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Super Bowl XLI: Prince(s), Winners, and Heirs Apparent
The Indianapolis Colts celebrate a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida, on Sunday, February 4, 2007. (Bob Mayer/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/MCT)

We came, we saw, we snacked.  From the princes on the field to the Prince on stage, PopMatters’ writers present the ultimate postgame analysis of this year’s ultimate game in this three-piece special section.

Standing on a curb in my neighborhood at halftime, I could see the gathered crowds through the lit windows of homes up and down the block. Some people hovered over snack bowls, others huddled in corners clutching beers, still others sat transfixed to the big screen, hi-def spectacle unraveling before their eyes.

PopMatters’ writers, too, fell to the Super Bowl seduction.  They’d recover, later, to rub their eyes, slowly clear their heads, and take a good look around and see beyond the scattered beer bottles, the greasy snack bowls with crumpled paper napkins piled inside, their own headaches perhaps sympathetically throbbing, a day later, to the muscle tears and bruises of the players. 

In these three assessments of Super Bowl XLI, written during the recovery stage with the aid of Alka Seltzer and aspirin, Neal Hayes examines the much-heralded appearance of the first African American coaches in the Super Bowl, and what that means for the future of race relations in the NFL; Jarrett Berman takes us through the hype and circumstance of one of the most commercialized nights of the year; and Ross McGowan explores the relationship between winning the big one and being a winner. Enjoy! 

—Tobias Peterson

Sunday, February 11 2007

Race for the Super Bowl

Tony Dungy's win in Miami was definitely a major event, but a quick look at Super Bowl history shows that the NFL, with its long-disparaging race record, is still far from a level playing field.

Prince of the Ball

When His Majesty stood silhouetted against a billowing, yellow sheet, his phallic glyph guitar lunging into shadow, it was a bold display of virility that had many (including execs at Viagra, no doubt) shaking their heads in awe. I turned to my wife and checked her pulse. The night had reached its apex.

Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, and the Importance of Winning It All

Did the Colts' Super Bowl win actually change who Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy are? Or did it just change the perceptions of who they are in the eyes of armchair quarterbacks everywhere?

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