Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Any Given Sunday

You play badly in football, you deserve to lose.  The Patriots played very badly indeed.  It was obvious after the pick, even though no points were scored on that, and when they went behind 10-3, I called it a loss and went out to dinner.  I was right.  (I'm good at calling their losses very early in the game.)  They deserved to lose, sad to say.  Winning isn't a right; you have to earn it.  Even as a fan of the team, I know this to be so.  They don't deserve to win just because I'm a fan of the team.  (Too many sports fans don't get this simple concept.)

Well, out of the 4 remaining teams, I'd have to call Pittsburgh, simply because they're the only team not severely over-performing.  The Packers, Bears and Jets are all playing over their heads; none of them are as good as they're playing--I don't care what Bill Parcells' famous expression says.  I'd have to pick Pittsburgh to win it all.  (As long as the Jets don't, I don't really care, to be honest.)

If they do, that would give Big Ben 3 Super Bowl wins, and now we're talking Hall of Fame credentials.  This is one of the uncomfortable things about sports, that you can't take individual honors away from a guy just because you don't like him.  It's the reason the Hall hasn't kicked out O.J., and it's why they'll have to let Big Ben in.  There's no doubt that he's not a great person--few of us are, I guess--but he seems to cross the line into seediness.  But if he wins again, he'll quietly have as many rings as Tom Brady, though he's obviously not in the same league as a player. 

That's the NFL today, or at least the Super Bowls in the last 7-10 years: the Patriots, the Colts and the Steelers, with occasional upsets thrown in.  There's parity, for sure, but still, at the peak, you have the same repeaters.  It's the latest secret of the sport: more wins for more teams, but in the end, when it matters most, the same ones are there, with an occasional surprise.

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