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In continuing my good-natured “who you got?” columns like the previous two on the college bowl season, I’ve decided next in line will be Super Bowl XLIV coming this Sunday, Feb. 7, to a television near you.

Of course, it’s safe to say, most Verde Valley residents won’t be making the 2,364-mile trek to Miami, come this weekend, so I’ve decided to not only ask the football coaches at our local high schools but their athletic directors and principals as well to make it more entertaining.

Like the halftime show isn’t going to be entertaining enough, right?

Starting with Mingus Union High School, Principal Mark Cooper believes the Indianapolis Colts will take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy because of Manning-Speak, where ESPN’s Kenny Mayne revealed quarterback Peyton Manning and his offense communicate using Gaelic.

The hilarious bit featured Manning actually saying, “A lot of times Kenny, we don’t know what we’re doing, but the defense doesn’t know either. Now that’s next level.”

Manning has a great sense of humor, and his television commercials are a riot, but according to Mingus Athletic Director Mike Boysen, the New Orleans Saints will be the ones laughing come trophy presentation time.

“I think they’re on a roll, on an emotional roller coaster. The city loves that team and the players feed off that emotion,” Boysen said.

As for Mingus football Head Coach Bob Young, he’s sticking with Manning and the Colts because of the preparation Manning goes through to get ready. And then more preparation after he prepares.

Over at Camp Verde High School, the “who do you think will win and why” question still brings split decisions.

“I think Manning and the Colts are great so I’m going with them. I would say Colts because of Tony Dungy, who is my hero, but he’s no longer there but they still have Manning,” Camp Verde Athletic Director Mark Showers said.

The Cowboys head football coach Luke Steege wavered a bit but selected the Colts as well, stating “New Orleans over-achieved. I think the Saints should send the Minnesota Vikings a thank-you card and flowers,” he said laughing.

Bob Weir, however, principal at Camp Verde and wrestling head coach, thinks the Saints are going to pull it out Sunday.

“It’s their turn. With Drew Brees and Reggie Bush, I think they have a chance,” Weir said.

Over in red rock country, the Sedona Red Rock High School staff is sticking with the favorite pick, the Colts.

Athletic Director John Parks said the Colts will win because they’re more experienced than the Saints, since they claimed the title in 2007.

“They also have a great defense; nobody’s talking about that,” Parks said.

As for David Lykins, the school’s principal, he’s sticking with the Colts, stating Manning and his offense destroyed a few top-ranked defenses this season and New Orleans allowed over 400 yards of offense against the Vikings, who they beat in an overtime thriller just 10 days ago in New Orleans, 31-28.

Thanks, Favre.

A true Green Bay Packer fan all my life, I was rooting for my sworn enemy in the Vikings to win that game and get to the Super Bowl only because of Brett Favre, the quarterback of whom my father once said, “Who is this guy?” after he took over for the “Magic Man” Don Majkowski back in 1992.

I was 10 then, and still remember Favre’s first thrown pass that he completed to himself during the second game of the 1992 season. In game three, Majkowski got hurt, and Favre led the Packers to a stunning 24-23 comeback victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. The rest is history.

Hoping to watch Favre win another Super Bowl this season and ride off into the sunset, I guess I’ll settle for two other great quarterbacks to duel it out in Brees and Manning.

Picking the Colts would be the smart thing to do since for the most part, everyone else is, but as you’ll find out, I usually like to go against the grain.

I’ll pick the emotional roller coaster Saints in a shootout with a Dwight Freeney-less Indianapolis defense, 41-38.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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