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Life is STILL Magical...

... this week, at least.

A great weekend of playoff football. The Saturday games... well, there was certainly a lot of scoring. A little frustrating for those old school guys like me who like a bit of defense from time to time, but I can't deny it was exciting. The Saints look especially scary. They killed the G-Men when we went down and played them in Nawlins during the season, and I have a feeling they will kill anyone who has to play them in the Superdome. But the rest of their games are likely to be on the road, so you never know.

Good win for the Texans too. I have no particular rooting interest in either Houston or Cincinnati, so I didn't much care how that game came out... but it occurs to me that somewhere in Dallas, Jerry Jones is probably making the pissy face at the thought of another Texas team being in the playoffs while his Cowboys are home. So that's good.

The Steeler/ Bronco game was pretty wild. Really thought that Denver had blown it there, but that overtime was a dagger in the heart. Tebow... what can I possibly say about Tebow that half a million talking heads on ESPN haven't said already? Three hundred yards passing on ten completions... it beggars understanding... but there you are. Somehow I suspect that Evil Little Bill had a role in this... I'm sure he'd much rather face Tebow than the Steelers D, as wounded as Pittsburgh was.

Of course, my favorite game was the big Giants win over Atlanta. They are weeping in the Vale, but rejoicing on the Wall. And hey, those were the REAL Giants, the ones who have been missing all season. Great swarming D and a smashmouth two-headed running game, that's what I've been waiting for. A shaky beginning, right up to the Atlanta safety, but after that it was complete NYG domination. Another great game by Eli. The Falcons clamped down on my man Victor Cruz pretty hard, but that was okay, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham stepped up to take his place. Had to love that last play of the game too, when Osi sacked not only Matt Ryan but also the Atlanta left tackle, driving him back into his QB and tackling both of them.

Which means another trip to the Frozen Tundra next week. Shades of 2007. I hope it's forty below zero again, just like it was back then. Should be epic.

((Far be from me to complain, but the officiating sucked all weekend. The Broncos got robbed on that lateral. The Giants were the victim of at least three terrible calls. And the Lions were also screwed by the zebras. I suspect the results of all three games would have been the same in either case, but really, the refs should watch those premature whistles)).



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Jan. 9th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
I love how you write these nfl blogs, Lord George. Its like I'm really there in the thick of battle, hearing the sounds of their armor splintering as the football soldiers crash into eachother, fighting for the right to conquer the scoreboard. Its almost like being in the Battle of the Blackwater itself, except better because its told in your own voice and its real. I can read these blogs forever.
Peter Dougherty
Jan. 10th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
If it's like the Battle of the Blackwater, can we get Tyrion on the sidelines moving the chains?
Jan. 9th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
The Texans game was awesome! It's also scientific proof that teams really can be fueled by pure desperation: for the first time in franchise history, we're in the playoffs!

...with a third string rookie quarterback. Huh.

I'm not holding my breath (much) for the Ravens, but I'm entertained to see just how far they'll go. We haven't had a Houston team in the play-offs for almost twenty years.
Jan. 9th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Tebow's kind of a wild card. Not a very good one, but still... I think the Pats would rather have faced a severely banged up Big Ben. It'll be an interesting Sunday, in any case.
Jan. 9th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
RE: "Evil Little Bill"

Dude, sounding more and more like a jilted lover.
Peter Dougherty
Jan. 10th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
Re: nfl
It was ELB that got jilted. 18 and 1!
Re: nfl - kathy313 - Jan. 11th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 9th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Saints marching to the Bay..
Yeah, the Lions/Saints game was a shootout. So much for Suh being the difference maker. Still, the real test for the Saints will be at Candlestick Park. At least the game won't be delayed by power outages like their Monday Night game against the Steelers that preceded the Saints dominating, and clinching their division against the Falcons.

And I'm not sorry to see the G-Men blowing out the 'dirty-birds' either. At least the Saints have one less thing to worry about.

Finally, I guess I should say something about the Broncos' improbable victory. And to some extent, Tebow's as well. A-maz-ing. I honestly didn't think he could pass the ball as well as he could run it. But he did both. And the former was the real difference maker in the first overtime game under the "new" rules in the playoffs. (No doubt implemented after the Saints beat the Farve-led Vikings in OT on their way to their first Super Bowl win.)
Jan. 9th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Saints marching to the Bay..
The Saints are leaving the Bayou, but may end up playing in a swamp. I'm definitely watching that game from start to finish. Hopefully the finish isn't until at least five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Jan. 9th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Great weekend of football. I especially liked Hakeem Nicks' open-field catch where he threaded the needle through four (or maybe it was five?) Atlanta defenders and took it all the way. Maybe the Falcons studied at the Antonio Cromartie School of Tackling.

And that OT pass from Tebow to Thomas? Wow. Everyone is talking about Tebow, but I especially liked how Thomas pulled a Forrest Gump and kept running into the breezeway. "Everywhere I went ... I WAS RUNNING!"

I also wore my Chargers gear all weekend -- it's part of the grieving process.

