Much like the recent Sony hack, evil forces are at work in the NFL in the form of Jerry’s empire. Anyone who thought that sports wasn’t fixed should look no further than the crazy calls in Sundays Lions at Cowboys game. For those of you who didn’t see the “flag pickup call”, it’s basically the first time that anyone can remember a ref making and announcing a call that results in a first down, the offense lining up to snap the ball, and the ref then picking up said flag and overturning the call.
Flash to Fat Cats (bad pun intended) Jerry Jones and Gov. Chris Christie rejoicing in the luxury box, and conspiracy theories abound. Some of the best memes below –
So now there are eight teams left and each match up brings gossip, hijinks and some great football. This weekend brings us the Divisional Round, where the top four teams from each division battle to go to their respective Championship Games and ultimately to the Big Game. Top seeds are coming off a Bye week – sometimes an advantage, often a stumbling block as hot teams get out of their rhythm.
What to look for this weekend?
Ravens at New England
This is the game New England least wanted, and likely it’s toughest hurdle to get to the Super Bowl. Baltimore has knocked New England out of the playoffs twice since 2010 and is not intimidated by some crazy home field playoff record. Sure, when you play in a cakewalk division and get home games in inclement weather, you’re always likely to win a few playoffs. However, New England’s defense this year is one of their best ever, and they will need to be, since Joe Flacco is playing at the top of his game.
Most importantly, though, will Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attend the game?
Panthers at Seahawks
Carolina is on a hot streak, not having lost since November. The Panthers are lucky to have even made the playoffs, so they could just ride that “aw shucks, glad to be here” attitude up to Seattle and pull off one of the biggest upsets in recent playoff history. Still, I don’t see them putting up much of a game verses the rested home team….unless, of course, that rested home team is already looking ahead to a very tough game next week. Hmmmm (said with Dr. Evil smile and finger to mouth).
Most importantly, if the Seahawks lose in this round, how many fans will jump right off that bandwagon? Personally, I see Mackelmore being the first.
Cowboys at Panthers
Come on, Packers. If Dez Bryant thinks he can take off his helmet and taunt a ref I vote he gets a nice big smack down from one Clay Matthews. But with Aaron Rodgers suffering a bruised calf, even a rub down from Olivia Wilde may not assure peak performance.
The Packers are the best home team in the league, and the Cowboys are the best road team in the league. Eddie Lacy’s running game could be the deciding factor in this cold weather game.
Most importantly, if Chris Christie attends, will he mistake a cheese head as a game day snack and eat it?
Colts at Broncos
It’s rare that my two most beloved quarterbacks go head to head. On paper, Peyton and the Broncos are poised to advance to yet another AFC championship game. In particular, their recent running game success should be a blazing success against the Colts D. Still, something about my team gives me hope. Their December was a disaster, but last week’s win against the Bengals was decisive, and if we can carry that momentum into Denver, who knows?
Most importantly, which creepy Rob Lowe will show up to watch?
A Cure for the Playoff Hangover
So, even if your team does not win this weekend, you have one more chance to squeeze in some football watching on Monday and drown your sorrows in wings and beer. Yes, it’s the first ever college playoff championship featuring Oregon and Ohio State. Look out for:
- Fancy Nike-sponsored uniforms
- Commentators mentioning 10x how Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer is a genius
- Commentators mentioning 20x how no SEC team is in this game
- Commentators mentioning 30x whether Marcus Mariota will be the first pick in the draft
- Hopefully a Pac-12 victory, to show the rest of the country where the real talent lies! Suck it Bama!
In sickness, health and free agency
Mazel Tov to Michael Sam who got engaged to his boyfriend Vito Cammisano while vacationing in Europe. This groundbreaking football player may not have a current NFL team but he will soon have a handsome little Italian husband named Vito, who probably makes a mean sausage and peppers (and no, there was no pun intended there!). Cheers, boys, for knowing the important things in life!
Last but not least, a mention of the passing of Stuart Scott. Anyone who loves sports could not help loving this broadcaster who had a style all his own. His battle with cancer was an inspiration, but what I loved most about Stuart was his coining of phrases that have become part of our vernacular. “Just call him butter, cause he’s on a roll” and “As cool as the other side of the pillow” are just but a few of the sayings every sports lover wishes they had invented. RIP and boo ya, my man.