So you’re really gonna do it, huh New England? You’re gonna force me to watch a Sunday night game on NBC. I see how it is. Alright, I’ll give in. This time.
SNF has actually been surprisingly tolerable this season, as long as you avoid the studio gang. Collinsworth and Al don’t intrude and make the game about them (*cough* Joe Buck! *cough*) or just blab constantly for three damn hours (*cough* Jaws & Gruden! *cough*). They let the game breathe a bit.
But those studio guys. Ay yi yi. Bob Costas: Super-Serious Midget. Dan Patrick: Smug Has-Been. Keith Olbermann: Worst Person Ever. Tony Dungy: Michael Vick Ambassador. Rodney Harrison: He’s cool. Tiki Barber: Looks like a V. Peter King: Die. Other than that the show’s great, guys! Keep up the good work.
Before I dip into the Pats/Colts salsa, may I discuss the Steelers? I had to sit through that entire Pittsburgh/Denver Monday Night game because, for one reason or another, I’m friends with a couple of Steelers fans. I don’t know how this happened and I promise it won’t happen again, but for better or worse I’m stuck with them. As the game was winding down and The Permed One was destroying Josh McDaniels’ spirit in one fell swoop (which I have to admit was fun to watch; Josh McDaniels can frig off) my Steelers fan friend began making the argument that the Pittsburgh Steelers, if they win the Super Bowl this year, are The Team of the Decade.
Pittsburgh’s 2000s Numbers: Two coaches; 100-51-1 (.658) regular season; 10-4 (.714) playoffs; 2-0 Super Bowls; six playoff seasons/seven winning seasons/one losing season (seven, eight and one when it’s all said and done).
New England’s 2000s Numbers: One coach (nay, Legend!); 108-44 (.711) regular season (one perfect!); 14-3 (.824) playoffs (positively Auerbachian); 3-1 Super Bowls; six playoff seasons/eight winning seasons/one losing season (seven, nine and one when it’s done).
Their one losing season? 6-10 in 2003, which got them Ben Roethlisberger, which got them two (possibly three) Super Bowls this decade. Ours? 5-11 in 2000 (barely even part of the decade!) which got us Richard Seymour, who definitely helped but didn’t lead us to three Super Bowls. And he’ll have nothing to do with number four.
I’ll admit, the numbers are closer than I originally thought; but even if the Steelers win number three this season, you can’t hand them Team of the Decade rights after what New England has pulled off from 2001 on.
New Englander in Exile: Fair and Balanced.
Onto the Game of the Year. The AFC Championship Prelude. The Super Duper Bowl. Whatever you wanna call it, this one’s gonna be fun. And by ‘fun’ I mean excruciatingly, mind-bogglingly, biting-your-fingernails-down-to-the-elbow agonizing. My family has a history of heart conditions, I can’t handle two undefeated teams in three weeks.
I don’t necessarily put the Colts up there with the Yankees and Lakers (or even the Canadiens, really) in terms of Boston sports rivals, but they’re on the list. The inbred Manning Family is a pox upon our nation. A pox, I say!
Forecast: Consider this a reverse-jinx, if you must. I don’t think we’re quite ready for the Colts just yet. Our only chance is if Brady gets at the young Colts secondary early. Come playoff time, I like our chances a lot better; but for now, Indy’s clearly the better team. They got the home crowd, the fake crowd noise and the greatest player-coach of all time.
Prediction: Indianapolis 31 New England 28. Joseph Addai will get a few scores on us and Freeney and the gang will be on Brady’s ass all night. (Sounds like a good night to me! Hiyooooo!)