Breckenridge" What a game, what a surname | SkyHiNews.com

Breckenridge" What a game, what a surname

Devon O'Neil

Where does one begin to capture the significance of what we saw in the Super Bowl on Sunday night? The Manning family, of course ” the same place so many conversations start in the football world.

It is hard enough to fathom that two boys from the same household grew up to be No. 1 overall draft choices; that they then won back-to-back Super Bowls a few years later, each garnering MVP honors in his respective game, is simply inconceivable.

We have not seen anything like this in professional sports, as far as I know. The world just isn’t as small as the Mannings make it seem.

While you can, and should, argue that Sunday’s historic upset over unbeaten New England took every last Giant on the field, none played a greater role than the baby brother with the Sesame Street-sounding three-letter name.

Eli Manning didn’t sneer at his millions of critics, which impressed me. He simply made clutch throw after clutch throw like he’d been born to do it. And who’s to argue he wasn’t? …

Among all that we took from Sunday’s three hours of drama, let the stunning final remind us of a valuable truth: that the champion in any sport is nothing more complicated than the hottest team at the end of the year. …

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That said, did Tom Brady look average at the worst possible time, or what? He missed Randy Moss at least three times by my count, negating big plays that the Patriots have counted on to swing momentum their way all season. And if you’re Asante Samuel and you feel you should be counted among the elite cornerbacks in the NFL, you absolutely have to pick off that pass that slipped through your hands on the Giants’ final drive. …

Speaking of that final drive, the Manning escape and David Tyree pin-the-ball-against-his-helmet catch was one of the three best football plays I have ever seen. …

And finally, gotta wonder who partied harder Sunday night, the new world champions, or the geezer squad that is the ’72 Dolphins. …

With the pro cycling season already under way, some unexpected news came down from Giro d’Italia organizers the other day. Neither Astana nor High Road (formerly T-Mobile) was invited to the Giro, one of the three biggest races in the sport.

The omissions appear to have been levied based on past transgressions; Astana pulled out of last year’s Tour de France after Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive, while T-Mobile spent years as one of the dirtiest clubs in cycling.

In contrast, U.S.-based Slipstream (out of Boulder, in fact) was one of the 21 teams granted entry into the Giro, largely due to its unequaled anti-doping protocol that has garnered big-time acclaim thus far. …

Someday many years from now, I have a feeling we’re going to be debating which first-ballot Hall of Famer was better, Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin (who merits mention here for a sensational four-goal, one-assist performance last week that included an overtime game-winner). To think they both were fighting for the same Rookie of the Year trophy two years ago. …

Headline of the Week comes from ESPN.com: “Source: Pacman still frequenting strip clubs.” …

In our better late than never department, Art Monk finally made the Hall of Fame last week ” eight years late. He retired with more receptions than any player in NFL history, for heaven’s sake. …

In parting, Monday marked an important moment for American sports fans, that bittersweet time when we bid football adieu and embrace other options. For this guy, college basketball has always been a good place to start, and in this case that means Wednesday night’s matchup between No. 3 Duke and No. 4 North Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN).

” Breckenridge resident Devon O’Neil’s $0.02 column runs on Tuesdays. He can be reached at devononeil@hotmail.com.

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