Forty-Four Reasons to Watch Super Bowl XLIV
Here it is, XLIV reasons to watch Super Bowl 44:
1. Because, in recent years, the Super Bowl has actually lived up to the hype, and at times even surpassed it.
2. If the Indianapolis Colts win, it'll mark the second time Tony Dungy left a team and that team went on to win the Super Bowl the following year.
3. The only other time you ever see Roman numerals is when you look at your wristwatch.
4. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning grew up in New Orleans, where his father, Archie, was the Saints' quarterback, and this is a bit of a bittersweet homecoming for him.
5. You can ask, "Who is the halftime performer?" and it can also pass as a statement.
6. There's some South Florida history here. It's the Xth Super Bowl played in Miami and the Vth at this stadium. (By the way, I was a IX-year-old kid sitting in the stands at Super Bowl II, the first one played in Miami.)
7. Unless the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie does some serious upgrades, it might be the last Super Bowl we see in Miami for a while.
8. If any American city needs a rallying cry, it's New Orleans, still struggling to rebuild V years post Katrina. Thus, the Saints have become the partisan team for most non-partisan fans.
9. If the Colts win, it'll be the IIIrd time in the past IV years that a different black head coach has won a Super Bowl, and you hope college football is paying attention.
10. Jermon Bushrod, the Saints' offensive tackle who protects Drew Brees' blindside, has the wonderful nickname "Big Neck."
11. It's the last time you'll have to hear breathless updates on Colts' defensive end Dwight Freeney's injured right ankle for a good long while.
12. With the Pro Bowl having already been played last Sunday (it was the week's highest-viewed cable show, by the way), it's the last NFL game you'll see for a half year.
13. Drew Brees is the NFL's most accurate quarterback.
14. Peyton Manning is the NFL's brainiest quarterback.
15. Peyton Manning's place in the pantheon of great quarterbacks depends on winning multiple Super Bowls. (He has I.)
16. .<.<. Who Dat?
17. The commercials.
18. Given his shortcomings as a pro-style quarterback, Tim Tebow's 30-second pro-life commercial might be the biggest impact he'll ever have on a Super Bowl. (Sorry, I can't bring myself to type 30-second as XXX-second. It's Tim Tebow, for goodness sakes.)
19. Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon was an VIIIth-round pick out of tiny Mount Union College, and now he is one of Peyton Manning's go-to guys, showing us you can overcome long odds to make it to the game's biggest stage.
20. Saints safety Darren Sharper, one of the league's best, was an undrafted player out of William&Mary, showing us you can overcome even longer odds to make it to the game's biggest stage.
21. Halftime band The Who, who famously sang "I hope I die before I get old," are old. And II of their original IV members - Keith Moon and John Entwistle - are dead.
22. It's an unofficial, official national holiday, minus anything associated with religion, nationalism or someone being dead.
23. Why else did you just buy that LX-inch HDTV? (LX is 60, for those of us who are Roman numeral-ly impaired.)
24. If you're part of the legion of Cowboy haters, you delight in knowing that the closest the Cowboys came to this game is the fact that Drew Brees was born in Dallas.
25. Next year's Super Bowl is going to be held in - you guessed it - Dallas. (Actually, it'll be in Arlington, but don't get all technical on me here.)
26. South Florida Dunkin' Donuts eateries have been selling Super Bowl-themed doughnuts - vanilla frosting with blue sprinkles for the Colts and maple frosting with a black marble swirl for the Saints.
27. You've already blown your New Year's resolution to lose weight, but you've vowed to start a fresh diet .<.<. tomorrow. (Riiiiiight)
28. Peyton Manning is entertaining to watch even before the ball is snapped.
29. These teams are evenly matched and if it goes into overtime, you'll witness a Super Bowl first.
30. While Roger Daltrey has been known to front The Who bare-chested, nobody will be offended if he exposes a breast. Well, then again, he is XLV years old.
31. The Mannings are the Kennedys of the NFL.
32. Peyton Manning's dad's name is Archie, and it's one of those rare times you'll see that name outside a comic book. Well, you do see the name Archibald Manning in John Grisham's book, "The Pelican Brief." It's no coincidence, either. Grisham is from Oxford, Miss., where Archie Manning played his college football at Ole Miss.
33. Saints running back Reggie Bush is healthy and thus electrifying, and my pick for the game's MVP.
34. The Colts have their own playmaker named Reggie - wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
35. Both Reggie Wayne and Reggie Bush say they were named after Reggie Jackson. Mr. February, anyone?
36. Last year, the Super Bowl was the most watched program in TV history, and you might be part of breaking that record today. (By the way, more people watched last year's game than voted in this last presidential election.)
37. Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon is of Haitian descent.
38. While the good folks of New Orleans say the Saints have inspired them, the Saints say the opposite is true.
39. You don't want to feel left out at the water cooler Monday.
40. If you're a Miami Dolphins fan, you cringe when you know that when Drew Brees left San Diego after the 2006 season, it came down to New Orleans or Miami as his new home. The Saints offered him more money, while the Dolphins traded for Daunte Culpepper.
41. The game will be broadcast in 230 countries and territories in upwards of XXX languages, making it almost as popular as that other football game is worldwide, the one we call soccer. (Sorry, but I've lost the energy to translate 230 into Roman numerals.)
42. We might see Pete Townshend smash a guitar, just for old-time sake.
43. It's estimated that one out of every two American adults has money riding on this game, and odds are (pun intended) you're in one of those two categories.
44. Because you can. Enjoy.