The Vegas oddsmakers have the Indianapolis Colts as five point favorites heading into Sunday night’s Super Bowl matchup against the New Orleans Saints. And, well, I’m inclined to believe them. Sure, Drew Brees and the Saints might be the 21st century version of “The Greatest Show on Turf,” but the last time we checked, Super Bowl XLIV is being played on natural grass. Not to mention the fact that, at this stage in his career, we wouldn’t bet against Peyton Manning if our lives depended on it. He’s like the anti-Brett Favre.
Anyway, while reality seems to favor the Colts, we here at MTV News have are using another factor to determine who’ll be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday: Music. Or, more specifically, the musicians that hail from each team’s city. The only problem here is, well, the matchup is a little uneven. New Orleans has got music in its blood, while Indianapolis, well … is the 14th largest city in the U.S.!
So we had to widen the net a bit, to the entire state of Indiana. And we spotted them 10 points. Still, we’re not sure if it would be close even then. Unlike the real Super Bowl, we predict a New Orleans romp. So, submitted for your wagering pleasure, in 11-on-11 sides (just like real football!), here’s who we’ve assembled to represent each city. And, yes, we know three of the dudes repping Indiana are dead. There’s a reason they’re 10-point underdogs.
Axl Rose: Born in Lafayette, Indiana, but beat a path for the mean streets of Los Angeles (as seen in the “Welcome to the Jungle” video, though we doubt Axl actually had straw sticking out of his mouth). Probably the QB of this team, though, as evidenced by the last decade-plus of Guns N’ Roses, his decision-making skills are questionable at best.
John Mellencamp: Hailing from Seymour, Indiana, he’s the cagey veteran looking for one last shot at glory. Though, due to his prodigious appetite for cigarettes, he may have lost a step or 16.
Shannon Hoon: Deceased former frontman of Blind Melon. Let’s make him the punter. Special teams are an important phase of the game too.
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds: Is actually from Indianapolis. A multi-talented singer, songwriter and producer, he’s not just a possession receiver, he’s a deep threat too.
Michael Jackson: The King of Pop. Is deceased, but is still the most talented person on this team.
Janet Jackson: MJ’s sister. Not deceased and has good hands, so she’s got that working for her.
Mick Mars: The towering lead guitarist of Motley Crue hails from Terre Haute, and though he underwent hip-replacement in ’03, he’s still got cutback skills. Start him as your tailback
David Lee Roth: If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you should never bet against Diamond Dave. Upsides: Tremendous leaping ability (make him block punts!). Downside: Likely to get distracted by cheerleaders, coaches’ wives, female fans or referees that look sort of lady-like.
Izzy Stradlin: The former Guns N’ Roses rhythm guitarist would probably have a hard time gelling with Axl despite the fact that they’re both from small Indiana towns. Not really built for football, but it’s always fun to have a dude with a wacky name on the team (like former Cincinnati Bengals star Ickey Woods).
Travis Meeks: Remember the broody, hirsute founder of Days of the New? No? Like we said, it’s a much thinner roster in Indiana.
Cole Porter: He’s been dead since before the first Super Bowl was played, but then again, he did write “Anything Goes.”
Phil Anselmo: Though Anselmo’s band Pantera represented Texas, Anselmo was born in New Orleans and let the swamp inform his thick metal growl. The dude looks like he could hit hard.
Harry Connick, Jr.: Don’t let his smooth jazz sounds fool you. Remember that he played a badass fighter pilot in “Independence Day” — now that’s a dude you want leading your football troops into battle.
Dr. John: Dr. John is a veteran who has seen is all, and is one of the few guys who can claim he plays “boogie woogie” and still look dignified doing it. If you sleep on him, he’ll hurt you — not unlike Reggie Bush.
Lil Wayne: Weezy is a dynamic swingman who can rap, play the guitar and blitz from the safety position. Plus, he’s hands down the best trash-talker in the game.
Randy Newman: He’s won plenty of awards, so competing at the highest level is totally comfortable for him. And even if the team loses, he’ll write an awesomely bitter ballad about it.
Wynton Marsalis: Here’s the thing you should know about the legendary trumpeter: He won the first Pulitzer Prize for a jazz recording. A Pulitzer! With a bunch of Grammys already in his pocket, what’s going to stop him from claiming the Lombardi Trophy?
Branford Marsalis: Brother of Wynton. Think of him as the Ronde to his Tiki: He’s always a little underrated but could break out and win the MVP some day.
DJ Khaled: Everybody always talks about the crowd in any given stadium as “The 12th Man,” but can anybody hype a crowd like Khaled? He has trouble reading nickel packages, but on the other hand, he’s pretty good at getting Drake to drop guest verses.
Fats Domino: Fats is a survivor and built like a house. What more could you ask for in a lineman?
Mystikal: Fresh out of the slammer, Mystikal has something to prove. So before he drops those first mixtape verses, he should get back to the business of swarming to the ball on special teams.
Lil Romeo: Master P’s son is actually quite a talented basketball player (he is a sophomore guard on the University of Southern California men’s team), and his skills could easily translate to the gridiron.