Friday, January 18, 2008

Four Stories

The NFC and AFC Championship games will be planned on Sunday. This means that at the end of the day weekend we will have our Super Bowl match up ready to go. The nice thing about this year is that we are pretty much guaranteed to have two great stories fall into our laps for Super Sunday.

1. The New York Giants – It’s the emergence of Manning…but no the Manning that you are thinking of…the OTHER Manning…Eli. Not only has he led his team to the NFC Championship but his last two games have, arguably, been the two best games of his career. If he’s able to make it to the Super Bowl, wouldn’t it be a great photo-op to have Eli Manning settling into the pocket and completing a 22-yard TD pass while his brother Peyton cheers him on from the luxury boxes?

2. The San Diego Chargers – A team that started the season 5-5 before rattling off eight consecutive victories to get to the AFC title game. They have one of the best running backs in the game in Ladainian Tomlinson; a young, yet fiery, quarterback in Philip Rivers; a couple of solid wide receivers. That being said, almost all of those players are hurt…and they’re going up against the NFL’s best team…who just so happens to be 17-0 on the season thus far. The Chargers could be the team that had a rough start, figured things out, went to the AFC Championship and took down the giant.

3. The Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre. Need I say more? We have been sitting back waiting for this guy to retire for the past seven years yet he continues to come back. A couple of seasons ago, particularly during his 2005 campaign, I really thought that Favre had become one of those players that we hate to see – a great player that stuck around just a season too long. Well, Sir Brett of the Tundra has guided the Pack to 13 wins during 2007 and got them back to the NFC title game. Could this be the “last Hurrah!” for Brett? I doubt it…but if he wins the big one, that would be a heck of a way to go out.

4. The New England Patriots – The pursuit of perfection. I remember when I was a little kid and I saw the old ’72 Dolphins clinking their glasses and remembering the good ol’ days of their perfect season. Well, the Pats are looking to better the ‘Phins. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the crew are looking to become one of the best teams in NFL history, and certainly put up the best record. That being said, I have never seen a team more focused than New England. They have set their sights high but have not underestimated anyone. They play with a purpose that is unmatched by anyone I have ever seen.

As for my picks? Well, I'm taking the favorites...the Packers and the Patriots.

Manning and the Giants have had a great run but the Packers are just too strong - on both sides of the ball. I think it will be a close game and will probably come down to a big play in the fourth quarter. That's the main reason that I like the Packers though. Favre has been there too many times and has too much experience to let the moment get to him. Eli's time will come one just won't be Sunday.

Tom Brady just has way too many weapons (Randy Moss, Ben Watson, Wes Welker...I really could keep going on). If Rivers, Tomlinson and tight end Antonio Gates cannot play, then it should be a good, old-fashioned Boston Massacre. Even if the Bolts were playing at 100%, I'd have a tough time picking them over the Pats.

Well, just like those smug old men who wear the old Miami Dolphins uniforms, I’ll have my champagne ready to go at the end of the day. Because regardless of the outcome of either one of these championship games, we are going to have two great story lines for Super Bowl Sunday!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back to the Blog

Well, I’m just now getting back into the swing of things after “my long winter’s nap” of the holiday season. A lot has been going on over the past couple of weeks that we haven’t had the opportunity to talk about. Therefore, over the next week or so we’re going to be tackling some of those issues.

Things to look forward to:
-Tom Glavine putting back on a Braves uniform
-LSU capturing college football’s national title
-Goose Gossage getting into the Hall of Fame
-Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson

And most recently (as in today), the start of the second round of the NFL Playoffs.

So, here’s where we are: Lady Cheek is out with some of her girls tonight, so you know what that means for me – a night of rotting my mind and teeth! I’ve decided to turn this afternoon and evening into a nice little NFL Football Day (which I don’t do very often). But Brett Favre and Tom Brady are playing today. It’s a big day.

So, without further delay, a nice little NFL Day Diary…

8:12 p.m.: The New England Patriots, and their 16-0 record, just kicked off to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

8:19: J-ville is going for it on fourth down on their first drive?!...AND they got it?! Holy crap! Talk about setting a tone.

8:23: Jacksonville just scored a touchdown on a crazy pass play from Garrard to Matt Jones. Are we about to see the Pats fall?!

8:29: Brady’s first five-step drop…SACKED. All Jags, all the time!

8:30: The Pats pick up 33-yards on a short pass to Laurence Maroney.

8:32: Brady says we’re going for it on fourth down too. I’ll show you David Garrrrrard! And…got it.

I’m betting that the punter for the Patriots just used that little phone that they keep on the sidelines to call across the field to the Jaguars’ punter and say, “Seriously dude, we should just go home.”

8:34: Touchdown Ben Watson! Alright…Go Dawgs.

8:40: Okay, I can already tell that this is going to be a short diary. There has been roughly four seconds of actual football over the six minutes. The commercial breaks are going to kill me.

8:43: Garrard fumbles and the Pats recover…here we go. And just to throw it out there, Brady and the Patriots are just grueling to play defense against. They just find ways to get first downs over and over again.

8:46: End of the first quarter. 7-7.

Jimmy Johnson is in one of the new Coors Light commercials. You know, the ones that have the guys in the press conferences asking the stupid questions. I want someone to try to convince me that it wouldn’t be a good idea to just tie Johnson to a chair toss him off a bridge. Seriously, just try.

8:50: The Pats just stuck it into the endzone on the first play of the second quarter…and back to commercials…

And ah yes, our first erectile dysfunction commercial. It just wouldn’t be NFL Football without one. I love it when the guy starts talking about the side effects. Sure you might not be able to walk again, and you’ll probably vomit after each meal while you eventually go deaf and blind…but hey, when your wife is ready to go, you’ll be ready.

8:53: The Pats kickoff, tackle the Jags on their own 5-yard line and then we are back to the commercials…

Big Brother 9?! Are they still actually making this show? Who’s watching this stuff? Speaking of television shows...we’re also going to have to talk a little bit about what has been happening in the television world. That’s another entry for another day but just add that to the list.

9:03: Okay, I just watched the Jaguars drive the length of the field as if to say, “We will NOT go quietly into the night.” Brady and Bill Belichick don’t look amused.

9:09: CBS just showed us the passing stats in the game so far. Garrard – 11-12, 141 yards and two TDs; Brady – 7-7, 81 yards and one TD. This can’t last that long, can it? And with a player down, we’ll go to commercial…

A new movie called 10,000 B.C. is coming out in March. From what I gathered from the trailer, it’s pretty much all mammoths and saber-tooth tigers. Is there anyone of note in this movie? IMDb says, “No.” I mean, when you’re making a movie about that time period you have to know that there isn’t going to be a lot of clothing. The casting director HAS to go to the producers and say, “Listen, we have to get Jessica Alba in this movie, pony up!”

9:18: We’re at the 2-minute warning and there has been one incomplete pass so far…IN THE GAME.

9:25: The Patriots kicker goes wide right on a field goal attempt before the end of the second half. Only time will tell if that comes back to bite the Pats.

9:31: Halftime. 14-14. Pretty good ball game. I’ll have to stick around for the second half.
Well, the CBS crew is putting me to sleep so I am going to wrap this thing up. I’ll be writing more throughout the week. Don’t be a stranger.