Bears shuffle off to Miami to face Colts in Super Bowl XLI

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It will be an all Midwestern Super Bowl XLI when the Chicago Bears meet the Indianapolis Colts for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The two cold-weather teams will meet in warm and sunny Miami, Sunday, Feb. 4.

In case you haven’t heard by now, the Bears earned their second trip to the big game by defeating Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, 39-14, in the NFC Championship game last Sunday, Jan. 21.

The Colts had to score 32 second-half points to overtake Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to win the AFC Championship game. The go-ahead touchdown came with 1 minute remaining in the fourth quarter. That score gave the Colts their only lead of the game, 38-34. Colts’ defensive back Marlon Jackson intercepted a Brady pass in the final minute to seal the win for Indianapolis.

Following are some tidbits about the upcoming big game:

This will be the third trip to the Super Bowl for the Colts. Their previous two trips came when they still called Baltimore, Md., home.

Both teams have won Super Bowls in the past. The Bears defeated New England 46-10 in 1986. That game was played in New Orleans.

The last time the Colts won, they beat Dallas in Super Bowl V in 1971. They lost Super Bowl III to the New York Jets in 1969. Most football fans remember that game because of Jets’ quarterback Joe Namath guaranteeing the win.

This Super Bowl will feature two quarterbacks who played their college football in the South Eastern Conference. The Colts’ Payton Manning led the Tennessee Volunteers to the national championship in 1996. The Bears’ Rex Grossman had a successful career for the University of Florida Gators prior to being drafted by Chicago.

The two head coaches, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, are close friends. Both men are African-American. This will be the first time in history an African-American-coached team will be in the Super Bowl (let alone, two).

According to Mapquest, the distance from Soldier Field in Chicago to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis is exactly 182.19 miles. The driving time between the two stadiums is less than three hours.

There’ll be plenty more trivia about these two teams to surface between now and Feb. 4. Some we may know, and some may be totally new. I just wanted to get things started for us. If you know something you think only you are aware of about these two teams, please pass it on to me in an e-mail along with your name. If I can verify it to be factual, I’ll include it along with your name in this column next week.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Jan. 24-30, 2007, issue

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