Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Allegiance to Colts goes back to days of Unitas, Lenny Moore

February 1st, 2007 12:18 am by Pat Kenney



Lenny Moore, 24, flankerback from Baltimore. That little ditty pretty much sums up who my favorite team is in Sunday's Super Bowl matchup between the Colts and Bears.


I grew up idolizing Johnny Unitas, so my roots with the Colts go way back. Of course, the Indianapolis version of the Colts seems sanitized to me, I still liked games played outdoors in the dirt and muck of late winter in Baltimore.


There was a time when I did in fact root against my beloved Colts.


In the showdown that led to the merger of the AFL and NFL, I was totally committed to the New York Jets. More to the point, with Unitas in the twilight of his career, my allegiance had been transferred to swashbuckling "Broadway" Joe Namath.


Unitas was old guard, a master mechanic of the quarterback position. Namath was a brash gunslinger.


At the time Namath was every young man's hero - rich, famous, handsome and living the high life in New York City! His guarantee of victory against the mighty Colts was trash talk at its best. But daddy said it ain't bragging if you can back it up.


I still remember the betting line was the Jets and 21 points! Can you believe the arrogance of the NFL guys to think they were three touchdowns better than "Joe Willie" and the Jets. I took the points and smiled all the way to the bank.


It was a heady time.


But things seemed so much simpler back in those early days of the Super Bowl.


Now it's 24 hours a day of talk radio, talk TV and the Internet. You can't get away from Super Bowl talk even if you want to.


There are interview with players who won the Super Bowl, players who were Super Bowl MVPs, coaches from past Super Bowls, winners and losers of the Super Bowl.


Daddies, mommies, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors and almost anyone with a sports pulse will get a shot at a national interview. People are showing up on talk shows who qualify for an interview because they know where Florida is on the map. It's gotten so bad, that there was a difference of opinion on Monday between several "talking sports heads" about Chicago arriving in Miami a day earlier than Indianapolis. Half a day was spent psycho-analyzing departure and arrival times.


Who actually cares about this stuff? Or of more interest, who is really listening?


I know I don't have a life, so I'm stuck with all this gibberish.


The game almost never lives up to the two weeks of hype we get between the conference championship games and Super Bowl Sunday.


In the first two Super Bowls, the Green Bay Packers, under the watchful eye of Vince Lombardi, showed up and body slammed their overmatched AFL opponents.


Joe Namath and his white shoes put the pizzazz in the Super Bowl and it's never been the same since. Maybe if he'd worn black high tops like Johnny U, we wouldn't have such a mess now.


Pat Kenney is executive sports editor of the Times-News. E-mail him at pkenney@timesnews.net.



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