Championship Weekend Thoughts – Part I

I went through all the newspapers and online sites this morning, looking for interesting article. It was a decidedly uninspiring bunch.

Don’t believe me? You can look at CelticsLinks.com, or BruinsLinks.com or Red Sox Links or PatriotsLinks.com and see for yourself.

I do recommend checking out Chris Warner’s East-West Shrine Game Review. Last year’s game had Myron Pryor, Brian Hoyer and Sebastian Vollmer playing, who knows which future Patriots were on display?

There was quite a bit of debate heading into yesterday’s AFC championship game as to what team Patriots fans should root for. To me, it was easy. Many of my friends chose the Jets, figuring that they didn’t want to see the Colts creep closer to the Patriots in the Super Bowl tally.

I didn’t see it that way at all. The thought of two weeks of Rex Ryan and Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis and Fireman Ed left me queasy. As it is, I’m pretty sure we’re going to hear about the Jets all offseason, and I expect a lot of third place predictions for the Patriots in the AFC East come August. The Jets are the next dynasty. Get ready for it.

I chose to root for the Colts because nothing they do will take away from what the Patriots have accomplished already. I frankly don’t care about the comparisons. I will say I enjoy watching the Colts when they are not playing the Patriots. How can you not? Peyton Manning has almost completely transformed his postseason, big game image and reputation. You have to respect him for that.

He’s come so far that I’ve almost started viewing he and the Colts like those mid-to-late 90’s Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls teams. I’ve always been a die-hard Celtics fan, and perhaps because if the team was actually competitive during that time I might’ve felt different, but I enjoyed watching the Bulls dispatch whomever the latest and greatest challenger was, be it the Trail Blazers, the Sonics, the Jazz, the Knicks, the Pacers, the Heat, whomever.

The New York Jets beat the Bengals and the Chargers…not exactly two proven postseason winners, and suddenly the entire national media was jumping on their bandwagon. The New York papers, a couple of which pretty much ignored the Jets the entire season, suddenly had Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez as their cover boys. Sanchez was pretty good yesterday, but for most of his rookie season he’s been closer to JaMarcus Russell than to Peyton Manning.

So with all that, there was a certain satisfaction in seeing Manning and the Colts coldly, precisely pick apart the Jets, especially in the second half. It was enjoyable.

Make no mistake though, I’ll be rooting against the Colts in two weeks.

In the second game, the choice was much easier. Saints all the way. A franchise that has never been to the Super Bowl, a city that has been through way too much the past decade, and a team with a style of play that is fun to watch. Plus there was the Brett Favre factor.

Had Favre made it to the Super Bowl, ESPN might’ve just imploded in upon itself with all the hype for the next two weeks. It didn’t matter which AFC team was in. If it was the Jets, you’d get two weeks of Rex Ryan coupled with Favre, plus the “rookie QB vs the 40-year-old QB.” With the Colts it would be all Peyton vs Brett – two good ol’ Southern boys who love to sling it.

Just thank the man upstairs that it didn’t happen that way.

Favre, as we know, reverted to form at the exact moment you would’ve expected him to. The biggest moment. A moment in which he did not need to throw the ball, but not only threw it, but tried to force it across his body, which resulted in an interception. Yes, he wasn’t the only one at fault. The Vikings had a lot of goats yesterday, but they were still in position to attempt a field goal that could’ve sent them to the Super Bowl but instead ended up going to OT.

Despite the pick, you’re still going to hear plenty of Favre love from the media. Why?

That will be the subject of the second post today, coming at about noon….

  • supwithyou

    Bruce,
    In rooting for Colts vs. Jets, you don’t take into account 2 things: Bill Polian & Peyton calling out his teammates (either by his facial expressions, or literally as Donald Brown will confirm). I do love Peyton’s commercials & his SNL bits though.

    As for Bill Polian, we all know about his role in competition committee and not going for perfect season (his reasoning was just plain dumb). I would have loved to see Jets (the team that they helped get into playoffs) bite them.

    • Bruce

      That’s all true, but my hatred for all things Jets just was so much more than even what Polian has done.

      Jets = Spygate, Mangini, Parcells, Deion Branch tampering, Curtis Martin, and on and on and on.

  • Tony

    I hope the Colts lose in Miami because the refs call 5 illegal contact penalties after 3rd down incompletions on the Saints’ final scoring drive. And then I hope Polian tries, in the offseason, to ram through HIS Competition Committee a “re-de-emphasis” of the illegal contact rule in response to his team being “victimized” by the rule in the previous post-season…and I hope the committee members finally have the cojones to stand up to him and just say “NO.”

    • Peter

      Amen to that.

      Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Polian demand that the defending AFC champion get an automatic bye to the conference title game next year. What a crybaby that guy is.

      I cheered for the Jets in part because I know many Jet fans so they have a human face. I don’t know any Colts fans.

    • Classless

      That would be the perfect ending for the Colts. To die by their own sword (The Mighty Pass Interference Penalty). Then that walking corpse Polian wouldn’t know what to do.

      Colts MVP: The penalty flag.

  • Alex

    I was pulling for the Colts also. Two weeks of all that NY Jets nonsense would have been way too much.

    Go Saints!