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Thoughts about the Super Bowl

I have a feeling that the Feb. 7th Super Bowl match-up between the National Football Conference champion New Orleans Saints and American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts will be a classic.

Arguably the two best quarterbacks in the National Football League—the Saints’ Drew Brees and the Colts’ Peyton Manning—will be going against each other.

The Super Bowl match-up was set up Sunday with two exciting conference championship games. In the first, the Colts defeated the New York Jets 30-7 and in the second, the Saints edged the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime.

While I am not a fan of any of the four teams, I’ll have to admit I was rooting for the Saints against the Vikings. I have nothing against Brett Favre, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and his Vikings.

It’s just that the Saints, and the great city they represent, needed something good to happen to them. It was just four years ago that Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and the Louisiana Superdome, where Sunday’s Saints-Vikings championship game was played, was a shelter for those who had to leave their homes.

All Super Bowls have their story lines, and the upcoming one between the Saints and Colts is no exception.

For starters, New Orleans is Colts quarterback Manning’s home town. He played high school football there before going on to earn All-American honors with the University of Tennessee Volunteers.

Archie Manning, a former All-American quarterback with the University of Mississippi Rebels and father of Peyton and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, quarterbacked the Saints for many years and was also a member of their radio broadcast team.

Peyton and Eli were very active in New Orleans relief efforts following Katrina. I’m sure if Peyton’s Colts were not involved in the Super Bowl, the whole Manning family would be behind the Saints.

Getting back to Sunday’s conference championship games, the only problem I had was the time they started.

During the regular season, games started at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. each Sunday. The start times for Sunday’s conference championship games, however, were pushed back to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

By the time the final game between the Saints and Vikings was over, it was nearly 10:30 p.m. The Super Bowl also starts around 6 p.m. each year.

Baseball’s playoff and World Series games also start much later than regular season games and basketball’s National Basketball Association playoff games also start much later than regular season games.

Officials of all professional sports leagues say they want to draw more young fans. That’s great, but I have just one question—How do they expect to draw more young fans when their championship games do not end until long after children have to be in bed?

It’s also pretty tough on senior citizens like me who need their rest in order to be alert at work the next morning. I hope that maybe sometime professional sports leagues will reconsider the starting times of their championship events.