Monday, January 22, 2007

Conference Championship Winners, Besides the Colts & Bears

The matchup for Super Bowl XLI is set, as the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Chicago Bears. Sunday was widely noted as a landmark day for Peyton Manning and African-American coaches. Beyond the rosters of the two victorious teams, here are some other winners from the NFL conference championships.

1985 New England Patriots: With a Bears-Patriots matchup narrowly avoided, they won’t get quite as many gruesome reminders of the Super Bowl XX beatdown.

Babe Ruth: The Bambino’s spirit lives on in Adam Vinatieri: a future Hall of Famer who won three titles in New England, then torments Bostonians by helping a rival team reach new heights.

Barack Obama: Victories by Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy prove that African-American leaders in the Midwest can get the job done.

Cleveland Browns Fans: Now Baltimore has to watch a Super Bowl featuring the formerly beloved franchise that skipped town.

Dan Fouts/Warren Moon: With Manning getting past the Patriots, the “greatest quarterback not to reach the Super Bowl” competition has thinned.

FEMA: With the Saints gone, the agency won’t get two weeks of fresh reminders of how much they fouled up in New Orleans.

Hallmark: Having a guy named Lovie in the spotlight in February will provide constant reminders of Valentine’s Day.

Houston Texans: They were the last team to beat Indy. So for the first time, the NFC champ hopes to be like the Texans.

Jim O’Brien: We’ll hear all about the former Baltimore kicker, who made the game-winner in the Colts’ last Super Bowl. No, not the guy who coached hoops at Ohio State, or the other one who coached the Sixers and Celtics, or the Philly weatherman who died while skydiving, or… okay, just forget it.

Non-Sports Fans: Super Bowl parties always include guests who know nothing about the teams but love to watch the commercials. With Peyton in the game, at least they’ll recognize one player.

Saturday Night Live: A new Da Bears sketch just has to be on the way. To keep up with the times, the Superfans will converse with each other in an online chat.

SEC Quarterbacks: Tennessee’s Peyton Manning and Florida’s Rex Grossman defeated Tom Brady and Drew Brees from Big Ten schools. Looks like Chris Leak started a trend.

Stephen Colbert Haters: It was a rough day for the Colbert Report host, who denounces Bears while celebrating Saints and Patriots. Expect the Colts to be on notice.

Sweetness: No offense to Sean Payton, but it would have disrespected Walter’s memory for a Payton to keep the Bears out of the Super Bowl.

Terrell Owens: A big day by Dallas Clark helped Indy to advance. So the critics were wrong when they said, “As long as T.O. is with the Cowboys, Dallas won’t reach the Super Bowl.”