The way Chicago's Devin Hester exploded down the field with the opening kickoff, it appeared that Super Bowl XLI was going to be a real barnburner. Unfortunately, the rain helped put the flames out, and things got ugly.
Combining slick balls and player error, in the first quarter alone there were four turnovers and a missed extra point. Anyone who bet the Over on lost fumbles didn't wait long, as there were two in the first 8:30 of the game. By halftime each team had three turnovers and there were eight total at the end.
The poor weather and player mistakes contributed to the game going Under the point total, but that's not all that hurt the Over bettors. Three times Indianapolis advanced to the Bear 12-yard line or closer, and came away with only field goals. The Colt drive to start the second half was impressive, but 7 1/2 minutes were chewed up for just three points.
The end of the first half was unreal, as the best kicker ever to put on a uniform, Adam Vinatieri missed a 36-yarder. Even with nine minutes left in the game the Colts had moved into field goal range, but after calling a time out and with the weather growing gradually worse, head coach Tony Dungy decided not to run up the score on his good friend Lovie Smith. Those who bet Over 47 right before game time really got hosed, as Indy's missed extra point was the difference in getting their money back in the 29-17 Colt victory.
An equally bad beat was for those who bet Indianapolis for the first half. Vinatieri's miss at the gun was the difference in covering the four-point spread.
As for the entire game, Indy truly deserved to win and cover the spread. The Colts overcame a 14-6 deficit by allowing only three points in the final 49 minutes. They were more physical, ran the ball better, had 81 plays to Chicago's 48, got better play from their quarterback, and dominated the time of possession 38 minutes to 22.
The officiating, surprisingly, was decent. Other than a handful of questionable off-side and holding situations, there were no controversies. The plays that were close to being out of bounds were called correctly.
The one thing truly out of bounds was Snickers' commercial with the two guys "sharing" a candy bar. I did not need to see that.
Even the Gay and Lesbian Alliance found Snickers inappropriate, feeling that it fed anti-gay sentiment. Many different people were offended, but if it had involved two women, maybe there wouldn't have been as much of an uproar.
Overall, it was a very average Super Bowl. From Billy Joel's weak rendition of the national anthem, to the foul weather, to the player mistakes and the numerous lame commercials, it lacked in quality. The fact that it was still a close game in the fourth quarter saved the show.
The one pro football game left on the schedule is the Pro Bowl, from Honolulu. This year for some reason CBS decided the game will be played on Saturday afternoon, instead of the customary Sunday match-up on ESPN.
In recent years the Pro Bowl has delivered plenty of scoring, but last season the final was only 23-17. With one less day to prepare than usual, that could hurt the scoring. Prediction: The AFC and NFC all-stars will go Under 65 points total.