With the NFC Championship officially spiraling out of control, let’s throw a bone to AA and ask the following question: What would you rather hear about endlessly for the next two weeks, Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy finally overcoming their histories and reputations as proficiently awkward choke artists, or Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots being constantly lauded as the BEST EVAH!!111one!! by every single sports media personality in the nation?
My friends, this is your choice. I freely admit that it is not an easy decision, and will thus make no attempt to hide my disdain for either of these teams. I’m an Eagles fan, born in Philadelphia, and therefore done with all things Boston. They won a World Series under ridiculous circumstances after a near-century of failure, then proceeded to act like they had won the previous twelve World Series. Their wildly successful football team is the absolute embodiment of the NFL as a league: Bland By Design. And really, their fans have had enough. No group of people has ever squandered a seemingly endless supply of goodwill as quickly or spectacularly as Boston fans. You know, outside of the people who started the Freedom Fries movement.
On the other side, Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy. To a large extent, they’ve become humanized by their failures and tragedies. Manning, consistently regarded as an immensely dopey and talented quarterback with a penchant for crapping the bed, filmed a bunch of goofy commercials that made me giggle in my weaker moments. Tony Dungy, well, he’s a Nice Guy. Or a Classy Guy. And given the way he handled himself in the wake of his son’s suicide, you have to believe those things. Indianapolis, as a city? Hell if I know. Never been there. They don’t have MLB or NHL teams, and their basketball franchise is best known for beating up Turtle from Entourage. So I have no real beef with the possibility of Indianapolis winning a Super Bowl. It’s not like their fans have been spoiled. I mean, the freaking Marlins won two World Series, right? We can throw Indy a bone here, can’t we?
Still, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to root against Peyton Manning. There’s something so satisfying about it. Like I said, I’m a Philadelphia guy. I can appreciate the art of failure.
What are you hoping for this evening? What’s the most fitting way for this game to end? Personally, I’m going with Peyton leading the Colts down the field in the final two minutes, and Adam Vinatieri shanking a 19-yard field goal.
I’m Run Up The Score, and this is your AFC Championship live blog. Word.
Former Texans GM Charley Casserly (yes, the guy who passed over Reggie Bush) dropped an interesting tidbit on the CBS pregame show. Tonight’s officiating crew is led by Bill Carollo, and his crew has only called five defensive pass interference penalties this season. Casserly added that this isn’t necessarily Carollo’s entire regular season crew, but the lack of pass interference calls could be an interesting thing to watch for if New England starts getting overly physical with Indy’s receivers.
Also, Casserly mentioned that Atlanta can’t cut Ron Mexico because it would be a $21,000,000 salary cap hit.