Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ramblings about Super Bowl XLIV

As a Buffalo Bills fan, the Super Bowl is a touchy time of the year. In recent time, it has also turned into a game where I do not have a set team to cheer for.

In some years, I cheer for the team that I have placed a wager on. Normally, this ends poorly. In other years, there is one team that I find kinship with and cheer for. Normally, this ends poorly. The years where there are two teams who I dislike in the Super Bowl tend to come down to which team I dislike the least, and even then I'd rather a event occur where the Super Bowl is just cancelled, and no champion declared. (cf Super Bowl XLII aka JayRo jabs a pencil into his eye to make the pain go away, and yet cheers the ending of the game completely as it marks the end of the 19-0 season and the New England Patriots' dynasty.)

What made the lead up to this year so enjoyable was that it involved two teams that I wanted to win in the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. The Colts, led by Peyton Manning, were playing for their legacy. A second Super Bowl win would cement Manning as this generation's greatest quarterback, and would create the argument of which team was most dominant in the past 10 years - the Patriots or the Colts. The Saints were the feel good story with what New Orleans had been through. They also featured an exciting offence to watch, with a great running game setting up a dynamic passing game.

I chose to root for the Colts, as I wanted to see thir legacy validated. As the game went on though, I found that I wasn't cheering that much when the Colts succeeded, or when the Saints failed. Really, I was going to be happy with the outcome no matter who won. Oddly, this made the game less interesting.

This was a very odd dynamic. There wasn't much to dislike about either team. So unless you were a fan of either team, it was difficult to truly feel any sort of negative emotion to the other team. Which left "dramatic ending" as the only thing that could save the Super Bowl. When Peyton Manning threw the pick-6, that option was gone, and we were left to consider what the Saints' victory meant.

Many will want to frame it as a great victory for a snake bit city. Others will use it to belittle Peyton Manning. Some will choose to bring up the decision of the Colts to rest their starters in Week 16 and 17 and forego a chance at a perfect season. I'm going to remember it for the great performance from the entire Saints' team, who executed a well prepared game plan in order to defeat a great team in their own right. We saw two great quarterbacks play. We saw some strong decisions made by Sean Payton, some of which worked out for him, and others that did not. All-in-all, we saw a well-played game which, while not that dramatic, left us with a satisfying conclusion.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on their Super Bowl victory - it is well earned, and well deserved.

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