I’ll try to start and finish this in one shot so my focus doesn’t appear to be slipping.
I think in perhaps all my years cheering on my favorite football teams, I never imagined a postseaon quite like this.
Hell, I was picking the Eagles to get a little further than they did, but what do I know?
The oddest were greatest favor of the Patriots, no doubt about it. I even checked online to see what the odds are. A lot of people are going to be disappointed because the 2-to-1 shot is out and so is the longest long shot, 100-to-1 Seahawks.
For me, the ideal postseason includes the following conditions:
a) the presence of one of my local teams (Eagles & Giants)
b) the presence of my favorite non-local teams (Steelers & Colts)
c) the non-presence of the Cowboys & the Patriots
Condition one fell through, but last I checked, the Steelers and the Jets are the next most local teams compared to my first two choices. And this is shaping up to be the best season the Jets have had since their Joe Namath heyday… perhaps the best season Mark Sanchez has had as the new quarterback… but last I checked, this is only his 2nd or 3rd season, but more power to him, then.
The cowboys were long out of the playoffs under Wade Phillip’s crumbling regime and they were out as potential spoilers for the Eagles, which made me happy.
Bad news: The Eagles lost before they had the chance to really make an impression
Worse news: The Packers are behind it, giving more power to my aunt’s boyfriend Larry
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Packers. Even after Brett Favre left, they’ve been one of my favorite teams, though not as high up in the rankings as the Eagles, Giants, Steelers and Colts… but that’s just me.
The Packers winning the SuperBowl would give Larry more than enough fuel to beat down the football fan in me for probably the rest of our natural born lives. Once he starts going, he never stops and I don’t need more fuel to that proverbial fire… not even close.
I would have accepted the Patriots in the SuperBowl with their sole purpose being to beat them… seems like no other team has been able to do that. They made a mockery of the Eagles’s defense (undoubtedly resulting in Jim McDermott’s firing) and also the #1 Atlanta Falcons… Matt Ryan, you guys were #1 for a reason, do you even remember what that was?
One thing I have picked up this year, as I often pick something up every season, is calling out the quarterbacks of my teams when they’re doing well, I want them to do well or they really weren’t doing well. But I’ve found that Eli & Peyton are the only two I refer by their first name… perhaps Mark Sanchez, I refer to more often by just his last name. Everyone else, its a two-name street.
Case in point, the only remaining mission is to see Jay Cutler cut down the Packers offense and defense the way the opposite happened a couple weeks ago… I mean, that was just embarassing and they call themselves #2 and owner of the NFC north this year? I wanna see results. I didn’t like his attitude for the longest time, but Jay Cutler’s really starting to show his true colors as a good quarterback.
He could perhaps join Aaron Rodgers in the level owned by Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Brett Favre John Elway and Dan Marino… just takes a little more time and effort, but he’s looking good. I’d take those odds, supporting the Bears to steamroll the Packers like they did the Seahawks.
Not that was there was any contest in that.
And this was a team that made a mockery of the Saints, the team that won’t be able to repeat a trip to the SuperBowl. Likewise, the Colts won’t get that pleasure either.
The last time I think there’d been a team that was in back to back SuperBowls (hate to say it) is the Patriots. One where they beat, I’m thinking Oakland or Tennessee, and the other where they de-stroyed the Eagles… I’m still getting over that, though the loss to Eli & the Giants helped soften the inflicted damage.
I didn’t think for a second Matt Hassleback and the Seahawks stood a chance to make it far in the playoffs. It’s amazing they made it to the 2nd round but maybe next year, Pete Carrol.
The AFC is proving once again to be the conference I’m backing up. With the exception of the Giants in 2008 and the Eagles before them, I have backed the AFC champion in every SuperBowl I had the pleasure to witness… well, maybe not pleasure, wrong word for the three SuperBowls the Patriots won and where the Cowboys beat the Steelers in ’96.
In the past decade, the Patriots won 3 SuperBowls within 5 seasons. Went to 4 within 6 and lost their most recent trip. The Steelers have been in 2 within the last 5 seasons and won both (and a booyah to that!). The Colts have also been in 2 within the last 5 and won one of them. As far as I know, no team has won three years in a row… John Elway’s Broncos could have done it if he didn’t retire, but now that I know about his physical condition that point in his career, it’s just as well that he didn’t. I support that decision to quit while he was ahead.
It’s proving to be quite the picture, though.
I was indifferent come the Steelers and Ravens game. I backed the Ravens against the Chiefs last week. But then I just wanted to see a good game between the two great teams. I like the Ravens and Joe Flacco, but the Steelers, geographically, that speaks for itself. The Ravens got an early lead and I just wanted the Steelers to get back in it to make it that all the more interesting. Well, they came back in a big way and though I wanted them to win, I wanted to see Joe Flacco fight back. He’s a good quarterback, but he has yet to prove himself as a championship winning quarterback. Not quite at the level Peyton Manning was going towards the SuperBowl a few years back… there was talk that he had to prove himself by getting to the big game and winning it. SuperBowl XLI proved them all wrong.
Tom Brady is skilled at what he does, but he doesn’t study defenses like Peyton. Clearly Rex Ryan had chosen which he deemed the better of the two. I just want to give the guy a high five for that way of thinking. I hold prejudice against Tom Brady because he’s annoyingly invincible.
Or saw I thought until last night. It seems that all that trash talk wasn’t just for show. The Jets actually made due with what their words and made the Patriots eat those words. They sacked Tom Brady at least 5 times and intercepted a pass from him once. That was all it took. They kept him and the offense on a tight leash throughout the game, though at one point it loosened. Then it tightened thanks to a spectucular catch inbounds by Santonio Holmes for a touchdown… the same guy who made that magic catch in SuperBowl XLIII, with both of his toes in bounds before he fell out of it… he is now hanging out with the Jets and he’ll be going against his old team next week.
So there leaves even more indifference. I feel indebted to the Jets for piercing the image of the seemingly “perfect” Patriots… no team is allowed to be that good is my opinion… and they got what they deserved.
Me, I’m just looking forward to a good close game between the two. Whoever wins, I’m going to expect to give Chicago a good show in Dallas. I may lean on the fence when it comes to the final 2 teams, but it all depends on whether Chicago completes their side of the baragin.