Next week, I'm interested to see how the vaunted San Francisco "D" does against Drew Brees, Darren Sproles and the Saints.
Jan. 9th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Yes, it will be interesting to see how the Saints fare outdoors, going up against one of the league's top defenses. "Defense wins championbships," they say, but I'm not sure it's true this year.

Must confess, assuming the G-Men get past the Packers, I would much rather see them take on the Niners than the Saints in the final.

And Darren Sproles is amazing. Why is the world did the Chargers let him walk? In recent years, they've had Michael Turner, LaDamian Tomlinson, and Sprouls, and they have let all them escape San Diego for other teams. Does AJ Smith expect Rivers to do it all with his arm? A running game is a QB's best friend...
Re: Wow! - nycfalcon - Jan. 9th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Wow! - grrm - Jan. 9th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Wow! - nycfalcon - Jan. 10th, 2012 07:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Wow! - guessingo - Jan. 10th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Wow! - matthew_at - Jan. 10th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 10th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)

Dustin Gaspard
Jan. 10th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
There has been terrible officiating all season. I can't recall a more piss-poor ref'd season than this one. It almost has me questioning the integrity of those officials.


I don't think the 49ers are as threatening as the Lions were. Their schedule was easy, not their fault they're in the lame NFC West. I think the Saints will win and end up playing the Giants.

Yes, Giants will beat GB. At least I hope so.

Edited at 2012-01-10 04:42 am (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
a relly enjoyable weekend of action , tho' i agree the refs were not in good form, but I'm sure the usa's progressive attitude to officiating will ensure the areas in the review system in need of improvement will indeed be , um , improved . As an avid british viewer of america's game , can I just say how strange i find it that anyone that supports a team can also root for their nearest rivals, as in the jets/giants scenario. In england it is virtually unheard of to support two teams , and far more common for their nearest rivals to be the object of loathing ,derision and in most cases a kind of tribal hatred, as exists between the two main london teams , my beloved mighty spurs, and the greyscale-ridden scum from flea bottom, arsenal. I understand the two conference system dictates the two rarely meet,so maybe the rivalry is not fueled by important victories or devastating loses.Other than that , I am at a loss.Could anyone explain it to me please?
Jan. 10th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
Re: nfl
Well, the Giants and the Jets are not really rivals. They only face each other once every four years, for starts. They play in completely different conferences... and back when I started rooting for the Jets, they were in a completely different league (I've been rooting for the Giants even longer, since I first became away of football).

I save my loathing and derision and tribal hatreds for the actual despised rivals of the two teams.

For the Giants, those are the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, each of whom we must face twice a year. (The Redskins are in the division as well, but there's never been the same level of venom and intensity to Giants/ Redskins as there is to Giants/ Eagles or, especially, Giants/ Cowboys).

For the Jets, the traditional, decades long rivalry is with the Miami Dolphins, although in more recent times the previously inoffensive New England Patriots have pushed aside the Fish to become Gang Green's most hated foe.
Re: nfl - jedthewhitehart - Jan. 10th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: nfl - grrm - Jan. 10th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: nfl - Dustin Gaspard - Jan. 10th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: nfl - Peter Dougherty - Jan. 11th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: nfl - Peter Dougherty - Jan. 11th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 10th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
I agree. I hope your G-Men can pull off the upset in Wisconsin. I imagine all the other Bear fans such as myself are rooting for the Giants too. Enjoy!
Jan. 10th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
I was actually at that Giants game on Sunday and I totally agree that the officials were really hard on the home team. Honestly, though, in a game like that, that's sort of how you want it. It's not like anybody in Atlanta can blame a bad call for that kind of loss under even the worst circumstances, but the fact that the refs were all over the Giants and they STILL pulled out an incredible win is pretty awesome.

In a related story, the Falcon set a record for lowest score during a playoff game. And their only points were (snicker) donated.
Jan. 10th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
which bad calls?
fellow giants fan.

I don't remember any really bad calls. The thing that stands out to me were the 2 big Victor Cruz drops and the really bad call to try a draw on 3rd and 9.

I think Aikman was overly harsh against the Falcons for going for it on 4th and inches twice. The Giant defense had been really bad stopping 3rd and 4th and short all season. I don't like that they did the QB sneak the second time. They should have tried something different since it failed the first time.

Jan. 10th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: which bad calls?
The call near the end of first half when Nicks caught the ball well beyond the first down marker, was tackled in the air and driven back three yards, and the refs spotted it where he came down instead of where he made the catch... that was atrocious. And it came in the last two minutes, so the spot could not be challenged. Even Aikman commented on it.
Re: which bad calls? - Dustin Gaspard - Jan. 10th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
Belichick had about as much to do with the Broncos win as God did in Tebow's winning pass. Any team can beat any team. Wasn't that proven when the Giants beat the Pats in that Superbowl I still don't like to think about? We'll see what happens with the rest of the season. And, as a Pats fan, I'm hoping to see my team in Indy on Superbowl Sunday.
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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