In a sense this will be a homage to Dan McQuade since he is far and away the best blogger in the city. That Beerleaguer guy is good, too, but he's no McQuade.
Anyway, let's get started...
This morning in the car I heard all-time great football coach talk about the early Super Bowls. He remembered Super Bowl III and losing in his first two appearances in the big game and how everything had changed. The biggest change, Shula said, was in the coverage. Back before the Super Bowl became and event and a holiday -- it used to be just a football game -- Shula said he would ride with the team in a bus from their practice site, walk across the hotel lobby, a park himself in the hotel bar for his weekly press conference. For the two or three reporters covering him, that was enough.
Now, Shula says, the backup offensive linemen have a podium.
Even guys who aren't playing in the game like Donovan McNabb have press conferences, where, frankly, nothing fascinating was revealed. However, thanks to an email sent from bulldog Eagles' writer Andy Schwartz, Peyton Manning seems to have had something interesting to say.
Peyton on the most pressure he has ever felt in his life:
“I signed up for this class in eighth grade called ‘musical theatre’ with the goal of getting out of computers. A week into the class they told me that I had to be in the school play, and I said that I didn't want to do that and they said that I was in the play. They assigned you a role, the play was called ‘The Boyfriend.’ They gave me the role of Miguel. One of the scenes I had to do the tango with Lola. It had the wardrobe; black pants, red ruffled tuxedo shirt and a yellow cumberbun. It was a full on tango. I had to do it on Friday in front of the whole school which wasn't that much pressure. But they said that you had to do it again Saturday Night in front of the families, which meant in front of my two brothers, Eli and Cooper, because on Friday they weren't going to be there because Cooper had practice Saturday they were going to be able to be there. Now that's pressure.
“But I did it. I studied that, and I went full speed on that tango. There is video. Don't look for it. It's deep in the Manning vault I can assure you. That was some pressure.
“The way that I deal with pressure and I used this quote yesterday and I will say it again, my dad used to give me quotes and put a quote on my bulletin board. He would just peg them on there, like Jimmy Connors, ‘I hate to lose, more than I like to win,’ and I agree with that. Chuck Noll's, ‘pressure is something you feel only when you don't know what you are doing’ and that is how I feel. I get prepared. I prepare as hard as I possibly can. Sure you feel nervous, you feel anxious, but I don't feel pressure because I feel that I have done everything I could to be prepared for that game. When you go out there and do it, and there have been plenty of games where I have said that I wish that I could have this throw back or I wish that I would have seen that linebacker, but it just didn't happen, but I have never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready for that game. That gives me piece of mind.
“That is how I am dealing with it this week. I will study as hard as I possibly can. I am not over studying and I am not over preparing. I am doing what I feel I need to do to get ready. I feel that will be enough, and hopefully I go out there and play well.”
Now if Manning dances the tango in the Super Bowl we all should be really impressed.