There have been 44 Presidents in U.S. history, and on February 7, 2010, the 44th Super Bowl game will be played. Finally, America's greatest institutions will be all even.
But which have been better? Our Super Bowl games? Or our Presidents? Finally, with my crazy new project called America Bowl, we'll find out.
Each day, for the 44 days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV (that's 44), America Bowl will match a President against the same-numbered Super Bowl game.
Each day one will win -- and score a point.
There are some tough matches. Thomas Jefferson versus Super Bowl III, that history-making game when Joe Namath shocked the world. Bill Clinton versus Super Bowl XXXII, that amazing Giants victory over the Patriots. Abraham Lincoln versus Super Bowl XVI -- a clutch Joe Montana win over the Bengals. It all comes to a head on February 7, when Super Bowl XLIV is matched against 44th President Barack Obama. Will it all come down to who wants it more?
Here's a sneak preview. Follow it every day at Americabowl.net:
Game 3: Thomas Jefferson vs. Super Bowl III
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. The third President defined American values and encoded them in a government built to maintain individual liberty. The system that has endured more than two centuries.
But he didn't guarantee a victory.
That's what Jets QB Broadway Joe Namath did when he led his AFL champions into Super Bowl III against the NFL's mighty Baltimore Colts. When the Jets did the impossible, dominating the Colts on both sides of the ball in a 16-7 win, it didn't just alter the balance of power in professional football. It ushered in a new era in sports. Jefferson himself said: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." And now that Jeffersonian ideal was coming true on the gridiron. Sports Illustrated called it "The Age of Audacity," a time of upheaval when outspoken athletes like Namath, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Bill Russell spoke out, and the Hendrix version of "All Along the Watchtower" was playing in the background. Thomas Jefferson gave us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; in Super Bowl III, Namath and his Jets took those freedoms to another level.
This is an epic President-vs.-Super Bowl match-up. Choosing a winner wasn't, you know, self-evident. Sorry, Joe. We're going with TJ.