DFW SPORTS MIX by Don Arnick

It’s official. The Dallas Cowboys triplets are in the Hall of Fame. First there was Troy, then Michael, now Emmitt Smith complets the set. Emmitt gets in by being NFL’s career yardage leader. And he helped the Cowboys win 3 Super Bowl titles in 4 years in the nineties. One of the most dependable and durable running backs to play the game. I will always be amazed by the game he played in 1993 against the NY Giants, playing with one arm because his shoulder was injured. Yet he played and the Boys won the game, and the Super Bowl weeks later. He’s in the Hall of Fame class that included wide receiver Jerry Rice. The game’s all time leading receiver. It’s not often that the best running back and the best receiver of all time get into the hall of fame, the same time, the first time around. Congratulations Emmitt.

And then there was the game. Super Bowl 44 was all about the two quarterbacks. Drew Brees of the Saints, Peyton Manning of the Colts. The game came down to three things. Sean Peyton’s riverboat gambling. He might have been on a riverboat, floating down the Mississippi, flinging dice. The Saints coach laid it on the line early by going for it on 4th down. He did not get it, but it did not deter from his decision to try the on side kick to begin the second half. It worked, with the drive ending on a Pierre Thomas 16 yard screen pass for a touchdown.

Second, pass protection. Drew Brees had it, Peyton Manning did not. A protected Brees was finding his receivers left and right, while Manning had some pressure most of the second half.

Third, Tracy Porter. For the second staight game, his pick led to a winning score. He spoiled Brett Farve’s comeback bid to win the NFC Championship. And he spoiled a comeback bid by Manning. Got in front of a pass for Reggie Wayne. 75 yards later, his pick 6 marched the Saints to a Super Bowl title. Those factors, led the Saints to a title. Once upon a time, the fans wore paper bags to their games. Those bags are used to put their bottles of liquor in. Party, you bet.

Oh yes, the NBA all star game is this weekend. The celebrity game will have Merk Cuban playing, plus the busy Nancy Lieberman will play too.