Spirits not Bears fans

Feb 6, 2007 2:38 AM

Sharon Tutino remembered a prophecy her late father told her in 1995 about the Indianapolis Colts that 12 years later came true.

"He said then that if the Colts stayed healthy, they would win a Super Bowl," said Tutino, admin operator at Wynn Las Vegas.

"The night before this year’s game, I had a dream about my dad," she explained. "He told me from the grave that the Colts would win. I had no doubt in my mind that would happen."

Tutino explained that she knew Indianapolis would cover the -6½ spread and win the total, even if her dad wasn’t aware about the Vegas line or Peyton Manning. Devine intervention? I do know many would argue it was merely another dose of Rex Grossman.

Either that, or the Prince halftime concert 20 years removed.

My Bears pick started well when Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Why the Colts decided to kick the ball to the dangerous Hester in the first place is beyond me.

The rest of game was a comedy of errors we correctly deduced would decide Super Bowl XLI. As a game, it lived down to the hype once again. Just another double-digit victory following that two-week gap from the league championship games. They occur all-too frequently.

From a betting standpoint, it wasn’t boring. Both the spread and total were up for grabs until the end. Tony Dungy’s decision to go ultra-conservative was huge in keeping the 29-17 final score below 47½, a scenario not many under backers would have believed after a 16-14 first half.

Peyton Manning was given the keys to a Cadillac he doesn’t need for winning an MVP award that could easily have been given to a number of Colts. I think we can finally put all those "can’t win the big one" knocks in the closet once and for all. Manning became lukewarm this season, compared to his white hot numbers of a year ago, and turned into the complete QB.

He now knows how to manage a football game. Meaning, he trusts the running attack to close out victories. Indy enjoyed nearly a 4-to-1 edge in number of plays from scrimmage. It wasn’t that the Bears had no ground game. Thomas Jones cracked 100 yards. He just didn’t get enough carries.

Grossman, for his many faults, had pretty decent stats. Just that he continued to make bonehead decisions that ultimately cost his team the Super Bowl. The interception return for a touchdown turned a five point game into 12 and sealed the deal, although the cover was still in doubt until the very end.

Had Dungy unleashed the dogs, the Colts could have won by three or four touchdowns. They were that much better. And, the books were right. All season, the AFC was a good touchdown favorite over the NFC leading up to SB 41. I wouldn’t see much changing when the futures goes up for the 2008 edition.

John Avello, a Vegas legend in linesmaking and analysis, said his book at Wynn had the Colts at 6/1 to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Those odds were down from 7/1, but that occurred before SB XLI was played.

As for the Bears, well, they’re lucky to be in the NFC.

You can expect Grossman to be the Chicago QB when preseason football cranks up in early August. I’m still not sold on Rex. In fact, I have a nice trade for the Bears. How about the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and the often-injured, fumble-prone RB Benson to Green Bay for Brett Favre?

Imagine Favre in a Bears uniform going back to Lambeau and facing the Packers! Now that’s something the NFL should want to market. Not recycled Prince or more bad Grossman.