The League

Anthony Stalter
National Blogger

Anthony Stalter

Senior Sports Editor for The Scores Report

We want action


Every year around this time I do myself a grave disservice and no, it has nothing to do with breaking my New Year's resolution. (I wanted to stop procrastinating, but apparently it's fused into my DNA.) This time every year I fool myself into thinking I want a great Xs and Os matchup for the Super Bowl. I got my wish last year when the Steelers and Cardinals each won their respective conference championship games, then I found myself disappointed with the lack of action in the first half. (Save for James Harrison's thrilling 100-yard interception return right before halftime.) I thought I wanted to see Dick LeBeau vs. Todd Haley, but the moment time started ticking off the clock I realized all I wanted was action.

Don't kid yourself - the best Super Bowl matchups are the ones that supply the most entertainment. By the time you're knee deep in chicken wings and bee...soda you won't care about what coordinator has the upper hand, who the X-factors are for each team or what meaningless pre-game trend will factor into the outcome of the game. Unless your favorite team is playing, all we care about as fans is watching an exciting, back-and-forth game with a thrilling ending.

That's why fans outside of the New York/New Jersey area don't want to see the Jets. As much as I would love to see a true underdog tale or how Rex Ryan would game plan to stop Brett Favre or Drew Brees, I don't want to be bored to tears watching Mark Sanchez complete one six yard pass at a time. Would it be fun to break down the Xs and Os of a Jets-Saints or Jets-Vikings matchup? As someone who truly loves the ins and outs of football, the answer is unequivocally yes. But as a spectator, as soon as that ball is kicked to start the game, I want action.

Peyton Manning delivers action. He's the most prepared quarterback in the game and it's an absolute pleasure to watch him play for 60 minutes. The same could be said for Brees and Favre, who will both stop at nothing to get the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl (or his third Super Bowl in the case of Favre).

From a matchup standpoint, either the Vikings or the Saints would make a great opponent for the Colts in the Super Bowl. Both teams can put points on the board and both have shown the ability to play great defense at times. But if I had to choose one team, I'd prefer to see the Colts play the Saints.

I want to see Sean Payton dissect a defense on the biggest stage of the year. I want to see Reggie Bush return punts. I want to see crafty veterans like Manning and Darren Sharper go one-on-one to gain an upper hand. I want to see if Jermon Bushrod could hold his own against Dwight Freeney. I want to see Manning and Brees use every last one of their receiving weapons to try and burn their opposing defense. I could lie to myself and say that I want to see the Jets from an Xs and Os standpoint, but in the end all I want is action.

Does action mean good football? No, just look at the Packers-Cardinals Wildcard game from a couple weeks ago. That wasn't football - that was entertainment.

But just once a year, I'd rather be a spectator than a student of the game.

By Anthony Stalter  |  January 22, 2010; 12:09 PM ET  | Category:  Indianapolis Colts , New Orleans Saints Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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