Oh, yes, they’ll play ball on Sunday too

Bobby Curran
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Friday - February 02, 2007
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The Super Bowl and the City of Miami may be the perfect marriage. Glitz, glam and wretched excess are the order of the day for the single biggest sporting event in American culture. South Beach will rock ‘til dawn every night this week. Grab a $20 mojito and sip your way through streets paved with gold and celebrities.

Corporate America makes a huge appearance at the Super Bowl, offering parties for their well-heeled clients, striving to outdo each other with opulence and exclusivity.

The Super Bowl is also Mardi Gras for advertising agencies as they break out their best for the huge television audience. And if you don’t have the $3 million or so you need to buy a 30-second spot in the game, not to worry - this year you’ll have more advertising opportunities than ever before.

The NFL Network is featuring a “65 hour pre-game show” which covers some can’t-miss events such as Thursday’s halftime show press conference. While it’s a safe bet that Prince will remain clothed for both the press conference and Sunday’s performance, he will still have claim to being the most eccentric and just plain weird entertainer in Super Bowl history - a claim that could be contested by fans of Michael Jackson, of course.

And then there’s ESPN, whose outlets will total 90 hours of pre-game coverage. But you gotta love Fox Sports Net, whose answer to all that quantity is just to go for quality. The Best Damn Sports Show Period will be live on site, for example, and plans to feature such goodies as “Florida’s hottest models jumping into vats of goop.”

The game has been rendered almost an afterthought, but it could be a good one. Forget that it is making history as the first Super Bowl sporting a pair of minority coaches. These are good, talented, football teams capable of absolute excellence on any given Sunday.

And there are intriguing story lines everywhere. Peyton Manning’s quest to join the immortals. Rex Grossman’s attempt to overcome the label of worst quarterback in Super Bowl history. Tank Johnson, the Bears’ defensive tackle out on bail for possessing an armament that would make a Somali warlord proud. The list is nearly endless.

Expect a low-scoring first half with each team feeling out its opposing defense. Each will try to establish its running game with limited success. This will give way to a wide open second half with both quarterbacks showing off their passing skills. In that match-up, I’ll take Manning exploiting the Bears’ secondary. Look for Marvin Harrison to have a game-changing play.

The Colts will end up with the trophy.

Final score: Colts 31, Bears 21.

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