I don’t think we understand how truly lucky we are.
Football fans in this region, and most regions for that matter, are mostly despondent come this time of year because their particular team has been eliminated. In Iowa, the Bears, Chiefs and Vikings each have strong fan bases, and while it’s true none of those team had particularly fortunate ends to the NFL season, there should be little if any disappointment with the matchup this week.
I will be the first to admit it. I was broken up when the Broncos took down my Chargers. The matchup seemed perfect for us, and I was sure we were going to win. But, even I can’t complain about the epic matchup we are presented with this week.
The No. 1 offense in NFL history will square off against what very well may be the No. 1 defense in the league’s history. There are premier players on both sides of the ball. You have everything you could ever want in a football game.
On one side, you have the all-time great with an axe to grind. Peyton Manning is perhaps functionally the greatest quarterback in NFL history. I have a difficult time making an argument against it. There are those who say he has underperformed in the postseason, and maybe he has. However, look at what happened to the Colts without him.
He wasn’t playing with all-time great players. Marvin Harrison was a product of Peyton Manning’s excellence. Reggie Wayne is a terrific route runner, but he hasn’t exactly scraped the bottom of the barrell when it comes to quarterbacks. And when you consider the defenses Peyton had in Indianpolis, it’s remarkable how many games they won.
You could have put an XFL team in the NFL, and if Peyton was quarterbacking, they would have won 10 games. Even last year’s loss to the Ravens was hardly Peyton’s fault. However, he likely feels this Super Bowl is an opportunity to shut a lot of people up. I hope he does.
On the other side is the young, brutal, defensive juggernaut. The Seahawks lack experience, but they make up for that with skill and swagger. This team is the immovable object. The defense boasts a number of super caliber players.
Richard Sherman, Chris Clemons, Earl Thomas, Cam Chancellor can all bring it on defense, and they are not shy about it.
So wherever your allegiance lies, whoever you are inclined to root for or against, you need to watch this game and don’t take it for granted. This type of matchup comes along just a few times in a lifetime. It epitomizes the essense of a Super Bowl.