Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saints Win: Sweet and Clean!

This just in: Peyton Manning still, sometimes, makes mistakes.

Even though the football talking heads I heard on Sunday night, seemed to attribute the backbreaking Pick-6 by Tracy Porter more to a lackluster Reggie Wayne route than to Manning.

For all the talk about Gregg Williams' gambling, blitzing, hitting style, and for all the analysis of how many times and how hard they were going to need to hit Manning, the game winning play came from something boring and tedious: film study.

Porter read the play correctly that he had seen the Colts run so many times in film study, had the confidence to jump the route knowing it was not a hitch-and-go or double-move, and the rest is pure glory for him and New Orleans.

Did Manning fail to properly look off the defender or disquise the play? Should Wayne have made a better effort to break up the pass?

Yeah, probably. Both.

But whatever the case, the New Orleans Saints are now Super Bowl Champions. A miraculous full circle story arc from the awful days of post-Katrina suffering and uncertainty.

How absurd would it sound to say: the "San Antonio Saints" have won the Super Bowl!

The team stayed and it is now impossible to think they will ever, ever, leave.

This was a very cleanly played game, mostly free of turnovers, mistakes, and controversy. It moved briskly thanks to QB precision on both fronts. The game was nearly antiseptic.

If you had to summarize the game in one paragraph it would go something like this: "The Saints kept Manning off the field for a long time, the Colts mis-managed the end of the first half, the Saints then stole a possession with the on-side kick, and Manning made one fatal mistake."

A missed 51 yarder by Stover and a (briefly) incorrect call on a two-point conversion were about the only small dents in an otherwise smooth evening. By my clock, the TRT on this puppy was a fast moving 3:06 from opening kick to final confetti.

And that was with an extended Who concert in the middle!

The on-sides kick was one of the gutsiest ever by a coach in this game. Think about what likely happens if it fails. Manning and company go short field for a TD, extend the lead to 17-6 and it is likely curtains for Brees and Company.

I heard after the game, that coach Payton told the officials he was going to execute the play, I assume so they would be ready for it, and not call an incorrect formation penalty.

That's a pretty amazing little nugget, don't you think? You choose to whisper into a referee's ear a play that may effectively lose the game and hang you with the goat horns forever.

Like telling a hot dog vendor on the street: "Psst. Buddy. I'm about to go rob Wells Fargo here in broad daylight. Look alive!"

There will be some who bash Manning for this loss, razz him about the pick-6, mock the ManningIsTheGreatestWhoEverEvenThoughtAboutPlayingThePosition debate this past week.

Fine. But consider this: the respect for his lethality is such that two head coaches made clinically insane gambles this year just to keep the ball out of his hands.

For Colts fans, this one will hurt like crazy until you are many many years down the road. Like Packer fans with the "win one, lose one" double, the losing seems to hurt twice as bad as the winning felt good.

Commercial Watch

I thought as a group, the ads were lackluster. The Jay Leno & David Letterman ad was shocking, in that Leno agreed to a promo for Letterman without any return favor. While I doubt CBS would have allowed a Tonite Show ad on their network, I wonder if NBC gave their blessing to Leno to do this, or if it was just a big F-U! from Leno to his parent network. If it was, serves NBC right for backing the wrong horse in the Conan-Leno fued.

I liked the Stevie Wonder ad regarding the.... oh wait a minute. I don't remember what the hell he did, or for what product. It was funny, though. Because blind jokes are always funny. When done in good taste, and all. Yeah. Ahem.

The sock monkey ad was great, only because my youngest daughter has that sock monkey. She'll love it when I play it for her on the TiVO when I get home.

The Google ad was very well done, and I can remember that it was for Google! Hooray, memory! That said, who the hell doesn't know about Google? Crikes. Not like the company can't afford Super Bowl ad rates, however.

The Census commercials were annoying. So let me see, our tax dollars have to pay for an ad for Ed Begley Jr. to remind people to allow themselves to be counted? And we're gonna count everyone in the country illegally, right? Uh, huh.

And then there were some mildly funny beer ads.

There. End of commercial analysis.


  1. Don't know how many times you watched the replay of the onside kick, but it is notable that Colts special teamer Hank Baskett read the play almost immediately. He was the first to break on the ball and had a clean and free look at it. He just missed it. Game of inches indeed.

    Although it goes to show that groping fake boobs can get you far in life (maybe even knock up a Playboy model!) but in the end it won't help you grab that onside kick in the Superbowl. Sometimes you need the fingertip sensitivity that only au naturale can give.

  2. Remember, a lot of Colts fans are also Purdue alumni and/or fans. The knife in the gut from losing hurts terribly, but the pain is lessened by watching Purdue QB Drew Brees showered in confetti and holding the trophy.

  3. I'm not a Colts fan, I'm a Dolphins guy through and through. But Manning is so freaking precise, I have to admit he's better than Marino was, albeit without the come-from behinds that Marino had to win (more of a compliment to the Colts that they don't have to come from behind, really).
    It's a compliment to the greatness of the player -- like a pitcher throwing intentional balls to Reggie Jackson...not the most fun to watch, but the Saints HAD to keep Manning off the field to have a chance. Amazing.

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