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Friday, February 02, 2007

Who to Cheer for in the Super Bowl

With New England in three of the previous five Super Bowls, it was pretty easy for Michigan fans to know who to root for in the NFL's championship game. But since the Patriots were knocked out last week - thanks, in part, to a Wolverine - the choice isn't as clear. So let's examine the Bears and the Colts and their relationship to the only football teams that matters to most of us: Michigan.

CURRENT WOLVERINES

Bears - The only former Wolverine on the Bears roster is backup QB Brian Griese. Griese typically carries a lot of weight for Michigan fans thanks to his leading the team to the national championship in 1997. However, Griese has seen only mop-up duty this season, and will likely be one of the handful of players on either team to not see any action on Sunday.

Colts - The Colts have two prominent Wolverines on their roster, starting linebacker Cato June and nickel back Marlin Jackson. June, who was a safety while playing in Ann Arbor was perhaps the Colts most consistent defensive player all season. Jackson, a former first round pick for Indy, still can't crack the starting lineup, but came up with a late interception of Brady in the AFC championship game. Both were solid players for Michigan.

PAST WOLVERINES

Bears - The Bears seem to have soured on drafting Michigan players following the 2001 draft that netted them Michigan's David Terrell and Anthony Thomas. Despite twice rushing for over 1000 yards for the Bears, the A-Train never seemed to be embraced by the Bears and left as a free agent after four seasons. Terrell was a huge disappointment in Chicago, dropping passes, showboating at inopportune times, and eventually getting into trouble with the law. He was released by Chicago after four years. Former Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh was a first-round pick for the Bears in ’87 and played for seven seasons in Chicago, but only led the team to the playoffs once and is just another in a long list of failed QBs in Chicago.

Colts – The Colts’ recent past doesn’t include that many Wolverines other than Jackson and June. Defensive end Josh Williams had a decent six-year career with the Colts from 2000 through 2005. Also of note, after Harbaugh left the Bears in ’94, he played for the Colts where he acquired the nickname “Captain Comeback.” He got the Colts within one play of making the Super Bowl in ’95. Despite only playing four seasons in Indy, Harbaugh was the face of the franchise in the mid-‘90s.

FANS

Bears - Many are Illini fans (who, hilariously, think that Michigan is a rival), but Chicago's huge population base means there are plenty of Bears fans who went to every Big Ten school, including a ton who went to Michigan.

Colts - Mostly IU and Purdue fans. Pretty much harmless.

MISCELLANEOUS

Bears - Remember, it was the Bears who hired Michigan DB coach Ron English last summer, which then prompted Michigan to counter-offer by making him their defensive coordinator. Though the defense faltered at the end of the season, you'd be hard pressed to find a Michigan fan who thought the hiring of English was a mistake. Also, starting QB Rex Grossman played his last game against Michigan. Sadly, it was the last bowl game the Wolverines won.

Colts - Colts head coach Tony Dungy grew up in Jackson, Michigan. His father Wilbur was a big Michigan fan, despite doing his graduate studies at Michigan State.

So it looks to be a good game and a tough call on who to cheer for. But based on Indianapolis having more of a Michigan influence on this season’s team, I say “Go Colts!”

12 comments:

Don said...

I just can't bring myself to root for Manning after all the shameless whining that he should have won the Heisman.

Mattathias said...

Poor choice, Friedman. I do have to admit, I am from Boston and a Pats fan, although Michigan football matters more to me, but I definitely have a bias. But that should be of no consequence. Every Michigan fan, unless brought up a diehard Colts fan, should be rooting for the Bears. First of all, Brady is a better QB overall and especially in the clutch. Second, this is for Woodson! Tennessee-ans still believe that Manning was robbed. They can't get it through their thick skulls that Manning can't win the big games and that's why he didn't win the Heisman. A Manning choke on Sunday should shut up some Woodson doubters and hopefully piss off that fat fuck Phil Fulmer (Aliteration aside, I'll take my chances).

TitleIX said...

I'm rooting for the commercials.

Why? and no, not cuz I'm a girl.

It's simple--
Just can't bring myself to root for The Bears, being the Detroit fan that I am, and could never root for Peyton Manning for the reasons noted above.

Yost said...

Must admit, I'm w/ T9. I actually think the Super Bowl is a bore. I just watch in order to have meaningful conversation with half the population the following day at work.

But, admittedly, that's just my anti-NFL bias. So I just watch for the commercials.

Out of Conference said...

xqtI hate the Manning family now - Eli's whole draft day ego fiasco, Peyton the ego freak, the Dad - just for getting the shit kicked out of him while with the Saints. I don't really have a care either way and can see merits in each team winning. Both coaches deserve it. Both QBs are from the SEC, although from 2 schools I love to hate. I like the matchup, power O versus power D, although everytime you have this matchup, the result is never like you expect. I'm one of the homers that thought Peyton deserved the Heisman his senior year. He did stay for his senior to get a few things accomplished, and with the exception of the Heisman, he accomplished all of them. He did have a great senior year. But, yes, he and his family are a bunch of whining pricks.

MGOBLUE94 said...

I am rooting for my Super Bowl Squares!

The King said...

Every proud Wolverine should hate Peyton Manning. Period.

Chadwick said...

I despise Peyton Manning so much that I have to lend my support to the Bears.

MaizeAndBlueInValpo said...

I live in Indiana, and there are way more Bears fans than Colts fans. As a season ticket holder, i'm obviously rooting for the Bears, but I do enjoy Peyton's commercials.

Go Blue Gabe said...

I though Peyton stayed his senior year to win a Heisman and a National Championship. You say he accomplished everything but the Heisman. I don't recall Tenn. winning a Nat'l Championship until Tee Martin a year later. Yet, you never hear Tenn. fans talk about Tee Martin. Isn't ther a road on campus called Peyton Manning pass? What did he ever win. Other than putting up good numbers. Did they ever win an SEC title when he was there? He didn't deserve the Heisman any more than Brady Quinn. I say that's one vote the writers got correct.
On a lighter note! There may be more Bears fans in Valpo, But in the south half of the state I'm sick of all of these Colts fans that have suddenly come out of the woods. Well,I guess that happens anywhere.

LC21 said...

How about all those folks in south-west michigan, who like myself are diehard bears fans but also cheer for the maize and blue? Shouldn't that be worth something? Besides... who could really root for Manning?

Reed said...

Grew up a Bears fan in Chicago and went to Michigan, so I'm biased, but I agree with the sentiment that Michigan fans can not root for Peyton Manning. Perhaps it's flawed logic, but we're all about 99% certain that Phil Fulmer voted Michigan 4th, even behind his twice-blown-out team after the '97 season. This was supposedly done a protest to Heisman voters who didn't put Peyton Manning in the top two. I'll never get over this and hate that fatass until he retires. Manning has repeatedly acted without class when his team loses in the playoffs, and I'm rooting hard to see what he can come up with after losing the Super Bowl. Plus, think about how many damn Peyton Manning commercials we're going to have to deal with if the Colts do win.

I said I grew up a Bears fan, but I despise Manning so much, I have been espousing to friends that I would root for the Packers (the Bears' version of Ohio State) over the Colts.

Plus, you gotta like this guy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sct9igr7wMA