Ins, Outs, and What-Have-Yous: Volume II

Matt CastonguayContributor IFebruary 9, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12:  Race car driver and Sports Illustrated 2008 Swimsuit Model Danica Patrick attends the Sports Illustrated 2008 Swimsuit Issue press conference and launch party at 7 World Trade on February 12, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what a game that was, huh?

Super Bowl XLIV is in the books and for the first time, the New Orleans Saints are champions. I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to see the Colts get their second title in the decade and for Manning, his second ring, but I suppose I’m ok with Drew Brees getting his first instead. After all he does wear number nine in honor of boyhood-hero Ted Williams. Can’t go wrong there, now can you?

I really was rooting for the Colts though. I think it’s sad that people still compare Manning to Brady when there really is no comparison. At the end of the day, Peyton Manning will be remembered as the best quarterback ever to suit up for an NFL game. Tom Brady will be remembered, too, but he shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Manning except to say they were the two best of their time.

All-time however, Peyton will be remembered for more than Brady. Yes, yes, his three rings are impressive and his numbers great, but Archie’s boy has put up consistently staggering numbers. The only category Brady beats Manning in is rings.

Not to downplay the magnitude of winning multiple rings. I mean, talk to Dan Marino about the importance of a ring. Ask Dan Fouts. They’ll tell you how much they’d have liked to have won a Super Bowl and how much just one ring, let alone three rings, would have done for their legacies.

Manning has his, Brady has three; If Manning had won last Sunday night in Miami, the conversation would have been over. Unfortunately, the debate will rage on until this time next year when Peyton gets ring number two.

Enough about Peyton, let's give credit where credit is due. If anyone deserved MVP honors for that game, it was Sean Payton.

I know the coach can’t win the award, but if there were a way for that to be ok, I’d be all for it. The onside kick to start the second half was arguably the most back-breaking, momentum-swinging play in Super Bowl history. You have to have some type of gall to attempt that. If you don’t recover, you’re giving Peyton Manning, already with a lead, half the ground to cover to score; a gutsy move indeed, but it paid off big time and you have to respect that.

Perhaps the only negative thing from this year's Super Bowl was that it was on CBS. I much prefer FOX to cover the Super Bowl because the pre-game, halftime, and post-game banter is more enjoyable.

I’m so sick of Shannon Sharpe especially. Sometimes I think the movie Radio was made about his life. I think it should be a rule that you must know and be able to use 100 real English words before you’re allowed in a broadcast booth.

Tim McCarver, this goes for you too. Please, enunciate and stop using words like “splosiverance” and “unconsistentical” (both words taken from…check out the article, its brilliant) in your analysis because no one knows what you’re saying. We’d rather listen to our girlfriends talk about shoes….

Speaking of Super Bowls, NASCAR’s "Super Bowl" will be this coming Sunday, Valentines Day. I know many of you aren’t too excited, but I’m pumped. The Daytona 500 and Speed Weeks leading up to it are a high point in my year. The 500 and the events leading up to it are a nice little buffer between the end of football season (Super Bowl last Sunday) and the start of baseball season (pitchers, catchers, and injured players voluntary report date is next Wednesday the 17th), which is the best part of my year.

In a drastic turn from the norm, I’m picking Kyle Busch to win it this year. He’s been close the last two years, leading just under half of the laps run from the last two 500’s combined. I think (hope) he’ll get it done this time around…..

Perhaps bigger than the Daytona 500 this year will be Saturday’s Nationwide Series race. Danica-mania will be on display in all its glory as the luscious Danica Patrick makes her Nationwide debut in the DRIVE4COPD 300.

Danica finished sixth in this past Saturday’s ARCA series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and silenced most, if not all of her critics. I for one hope she comes out and gets a top 15 finish on Saturday; not only would it be great for her and for the sport, but it’d mean we’d get to see more pictures of her on TV and as any guy who has ever seen her knows, that is a very good thing…..

And lastly, as the calendar inches its way closer to March and March Madness, I’d like to shout out to my pick for the tourney this year, the Syracuse Orange. I got into Syracuse (said no due to snow and I didn’t want to be associated with Donovan McNabb) and have been a fan for a long time.

It’ll be nice to see them make a run at the title this year, especially since everyone made such a big deal about the pre-season loss to LeMoyne. The Orange are 23-1 and the No. 2 team in the nation behind Kansas, who beat No. 14 Texas on Monday, but had previously struggled against unranked Colorado and Kansas State. Personally, I think with UConn basically out of the picture this year, Syracuse has its best shot at a title since Carmelo Anthony took them to the promise land….

Congratulations go out to the Boston College Eagles for their victory in the Bean Pot Tournament. They beat last year's NCAA Hockey champion BU in the final at TD Garden in Boston on Monday night. For the Eagles, this year's trophy marks the 14th time they have won, second only to this year's runners up, the BU Terriers, who have 29 Beanpot titles.

More congratulations go out this week to Miguel Angel Jimenez and Steve Stricker, who each one their golf tournaments this week. Jimenez won in Dubai and Stricker in LA at Riviera Country Club.

For Jimenez, it was his 16th Euro Tour victory, and for Stricker his eighth PGA Tour crown. Stricker’s win lifts him to second in the World Golf rankings behind only Tiger Woods and just ahead of Phil Mickelson.

This week, the PGA tour will be at Pebble Beach for the pro-am, an event I’m always excited to see. I love celebrity golf and it’s really the only time I peer into their lives like some sick voyeuristic loser with nothing better to do. I love knowing that even though Ray Romano and Bill Murray could buy and sell me a thousand times over, I’ll always be a better golfer than they are and for some sick reason, that helps me sleep at night.

And unless I get to the point where I can’t take the cold and snow any more (and trust me, Christ, I’m getting there…) and buzz off to St. Somewhere with my golf clubs and a bottle of rum, I’ll see you next week. Until then and as always, keep your head on a swivel and watch the beverage, man.