Guest writer Max Smithson kindly previews the 'Greatest Show on Earth' for Polly's Pause for Sport.
The nachos are ready, the Bud’s are in the fridge and the bets are on. The world is set for Super Bowl XLIV. The Indianapolis Colts meet the New Orleans Saints in Miami tonight for what the Americans like to call the greatest show on earth...just wait until they witness Carlisle v Leeds in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area Final Second Leg on Tuesday night (7pm Sky Sports 3 and HD). Do you really think Smithson could write anything without mentioning the Mighty Whites?
The Colts will be looking for a repeat of 2007 when they beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in the same stadium in dreadful conditions. The previous experience that Peyton Manning and the Colts have could prove invaluable against a relatively young Saint’s team. This game is a mouth watering prospect, with both teams dominating their respective conferences and almost recording perfect seasons until they rested their big names once their play off positions had been confirmed.
The fairytale would of course be for the Saints to record their first franchise Super Bowl for a city which has had little to celebrate since the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. However, they have a huge task ahead if they are to stop the rampant Peyton Manning. The Saints defence has been very successful in the play off campaign, putting in several huge hits on NFL greats Kurt Warner and Brett Favre and they will have to be on top form to do the same with Manning.
The main issue of concern for the Colts is the possible absence of defensive end Dwight Freeney due to an ankle ligament injury sustained in the AFC championship game. Although he has not been ruled out by the Colts definitively, the consensus amongst the pundits is that he will only play a cameo role, joining the fray for the big plays. With Freeney being the defensive lynchpin throughout the Colts season, the Saints and Drew Brees have a massive weakness to exploit. Freeney’s speed from the line has helped him to a massive 13.5 sacks this season and without that threat, players will be freed up to provide a more offensive threat for the Saints.
If you’re not an NFL fan, I would still suggest you watch this awesome spectacle. Yes, it is complicated at first and yes, it is a lengthy game, but I got into this sport by watching my first Super Bowl in 2003. And if you’re not impressed with the sport, you will always have The Who to watch at half time!
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