| Sports |

Cowboys Favored to Win the Super Bowl

Throw away your pins and climb down off your needles; this is the biggest mismatch since the Mavericks played the Warriors. OK, not the best example. But everything, remember, is bigger in Texas. So big that when the NFL awards the 2011 Super Bowl -- XLV -- to the Cowboys this afternoon, they won’t be sure how to address it: Dallas? Arlington? North Texas?

Dallas likes its chances; so does Indianapolis. But, come on, is the hallowed star versus the hollow horseshoe really a fair fight? Sandwiched around Phoenix-Glendale -- which is hosting this season’s Super Bowl and, therefore, isn’t considered a legit contender -- Dallas and Indy will make their formal pitches to owners today in Nashville around 11 a.m. Dallas goes first; Indy, last. Immediately following will be a vote, and the announcement that our area will finally host sports’ most dazzling event should come down around 1 p.m.

Till then, let’s go to the matchups:

Spokesmen: Roger Staubach vs. Tony Dungy. The Colts’ coach was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, but we’re talking Captain America here. Nobody in the history of pigskin is better at crunch time. Only thing that could strengthen Dallas’ bid would be a taped endorsement from Tom Landry himself. Roger wins his third Super Bowl today. Edge: Dallas. Stadiums: Jerry World vs. Lucas Oil Stadium. Arlington’s coliseum will be the crown jewel of sports when it opens in ’09. It will seat about 30,000 more than Inday’s new joint, meaning about $25 million in revenue for owners. Money talks. Besides, do owners really want to flaunt an oil company at their consumers, which by 2011 will likely be whining about $9 gas? Edge: Dallas.

Size: Dallas is the nation’s seventh-largest media market; Indy, No. 25. Bigger is better, right? Edge: Dallas.

Stature: The Cowboys are America’s Team, having won five Super Bowls and creating unprecedented cachet around the world. The Colts are the defending Super Bowl champs, have been owned by the Irsay family for 40 years, and Peyton Manning is the most recognizable face in TV commercials today. Tiebreaker: Dallas beat Indy, 21-14, last November. Edge: Dallas.

In the end, I’d favor the Cowboys by 6 ½ points.

A Dallas victory would mean $400 million in economic stimulation to our fair burg, the biggest payday to owners in NFL history and a sweet $5 spot in my coffers courtesy of a lil’ side bet with Robert. Only stumbling block I foresee is if voters get wind of this. --Richie Whitt

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