Monday, 23 January 2012 14:56

Louisiana Sports: Super Bowl, Manning, Brees and LSU Bandits

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brees-familyIt will be up to Eli Manning and his Giants to keep Tom Brady and the Patriots from celebrating victory on Feb. 5 in the house that Peyton built.  Brady and the Patriots are Peyton's biggest rival. Tickets are available from ticket broker Ticket City for $2,200 and up. The media will get a week of Patriots coach Bill Belichick saying nothing in his familiar monotone and Eli avoiding questions about Peyton.  If Eli's Giants win he'll double the number of Super Bowl rings Peyton has while Brady is going after his fourth ring.

 Super Bowl Info

Super Bowl number: 46 (XLVI)
Line: Patriots favored by 3.
Super Bowl Sunday date: Feb. 5, 2012
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis
TV coverage: NBC -- Al Michaels (play-by-play), Chris Collingsworth (color commentary)
Kickoff time: 5:30 p.m.
National Anthem singer: Kelly Clarkson
Halftime show performer: Madonna
Super Bowl commercial cost: 3.5 million for 30-second commercial (new record)
Rematch: The 2008 Super Bowl featured the Giants edging the Patriots 17-14.

Drew Brees

Drew Brees continues to pick his share of hardware.

The latest came on Friday when he was announced as the winner of the 46th annual Byron "Whizzer" White Award and the "Heart of the Game Award."

The White award is designed to honor a player who embodies White's ideals of a scholar, athlete, patriot, humanitarian and public servant. All 32 teams nominate a player and the list is narrowed to three finalists, Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson were the finalists with the Saints quarterback.

"The Heart of the Game Award" is designed to honor a player for his determination, enthusiasm and over-all passion for the game and his teammates. Fans vote on this award.

White served as a Supreme Court Justice and Brees said, "As I look at the list of names associated with this award, and certainly the namesake, Mr. Byron 'Whizzer' White, this award stands for so much."

The award was made during the NFL Players Association PULSE Awards in Los Angeles.

Brees discussed role as a football player and citizen during his acceptance speech.

"My head coach, Sean Payton, is a Bill Parcells  disciple, and something that he has told us many times -- you'll actually hear Parcells say it as well --  as an NFL player, you get asked to ride on that train, and you try and ride if for as long as you can," said Brees.

"At some point, you're going to be asked to get off, but you're going to be better having had the opportunity to ride on that train. I think also, the   mindset should not only is it going to leave you better than when it found you, but I think your mission should be to leave the game better than when you found it. Not only does that mean what you do on the field, but that that means what you do off the field."

Brees is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but said he would be "beyond stunned" if he is not back with the Saints next season.

"Really the sooner the better," said Brees about his ongoing contract negotiations with the Saints. "I would even say that between now and free agency (in early March) I'd really like to have something done. There's a lot that goes into it. It's not as easy as maybe some people think it is. There are a lot of variables, factors, things to consider. We're all very confident that a deal will get done sooner than later."

Brees should pull down one of the largest contracts in NFL history.. Bree's expects his deal to average $18 million per year. Those deals don't get done quickly.

For the impact Brees has had on the city since arriving here in 2006, it would seem impossible to see him play anywhere else. He is synonymous with New Orleans.

The Saints should give him what he wants.

 LSU and the Chinese Bandits

The Chinese Bandits was the nickname of one of three units utilized in coach Paul Dietzel's three-platoon system that vaulted LSU to the national championship in 1958.

That year the first team was named the White Team, an offensive unit was named the Go Team and a defensive unit was tabbed the Chinese Bandits.

In the first few games, when the Tigers were leading by quite a few points, the third string would go in on defense. It was not that the third string was not good, on most teams, they would be starters; They would smother the offense of the other team. A lot of the defense was made up of big fast backs. They were the defensive ends and linebackers mostly.

Very seldom would you see a single player making a tackle. It was usually gang tackling. And because they were third string, they played with the idea of moving up, so they played with more heart.

Folklore said the Chinese Bandits attacked and plundered with reckless abandon. The defensive subs were known as the Chinese Bandits and their inspired play (they didn't give up a touchdown all season) symbolized LSU's remarkable 11-0 season

The name stuck, thanks to the pressboxers. The Bandits were getting more publicity than anyone else. It was sealed when Sports Illustrated did a feature on them. Life magazine featured them in a photo in Chinese masks. In 1980, the LSU band revived the "Bandit" tune played when the Tigers defense stalls any opponent's drive.

The name Chinese Bandits was Dietzel's idea. The name came from the newspaper strip Terry and the Pirates that declared the self-said bandits to be the "most vicious people in the the world.

LSU was playing Paul Bryant's first Alabama team in Mobile in 1958 and the score was 0-0. One of the temporary wooden grandstands erected had collapsed with more than 1,400 persons on it. The game was halted to help pull persons from the rubble and summon ambulances for the injured.

In the second quarter Alabama recovered a Billy Cannon fumble and advanced to the LSU 5-yard line.

Dietzel responded by putting in the Bandits and the seeds of legend began to be sown. The Tide gained just one yard in three downs and had to settle for a field goal.

"The Bandits held them and from that time on the Bandits had arrived," Dietzel said later. "I mean they thought they were some kind of stuff."

LSU won the game, 13-3.

SOME hither, others yon: With the roster beginning to age, there will be some tough personnel decisions for new Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo over the next few months. Spagnuolo gets to turn around a defense that finished 30th in the league against the pass (258.8 ypg) and 12th against the rush (108.6) and allowing 36 points to the 49ers in the playoff game...

Kobe Bryant's wife got $75 million in her divorce settlement. Michael Jordan's ex got $150 several years ago...Former LSU quarterback Jarret Lee went 2-of-6 for 36 yards and a touchdown in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday...Tom Brady and his wife have moved into a $20 million mansion and Joe Montana has his spread in Northern California for sale for $35 million...

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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