The majority of this post has been lifted from one of my various alter-egos throughout the www. This one is stuck in a password-protected forum, however, so I figure there’s few chances that any of you would accidentally stumble onto these words unless I copy-pasted them for you.
Those of you who don’t like football, or are dirty foreigners who can’t figure out why these pansy wimps need to rest in between plays (Much less why they can’t do anything without touching the ball with their hands, by Jove!), can ignore this post. For the rest of you, venture with me below the fold for some football wonkery.
First up: The American Football Conference
First for the obvious pick. My own prescious San Diego Chargers gets one of the first-round byes. Even a date in the Kingdome won’t derail them from landing in the bye-zone. With two division crowns in three years, this team is better all around than the famed Humphries-Seau years. Will they fare better this time?
The second will go to the Baltimore Ravens, now that folks have finally figured out that they can run through Indy’s defense like it’s swiss cheese and the Ravens going up against three cheesecake teams to Indy’s two cheesecakes and a tough row to hoe at Cinci this Sunday night. (Didn’t think I’d be saying that one after the seasons they’ve had recently.)
And seeing as how I’m predicting an even record between the Ravens and Chargers, the HFA nod would go to Baltimore thanks to their head-to-head win over the Bolts in Week 4. (Bastages, thou art.)
Berths 3 and 4 are much easier to call. Indy gets the third seed and NE taking the East and the fourth dance card.
So now comes the hard part: the wild cards. At this moment in time, they go to Cinci and Jax. But all things change in the NFL. Cinci will fall from grace quickly, thanks to the loss to Denver in Week 16. The Jags will try very hard to lose a playoff berth, but will win the fifth seed anyways, despite their best efforts.
The Jets will try valiantly at the last push, but will still lose out to Denver for the final date to the prom. Yes. Denver. Even after the QB change. Even after losing 4 straight for the first time in years. Even after realizing that one superstar cornerback does not a championship-caliber secondary make, particularly when you make a cover cornerback play as a hitting safety. Even after almost losing to the Raiders at Mile High. Winning out the last three games, they sneak into the playoffs, but they do it running forward instead of backing in.
And now, the National Football Conference: (Yes, I know, you heathen foreigners who don’t understand football and snuck in without us seeing you. It IS rather redundant to have the National Football Conference as part of the National Football League. Shut up.)
Chicago is the easiest bet on the board. Tied with the Chargers for the best record in the NFL, 1st Round Bye, HFA, and a side of fat fries and a chocolate shake from Fatburger… It’s all theirs, and the NFC Road To The Super Bowl goes through Soldier Field.
New Orleans… Mardi Gras will seem to come a bit early when the Saints come marching in to their first 1st round bye in years. And coming off of not only a disastrous start to the season, but a disastrous series of events throughout NOLA, and you won’t be able to move without impaling yourself on a stylized fleur de lis in the Big Easy come January.
Coming in third in the seeds is Dallas. Even with T.O. tearing up the scandal sheets, this Cowboy team is hot, and Tony Romo is the darling of the press corps, third to only Brees and Tomlinson (although with not nearly close to enough justification). But try as they might, they won’t make it past the Saints in the race for 1RB status.
And fourth… Seattle. Only the fact that the division champion makes it into the playoffs is keeping this team alive in most assessments. After all, they got swept by the ‘Niners this year, lost to ‘Zona, and needed a last-minute field goal to lift them over a faltering true-rookie-under-center Broncos.
So. Those are the easy ones. Now for Playoffs Gone Wild: Uncensored Spring Break Edition!
Carolina needs a miracle. Truly madly deeply, a miracle in order to salvage this season’s playoff spot. And that miracle can only come on Christmas Eve against one of their also-ran contenders: the Falcons. Think the team from the Kakilakies can do it? Survey says…?
Minnesota… Oh, what promise this team had at the beginning of the season. Then a poorly-timed 4-game skid [Ed.-Like there’s ever a GOOD time for a 4-game losing streak?] and a fair bounce here at the end of the season. After Sunday, it’ll be decided for the Vikings: a win against the Jets puts them in the driver’s seat, a loss sends them home after the season’s over. I’m looking for them to not only sit in the driver’s seat, but pop the clutch, do a wheelie for 300 yards, and just when you think they’ll cross the finish line, crash and burn on the center meridian.
Atlanta: Yawn. Their playoff hopes right now are just about as bright as a concussed duckling. Sure, they had that little winning streak against the ‘Skins and the Bucs, but look at where they nosedive to now: a loss Thursday to the ‘Boys, and a double-date of playoff contenders in Carolina and Philly. I can almost hear John Popper singing in the background.
And now the two contenders, whose fates are intertwined this Sunday: Philadelphia Eagles and the New York “They Might Be” Giants. (See? Even I can do a Berman-esque citation!) The winner this Sunday gets to hold their own destiny in their hot little hands all the way until the second season. And the loser gets to wonder what the hell happened to such a good shot, for in a wild-card field this crowded, a single mistake is all you need to hit the big post-season showers while looking forward to spring training about as much as the condemned man enjoys watching the electric chair get a new coat of polish. It may look pretty, but you don’t want to be there when it goes off.
And in a nutshell, here are the final seeds:
- San Diego
- New England
- New Orleans
- New York Giants
Comments? Prediction sets? Long-winded tirades insulting my abilities? Even longer proclimations that I am more full of crap than an old kybo at the All-Texas Chili Cook-off?