Thursday, January 18, 2007
Four left in NFL
Before we gear up this train to get on track for Super Bowl XLI, it just might be a good idea to state the obvious. The first, for instance, could very well be yours truly’s prediction for the BCS championship (ouch!).
Your point has been well made already, no need to continue calling or reminding me when you accost me. In my defense, everything is being won by Florida, or in Florida, these days.
One would think that of all the playoff games completed to date in the NFL, there could hardly be any records left to break or history to be made. Apparently, there are still a ton out there.
And don’t discount the dreams to be yet realized. They rate right up there, occupying a perky level above disappointment. The dreams and disappointments hit everyone, from owners and coaches to players.
They start with the wildcards. For some of us, the wildcard weekend held few surprises. Kansas City was destined to lose to Indianapolis; Dallas was supposed to fall to the Seahawks (runners-up in XL). However, one Dallas fan did remark to me that there is no playoff without the Cowboys.
New England, winner of three Super Bowls in four years, had way too much experience for the Jets. The Eagles and Giants, that could have gone either way, but not this year.
Now the stage has been set for the conference championships next Sunday. And there was history and a Cinderella story. The New Orleans Saints had been carving their pumpkin all season, fashioning a chariot, which would hopefully take them to the grand ball.
Charlie Farris says that the Saints-Eagles game Saturday, as good as it was, made him nervous. He remarked on the play of Deuce McAllister (someone well known in these here parts), plowing his way into the endzone and helping New Orleans to the first conference championship game in their 40-year history.
Charlie’s anxiety can definitely be shared here. All season long I have stated that whomever went to XLI would have to go through Chicago to do it.
And Sunday as I sat there gripping the arms of my favorite quarterback-coaching chair, when the game was tied, the image of the BCS championship kept replaying.
Anyway, next Sunday, it will be the Patriots against the Colts for supremacy in the AFC and Chicago hosting New Orleans for the title in the NFC.
Will Peyton Manning’s dream of a Super Bowl be realized? Will the Saints and first year coach Sean Payton have to carve another pumpkin? Don’t forget to tune in next week.
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