HOLLEY (COLTS) VS. KIEFFER (SAINTS): Reporters spar over their team’s odds in big game

By Chris Kieffer and Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal

Daily Journal reporters Chris Kieffer and Galen Holley – friends, at least in theory – will watch Super Bowl XLIV with added attention. Kieffer grew up in New Orleans, and Holley lived in Indianapolis for three years. The two discussed the game earlier this week at NEMS360.com. After receiving guidance and support from their online readers, they’re duking it out one more time before the teams do their part.
The two also made a wager: The loser will buy lunch for the winner at The Varsity Grill at The Mall at Barnes Crossing on Tuesday at noon. The loser will also wear the winning team’s jersey as a symbol of his shame.

- Galen: The blog shows I’m woefully outnumbered around here. Still, a person can be running with the pack, and be perfectly sincere, and yet be sincerely wrong.
The Colts arrived in Miami having already honed their game plan to a razor’s edge. Wednesday they worked out for about 90 minutes, without pads, just rubbing the flint stone down the blade a few more times. They shall unseam the cajun boys from the “nave to the chops.”
- Chris: On Tuesday night, NOLA.com, the Web site for the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, ran a story asking for fans to suggest headlines for Monday’s paper if the Saints win. It’s not a guarantee of a victory but rather an indication of how long the Who Dat nation has been waiting for this very moment. The story had already received 680 suggestions and comments as of Thursday night. I think MIKEOWEN said it best on NEMS360: “For the true dyed in black and gold Saints fans this is a dream come true. For three years my seat at the Superdome was by a guy that wore a sack over his head and another one that wore a plastic bed pan fashioned into a hat. Our time has finally come.”
- Galen: The Saints are the romantic underdog here, and the sporting press continues to pump the bellows over these coals, stoking up stories about Drew Brees’ charitable giving, and continually insinuating Katrina into the drama in a way I’m not always comfortable with. I’m as happy for New Orleans as any Saints fan, but the drama that’s being injected into this contest as back story seems a little manufactured sometimes.
- Chris: I’ve been excited and proud to see how strongly Northeast Mississippi is supporting the Saints. This morning, a friend who is going to the game sent me a text message: “I’ve counted no fewer than 35 Saints fans at the Memphis airport. Two Colts fans. And one poor guy in a Warren Sapp jersey, clearly lost.” All week I’ve gotten calls and e-mails from people saying they are cheering for the Saints. Add amoryrocks, leej, ctcrowell and cheeseho to those who told NEMS360 they’ve got a soft spot for the Black and Gold. This is the week we’ve dreamed of our whole lives. Let’s have fun.
- Galen: Some famous sawbones has got big Dwight Freeney walking a special way to take pressure off his ankle. I think Dwight will play, but he won’t be 100 percent and that bothers me. Raheem Brock is a capable backup, but he doesn’t demand a double-team the way Freeney does. A healthy Dwight is like an agitated sasquatch stomping through the Waterford crystal display at Macy’s. Even heavily taped, he’ll wreak havoc among the fleur-de-lis boys.
- Chris: Earlier this week, the Saints’ offensive line won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award. Methinks an injured Dwight Freeney scares us not. With two weeks of preparation, Coach Payton’s offense will move like the Tasmanian devil through Swiss cheese.
- Galen: Peyton said that although it took us a while to figure out what the Jets were doing, we eventually “got a bead on them.” That’s what Peyton does – he studies film, studies photos and observes. Then, he starts eviscerating the opponent.
The Colts have won 12 or more games in seven straight seasons, and a league record 115 games in the last decade, and “leej” had it right on the blog: “Peyton will be the difference.” Colts win 34-20, a score that will make the game seem closer than it really was.
- Chris: Over the last four years, Drew Brees has been the most prolific quarterback in the NFL, throwing for more yards than even media darling Peyton Manning. We’ve already renamed our city DREW Orleans, LaBREESiana. Now it’s time to give the man a ring. Saints 41, Colts 35. Who Dat!

Join the Super Bowl discussion at NEMS360.com, and check throughout the weekend for more Super Bowl coverage, including Kieffer’s live blog from New Orleans.

Click here for the first Holley/Kieffer column.