Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Saints are coming...

Thoughts for this weekend of conference Championship football.

Bears Vs. Saints.

I feel for RW and Gino, I really do. You see, I believe in the football gods. I believe in a heavenly bureaucracy which oversees and influences the football season to achieve purposes; to teach humility, to uphold sportsman ship, to reward careers of great impact. Why else would a team named "The Patriots" win in the 9/11 year? How else to explain Pittsburgh's improbable Superbowl run last year, but to reward ultimate nice guy Jerome Bettis with a Superbowl in his hometown as his swan song? These things don't happen by accident.

Given that line of thought, how can you pick anyone but the Saints today? They've even got a ready-made song to go with the occasion (which they play before each home game), and their fates seem, like Sauron and the Great Ring, inexorably tied; in the Saints case it is to the hope and future of their once great city.

The song I'm talking about is "The Saints are Coming", by U2 and Green Day. Not getting ESPN, I had no idea that the song had been played at the first home game at the Superdome this year. And then Isaw the video, and the crusty old sentimentalist in me got simultaneously chocked up and pissed.

I got choked up because I still think of the US and her military as a force for good in the world, and pissed because the failure of local, state, and national government during the Katrina disaster is such a blemish on those of us who work(ed) in government. This video, and its portrayal of a history that never was, triggers those emotions.

Thanks to Brian for turning me onto this vid.

As for the "other" game, my beloved Patriots vs. the Induhniapolis Colts, here's couple of thoughts.

a. I had a stepfather from Indiana. Don't really care for Indiana, or Indianians. Sorry.

b. It's quite distressing to me that the Colts vs. Patriots is starting to look like the Red Sox vs. the Yankees, and I'm rooting for the Yankees end of the equation.

c. I really hate to say this, but with all the hits the team has taken over the past two years (the Bruschi stroke, losing three coordinators to head coaching jobs elsewhere, Rodney Harrison's injuries, the Deion Branch fiasco, the Adam Vinatieri fiasco, the Seau injury, etc etc...), it's amazing that they're in the AFC Championship game. This team is playing with house money.

Here's the thing: the Colts have to beat the Patriots to win the Superbowl. That's why they (improbably) lost to Pittsburgh last year -- they hadn't beaten the Pats in the post season yet. Peyton Manning must exorcise the demon for this team to move on.

It's like the Patriots first Superbowl in 1986. To get there, they had to run the table of road playoff games against the Raiders (exorcising the 1976 phantom rushing the passer call that knocked the Pats out of the playoffs), the Jets, and the Dolphins. Playing in Miami, where the Patriots were like 1 and 306. Sometimes things have to be done first. And beating the Patriots is what the Colts have to do first in order to win the Superbowl. It is their destiny...

But, as we've discussed, since this is the Saint's year, I'm guessing it's just not in the cards for Manning to go to the Superbowl this year. Because if he goes, you know he has to win for the curse to be completely lifted. Argh... this gets confusing.

But put a gun to my head, and I'm going to say Patriots. It's not that I intellectually think the Patriots can beat the Colts. The Colts are a superior team, and built in a way that match up well against the Pats.

Here's what the Patriots are good at: they are very good at taking away that one thing you want to do. They gameplan very well for that, and their players are disciplined and able to focus on the task at hand.

But the Colts can do a lot of things. And even if the Pats take Harrison and Wayne out of the game (an iffy proposition I grant, but what they've got to do), Manning can still kill you with Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai. Do the Pats have enough bullets to take out everything the Colts can throw at you? I don't know. With a bunch of backups in the secondary, and old and slow linebackers.... I just don't know.


Head=Colts. Heart=Patriots.

Actually, I almost hope it's the Colts, especially if the Saints win the NFC game. I'd hate to be responsible to bumming out the entire city of New Orleans, all over again when the Pats beat them in Superbowl XLI...


KaraMia said...

i'm sorry, i read football and snoozed off

RW said...

The signs at the 30 yard line read "Midnight, Cinderella." And the angle you missed, relative to cosmic justice, was that the first black coach in the Super Bowl arrived there as coach of one of the original franchises of the NFL.

An overdone bit of trivia, in my mind, but if you're looking for kharmactic events, why not go for the whole petunia?

Motherdear said...

WAYYY over my head! I just know your grandmother is a fink for rooting against the Pats. Fink, fink, fink...