I didn’t see it coming. I was in my Vancouver hotel room watching the New England Patriots beating up on the Indianapolis Colts. It was 21-3 in the third quarter. ‘Wow,’ I said to myself. ‘Belichick and Brady did it again. Peyton Manning really is Dan Marino.’
I really thought Indianapolis could win this game. Their defence played two incredible games, and they had home-field advantage. Disappointed about the two lopsided games, along with both of the teams I wanted to see win getting demolished, I turned the game off, showered and went down to the Canadian University Press National Conference’s formal dinner.
After a night that included school busses, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, and 19 kegs of beer (I’ll let you use your imagination for the rest), I woke up, left my hotel room and picked up my copy of The Globe and Mail on my way to breakfast. That’s when I saw it. On the front page, above the fold: “Super Bowl XLI: Colts vs Bears”.
“What!?!” I said, in the process, waking up two of my three roommates. I was unable to complete full sentences. And no, that part had nothing to do with any of the three things I mentioned earlier. I was shocked. I was distraught. I thought it was a typo. The sports equivalent of “Gore wins!” Could it be true?
After I sit down in the conference level of the hotel, I frantically flip to the sports section (note: notice how I’m making this seem like me flipping to the sports section is out of the ordinary?) and go to the game article of the Colts-Pats game. At the same time, I go to ESPN.com to get as much information to make sure I wasn’t wronged.
It was true. The Colts won. Peyton Manning(!) led a game-winning drive. Manning came back from the dead, and in a playoffs where he has under-performed and was bailed out by his defence and field goal kicker in the previous two rounds, led a comeback that few saw coming.
I then read Bill Simmons’s (my favourite columnist. by far) column on the game and he had one of the best analogies I had ever seen. He compared the Colts comeback against the Patriots to the Red Sox comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS (where the Sox came back from a three games to none deficit.) All the elements were there: team that always loses in the rivalry being down, and perceived out; losing team playing at home; the losing team had nothing to lose. It was true. Manning came through when no one expected him to. After years of playoff frustrations, Peyton Manning will be going to the Super Bowl.
I wish I could have seen this game, I really do. I have always been a Manning supporter and knew that he would get it done eventually. But I was shocked to see him do it against the Pats and to do it after being down 21-3. Can he beat the Bears? I hope so. I hope that he can shake off the ‘best QB to never win big games’ tag and have a career that has no blemishes.
Another parallel I can draw from the Colts/Pats=Red Sox/Yankees scenario is that if Manning and the Colts would have won the Super Bowl without going through the Patriots, would it be as sweet? Definitely not. Now there is nothing to nit-pick at. Manning beat Brady and Belichick in the playoffs. Where it matters most. And I wasn’t watching.
Maybe I should leave the city more often.
Last week, I told you that it was a depressing week for me as a sports fan. This week, however, it was a little bit better. The men’s basketball team beat up on McGill and the men’s hockey team shutout no. 7 UQTR. Oh, and that team of ours called Les Canadiens? They won both of their games while I was away. Point of the story is? Maybe Concordia and the Canadiens should send me (and my girlfriend, while we’re at it) away more often. Really, that might be the only way to go.
On the other hand, maybe not.
While it was great for my sports teams, it was not as good for school and the reporting aspect of this thing I do. The story you see in this paper about Andrea Dolan was done with an online interview. An interview that at times seemed like it would never happen. But, we got it done and I would like to thank her for her efforts in trying to get around both scheduling conflicts and technological problems.