One of the original Playstation's top games, and one of the top 100 games of all time, was a game, a car combat game to be exact, called Twisted Metal 2. This is a game where some of my greatest moments have ever happened, but that's another story. Anyway, I've taken to calling Peyton Manning "Minion."
For those of you who remember this game, nod knowingly now and read the next paragraph. For those of you who don't, Minion was the boss of the original TM game who is the sub-boss in the Amazonia level.
Playing him on ANY difficulty level was a pain, but on hard, he was the kind of boss you turn the game off in frustration because he always had his special, which consisted of three homing power missiles which, depending on who you were playing as, cut away anywhere between 25 and 60 percent of your life force.
Of course, this was accompanied by a freeze, which set you up for ANOTHER special, and you might as well quit after that second one. He couldn't be harmed by the lava you drove through on the level, and he could destroy you without breaking a sweat. Of course, this refers to the boss of the game, Dark Tooth, as well, but Minion was infinitely more dangerous because he just blasted you to smithereens.
The previous sentence describes Peyton Manning, the best QB in NFL history. Yes, there are those of you who will continue to hold up Johnny Unitas, and you probably have a good case. But Unitas played in an era when the QB was not the focal point of the offense. Otto Graham was pretty good too, don't get me wrong. But here's what sets Peyton apart.
He plays in an era with shutdown corners, pass rushers who can run a 4.40, and yes, relaxed rules against nailing the QB. He plays in an era with more games, more players, more good players etc. Not really a discussion I'm going to address yet.
Now, onward to the Super Bowl. Outside of players such as Will Smith and Charles Grant, can you name any other members of the Saints' defense? Scott Fujita, yeah, but who else?
The Saints are good team, but you'll notice that the offensive side of the ball gets most of the publicity, and that's not an accident. Drew Brees made a great receiving corp out of Devery Henderson, who had underachieved until Brees' arrival, Robert Meachem, who before this season, had been greeted with the word "who?", and Marques Colston, who wasn't even selected on the first day of the NFL Draft.
The Saints probably wouldn't be here had the Vikings actually bothered showing up. And while the Vikings are on my mind, Bryant McKinnie should be dumped. Immediately. If you didn't want to play football, refuse the assignment. Putting David Diehl and Jason Peters in the spot they were in was inexcusable. You're the same idiot who asked to be voted into the game via Twitter, go away. Get out of the NFL. You're a disgrace.
So, returning to the game, the Saints' offense has to play a mistake-free game against Dwight Freeney, who is going to play, of course, and Robert Mathis. If they don't, Peyton Vader and the Death Star known as the Colts' offense will have a history-making day against the Saints' defense.
But that said, I don't believe that just because you don't know the personnel in the defense doesn't mean they won't show up. And for once, I'm predicting a fight to the end. This is the biggest game of Drew Brees' career. This is his chance to laugh in AJ Smith's face (which I'm sure Chargers fans would like to do while booting him and Norv Turner out of town). He's going to come to play. So, here's the prediction I know you've all been waiting for.