You may ask yourself ...   

Updated: January 30, 2007, 12:09 PM ET

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MIAMI -- You may remember, I have this habit of talking to myself. Even worse, myself has a habit of listening. I've been able to keep the voices in my head dormant since my introductory column for a few months ago. Not anymore. They are refusing to stay quiet. As it turns out, I -- we, I mean -- have a lot to say about what we're expecting while we're here for Super Bowl XLI.

Memo to columnists, pundits, analysts and various experts: OK, we get it. Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black.

Lovie Smith

Jeff Roberson/AP photo

Bears coach Lovie Smith just might have the title of Reverend bestowed upon him before the week is over.

Hey, it's a significant moment! Of course, the problem is, one of the most significant moments in NFL history is mixed in with the shenanigans of Super Bowl week. It's customary for even the most irrelevant detail to be overplayed and overdone. Wouldn't it be great if Smith and Dungy arrived at media day on Tuesday in dashikis to highlight what an absurdity their story is going to become? By the time Super Bowl week is over, Smith and Dungy are going to be the next Martin and Malcolm.

So, what then, are the most important story lines this week? Give me something that hasn't already been said four trillion times.

Peyton Manning was very impressive and resilient against New England, but am I the only one who thinks it's dangerous to put Manning and the Colts on this high a pedestal? The same people who picked against the Colts every week are all of a sudden calling them infallible. I'm not buying it.

If anything, we learned the NFL is a week-to-week league. We have fewer questions about Manning than we used to, but no matter what anyone says, he still has something to prove. Getting to the Super Bowl elevated Manning to Dan Marino status. But he can't be an elite quarterback until he wins a Super Bowl.

Like the Steelers last year, the Colts have had the benefit of being the underdog throughout the playoffs. Can they bring the same level of intensity they have in previous weeks now that they're a heavy favorite?

But there's no way Manning loses this Super Bowl, right? Do the Bears even have a chance?

Two words: Ohio State. According to every expert, the Gators had no business being in the BCS title game, and they should have been blown out by Ohio State. I'm not saying the Bears will win, but the Bears have heard two things nonstop -- the Colts are unstoppable, and the NFC is junior varsity. The Bears have no pressure and all the motivation, which is an extremely dangerous combination. Look at it this way: The Colts heard all season and throughout the playoffs that they couldn't defend the run. Then in the playoffs, they got ticked off and defended the run. While I agree the disrespect card is played too much in sports, the competitive nature of professional athletes often leads to unpredictable outcomes.

What else are people overlooking in the Super Bowl?

Prince has gone soft. Twenty years ago, who would have thought that Prince -- the guy who wore pants that exposed his butt cheeks -- would be an acceptable halftime act for the Super Bowl? This is a guy who carved hieroglyphics on his face long before Mike Tyson and was such a hedonist that Vanity became a born-again Christian after dating him. Now Prince is playing Vegas and the Super Bowl? I love Prince, but his nickname should be Charmin.

List each of the following according to the likelihood it will happen in Miami -- a sexual assault, a club fight and stabbing, a drug bust, a sex scandal or shooting.

1. Club fight and stabbing. 2. A Eugene Robinson special. 3. A sexual assault. 4. A drug bust.

So will it be a Bear or a Colt who is arrested first?

I can't say. But, Rex Grossman has my vote for the guy most likely to have unfortunate videos surface on YouTube.

Got any advice that will help the Bears and Colts stay out of trouble in Miami?

Two words they need to memorize: escort service.

Don't you get sick of all the regurgitated questions and answers during Super Bowl week? Are there any original questions that can lead to original answers?

If the Colts win, I'm praying a reporter from Bangladesh asks Manning how many of his future children will be born without souls because he bartered them to beat the Patriots and win a title.

But in general, the Colts and Bears are both pretty boring teams. Dungy and Smith will out-nice one another. Cut That Meat is good for a one-liner or two, but he won't say anything terribly controversial. For the most part, expect the media to have a tough time finding good material.

Give me two reasons you are looking forward to Super Bowl XLI.

1. I'm a sucker for a tragic ending. I'd like to see the fallout if Manning doesn't win the Super Bowl.

2. I finally figured out a way to get into the Playboy party that didn't include bribery and kidnapping. Thank you, ESPN.

What's the biggest misconception about the Super Bowl?

That it's actually for the people who live in the host city. The average Miamians have no chance of getting into a celebrity party unless they're willing to pay half a year's salary. Traffic is abysmal. The local government goes into stealth mode, stashing its impoverished citizens to project a picturesque image. The only people who enjoy Super Bowls are nauseatingly rich people who don't mind spending what it costs for a year at Harvard to have fun this week.

So come next Monday, what will everyone be talking about?

How Manning finally won a Super Bowl, and kicker Adam Vinatieri was the MVP.

Jemele Hill, a Page 2 columnist and writer for ESPN the Magazine, can be reached at


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