20 January 2007

2006 Season Conference Championships Picks

I know all the pundits - and more importantly, the bookmakers - are calling Colts and Bears. And I think the last time the two road teams won the Conference Championships was in the Paleolithic Age (when the game was much more difficult because they played with an ACTUAL rock), but I'm calling a Patriots/Saints Super Bowl.

The breakdowns:

Colts/Pats -This rivalry has become the NFL-equivalent of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Or maybe the Germans and the French, with the Colts standing in for the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys."

Which reminds me of one of my favorite old jokes.

"What's the first thing they teach in French war college?"

"How to say 'I surrender' in German."

You know, if your major industries are wine and haute couture, perhaps it is not a wise move to pick a fight with a country whose nursery schools are so regimented they make our Navy SEAL training look like a love-in. But I digress...

OK, sure the Colts seem to have fixed their defensive problems(and I'll bet Tony Dungy thanks God on his knees every night that Bob Sanders is back in the lineup), and the Pats would have lost last week had the Chargers not handed them the game on a silver platter. With a box of chocolates. And a balloon bouquet. But the Pats, not to disparage the high quality of the team over the past several years, always manage to get lucky in the playoffs. And while it's better to be lucky than good, it's best to be both. My oft-stated theory is that Belichick and/or Brady has insured this by selling one or both of their immortal souls to the devil. Which seems to be working out well for the team.

Of course, the Ravens pretty much handed the Colts' their win last week, too. Maybe Tony Dungy's gotten on board with the whole "selling of the soul" program? The Colts sure needed something to end their playoff doldrums.

Hmmmm - maybe that's our problem. Big Red, being a Mormon and all, is unlikely to be down with making a deal with the Prince of Darkness (Satan, that is, not Donald Trump) to ensure playoff wins. Someone really ought to work on that in the off-season. If he's not up for it, maybe Jeff Lurie or Joe Banner could be talked into it? It's worth looking into.

Anyway, having learned my lesson last week, I will NOT be picking against Belichick when the playoffs are on the line this week, and I'm calling the Pats to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLI.

Bears/Saints - I have a long affection for the Saints, as I tend to like to root for the perpetual underdogs (see below in my entire blog re: being a long-term Eagles fan). And New Orleans, even post-Katrina, is just about my favorite place on earth. And the city could really use the boost of their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.

And none of those are the reason I'm picking the Saints. Frankly, they're the better team. Rex Grossman is an INT waiting to happen, and the Saints' defense is going to have a field day, complete with a moon bounce and cotton candy. And I don't think the vaunted but banged-up Bears' defense is going to have any better luck with the multi-headed Hydra that is Bush, McAllister, and Colston than we did. Particularly since one of the cut-off heads - Joe Horn - seems to have grown back. Yeah, it'll be cold and likely snowy and they're playing away from their fan base, but I really don't any of that will matter. Geaux Saints! See you in Miami!

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