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Morning Briefing

`V' stands for a very long time

January 21, 2007|Mike Penner | Times Staff Writer

Much has been made of the New Orleans Saints' turning 40 without an NFL championship to their name. Their notable lack of postseason success, however, has obscured the fact that the Indianapolis Colts have gone nearly as long without winning the Super Bowl.

The Colts last won the NFL title 36 years ago. The Super Bowl was V years old, the Colts belonged to Baltimore and Johnny Unitas was still airing them out in high-tops when the franchise last won it all -- defeating Dallas, 16-13, on Jan. 17, 1971, in Miami.

During that long-ago season:

* The Colts became the first champions of the post-merger NFL.

* "Monday Night Football" made its debut.

* Archie Manning was a rookie with the Saints.

* Don Shula began his Miami Dolphins coaching career.

* Tony Dungy was a high school sophomore.

* The Detroit Lions won 10 games and became the NFC's first wild-card team.

* Marty Schottenheimer played 12 games at linebacker for the Boston Patriots. He didn't win a playoff game that season either.

Trivia time

Who was the most valuable player of the 1971 Super Bowl?

Week 3 Power Rankings

This was the week Kwame Brown learned that Smush is not something you should do with a cake ...

1. Muhammad Ali: Kids too young to remember are intrigued by tales surrounding the 65th birthday of the great heavyweight boxing champion. "You mean boxing once had a heavyweight division?"

2. Peyton Manning: With Patriots playoff game looming, we rank him this high, just for old times' sake.

3. Eli Manning: Is it true he was apprehended by security while holding a crowbar and hiding in Tom Brady's practice locker stall?

4. David Beckham: New inspiration for benchwarmers everywhere.

5. Galaxy: Good news: Team gets call-out on "Saturday Night Live." Then again: "Weekend Update's" Amy Poehler quipped, "David Beckham, the British soccer star, has signed a $250 [million] deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, which apparently exists."

6. New Orleans Saints: Rumors are true. Team set to relocate to south Florida later this month.

7. Chicago Bears: Why won't they be advancing to the Super Bowl? Rex marks the spot.

8. University of Florida football fans: After reading above sentence, they say, "Rex who?"

9. Marty Schottenheimer: Retains job despite 5-13 playoff record. Next, he prepares to coach against Tom Coughlin in the Rasputin Bowl.

10. Kwame Brown: Charges in bizarre cake-dunking episode were, ironically enough, dropped.

He's faster on turf

Michael Vick hasn't played in three weeks, but another interception got him into trouble this week when security at Miami International Airport confiscated from Vick a water bottle that smelled like marijuana and contained a substance in a hidden compartment.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Willie McGinest and co-host John Salley discussed the incident on "Best Damn Sports Show Period." McGinest: "If he was going to the playoffs, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about it. You can't put it all on Vick." Salley: "If he were in the playoffs, he wouldn't have been traveling commercial."

Trivia answer

Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley, who intercepted two passes and recovered one fumble. He is the only player from a losing team to be named Super Bowl most valuable player.

And finally

Schottenheimer and Notre Dame were subjects of a recent statistical research project by Gaylon Krizak of the San Antonio Express-News, who discovered the following:

* 41: NFL coaches with at least one playoff victory since Schottenheimer's most recent, which came in 1993.

* 91: Division I-A teams (out of a possible 118) that have won at least one bowl game more recently than Notre Dame.

*

mike.penner@latimes.com

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