Ok, it's taken me almost 24 hours to get this done but here's a few thoughts about Super Bowl 44. First let me say congrats to the Saints. They knew they had to lay it all on the line. Few actually puts a game plan in place and fewer actually have the guts to put it in motion. Sean Payton did.
Pre Game Show It seems that CBS had about five minutes of show and five minutes of commercials. Not enough x's and o's. Too bad President Obama had to come on there. Before you tear me apart for that comment, I just don't think that politcs has any place in the Super Bowl. There's plenty of other news shows on tv that he can appear on on a Sunday, but being on the Big Game pre game show is not the place for presidential policies to be talked about. Great job by Carrie Underwood in her rendetion of the National Anthem. Having been to countless sporting events in person, nothing gets the blood pumping more than hearing a great rendetion. You could feel your heart pounding through your chest.
TurningPoints Perhaps the first one was toward the end of the first half when Indy had the ball and had a chance to kick a long field goal. Matt Stover missed the 51 yard attempt which gave New Orleans excellent field position. The Saints go down the field and kick a field goal of their own to draw with 4 at 10-6.
The second was the on side kick at the beginning of the second half. New Orleans gave the Colts a punch in the mouth. Not only because they recovered it and went down and scored a TD to gain their first lead, but also because of the melee that occurred during the time the refs tried to determine who had the ball. It gave a very subtle message that the Saints were here to play and win the game. That single play begun to swing the momentum pendulum to the Saint sidelines.
Indy took their next possesion down the field and scored a TD and you had to think that the Colts were ging to retake the momentum, but the Saints proved otherwise. It seemed that Indianapolis got away from things that worked for them earlier in the game. Joseph Addai with huge runs sprinkled in between passes to Dallas Clark. The Colts defense didn't seem to make many halftime adjustments as Drew Brees played catch with his receivers to garner up chunks of yardage. This done despite the fact that Indy had more total yards and more plays. Despite that fact, New Orleans had more time of possession.
Other Thoughts CBS showed no love for Indy as the volume for the intro for the Colts starting lineups were muted. I feel certain the volume in the stadium was turned up, but someone didn't get that volume transferred to the tv broadcast.
I think the NFL got the desired result out of the Super Bowl they were hoping for. A win for a team that had 41 previous years of championship futility. A city that is being rebuilt out of the rubble of a devasting hurricane. An MVP quarterback that came there from a team that sent him packing because a younger quarterback had waited his turn and was ready to play. All the warm, fuzzy feelings that a network could hope for.
That also was apparent as it seemed like it was a New Orleans home game with the pro Saint cheers and boos for the Colts.
The Saints defenders should have been called for defensive holding or illegal use of the hands as their players grabbed Colts receivers on at least five different occasions that I saw through the game. This was so evident that the Colts jerseys were being pulled away from their bodies. There was also a blatant block in the back on Peyton Manning on the intercpetion return. To show I'm not suffering from a serving of sour grapes, I though the refs made the right call by overturning the original call of incomplete pass on the Saints two point conversion. After looking at the replay, it did appear as if the receiver got the ball across the goal line while maintaining possession. Also, the pass interfererance call in the end zone on Pierre Garcon was correct. Which goes back to my point above about the no calls on the Saints D. The refs needed to be more consistant.
I can't believe that some internet sites are talking smack about Peyton Manning leaving the field right after the game and not offering the traditional handshake. How could anyone be expected to find the opposing quarterback and coach in the throng of media and the downpour of confetti on the field. Manning was gracious in his post game interview and said he would reach out to Coach Payton and Drew Brees to offer congratulations. He also mentioned in the interview that Porter made a nice break on the ball on the interception. Give Manning credit for showing up in a suit and tie to the post game news conference and answering every question that was asked, no matter how many times he had already answered it.