Championship Weekend Quick Hits

24 Jan

courtesy of post-gazette.com

Nearly five months since the last preseason games were played, we have finally arrived at the culmination of yet another football season. Spoiler alert for those that have TiVo’d the Championship games: the Packers and Steelers came out on top. A rematch of possibly the best regular season game last year, this year’s Super Bowl matchup pits two stellar QB’s and defenses going up against each other. I’m popping a chubby just thinking about it. Here are my random thoughts on this weekend’s action:

– First things first: I hate to say this, but we might’ve dropped the ball with the CoverIt Live chat thingamabob. We did get traffic of course, but not the participation we would’ve liked. We went for the Strong Move, but sometimes the Strong Move doesn’t work out. It happens. As I’ve said, this is a constant work in progress, this is really our first venture into this and we’re learning as we’re going along. I’ve heard from multiple people that they liked our old, antiquated way of doing the live blog better. Who knew. It was kinda ghetto but I guess it does make reading easier after the fact. I do want to use the CoverIt Live chat function in the future though, but not being able to embed it into WordPress was a bit of a fail.

– Next order of business: For those of you keeping score at home, I am now 8-2 with my playoff picks. Folks, I am the real deal. I eat breathe and sleep football. Literally, I fall asleep not by counting sheep, but by running through draft prospects in my head as well as this year’s free agents. I may need to get a life/get laid. Maybe not. But I will say this, I’ve watched a lot of football in my life. And when I say a lot, I mean more than the recommended dosage. I hate to say this because my entire family is full of Steelers fans, but I’m leaning towards the Packers as of now. This might change as we get closer to gameday (which is two weeks away…absurd).

– In related news, as I mentioned last week, big props to Peter King, who predicted this Super Bowl matchup BEFORE the season. Definitely not your cookie-cutter analyst, one of the best in the business.

– Speaking of the impending Super Bowl, are there two teams that have faced as much adversity throughout the season than these two? The Steelers began the season with Dennis Dixon under center as Big Ben served his suspension, and then had CHAZ Batch come in for DD when he went down. They went 3-1 in those first four games, their only loss coming against the Ravens on a last minute TD. By the way, two of those three wins came against the NFC’s #1 seed (Falcons) and another near playoff team (Bucs). The Packers meanwhile survived a slew of injuries with help from Aaron Rodgers and their defense. Both Big Ben and Rodgers are tremendous under pressure and while the Steelers have the edge in the running game, Green Bay’s wideouts might be the best unit in the league. Both teams know how to apply the heat on defense as well. The teams match up perfectly and should set up a classic Super Bowl. Two blue-collar teams with a rich tradition, can’t ask for much more.

– My take on the Jay Cutler situation: I hate to judge injuries from my couch because there’s no way of knowing the extent of it. There’s no way of knowing how Cutler would’ve performed if he stayed in the game either, but I will say this: Caleb Hanie provided a spark for that offense and he should get a tremendous amount of respect for coming in cold and ballin’ in the NFC Championship game. The problem with Cutler was his body language when he was taken off the field. Football players have to realize that first and foremost, this is entertainment. They are paid to behave a certain way. We expect them to care, because we care. Cutler has to have known the cameras were on him. Sure, some guys are not as vocal or extroverted as others but would it have killed him to look a little upset? Take a page from Peyton’s book. This incident does not help the image that Cutler has created for himself all these years, whether he likes it or not, and whether it’s merited or not. The quarterback position might be one of the most mental positions in all of sports, and this incident might hurt Cutler’s mindset in the future. Stay tuned.

– It was personal against the Colts. The Jets won. It was definitely personal against the Pats. The Jets won again. Against the Steelers? Eh, not so much. As much as I hate the Jets (scratch that, it’s really Jets fans I loathe), the environment and mentality Rex Ryan has instilled in this consistently loser franchise is commendable and refreshing. But it has its limitations. Hate can only take you so far. The Jets could not match the intensity of the Steelers especially in the first half, mostly because the Steelers are able to channel their intensity from elsewhere (I’m pretty sure James Harrison might be a sociopath who feeds off of dead puppies). Also, playing every playoff game on the road doesn’t help. I mean, did you see the crowd at Heinz Field? The Jets goal next year should first be to win the AFC East and finish ahead of the Patriots. Then think about Super Bowl. And maybe get their motivation somewhere other than shit-talking other teams.

– Sanchez’s QB rating? Over a hundred. Big Ben’s? 35.5. Who had the better game? That’s an easy one. I lost count of the crucial third down conversions Big Ben made buying time with his feet and either taking off or finding an open receiver. There’s a reason why he’s one of the winningest QB’s in playoff history. Sanchez played better than I expected, but a lot of that had to do with the Steelers’ D backing off in the second half. They can’t afford to let Rodgers do the same thing to them in Dallas.

– Has there ever been a better beard than Brett Keisel’s?

– If Pouncey’s high ankle sprain keeps him out of the Super Bowl, the Steelers are fucked.

– By the way, reason I haven’t commented as much on the Bears-Packers game: I hate to say this but I didn’t see the entire thing. Was at the Devils-Panthers game. Before you hate on me, in my defense the tickets were 1. Free 2. In a VIP Suite and 3. This was my first live hockey game. I got into hockey about three or four years ago. It started when I went to Toronto for the International Bowl a few years back. All I did was drink Molson Canadian, eat peanuts, and watch the Maple Leafs. I understood the game for the first time. The next few years, I’d get stoned and watch the NHL Playoffs in my apartment. I was hooked. I tried to get into hockey before this, but this is what got the job done. Marijuana is a miracle worker I’m telling you. Anyway, for those of you that haven’t experience it, being at a hockey game is surreal. So much easier to follow the action and you get really into the game. Plus, the beer in the suite was free. My new life goal is to own a VIP suite in some arena or stadium. This is where I spent the NFC Championship game. Blasphemous I know, but hey, I’d watch in between periods!

– Speaking of drinking, strong moves at the Martinez Hacienda last night for the Steelers-Jets game. Had Landshark, Dos Equis Ambar, St. Pauli Girl, Newcastle, and Sierra Nevada. To go along with two pizza pies (one pepperoni, one sausage and peppers), a Crave Case (courtesy of Lorenz), and some hot dogs with all the fixings. Can’t wait for the playoffs to be over so I can maintain my diet.

– I’ll end on this note

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: