Monday, January 22, 2007

Lets Talk About Sports Baby - Volume 4

It was rather interesting day to say the least, as all of my co-workers were having a very hard time dealing with something that has never happened before, which would be the Patriots losing their first AFC Championship game. They have been there 5 times and they had won every one of them, and I found myself in an awkward … actually, scratch that … the usual position, of being the only person there with any logic in the whole matter. I slept well last night, and more to the point because like I had said last week, I thought the Colts could win and if they did it would be the way they should get to the Superbowl. Some of the numskulls that I work with were grouchy and devastated, and had a pile of excuses over why they lost and it was sickening to me to see them acting like Cowboys or Raiders fans. I personally thought that I had a seat to an epic tale last night and I am going to spell it out for any of you that are still reading as I tried to spell it out to the fellowship of the miserable today.
Conceivably it is possible for a lot of people to look at the Steelers Superbowl victory last year as being a duck and run. The Patriots beating themselves out of the Denver game, gave the Steelers the opportunity to go to the Superbowl and victimize the minor league team {the Seattle Seahawks} which actually made that Superbowl win rather shallow. I know that a lot of Steelers fans are about ready to spit on me over that one, but it’s true. Indianapolis could have been faced with the same ordeal, as sad as it sounds had the Patriots lost to the Chargers because despite all of the name calling that people have started doing when it pertains to the Patriots, they are the team of this decade, as were the Cowboys the decade before, the 49ers the decade before that, the Steelers the decade before that and then of course the Packers back in the 60’s. Denial of these things only makes you look foolish. I likened Peyton Manning to Steve Young more than to Dan Marino in that regard because despite the fact that Peyton will break all of Dan Marino’s records, and Marino never won the big one, Marino was every bit as much to blame for these things as all of the things that Marino and his “fans” tried to blame it on.
Now with that pointed out, here was the real problem that Peyton and Dungy had which was far more reminiscent of the 90’s San Francisco 49ers in the regards that it wasn’t so much playing themselves out of contention as it was being stopped dead by an entity. Last year they were beaten by the Steelers, but it was using the same battle plan that was laid out by the Patriots, and the execution of it by Tom Brady. Here’s the rub on it all as you look at Steve Young who in his own rights was one of the best Quarterbacks in the league, and I would have traded an army of Troy Aikman’s for, but he couldn’t beat the Cowboys. That was of course until he finally did, and he did it the same way that Peyton Manning finally did it yesterday, and despite the heartbreak that I should have felt as a Patriots fan the “NFL” fan in me was enjoying what I was seeing despite the outcome. As we go back to Dan Marino for a moment, let’s place him in the situation that won the game for the Colts at the end, and wonder for a minute what was different about what Peyton Manning did.
If you’re stumped it was the “Team” around him that brought him where he was {because let’s be real here, he was not spectacular in these playoffs at all} and for that last touchdown he handed the ball to his rookie running back who stormed into the end zone, and then believed in his defense to finish the job. Now I am not saying that Manning is a selfish player by any means, but Marino was. A team like the Patriots, or any other team during the Marino years, had him at that point, and always did. Manning went the Steve Young route, and that was commendable. Steve Young of course during those years desperately needing to get over the Danny White syndrome that he was suffering from {meaning replacing a super star quarterback, breaking all of his records, and just never doing it in the big show} and he did it by letting his team get him to the show, where he could be the star. Most of us remember that Superbowl as one where it was all Steve Young and Jerry Rice, which is how I see this one going with Manning and Harrison probably making Young and Rice look like conservative football players. More power to them because I will never root for a Bears team, because I am still vindictive over 85.
The drama though of that game was amazing, because if you were like me you saw that first half and said, “Oh here we go again” as the Patriots did to the Colts what they always do on the big stage. They started humiliating them, and I know that even the Colts fans {be honest} were getting that sinking feeling. That’s how Epic things are written though, because you have to overcome that which you never have, and if I personally was going to send the Colts off to the Superbowl I would have written it this way. They needed to prove that they could take down the Patriots playing the game the Patriots way, and my hat is off to them, because not only will it never be said again that Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy can’t do it on the Big Stage, it will go down in the history of the NFL that they did it on THE Stage, against THE Team, and the past is the past, because they don’t always choke, they can now be one of the greatest teams to ever play the game, and not just the team that avoided the demon. I say this out of experience too because of the Jacksonville Jaguars sneaking my Patriots into the Superbowl in 96 where Denver should have been. Keep in mind though, as it pertains to that San Francisco team that finally got over the Cowboy’s hurdle though … The Cowboy’s won the next two ;8o)