Super Bowl Coaches Value Family, Faith
Sunday, February 4, 2007; 1:42 PM
MIAMI -- Nice guys can finish first. This year's Super Bowl proves it.
Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears made it a historic meeting because they are the first black head coaches to oppose each other in the NFL title game.
They also made it notable by proving it can be done without shouting, intimidating, bullying or humiliating players to get there.
"I really wanted to show people that you can win all kinds of ways," Dungy said in the leadup to Sunday's game. "It's a good thing to see guys have success when it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture."
They are soft-spoken, churchgoing, kindhearted men who coach players that, more or less, have followed their lead in the buildup to America's biggest sporting event.
The Colts had solid citizen Peyton Manning as their quarterback, trying to win the Super Bowl for the first time in his record-setting career. His counterpart on the Bears was Rex Grossman, who patiently answered questions all week about how his team had excelled despite his faults.
Hardly any fireworks there.
Asked what it's like to play for Dungy, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett told a story about a boy who walked past two dogs on his way home from school every day. One dog barked every time he passed; the other, only on rare occasions.
Brackett compared the second dog to Dungy.
When that dog barks, "You know it's the real deal," he said.
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said Smith is "not capable of yelling."
"But one-on-one, he'll grill you pretty hard," he said. "Lovie, I don't think he feels he needs to say a whole lot. He feels like we understand what he's saying."