An Old Colt's Views on the Super Bowl Professional football's Super Bowl takes place Sunday, with the Indianapolis Colts facing the Chicago Bears in Miami. The Colts are favored to win the game.
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An Old Colt's Views on the Super Bowl

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An Old Colt's Views on the Super Bowl

An Old Colt's Views on the Super Bowl

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Have you heard? Or do you live in a terrarium? Tomorrow in Miami, the Indianapolis Colts, led by Payton Manning, play the Chicago Bears, led by Brian Urlacher's defense, in the 41st Super Bowl. It's first appearance for the Colts since they snuck out of Baltimore a few years ago and the first for Chicago since Mike Ditka blew a gasket along the sidelines 21 years ago. Legendary Baltimore Colt Art Donovan joins us from his home in Maryland. Art, thanks for being back with us.

Mr. ARTIE DONOVAN (Football Hall of Famer): Oh, you're welcome.

SIMON: And from our studios at NPR West, our legendary sports commentator here on WEEKEND EDITION, Ron Rapoport. Ron, thank you for being with us.

RON RAPOPORT: It's a pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: The question for both of you. What's going to come for more, Payton Manning and that remarkable Indianapolis offense or the Chicago Bears and that extremely ferocious defense? Arthur?

Mr. DONOVAN: Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not rooting for either team. I played against the Bears like for 13 years, against the Indianapolis Colts, the other day when they played the Ravens, you know, Baltimore?

SIMON: Yeah?

Mr. DONOVAN: And they got a pretty good football team.

SIMON: Yes, they do.

Mr. DONOVAN: You know, this guy Payton Manning, he really does remind me an awful lot of John Unitas. And I knew his father. I never played against his father either. I'm so old, they played with a square football.

SIMON: Okay, Ron, all the invocation we've seen over the past week of the last Chicago Bear team in the Super Bowl, which was 21 years ago; how do you think this defense rates with that one?

RAPOPORT: I don't think they're nearly as good offensively or defensively. You have to remember, Scott, football fans in Chicago are more nervous than they were then because the Bears are underdogs? They spent Super Bowl week talking about how they get no respect. Quarterback, nobody knows his name except to laugh at him. The answer to your question, I think, is if the Bears are going to win this game, they've got to stop Payton Manning and they've got to do it from the opening whistle.

SIMON: How do you stop someone like Payton Manning?

Mr. DONOVAN: They always said - when I was playing, they said the best pass defense is have the quarterback flat on his back. Then he can't throw the ball, okay? How do are going to stop them? I don't know. But on the Bears, it's a funny thing. To show you how old I am, in 1950, when I started with the Colts, this guy Rex Grossman's grandfather was one of my teammates.

SIMON: Really?

Mr. DONOVAN: His grandfather's name was Rex Grossman, and in the paper today they were saying Rick Grossman has ties with the Colts on account of his grandfather, and it said he died at 56, which you know, I didn't know.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. DONOVAN: They made fun of this kid, but this guy is a good football player.

SIMON: Let me a Rex Grossman question of you too, Ron. When he's good, he's been a joy to watch, and when he's been bad, he's cause an awful lot of heartburn.

RAPOPORT: I really think, Scott, they've got to win regardless of how he plays, in spite of him, in fact. I mean they almost did last week. Until that last touchdown drive, it looked they were going to win the game without him.

SIMON: I have to ask you both, give us a prediction. Art, you first.

Mr. DONOVAN: Oh, well the two teams will show up. They're betting now that -how long it's going to take this guy to sing the national anthem.

SIMON: Prince, you mean?

Mr. DONOVAN: The whole thing's ridiculous. I don't know. I don't know anymore about it than you fellas do as far as picking the score.

SIMON: All right. Well, Ron, can I get you to make prediction?

RAPOPORT: I think the Colts are going to win by two touchdowns, 28-14. How's that?

SIMON: I'll say 28-10, but in the other direction. All right, Art Donovan in Baltimore, Ron Rapoport at NPR West. Been a pleasure to talked to both of you, okay?

Mr. DONOVAN: Nice talking to you both.

RAPOPORT: It's been an honor, Scott.

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