Friday, January 15, 2010

You're The Best...Around! (NFL, Part 2)

I knew I should've made this a combo post from the jump.

I know, I know. I promised you that I'd be back with Part 2 like, yesterday. I ain't gonna front. I knew ahead of time that we'd be going hard on a serious back-to-back, but I thought I'd find time to squeeze in another post during the off-peak cool down. I didn't want to intimidate you guys with a monster 1,000 word expression of my love for the NFL playoffs.

And then my job happened. And then overtime (hooray, money!) happened. And then my earlier promise was ground into dust.
That's how the media business is sometimes. You can never predict how long a game's going to be, or if your director's comprehension skills are beyond that of a field mouse, or if your equipment is going to malfunction and force you to make tremendous video fixes after the game. By the time we were done last night, it was 12:30am, my boss was delirious with laughter, and I unleashed a tirade of psuedo-expletives on the production truck that I knew would be a disaster as soon as I stepped through the front door.

But hey, whatever right? It's about results, not excuses. But if I begin to sound like Mush Mouth from Fat Albert over the next few paragraphs, please refrain from hurling an Allen wrench at my sternum. Thanks.

Part 2, let's GET. IT. ON! (I can feel the lameness kicking in already.)
4. San Diego Chargers (12-4, bye week)
Best Player(s): San Diego's O-line
Strategy: Phil Rivers throws jump ball to taller receiver, gloats and point in direction of head coach, laughs menacingly as he walks with peace sign extended to the huddle
Weakest Link: Norv Turner (he's gonna cost them a game, you watch)
X-Factor: Darren Sproles
Super Bowl Chances = An Old Lady Getting Preggo at Age 90 (Genesis 21:1-7)

Has anyone else noticed how Rex Ryan always calls the NFL postseason the "tournament" like we're watching March Madness? I think that's freaking hilarious. It's almost like, in his own mind, Sexy Rexy (whoops, sorry Grossman!) has decided to convince himself that his squad has just as much opportunity to knock off an opponent as any other team. And in some ways, he's right. The Jets are one awful Rivers game away from the AFC Championship.

Unfortunately, this is professional football. The Chargers are way better than us. I'm just counting on Norv to remember that he's in the playoffs and choke under pressure again.
As as I tweeted yesterday, I pray that LaDainian Tomlinson gets a TON of carries tomorrow. Yeah, I know he thinks he's still got the LT shuffle going strong. But I refuse to believe that he's even half the RB he was three years ago.

The Chargers should've drafted Mike Vick. (I kid! I kid!)

3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4, bye week in Round 1)
Best Player:
Adrian "All-Day, Purple Jesus" Peterson
Strategy: Hand the rock to All Day, setting up the play-action pass
Weakest Link: Brad Childress (bad beard, crazy QB)
X-Factor: Jared Allen (if he gets to the QB, instant blowout)
Super Bowl Chances = Sleeping With a Lion All-Night and Not Becoming Seconds (Daniel 6:16-24)
There's going to come a point in time where Calm Favre gives way to Crazy Favre. You know, the guy that wanted to play in a meaningless Sunday Night Football game when his team already had their postseason position locked down. The one that wants to see how hard he can throw it into triple coverage while Adrian Peterson stands behind him with his hands folded.

I can't wait to see the ole' gunslinger play, er, FAIL. God, what did we do to deserve this?

2. New Orleans Saints (14-2, bye week in Round 1)
Best Player: Drew Brees
Strategy: Get the ball to the open man
Weakest Link: Reggie Bush (ain't no sunshine when's she's gone...)
X-Factor: Running Game (Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, Reggie Bush)
Super Bowl Chances = 300 Men Laying the Smackdown on an Entire Army (Judges 7)

The Saints probably got the best and worst matchup for themselves in Round 2. The Cardinals can score with anybody (especially if Madden 2000 Warner shows up). The Cardinals can also forget how to form tackle in space. If Darnell Dockett (whose current wife went to HU!) and the front four can get pressure, then the Cards are in business. If they don't...we're looking at Breesus and the crew putting up a 50 spot in Katrina's kitchen later today.

(Had to get that off my chest.)

1. Dallas Cowboys (10-6, man-handled Philly in Round 1)
Best Player:
DeMarcus Ware
Strategy: Who KNOWS. Should just hand rock to King Felix and Marion the Barbarian until defense cries "Uncle!"
Weakest Link: The fragile Wade Phillips-Double J-Nerd Boy triumvirate
X-Factor: Felix Jones/Roy Williams' hands
Super Bowl Chances = A Wall Falling Down Due to People Yelling Loudly (Joshua 6:6-25)

The 2009 Cowboys look eerily similar to the 2007 Giants. Think about it.

You've got a young, fragile quarterback capable of finding and riding a tremendous hot streak (Eli = Romo), cagey veterans that desperately crave that elusive championship ring (Strahan = Ware), a cadre of explosive running backs (Barber/Jones/Choice = Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw), talent and speed at the skill positions (Austin/Williams = Burress/Smith), a ferocious defensive front that wants to plunder the O-line and run roughshod in the backfield (Strahan/Tuck/Umenyiora = Ware/Spencer/Ratliff), and young guys who are starting to find their niche as the team plows further and further into the postseason (Mike Jenkins = Aaron Ross).

Real talk, the parallels are unmistakable.

I'm afraid to say it, but this Cowboys team is probably the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl. Even with Wade "Tubbs" Phillips at the helm. And Jerry Jones in his crazy box.

(An addendum to the Part 1 wife talk: Finding an intelligent, attractive (non-crazy) sports gal on the market is the sports equivalent of Tim Lincecum making it to arbitration without a contract offer; or Miles Austin sitting in your fantasy football free agent pool. It's virtually unfathomable. It's like batting .406 for five straight seasons. You get my point.

When the time comes, you've got to be ready to make the Godfather offer. Pull out the big guns. Use your best tactics. Don't be afraid to take her out to Buffalo Wild Wings on the first date.
Enjoy the playoffs everybody. I'll see you come Super Bowl Sunday.
Mike Benjamin, II

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