here's the thing: i don't care if you are a huge football fan or not, no one really cares about the superbowl unless their team is playing in it. i can't even remember who won the last handful of superbowls, other than last year's. no one in pittsburgh is going to be rioting in the streets tonight either way -- in fact, tomorrow, we'll all probably be thinking about when baseball season starts. which is funny: probably the single biggest sporting event in the given calendar year, and yet, as soon as it's over it's more or less meaningless. i don't remember who even played in that superbowl where janet jackson's nipple was exposed, but i do remember justin timberlake saying it was an "accident." guaranteed, no one cares that the Steelers won last year, except people in Pittsburgh, who will care forever.
that being said, it seems like a hell of a lot of people who have no allegiances to the Colts or the Bears seem to want the Colts to lose. i can think of a lot of teams I wouldn't want to win the Superbowl -- the Ravens, the Browns, the Eagles, the Patriots, the Bengals -- but the Colts aren't even an afterthought. even though this Superbowl is a pretty excellent matchup, all anyone can talk about is how much they want peyton manning to never, ever win a superbowl.
this actually doesn't make any sense. peyton is by far the best quarterback playing the game right now (i guess you could make an argument for brett favre, but he's obviously no longer at his peak), maybe the best since he's been in the league, on a short list for the past decade or two. however, everyone wants peyton to go down in the dan marino flames of great quarterbacks who never got a ring. peyton's definitely way better than tom brady, and that goon has won three already by the grace of adam vinateri's toe.
no one likes peyton manning, and i have no idea why. he (along with favre) is probably one of the best-marketed players in the NFL. brett favre has a lot more fans because everyone, whether they like it or not, knows every detail of his life story -- the struggle with painkiller addiction, his wife's illness, his dad's death, the loss of his home in Mississippi to katrina. its really hard not to want that guy to win. if i could be that guy's friend, i probably would. likewise, i can't think of a player that has been given more personality nationally than peyton manning. he makes carson palmer look like a whiny douchebag and tom brady look like a pretty boy who dates supermodels. petyon comes off way better even in comparison to eli, who is only really known for wanting to be drafted first at any cost, but not wanting to play for the chargers. peyton is the funny guy, the guy who roots for people in office jobs, the down-to-earth guy who realizes that football is just a game that he's lucky to be really fucking good at.
i don't know why everyone chooses to root against peyton when they have no reason at all to dislike him or the colts. despite the fact that the "never won a superbowl" argument is, in my opinion, a stupid one, the fact of the matter is, it will always be the asterisk next to his name, just like it is for jim kelly and dan marino. something in me really wants peyton, the susan lucci of the NFL, to slap everyone in the face this year.