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Super Bowl in Tampa has potential for thrilling matchups

Give me Peyton vs. Eli. I will endure the endless commercials.

Give me the Manning boys at the Super Bowl. Give me the references to Frank James vs. Jesse James at Raymond James. Give me the news conferences where Archie Manning talks about how his DNA is better than Phil Simms' or Bob Griese's.

Give me Manning vs. Manning to settle the championship in the 50th anniversary of the Colts beating the Giants in the Greatest Game Ever Played. Give me special insights by Venus and Serena. Oh, brother, would it be fun to see brother vs. brother.

You cannot help yourself. Here we are on the verge of the NFL's postseason, and the famous final scene will be played out here. And so you scan the bracket and you search for the drama.

And, yeah, you pull for the best stories you can imagine.

Give me Tony vs. Rich. And wouldn't that stir the conversation around Tampa Bay a little bit?

Just think of it, Dungy vs. McKay in an Indianapolis vs. Atlanta Super Bowl. It wouldn't really matter that McKay spends his days as a paperweight on Arthur Blank's desk.

Wouldn't it be nice to see those two in town? If it happens, I say we call Mike Shula and Les Steckel and order some pizza. Who's with me?

Just wondering, though: Does anyone ever suggest that Falcons coach Mike Smith is winning with McKay's players? Didn't think so.

Give me Ryan vs. Flacco. Then we can watch the analysts wonder who is who.

Kids aren't supposed to make it to the Super Bowl, remember? They're supposed to ride the pine for a year and watch a guy as old as dad throw floaters. In particular, young quarterbacks aren't supposed to win for new coaches.

Yet, we could end up with the Falcons' Matt Ryan, coached by Smith, and the Ravens' Joe Flacco, coached by John Harbaugh. It's an argument designed to make every other coach stop whining about inexperience.

Give me LT vs. AP. They've got legs; they know how to use them.

For years, no one challenged the notion that the Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson was the best running back in the game. Now, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson has.

Give me Kurt vs. Kerry. We can call it the Codger Bowl.

Sue me. I have a weakness for guys who come back after the league threw them away. The Cardinals, I am convinced, bought Kurt Warner at a yard sale. The Titans found Kerry Collins at Play It Again Sports.

It seems there are two kinds of quarterbacks who win the Super Bowl. One is the tall young gunslinger who has been kissed by the angels, a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady. The other kind is the tough, scarred veteran who is still plugging away after a franchise or three has given up on him: A Brad Johnson or a Trent Dilfer.

Or one of these guys.

Give me Matt vs. Vince. Maybe we can talk about the Rose Bowl.

You know the best part about a potential Super Bowl featuring Warner vs. Collins? Glancing at the sideline to see the kids who were promised tomorrow, Matt Leinart and Vince Young.

Time was, Young played the best college football game anyone has ever played. Time was, Leinart seemed on his way to greatness. Now, they're in a clipboard-holding contest.

Give me Julius Peppers vs. Albert Haynesworth. Just for the power involved.

Oh, and afterward? Maybe someone could snatch Pepper and Haynesworth and keep them under lock and key at Bruce Allen's house. Just 'til free agency starts, you see.

Give me Bill Parcells vs. Marty Hurney. Just for the fun of it.

Hurney, the Panthers general manager, used to be a sports writer. Parcells, the Dolphins' king of all mankind, used to eat them for lunch. Maybe you heard.

Give me Donovan vs. Chad. And furthermore, nyah, nyah.

The Jets threw Chad Pennington away. The Eagles were ready to bench Donovan McNabb. We are sure both teams regret the error.

Give me Plaxico vs. Marvin. Shouldn't teams bring their weapons to the Super Bowl?

Yeah, there would be a lot of questions about athletes and guns if Plaxico Burress of the Giants and Marvin Harrison of the Colts made it.

Still, it could be fun. Have you ever seen a news conference where the writers were forced to keep their hands in the air while asking questions?

Give me Philip Rivers vs. Jake Delhomme in a shootout. Give me Ray Lewis vs. Brandon Jacobs on third and 2. Give me Larry Fitzgerald vs. Ed Reed over the middle.

Give me Brian Westbrook vs. Troy Polamalu. Give me Jared Allen vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Give me Michael Turner vs. Chris Johnson. Give me whatever-happened-to-Edgerrin James vs. didn't-you-used-to-be Ricky Williams?

Give me drama. Give me showdowns.

Give me the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl in Tampa has potential for thrilling matchups 12/30/08 [Last modified: Saturday, January 3, 2009 2:52pm]

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