Super Bowl XLIV: A Forgettable One

Alex ShultzCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts to a play against the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLIV was the epilogue to a football season in dire need of a better ending (if only Sopranos fans had such a luxury).

I’m not saying the game provided a well-written one but, at least once New Orleans defeated Indianapolis, the city was redeemed. 

Drew Brees was apparently crowned with “elite status” (according to ESPN analysts, it is a magical title only attainable after winning the big game), and the debate over whether Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback ever was put to rest.

All season, the Colts thrived on being a cool, calm and collected team led by a cool, calm, and collected coach. Sometimes though, you need a little emotion to pull out a win, and that was clearly what Sean Payton injected into his squad during halftime.

The onside kick at the start of the third quarter was extremely gutsy and changed the atmosphere of the game. The Saints built on that momentum and never looked back. On the other hand, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell looked like a deer in the headlights.

I joked with friends that Saints' kicker Garrett Hartley was the MVP.  But seriously, the dude deserves all the credit in the world.

Kickers in the playoffs have been more off-the-mark than Taylor Swift performing during the Grammys; yet, the second-year player easily knocked down three kicks beyond 40 yards.

Peyton Manning made some surprisingly bone-headed decisions in the fourth quarter (easy for me to say as I type this, eating cupcakes).

Manning made it so obvious to Saints corner back Tracy Porter that he was about to throw to Reggie Wayne, that Porter simply stepped in and easily took the interception to the house.

Later, with 1:16 left in the game, Manning committed a brain fart and called a timeout. The cameras zoomed in on him trying to get out of it, but the damage was done.

I know his decision didn’t ultimately matter, but imagine if the Colts had scored with a minute left.

What if Matt Stover didn’t land the onside kick (which he probably wouldn’t have)?

The game would have been over without three timeouts left for Indy to call. 

Still, let’s not overreact about Manning losing this game too much. He’s still one of the 10 best quarterbacks of all time, with two to four more years left of being a legitimate contender for a Super Bowl.

Drew Brees certainly joined a new group of quarterbacks after winning it all, but for some reason, I can’t think of him as one of the greatest ever.

Maybe I need some time for his win to sink in, or maybe he just needs more great seasons to be considered one of the best. He is two years younger than Manning and has the weapons to be a Super Bowl contender for years to come.

The overwhelming consensus from my co-Super Bowl party mates was that the commercials were disappointing.

The Doritos commercials tried to milk the let’s-be-super-random-and-appeal-to-the-young-adult-YouTube audience. It failed miserably.

Most of the Bud Light ads weren’t very funny, either.

Here are a few that were a bit better:

The Budweiser commercial with the horse and the longhorn, who either fell in love or were really good buddies. As one of my friends said, “Guys will laugh because it’s so over-the-top stupid, and the girls will laugh for the same reason, while thinking it’s cute.”

Both of the E-Trade baby commercials were entertaining.

The CareerBuilder commercial with all the guys walking around in briefs and tighty whities was gross, but definitely stuck out.

The commercial with Megan Fox. Because it’s Megan Fox. Honestly, I don’t even remember what she was advertising.

Oh, and to finish off the notes about stuff not relevant to the actual Super Bowl, I found the halftime show boring once again.

I understand one generation loves The Who, but another (mine) has no idea about anything they’ve done.

Let’s get someone who represents the middle ground, or my age, since that’s at whom all the commercials were aimed. Beyonce and Jay-Z would be nice, and they wouldn’t commit any Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson mistakes either.

Looking 10 years into the future, I have a feeling this will be looked at as a pretty forgettable Super Bowl.

I understand the significance of New Orleans’ championship for the city, but the Saints have a great chance at winning another title before the decade is over.

Peyton Manning will still be one of the greatest players ever, although this game did keep him from reaching the absolute pinnacle of his position. The final score (31-17) makes it tough to get too excited when thinking back to Feb. 7, 2010.

Even all of the Las Vegas bettors who went for the over/under on which celebrity would be shown on TV more (either Kim Kardashian or Archie Manning) came up with a goose egg—unless you count a little glimpse of Kardashian after the Saints won it all.

Still, if there is one thing to remember, it’s that the team supposedly better than New Orleans got beaten down during the fourth quarter. That is a testament to the hard work that the Saints and coach, Sean Payton put in all season long.

That’s what makes sports so exciting: expecting one team to win, then seeing the underdog come up with a heroic performance.


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