Vikes, More Vikes!

Peter Griffith

(Brent Schwert)

By the time this week’s Lawrentian is delivered to Downer on Friday evening there will be less than 48 hours until Super Bowl XLI. If you haven’t made plans yet, the VR might be the way to go. One-dollar Miller Lite and MGD can’t be beat, and they’ve got a really big TV.
Regardless of where you’re gonna watch it, you’re gonna watch it. This year’s game seems to be more hyped than any in recent memory, and rightfully so: both teams are intriguing stories.
The Bears underachieved all season (or overachieved in the playoffs, depending on what side of the Illinois/Wisconsin border you live on) and relied on an ’85-esque defense, complete with a white Mike Singletary in Brian Urlacher, to offset an anemic QB who might need a few years in the CFL before he looks like a legitimate NFL quarterback.
Indianapolis, on the other hand, is led by the neo-Marino QB Peyton Manning who should be considered one of the greatest ever once he’s gone but has never one the big one (in fact, he’s never been this far before). Their defense was near the bottom of the league in almost every category but Peyton and his band of merry men (Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, et al.) have been such prolific scorers that the defense could actually have been three points worse and the Colts still would have come out ahead.
And, of course, there’s the small fact that both teams are smack-dab in the Midwest and every single one of your classes has a few Bears fans and at least one Colts fan (or at least one Peyton fan). If you’re going to be interested in a Super Bowl here at Lawrence, only the Packers vs. anyone would interest you more.
Yes, it’s a classic struggle between Offensive Juggernauts and Defensive Stonewalls. Between a hall of fame QB and a hall of fame middle linebacker. Between . white and blue.
So you’ll watch it. Duh. I guess I ought to tell y’all what I think is going to go down, eh?
Well, here’s the way I see it: If both teams play their best, Indy wins. The Colts defense isn’t that bad, and they’ve got too much firepower for the Bears to handle.
But that isn’t going to happen.
If both teams have a bad game, the Bears win. Without a solid effort, Indy will stagnate and Rex is used to playing badly.
But that isn’t going to happen.
The fact is, Indy has to play phenomenally to beat the Bears – which they could – but Chicago’s got the momentum, and they’ll get to Peyton early and often and force a few turnovers. Grossman should have an easier time with Indy’s defense than he did with Seattle or New Orleans. With Devin Hester as the X-factor, the 22-year drought will come to an end. Chicago over Indianapolis. Probably.