HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
January 29, 2006

Colts, Bears are similar to old Colts and Bears

By Matt Kane

So, it is set. The Indianapolis Colts will meet the Chicago Bears at Super Bowl XLI (that’s 41 for those of you who prefer to count with numbers) inside Dolphins Stadium in south Florida.

It has been a longtime since either team has played for the right to raise the Lombardi Trophy. The Bears hoisted the 7-pound, 22-inch tall, sterling silver, Tiffany & Co., handcrafted, pedestalled football Jan. 26, 1996 after stomping on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Indianapolis, on the other hand, has never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

Let me clear that up, the city of Indianapolis has never seen the trophy, but the Colts have one Super Bowl win, but it came when they called Baltimore home.

In 1971, the Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V.

That Super Bowl was the first played on artificial turf. It was played at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

The Colts other appearance on super Sunday came two years before they won the trophy, in the infamous Joe Namath “guarantee” game in 1969.

Namath and the New York Jets won Super Bowl III, also played at the Orange Bowl, 16-7, but they did not get to raise the Lombardi Trophy.

Vince Lombardi’s named didn’t appear on the trophy until 1970 and Super Bowl IV. It was originally named the “World Championship Game Trophy.” Only the Green Bay Packers, winner of Super Bowls I and II, and the Jets won the World Championship Game Trophy.

There are some similarities when comparing this year’s versions of the Colts and Bears to the past Super Bowl winning teams that wore the same uniforms. And, what do you know, the uniforms Bob Sanders and Muhsin Muhammad will wear Sunday carry the exact color schemes and styles as when Mike Curtis and Willie Gault played in their respective Super Bowls.

When you think of this year’s Colts, rarely will a name other than Peyton Manning be mentioned first. Manning is the face of the team, and he is known for his effectiveness in running an offense. Take Manning’s name out of that sentence, and the same words can be used to describe Johnny Unitas. (Unitas started Super Bowl V, but was relieved by Earl Morrall after suffering an injury.)

When talking about the current Bears, one has to mention defense. When talking about the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX, one has to mention defense.

Compare the players at several positions. Linebacker: Brian Urlacher — Mike Singletary. Nose guard: Tank Johnson — William “The Refrigerator” Perry.

Defensive end: Adewale Ogunleye — Richard Dent.

DEE-FENSE (clap, clap), DEE-FENSE (clap, clap). The names I just listed ignited the chant.

The Colts versus the Bears is the ultimate battle of offense versus defense, which makes Sunday’s game a difficult game to predict. When comparing Indianapolis’ offense to Chicago’s defense, I give it a push, which means the game will probably come down to special teams.

It is a well-known fact the Bears have a dangerous return game, with rookie Devin Hester catching the ball. Hester has five total touchdowns (three on punt returns and two on kickoff returns).

I can definitely see Hester breaking a return open for six points, but I honestly believe the game will come down to Mr. Clutch, Adam Vinatieri.

The Colts no longer have the “Idiot kicker,” Mike Vanderjagt, lining up for important field goals, they have Vinatieri, who has 19 game-winning field goals with less than one minute to play in the game, including two in Super Bowls. Look for number 20 Sunday.

Back to Matt Kane Menu | Back to Columns Menu

Herald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch