to the rain and Peyton let Addai and Rhodes take over the game. More importantly, the Bears offense failed to adjust, and they seemed out of sync all day. I certainly think the weather had a hand in at least 2 of Rex’s 3 turnovers. Don’t blame Rex for this one. It was the defense that failed Chicago (Urlacher and Chris Harris being the notable exceptions) and were on their heels all night. But you have to give credit to mother nature. She sure made things interesting. I’m hoping in a future Super Bowl, a huge cold front will come, and manage to bring snow to the party. Wouldn’t that be awesome, snow at the Super Bowl between San Diego and Tampa Bay for example?

football_rain.jpg

I give my MVP to the running back tandem of Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes, who accounted for over 250 yards of total offense. Well, this is the last meaningful football game for a while and…

(…)

Wow. I miss football season already.

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