The SUPER BOWL XLI Thread!!!
Well, we've only got one week and a half until February 4th! That's when the biggest American Football game of all will take place, which is none other than the Super Bowl!
This is the game every American Football player dreams of eventually reaching, from pee wee leagues to high school football to college football to, finally, the ultimate stage for the sport, the National Football League.
Granted it's usually a blowout or something like it, at least unless the Patriots are playing. They always seem to be in close games. But this year we won't be having the New England Patriots, we'll be having the American Conference's Indianapolis Colts against the National Conference's Chicago Bears.
Both went undefeated for the first half of their respective regular seasons, 9-0 and 8-0 respectively, before finally losing their first games. It's still a rarity, though, that two teams that had dominated the league so much early on in the year would eventually meet up in the big dance. There's usually an upset somewhere that allows a surprising team to be an opponent. But not this year.
What makes the Indianapolis Colts so good? Well, they've always been very good offensively with arguably the best quarterback playing in the game, none other than Peyton Manning, a popular player and the son of Archie Manning who was once a very famous quarterback in his own right. As you can see if you click on his name, he's got the statistics that will probably make him a Hall of Famer once he retires.
Having a spectacular duo of wide receivers in Marvin Harrison ("Marvelous Marvin") and Reggie Wayne probably doesn't hurt, either.
But he's never won a Super Bowl, never even been there. Why? Largely due to always having an inept defense.
This year, though, it's different.
While they didn't seem to have much success on defense throughout the entire 16-game regular season this year either, especially against the running game, they suddenly picked it up when the playoffs started.
Suddenly they kept every running back on every opposing team under 100 yards and beat three tough teams in Kansas City, Baltimore, and best of all, their nemesis, New England, who had knocked them out two times in the playoffs before.
Seems to be Peyton's year, right?
Well, there's still the Bears, though. They have one of the best defenses in the league, spearheaded by ferocious middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. If you're an ES21 fan, then you can certainly feel free to think of Urlacher as the current Shin of the NFL. He's the fastest linebacker playing right now, and certainly one of the strongest.
Their offense isn't all that great, though - it struggled under inconsistent quarterback Rex Grossman (who was injured the last two years, but came back to start all year and regardless of all the mistakes he's made, is still a very popular guy among his teammates). However, when Rex's on, he can be very good. If he's not, he can be horrible. He does have two very good running backs to keep the offense going, though.
Still, even if the offense sputters, the Bears' defense usually takes up the slack and sometimes scores as many touchdowns as their offense does. And then there's Devin Hester, their rookie kick/punt returner. He's come up huge for the Bears in several games: he returned six touchdowns, including a record tying 108-yard touchdown from a missed field goal.
He also returned a punt for a clutch 83-yard game-winning touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals, and two kickoff returns in one game against the St. Louis Rams.
Considering that the Indianapolis Colts' coverage teams on special teams aren't that particularly impressive (New England had long gains on them last game), Hester's a definite concern for them.
So anyway, the Super Bowl is the one American Football game that nearly everybody in the world can watch. If you're interested in discussing the game - there's plenty of time to think about it and speculate, so by all means give us your opinion here and have fun.