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Sunday, Sunday

Spain
Playoff football. Nothing like it.

Needless to say, I loved the morning game. I was rooting for the Ravens to win, but I won't pretend I ever expected anything like the whuppin' they put on the Patriots. It's always nice to see Evil Little Bill get elimimated, so we can be treated to another one of his mumbling monotone press briefings, where he says nothing at all. (Win or lose, I much prefer Rex, who shows signs of being an actual human being, with emotions and a sense of humor and everything). It would have been a much closer game if Welker had not been injured, doubtless (I actually kind of like Welker, though he killed the Jets the last time we played the Pats. It still baffles me why the Dolphins traded him to New England for a bag of old socks, just as it puzzles me why the Raiders would give Randy Moss to New England for one of EVil Bill's old sweatshirts. Must be some sort of evil power) -- but the way the Ravens were playing, they would still have won. Brady looked... dare one say it... mediocre.

The afternoon game was... ah... exciting. And unexpected. I really expected the Pack to handle the Cardinals easily. This is same stuff Arizona pulled last year : winning a sub-par division with such erratic and uninspired play that no one took them seriously, only to come alive suddenly in the post-season. Anyway, Warner played an amazing game. Rodgers was very good too, once he settled down, but those passing stats of Kurt's are mind-boggling. I have to give the Packers credit for an amazing comeback. They looked dead half a dozen times, but just kept kicking dirt off their faces and clawing back out of the grave. And the ending had as much irony as it did drama.

All in all, great football entertainment, though somewhere in the distance I can hear the wails of weeping cheeseheads. An all-time record for scoring in the post-season, I hear. From my point of view, the wrong team won. I guess the Pottsville Maroons will have to wait another week for their curse to kick in.

That being said, I have to take issue with the commentators who are called the Arizona/ Green Bay shootout a "great game." That it wasn't. Exciting, yes. Entertaining, definitely. Good football? No. Neither team brought a defense. Up and down the field, up and down, up and down, pitch and catch. On the rare occasion where a defender actually defended against a pass, he'd get flagged for illegal contact or pass interference. It was a basketball game, is what it was. The sad result for decades of fiddling with rules to give the offense every advantage. Myself, I think they've gone too far, and wish they'd go back, if not to the rules of 50s, at least to those of the 70s. Let the cornerbacks defend, goddamn it.

These rules changes make it almost impossible to compare players from different eras, at least by using stats. The stats for modern players are grossly inflated.

Anyway, the Cardinals go on, the Pack goes home, the Patriots are done... and now the Jets have to face the Chargers, while the Ravens get the Colts. On paper, the Jets don't have much chance against San Diego, but as this weekend's games have proved, anything can happen.

What would be really cool would be if the Jets and Ravens both won. Long odds, I know... but if it happened, Giants Stadium would host one more NFL game before being demolished. The AFC Championship. And wouldn't THAT be cool?

Hey, a boy can dream.

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Comments

nycfalcon
Jan. 11th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
I was hoping with fingers and toes crossed that you would comment. Thanks. Those games were worth your input. Thanks again.

Welker is only as good as he is when he has a QB to get him the ball. The Dolphins didn't, so I don't think they knew what they had. Moss, well remember he started looking not-so-good those last few seasons with the Vikes and Raiders. Obviously for the same reason as Welker. I'm not a fan-boy but it's all about Brady. I think that guy might make something of himself.

Doesn't Rice remind you of a stockier version of Joe Morris? He does to me. He has excellent quickness to the edges and once he pops through the line, watchout! Were it not for the Ray Lewis knife incident I could easily root for the Ravens. As it was I rooted for the Pats and Junior Seau. Sour-Pus has grown on me. And how about that Edelman kid. Guts!

That second game was one of the most entertaining offensive games I've seen since Jets vs Dolphins twenty-something years ago. When I saw the coin toss I figured Green Bay won. Oh irony of ironies that the game should end on a defensive play.

As far as the rules changes, you are probably right. But, don't you think there have been ebbs and flows in the rules towards both offense and defense over the years. Specifically, I'm thinking of the early eighties and Air Coryell. My memory is faulty so I could be wrong.


grrm
Jan. 11th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
I think it's been mostly ebb, with very little flow.
nycfalcon
Jan. 12th, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
I can agree with that.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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