In two days, Super Bowl XLIV will go down in what could be an epic battle between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. Before I get to the point of this article, I wanted to pimp out one thing (well two sites). SB Nation has gotten unprecedented access this year at the Super Bowl. We've got three bloggers spending all week in sunny Miami, taking part in the events leading up to the Super Bowl. If you get a free moment, make sure and check out the impressive coverage at Stampede Blue and Canal Street Chronicles. It's a big step forward for the network, and particularly the football sites.
Now, as to the point of this post. Normally I don't have much trouble finding a specific team to root for in the Super Bowl. It's not always an easy decision, but I can usually figure it out. This year, I'm having a bit of trouble. We've got a Super Bowl featuring the two best teams in the league. And if you don't think New Orleans and Indianapolis aren't the two best teams, I'd have to strongly disagree with you.
My problem is that I actually kind of like both teams. Not in a big time fan kind of way. Rather, it's more that they both provide highly entertaining brands of football that I enjoy watching. I know I'm getting my hopes up (only to have them crushed), but there is a decent chance we could be looking at a fantastic football game. Like New Years it's probably not going to be as good as I expect, but I'm willing to get rather excited about the game.
Given that I think it will be a fun game to watch, I suppose I could just sit back and enjoy it with no rooting interest. But really how much fun is that? One of the most entertaining non-49ers Super Bowl evenings I ever had was Pittsburgh vs Dallas back in Super Bowl XXX. Although Pittsburgh ended up losing, I was sitting in a good mix of Cowboys fans and I found myself cheering rather passionately for the Steelers. Of course, that was more because I hated the Cowboys that much.
I don't have that option in front of me this year. On the one hand you've got New Orleans. The Saints have been one of the most downtrodden franchises in league history and they've finally turned things around. They've got a high octane offense and a defense that forces a lot of turnovers. And of course there is the Hurricane Katrine storyline. They're definitely the sentimental choice among non-football fans this year.
On the other hand you've got the Indianapolis Colts. They also provide a high octane offense, and I certainly don't need to explain how great a quarterback Peyton Manning is. His abilities at running that offense are quickly becoming legendary. Any support from me for the Colts would have more to do with my respect for them as a football team, than any other side stories.
In the end, I feel it will be a game-time decision. I'm leaning towards the Saints at this point, but this could be one of those games where I really do end up just enjoying the game, no matter who wins or loses.