Just a couple of NFL thoughts:
:: Wow, is home field advantage increasingly meaningless or what? Since 1990, when the NFL went to a twelve-team playoff format, AFC top seeds are 7-12 in converting top seed status into a Super Bowl appearance; NFC teams are a better, but not staggering, 11-8 at doing the same thing. All top seeds, therefore, are 18-20 in getting to the Super Bowl. Two of the last three Super Bowl champions were sixth seeds in the playoffs (Pittsburgh in 2005, the Giants in 2007), with the one in the middle (Indy in 2006) being a third seed. And next week’s conference championship games will each feature a number six seed, and both of those sixth seeds look pretty impressive right now.
:: The Cardinals are hosting an NFC Championship Game. This is a franchise whose greatest single moment in the NFL limelight was a fictional moment (Rod Tidwell’s touchdown catch to beat the Cowboys at the end of the movie Jerry Maguire). I’m actually going to root for them, because I love Kurt Warner and I’m supremely glad to see the way he’s made his comeback. I think that Warner, by sticking around and taking his lumps as a backup to young guys until he got his chance again, and by then making the most of that chance when it came, may have finally gone from “onetime flash in the pan” to potential Hall of Famer.
:: It must be enormously frustrating to be a Chargers fan these last couple of years and see what is probably the best single roster in franchise history basically wasted because Norv Turner’s the one with his hand on the tiller. Good coordinator, but he can’t head coach his way out of a paper bag. If he didn’t keep lucking into teams with good rosters, he’d be Dick Jauron.
:: Brett Favre will make up his mind in a couple of weeks as to whether he’s playing next year or not. I’m sure the Jets are really feeling great about the decision to trade for him last year! Now they’re out a draft pick, they still didn’t make the playoffs, their coaching staff will be in flux, they’ll still need to figure out their longterm quarterback solution, and now Favre is jerking them around the same way he did the Packers for the last few years. I was always a Favre fan, but he’s been making such an arse of himself for the last few seasons that I just want him to go away. Sure, he’s got a lot of passing records, but so what? If not for his injuries and long road back, Kurt Warner would probably be right up there in stats too, and he’s got as many Super Bowl appearances (two) and Super Bowl rings (one) as Favre. (He does have one more MVP award than Warner, three to two.)
:: I still hate that teams get two points for a safety. I think there should be no points but the team recording the safety should automatically take possession at the 50 yard line.
:: Odd synchronicity: this weekend saw action by all three quarterbacks who lost Super Bowls to Tom Brady (Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb) and the one who beat Tom Brady (Eli Manning).
:: Ben Roeythlissburrgher (pretty sure I spelled that wrong) is in his third AFC Championship game. That brings the record of the three first-round quarterbacks from the 2004 Draft to five conference championship game appearances (Eli Manning and Philip Rivers have one each) and two Super Bowl wins (Big Ben and Manning). That may well have been the best quarterbacks class ever, better even than the class of 1983. Those three first-rounders of ’04 are Teh Awesome.
:: Yes, there were only three quarterbacks taken in the first round in ’04. Why do you ask?
OK, that’s it. If the Bills hadn’t sucked, this might have been a fun NFL season to watch.
Talk about your legacy projects! The ’04 boys will only build on their legends. (In retrospect, San Diego may end up with the best of the deal going with Rivers, rather than Eli or Drew Brees who passed for all those yards and missed the playoffs.) If Warner wills the Cards to the Super Bowl, he deserves Hall of Fame consideration. Brett needs to retire while we remember when he could back up his gunslinger ways.
I confess I have a longtime fascination with Donovan McNabb because he has beaten my teams — the Hokies and Cowboys — for years. He escaped the curse of being the next Danny White by finally getting into the Super Bowl, but he may not match Jim Kelly’s run of getting to the big game. The inability of the Super Bowl loser, including the Patriots, to make the playoffs the next season makes the Bills’ run of four in a row an achievement.
I’ve been bored with football all season. Until this past weekend and then suddenly I got interested. Funny thing, though… I’m not sure which team I would like to see win the superbowl.
I sort of agree with you about Brett Favre. I’ve always liked to watch him play, wasn’t ready for him to retire but I would have preferred that he retire gracefully instead of this past year’s soap opera. And Favre as a Jet just isn’t doing anything for me. The Jets have never been one of my teams and it’s still hard for me get interested in them.
I still disagree with you about the safety. See my blog, coming either on Thursday or Friday.