They had the Super Bowl...here?
Super Bowl 25 was held in the Twin Cities (Roman numerals are for philistines, by the way). Here's a few fun facts about the Twin Cities on this, the weekend of Super Bowl 41. According to NPR, it's -8 degrees out there, with a -25 degree windchill. Much of the state is going to struggle to even reach 0, and it's going to be like this ALL WEEKEND.
This is not the climate for everybody, and I can't believe the NFL ever made people come here for the Super Bowl.
Hello, all you Super Bowl watchers. Oh, by the way: you suck.
For those of us who watched just about every football game we could every weekend since September, the Super Bowl can be a trying time for our devotion. All the hype about the commercials. All the mainstream non-sports news coverage. All the inanity of pregame. All the spectacle before and during the game. Any concern whatsoever about singers. All the non-football fans who either act like they care and watch or watch but make it clear that they don't care. All the people making predictions that might not have watched a Bear or Colt game this season.
For the diehards, nothing beats Week 1 of the regular season.
Hall of Fame
The two players I'm pulling for to make the Hall of Fame are Thurman Thomas and Michael Irvin. Irvin was one of the top 2-4 WRs of his era, a dominant player and personality and key to three Super Bowl championships. He elevated his game when his team needed it. His cumulative numbers aren't spectacular, but cumulative numbers are overrated--look at a player's numbers season by season to see his impact. Thomas should have made the HOF last year; I can barely understand how Jim Kelly was a first-ballot HOFer and Thomas was not.
Marvin Harrison has played in 13 playoff games; he's failed to score a touchdown in 12 of those playoff games. We're not talking about small sample anymore--Harrison has played nearly a full season's worth of playoff games. And if they are combined into one season, it's one of the worst seasons of his career. Since 1999, he's been one of the top WRs in the game with spectacular regular season numbers--and in all but one of those years, his team has made the playoffs. And he's had little impact.
When comparing Harrison to Jerry Rice, let's not forget that Rice had some of the all-time great playoff performances. He twice scored 3 TDs in the Super Bowl, and was MVP in another Super Bowl in which he had 11 receptions for 215 yards (he's got a record 8 Super Bowl TDs). Rice has 22 playoff TDs to Harrison's 2, and Rice has 5 multiple TD games in the playoffs to Harrison's 1.
Harrison is not in Rice's league--though he can do a lot to improve his playoff reputation with a big game against the Bears. But he'll need a couple more great Super Bowl performances to belong in discussions with Jerry Rice.
Should we hate the Bears?
I hate the Packers and watch every game they play rooting for them to lose. But when I watch the Bears, I only hate them when they play the Vikings and only root for them to lose to the extent that it affects the Vikings. Should Viking fans be hating the Bears?
Bear fans have never bothered me like Packer fans (I'm sure if I went to college in Illinois, I'd say otherwise). They seem like good folk--I hope they enjoy it.
I do hate Brian Urlacher--even my sister, who doesn't understand why teams just run up the middle for no gain all the time, dislikes Urlacher and thinks he's a bully (I tried explaining he's a MLB and it's his job to tackle the guy with the ball, but she thinks he's a little too violent and mean when he does it. At this point I stopped trying to explain anything and just said, "Yeah, I hate him too"). I would like to see him fail miserably and have the Colt offense confuse him and run all over him.
I like the Colts--big. And then the Bears can come back next year and suck and the Vikings can...well, they'll probably suck too.
Would it be worse to be in the last generation of Viking fans--to see the team go to four Super Bowls and lose them all badly--or is it worse to be cheering for them now and to have never seen them play in a Super Bowl? I'm going to say it's worse to be in the last generation, because those guys got to experience seeing their team lose four Super Bowls, AND they've experienced this 31 year Super Bowl drought. That's just not really fair.