Let's do a quick Super Bowl 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
- Drew Brees -- Earned the MVP with a terrific 32-of-39 effort for 288 yards and two touchdowns. In a shootout with Peyton Manning Brees could not afford mistakes. And he did not make any.
- Sean Payton -- The Saints coach showed the guts of the young Bill Parcells when he coached our Giants. The onside kick to start the second half set off one of the wildest in-game scenes I can recall in a Super Bowl, and turned out to be a brilliant tone-setting move. Of course, we all know that if Indianapolis recovered that ball we would probably be calling Payton an idiot this morning.
- Tracy Porter -- Turned himself into a football immortal with his Super Bowl-sealing interception and touchdown return in the final minutes. Football games generally turn on a few big plays, and Porter made one of the biggest in Super Bowl history.
- Jeremy Shockey -- The thoughts that ran through my mind when Shockey caught the two-yard go-ahead touchdown pass from Brees in the fourth quarter were the kind I would generally yell at you guys for if you wrote them here. So, I won't write them. But, they were not pleasant. Regardless of my personal ill-will toward the former Giant tight end, though, he caught the pass that ultimately provided the winning score. Good for him. I'm sure he feels vindicated now.
- Dwight Freeney -- Playing bravely on one good leg, the Indianapolis defensive end was still a force. His one-handed throwdown of Brees in the first half was a Lawrence Taylor-esque play. The Colts certainly can't use Freeney's injury as any type of excuse.
Wet Willies to ...
Peyton Manning -- This was not supposed to be how it would go for one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. Manning was supposed to lead his team to a game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter, not throw a Pick Six that doomed his team. Question is, what does this do to Manning's legacy? It certainly puts some type of dent in it.
- Jim Caldwell -- While Payton was showing the heart of a riverboat gambler, Caldwell was asking the 900-year-old Matt Stover to try and kick a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. C'mon, Jim! You were in the Super Bowl, this wasn't a pre-season tryout for Stover.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org)