WEEKLY SPORTS WRAP-UP – February 1st, 2007

 The college basketball season has reached the meat of conference play, where teams begin to jockey for position in preparation for the big Tournament that seems to whip the sports world into a frenzy every March.  The NBA reached the midpoint of their season, with the All-Star Weekend quickly approaching.  All this means is that basketball won’t be truly relevant for at least another month.  Thank God for the Super Bowl.

This year’s offering, as with every year, has those “experts” focusing on the quarterback matchup, which really isn’t much of a matchup at all.  On one side, we have the great Peyton Manning of Indianapolis, the NFL’s darling.  Arguably the best quarterback in the League, he already seems to have one foot in the Hall of Fame.  On the other side, we have Rex Grossman of Chicago, who is already considered one of the worst quarterbacks to lead a team into the Super Bowl.

The early spread (seven points in favor of Indy right after the conference title games) was pretty much an indicator of Vegas’ opinion of this matchup, who seem to agree with the rest of the world, outside of Illinois, in the belief of the Colts’ inevitable victory.  My response?  Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson both won the Super Bowl recently (and yes, both suck, if you didn’t know), and this Bears team is eerily similar to those teams in terms of defensive stoutness, so don’t go anointing the Colts just yet.

If the Bears’ offensive line can neutralize the pass rush of Indy and let running backs Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson find their running lanes in that undersized Colts defense, the Bears just might be able to win the game with their offense.  When Rex Grossman gets the protection he needs to step into his throws, he can actually make good decisions, despite what everyone thinks (OK, I’m not really convinced on that, but still, follow me here).

With their defense, led by that ogre people call Brian Urlacher, the Bears definitely have a shot at beating the Colts.  In the NFC title game, if you remember, quarterback Drew Brees of New Orleans played a near perfect game, and they still lost to Chicago, behind four turnovers, something these Bears seem to have a knack for creating.  Indianapolis’ offense really hasn’t played all that well in the past month, with Manning throwing for just two touchdowns and six interceptions in three playoff games.  Is he going to continue that?  Look, I’m just sayin’, y’know what I’m sayin?

I believe that this Super Bowl will help solidify one of the Colts’ legacies.  Either Manning continues his bad postseason rep and loses yet another big game (which means the Bears win), or kicker Adam Vinateri will once again win a Super Bowl by kicking a late field goal, adding to his already Hall of Fame career (trust me; he will go to Canton).  Either way, the Colts ain’t gonna cover the spread, so bet on the Bears.  When your bookie looks at you with that inevitable befuddled look on his face, tell him Entertainment Today told you to do so.  Of course, if you read this column regularly, you should know that I know nothing about football.  Thank God for basketball season.