Monday, January 22, 2007

Miami Here we Come!

At 4:30 am this morning, I turned off my computer and headed to bed. I had stayed up the whole night to follow play by play on the biggest game of Peyton Manning's career. It was worth it.

The Colts won against the New England Patriots 38 to 34. That's right, Indy fans: we're superbowl bound!

After following the play by play for the tail end of the Chicago/New Orleans game (Chicago won), I set up my computer for maximum Colts following. ESPN lets you follow along with a mini football field marked by various indicators as to where the current plays are, first down information, and which past plays have turned into goals and which haven't. Then, below that image, there is another box with detailed info on the last play (and a little smiley mug shot of the playmaker). Plus, there is a live messaging program which updates you on fans' comments and big plays. At 12:30 am, I was set up and ready to go.

Somehow the game held my attention for four hours, because I didn't stop following until the final score flashed across the screen. While the first half went by in a bit of a blur (by halftime we were down 15 points: 21 to 6), the second half began with a flurry of scoring: the Colts made a touchdown, then two, then a two point conversion, and we were in that game again.

And that's the way it stayed the rest of the night. How proud our Colts must be--our city must be--to have come this far and knocked out the "always-underdogs-but-always-superbowl-champs" New England Patriots. We have two weeks to prepare for the next step, and to enjoy the feeling of finally being there: this is it. We're finally going to the Superbowl! Amazing job, Colts!

Let's just hope that Italy shows the Superbowl on national TV! (don't worry, I've heard that they might!)

Read coverage of last night's game here:
• Another column by Bob Kravitz: you can bet he's happy.
The Colts' clinched win is celebrated with another one of these famous midfield dances, but this time it's on home turf.
• Read about the Big Comeback and what a Big game it was for our Indy hero, Payton Manning.
• And take a look at what the Boston Globe has to say. You can bet they're mad.
• Finally, get ready for the 4th of February by reading about our new opponents, The Chicago Bears, and what a win they had.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Big Night

So January is a busy month...and not just for birthdays! Tonight is the AFC conference championship game, meaning our Indy Colts battle the New England Patriots for a spot in February 4th's Superbowl game down in Miami. And while everyone back home in Indy is surely planning to settle down in front of the TV to watch the big game at 6:30 this evening with bowls of popcorn, hotdogs, and nacho cheese dip, I'm planning to brave late night sleepiness with espresso shots (the game starts at 12:30 AM here) and follow at least part of tonight's game on the internet, tracking it play by play. I realize it's not quite the same as big screen TV, but we're in Italy, and here, the term "football" means only one thing: soccer. (Guys in helmets and shoulder pads are very rarely seen on Italian television.)

Yes, this is a big one. GO COLTS!!! You deserve this, and, by the way, a win from you guys tonight would REALLY make certain people's January birthdays quite special!

just added: For fellow expats who want to follow along:
• Listen to Payton Manning and head coach Tony Dungy talk about the pressure and hype of tonight's game.
• Read about why The Patriots might not be as annoying as you keep thinking they are (and just try to convince yourself that it's true).
• Read what Indy Star's sports column writer Bob Kravitz has to say regarding the game (it's good, don't worry)
• Find out what ESPN's Five Burning Questions are about both of tonight's games.
•Absorb the atmosphere in Indy by checking out the Indy Colts' website.
• Take a look at some Colts photos and video here, to participate just a bit more.
• Get an insider's perspective on the great game over at Sports Illustrated's site.
• Check out Colts-Pats Matchup stats for the evening's games.
• Oh, and follow the Bears/New Orleans game too, while you're at it! (here's a link to the Chicago Tribune's take on their big game)
• And finally, don your best white and blue, and follow along to the Colts game online or, if it's possible, on the SKY network--and cheer loudly!

(okay, I'd really better go nap now, so that I can actually stay UP for the game this evening!)