"I think our head coach preached that to us. We lived that way. He tells us that all the time and in the game of football you always get what you deserve. At some point, you always get what you deserve. The guys that have been here the last five or six years have won more games than anyone in football and they had nothing to show for it. They deserved this title tonight."
No one deserved it more than the soft-spoken Dungy, who lost his son a year ago to suicide and showed quiet dignity dealing with that pain. He lost year after year in the playoffs for one reason or another, yet always believed the next game would be different. He was dogged by critics who ridiculously insisted he was a great regular-season coach but could not take a team all the way to a championship.
Sunday night, Tony Dungy did all those things and then thanked his Lord, his family and his team in that order for a moment he had long waited for. One he earned with a gameplan that was nearly flawless, with adjustments that fixed what few problems arose and with a dignity he kept right to the end.
"It wasn't the easy road," Dungy said. "It was a tough road but I think the Lord really prepared us. We talked about it last night. There would be some storms in the game so no one was really shocked. No one was upset after the opening kickoff (returned for a 92-yard Chicago touchdown). It was just seven points and we felt we could get back in it.
"The guys plugged away. I thought Peyton did a real good job of staying patient and our running game in the second half really gave us a big lift. But more than anything I think it was really our team just fighting together all the way through and I'm very proud of that.
"As I was up there on the podium and someone mentioned my being the first African-American coach to win it I had to dedicate this to some of the guys who came before me, great coaches that I know could have done this if they would have gotten an opportunity. The Lord gave me the opportunity and we were able to take advantage of it, but we're certainly not the best, certainly not the most qualified. I know there are some other guys that could have done it given the chance."
Sunday night Tony Dungy and his Indianapolis Colts got that chance and they beat the Chicago Bears at their own game. then they left Pro Player Stadium in rainy Miami with a Super Bowl trophy and their coach on their shoulders.
"Oh, that was a great feeling being on their shoulders," Dungy said. "You just don't know how it's going to feel. You don't know what to expect. For those guys to show that kind of love, I mean that's what our team is all about.
"We've been through some disappointments. We've been through some personal things. It's brought us together and I think this may be the most talented team of the five we've had and it certainly was the one that felt the most love for each other, the most connection. It showed in the way we played tonight."
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