This Super Bowl (Colts beat Bears 29-17) reminded me of Redskins/Dolphins (the Riggins run game) and Barry Switzer's Cowboys over Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. In all three games the losing squad hung around and hung around and hung around and had an opportunity to win, but all three were plagued by awful quarterback play (Woodley/O'Donnell-to-Larry Brown/Rex Grossman). In fact, in the Dolphin's Super Bowl loss Don Shula wanted to replace Woodley at halftime, but when the Dolphins ran back the second half kickoff for a touchdown he decided that he wouldn't switch QB's in a tie game.
Lovie Smith stuck with Rex Grossman, no doubt because the game was close. But look at the Bears' 17 points: 1) kick return for a TD, 3) field goal after getting a gift penalty on the kickoff to move the ball to the Colt's 40, and 2) long Thomas Jones run to set up a short pass that should have been defensed but for the crippled DB trying to play on one leg.
And a note to all those people who want to see Ron Rivera as an NFL head coach: when Phil Simms (my favorite Simms moment of the night, 3rd and 8: "It will either be a draw or a pass." I noted to the kids -- "Look out, kids, either a run or a pass coming!") can see that every time you blitz you stop Manning, maybe ya oughta give blitzing a chance. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne (except for one blown coverage) did not do much, but you really don't have to do much when the other team lets you throw three yard passes and you can fall forward for two extra yards. To steal from GC Boy, "He is trying to tell you something (Ron). He can complete that pass."
There were many failings, but in the Final Analysis (Kim Basinger flick) it was really Grossman's inept play that prevented a Bears from winning. Just as Woodley and O'Donnell each basically lost the Super Bowl for his squad, Rex's general awfulness did in Chicago. Throws the key pick 6 (I could have sworn I saw Al Davis in the stands readying a huge contract offer for the Colt DB). Throws another awful pick that looked like a punt. Drops the snap aqnd looks behind him while Dwight Freeney falls on the ball at the line of scrimmage. Drops the snap and then (possibly thinking that he had become a long snapper???) snaps the ball AGAIN between his legs back to no one. Before the Bears' field goal Grossman threw up another offering to the Colts secondary. Alas, they could not hold on to the gift and Robbie Gould actually got a chance to put 3 points on the board.
I was wrong on my football pick (as usual) but I guess I just underestimated the unbelievable suckiness of Rex Grossman, Lovie Smith's stubbornness, and Ron Rivera's ability to fiddle while Rome burned.