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Dungy to evaluate future in coming days

MIAMI -- Tony Dungy's first Super Bowl celebration gave him
a few moments to remember why he still enjoys coaching football.

Looks like the retirement plans can wait.

After getting drenched in the rain, soaked again in Gatorade,
and enjoying a sleepless, festive night, the 51-year-old Dungy
sounded as if he's ready to do it all again next season.

"I still have a lot of passion and enthusiasm for the
game, and after a night like last night, how could you not love it?
So I'm not burned out, I'm not tired at all. I'm very fired up and
looking forward to coming back. But I'll evaluate it and see where
we'll go."
-- Tony Dungy

"Every year, for probably the last three or four years, I've
evaluated where I am at the end of the season," he said Monday
morning. "I still have a lot of passion and enthusiasm for the
game, and after a night like last night, how could you not love it?
So I'm not burned out, I'm not tired at all. I'm very fired up and
looking forward to coming back. But I'll evaluate it and see where
we'll go."

Some may consider that not definitive enough to quash all the
speculation that Dungy might retire after winning the elusive
championship ring. But it sure sounded as if Dungy was preparing to
become the first black coach to chase a second Super Bowl title
after becoming the first to win one with Sunday night's 29-17
victory over the Chicago Bears.

For Dungy, it was a night to embrace.

He talked about how special it was to watch those final 15
seconds tick off, the thoughts racing through his mind and even a
phone call that surprised Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning.

"I was talking to a friend on the phone, and Tony said 'You
better take this call,' " Manning said. "I said 'Why?' and he
said 'Take this call.' So I hung up on my friend and it was the
president congratulating us and inviting us to the White House."

Dungy knew it was coming after White House officials called
earlier in the week to make sure they had the right cell phone
number.

Not everything went so smoothly.

The weather was the worst in Super Bowl history, with steady
rain from start to finish, and it suited Dungy and his Colts just
fine. When the slick ball forced them to rein in their potent
passing game, their defense and running game assumed a
championship-caliber share of the load.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't seem to mind, either.

"Including the rain, it was a great game, and the elements are
part of the game," Goodell said.

Dungy and Manning also showed they could win the big game,
shaking labels they've been saddled with for years. Dungy made the
breakthrough in his 11th season as a head coach and his fifth with
the Colts, until now perennial title contenders and late-season
disappointments.

Manning, meanwhile, strengthened his standing among the game's
great quarterbacks by winning his first Super Bowl title.

"It has been hard to watch these other teams hoist that
trophy," said Manning, who threw for 247 yards and a touchdown.
"That's a hard pill to swallow. You have to learn from it and
realize how badly you want to be up there."

Manning's younger brother Eli has yet to come close to a title
in three seasons with the New York Giants. Their father, Archie,
was a star NFL quarterback for 14 years who never reached the
playoffs.

Now the family has a ring, thanks to Peyton.

"If people think he needed to win a Super Bowl, that is just
wrong," Dungy said. "This guy is a Hall of Fame player and one of
the greatest ever."

The Bears (15-4) managed only 11 first downs, committed five
turnovers and came up short playing in their first Super Bowl since
Walter Payton led them to the title 21 years ago. But Lovie Smith
achieved a cultural milestone when he and his former mentor, Dungy,
became the first black head coaches to reach the Super Bowl.

Shortly after the game, Smith spoke of returning in 2008.

"We took a big step this year," he said. "Hopefully next
season we can take one more step and finish the job."

Dungy sounds ready to spar with Smith again -- if that's what it
takes.

"Generally, after a couple of days, you feel like everything is
rolling," Dungy said. "I do look forward to helping these guys
defend this title."