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Manning, Brees both do a lot to help off the fieldPosted Friday, February 5, 2010, at 3:51 PM
There's plenty to feel good about with Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV, especially if you hail from the great state of Indiana.
It's a dream match-up between our beloved Indianapolis Colts, led by good-guy and league MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and the New Orleans Saints, who feature an equally potent offensive attack directed by Purdue graduate Drew Brees.
Being a Colts fan and an avid Boilermaker backer, kind of puts me in a tough position for Sunday's big game.
I desperately want the Colts to win -- notching their second Super Bowl crown since moving to Indy.
But, I also would love for Drew Brees to have a great game on this world-wide stage -- just not too great.
Brees has always been one of my favorites to ever take a snap for Purdue when he led them to the Rose Bowl during his collegiate days.
But what I really like about both Brees and Manning is the work they have done to help youngsters and worthy charitable causes in their home communities.
Manning, who received a $34.5 million signing bonus with the seven-year, $99 million contract he signed in 2004, puts some of his money where his mouth is.
Through his foundation, Manning awarded $500,000 in grants this year to 70 youth-related agencies in Indiana, Tennessee and his hometown New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Last year, St. Vincent's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis was renamed as Peyton Manning's Children's Hospital at St. Vincent because of his continuing charity work and fundraising for needy youth.
Through his foundation, programs like the Indianapolis-based School on Wheels program, Jamal Abdullah's Martial Arts program and the National Junior Tennis League have been helped. The Desire Street Ministries run by former NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel, which relocated from New Orleans to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina, also received a $15,000 donation.
The list of worthy causes goes on. Manning's foundation -- which also stages The Peyback Bowl -- an annual high school football game and an annual bowling tournament to raise funds -- received more than 300 applications for this year's grants.
Like Manning, Brees has not forgot his roots of his college town or the community he lives in.
The Brees Dream Foundation was founded in 2003 with a mission to advance research in the fight against cancer and provide care, education and opportunities for children in need.
Since its inception, the Brees Dream Foundation has committed more than $4.5 million to charitable causes and academic institutions in the New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette/Purdue communities.
Drew and his wife donated a $2 million gift to Purdue University in 2007 for the Drew and Brittany Brees Student-Athlete Academic Center, right next to Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey Arena.
There really is more to Sunday's game than what you see on the football field.
Did you know the professional football's championship game was not known as the Super Bowl until Jan. 15, 1967. Prior to that, the name Super Bowl was owned by Ernie "Pins" Calhoun, proprietor of Lucky Lanes in Hackensack, New Jersey.
The first Super Bowl was played on Jan. 15, 1967. Teams from the AFL and NFL had never played before, not even in a scrimmage.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10 in front of the smallest Super Bowl crowd to date, 61,946.
Did you know that one out of every 12 people watching the big game only do so to see the commercials?
Typically, antacid sales increase 20 percent the day after the Super Bowl.
Only three people -- Mike Ditka, Tom Flores and Tony Dungy -- have won the Super Bowl as both player and coach.
Since the 1998-99 season, the losing Super Bowl team has gone on to have a winning record the next season only once. In fact, aside from the 2006-07 Seattle Seahawks, teams that have lost the Super Bowl since 1998 have seen their average records go from a 13-3 record to a lowly 5-11 mark the next year.
Did you know that in America, Super Bowl Sunday is second in food consumption behind only Thanksgiving Day?
All Super Bowls use Roman numerals to designate the number of the game.
Some believe Nero, the former Emperor of Rome, staged a game similar to today's football nearly 2,000 years ago.
However, his game was not played with a ball, but rather with the head of an enemy, and all losers were fed to the lions.
The Greeks, Chinese, the Mexicans, the Japanese and the Eskimos all have also played a game involving the use of their legs, a spherical object and in some cases a goal post at some time or the other in their history.
Have a great day and enjoy the Super Bowl.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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