The game itself was decided late into the third quarter as the Indianapolis Colts slowly, inexorably pulled away in victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
But the bigger storyline played itself out during the course of the game and as the final seconds ticked off the clock, as Tony Dungy became the first black head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory.
Much had been made in the weeks leading up to the game that both Dungy and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith already had made history, becoming the first black head coaches to reach their sport’s ultimate stage. Dungy took a moment to recognize the historic significance of the moment. As he accepted the Vince Lombardi trophy, Dungy thanked the black assistant head coaches before him that paved the way such as Jimmy Ray, Sherman Lewis and Lionel Taylor.
“Great coaches,” Dungy said later, “that I know could have done this if they’d been given the opportunity. I feel good I was the first one to do it and represent the guys who came before me. I dedicate the game to them,” Dungy told ESPN.