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February 4, 2007. Miami, Florida. Colts 29 – Bears 17.
It was a perfect end to an unbelievable season that saw the Colts finally take down the Evil Empire Patriots in epic fashion.
But part of what made this Super Bowl a little weird – besides the torrential Florida downpour – was that in some ways it almost felt like the Colts had already won the Super Bowl two weeks prior when they did beat New England.
Luckily, they did both.
So many epic moments came from this game. Peyton got over the hump and won his first title, Tony Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl, Prince performed Purple Reign in the rain. Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff to become the first Super Bowl ever to score on the opening kickoff.
Let’s talk about that kickoff.
How fitting was it for the Colts to find themselves down early yet again after trailing 21-3 at halftime two weeks before? Phil Simms was in rare form just moments prior to opening kickoff.
Jim Nantz asked him for his final thoughts before we get underway. Here’s Simms’ exact quote:
“My thought is, Jim, in a big game like this where nerves can be a factor, it’s always better to start on defense. So, for the Colts maybe it was uh a blessing losing the coin toss.”
Not even 30 seconds later and the Bears are up 6-0 after Hester’s return.
That’s laugh-out-loud funny now – wasn’t so much at the moment.
Then, to make matters worse, Manning threw an interception on the very next series. People forget about this sometimes, I think.
It was almost as if all Colts fans felt, “Hey we were down 21-3 to TOM BRADY and BILL BELICHEAT. Not scared of a little Rex Grossman.” Turns out, they were right.
Then the most famous touchdown dance in Indianapolis history took place.
I still don’t think we know what it is exactly, or how he came up with it, but he made it look cool and every Indianapolis kid was trying to immitate that when they scored during recess.
This was meant to be. The music gods or football gods or both co-authored this decision to line up Prince to perform at the only Super Bowl to ever feature rain. That night it was Purple Reign.
22-17 Colts leading with the Bears driving in the 4th quarter when Rex Grossman finally decides to give back to his home state.
He, for some reason, lofts a duck into the air perfectly placed for Kelvin Hayden to high-point and well you know the rest.
My favorite part about this play is if you watch the top of the screen pass rush, you see Robert Mathis leaping into the air and flipping over the right tackle onto the ground. Then who is the lead blocker there with Kelvin Hayden as he is running into the endzone?
Yup. Robert Mathis.
29-17 and essentially the game is over. The Colts bring home that elusive first Super Bowl title.
41 days until kickoff.