The 49ers beat New Orleans, and Alex Smith is redeemed. The San Francisco QB, in crunch-chomp time, game on the line, threw a touchdown pass, a 14-yarder to Vernon Davis, with nine seconds left in the contest. Four touchdowns were scored in the final 242 seconds, and Smith owned the last one.
Quarterback Smith was the first pick of the 2005 draft. Dubbed starting quarterback during Week 5, he captained seven games that year. Seven games, one touchdown pass, 11 interceptions. Smith’s primary talent has always been employment preservation. Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, Smith started 16 games in 2006. The team wound up 7-9. He started the first seven games in 2007, went 2-5, then a shoulder injury ended his season. He required shoulder surgery and missed all of 2008. Smith played musical quarterbacks in 2009, alternating game time with Shaun Hill. The team finished 8-8. He was named starting quarterback for 2010. The Niners opened the season 0-5, Smith re-injured his shoulder during a Week 7 game against Carolina and was demoted to second string. San Francisco finished 6-10.
Six years. You look at a record like that and you wonder how this guy still has a job. The man has never had a winning season, his only discernible big-league talent is picking up a paycheck.
And then the heavens open and Jim Harbaugh is hired as head coach, San Francisco’s sixth head coach in ten years. Harbaugh brought a new offensive coordinator with him, the seventh offensive coordinator in ten years.
And then, most incredibly, Smith, a coach-killer if there ever was one, morphs into a grade- A franchise quarterback. I can’t think of any other NFL player who has changed spots, much less bloomed, so late in his career.
It has to be the coach.
San Francisco, Baltimore, N.Y. Giants, and New England won, so the conference championships are set. And, it doesn’t matter.
This is all prelude to the Super Bowl and the Big Story. Turns out the Big Story has nothing to do with which team won which game or division or conference. Doesn’t matter — any team is as good as any other team when it comes to the Big Story. What this Big Story is, finally, is a conspiracy between the IRS, Homeland Security, and the NFL, all working hand-in-glove in order to bring Madonna to Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Get it? That’s why the Super Bowl is in Indiana! The Super Bowl in Indianapolis was never about why the Colts tanked their season in order to grab the first-draft pick and collect Andrew Luck as their new Peyton Manning.
That was a cover story and, yes, it fooled me for most of the season, but come playoff time I began to see the big picture and, believe me, it isn’t pretty. Turns out, Madonna has never performed in Indianapolis! After decades of superstardom, after her world tours, her Top 40 hits, this rock ’n’ roll superstar-legend-icon has never played Indianapolis.
But, that’s about to change. I am pleased to announce Madonna is booked to perform at halftime in this year’s Super Bowl, which will be held — wait for it — in Indianapolis! And it’s a damn lucky coincidence that the Super Bowl is set for February 5, because Madonna’s new movie, a movie she directed, W.E., will open February 3. And Madonna’s new, hot single, “Give Me All Your Love,” will be performed, by her, during Super Bowl halftime, just as said hot, hot single is released nationwide.
Things CAN’T get any better!
Stepping back, you can see this had to happen. Madonna has always been about sports. From her affair with NBA great Dennis Rodman to her “affair of the heart” with Yankees third baseman Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, her connection to sports is life-long. In fact, she took her sports passion to the silver screen. Madonna was the center fielder in the 1991 movie A League of Their Own.
The movie was filmed in Evansville, Indiana, which must be why Madonna vowed never to perform in Indianapolis. During the shoot she wrote a friend, Steven Meisel, “I cannot suffer any more than I have in the past month learning how to play baseball with a bunch of girls.... I am dirty all day, and I hardly ever wear make up.”
An experience like that can scar a person. Speaking of her time in Indiana, Madonna told TV Guide, “I may as well have been in Prague. For the first time in my life I felt very disconnected.”
Will Indianapolis heal Madonna? Is this reconciliation for real? Or another heartbreak?
Take Madonna and the points.