Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dan's Championship Picks

As long as we are quoting our wives, here's a gem from Kristy about 2 minutes ago as I wrapped up dinner: "Why don't you go blog, and I'll clean up the kitchen." No sarcasm whatsoever. Awesome.

"Poop stuck to the roof of my mouth" is the perfect analogy for tomorrow's early game. Could there be two more unlikable quarterbacks squaring off than Rivers and Brady? A Southern-cocky blowhard vs. a smug perfectionist prick. The game also features the two highest profile active players to drag the NFL into the performance enhancing drug mess in Harrison and Merriman. For a Raiders fan, watching Restraining Order Randy and the Tuckers take on Turner adds an element of pain. And I haven't even gotten to the cheating scandal. At least there is drama. I have always found LaDainian Tomlinson unobjectionable, even while pulling run-catch-pass TD trifectas twice a year against the Raiders. Last year's Marty meltdown made L(D)T even more interesting as he basically compared Belichick to school in the summertime. I love it. The Patriots' squeaky clean Bob Kraft image is the biggest joke in sports.

But the Patriots will win. It is going to be an interesting, physical, and ultimately maddening game. In addition to the fact that they are the team best suited to carry a nation's hatred of the Patriots on their backs, the one thing I like about the Chargers' chances is that they should be able to get to Brady. But a hobbled Rivers-to-Gates-based offense will slip up more often than the Patriots will be stopped. I like the 27-20 call, but for originality I am going to say it ends 30-21, and as the Patriots line up for the game-sealing FG, Tomlinson's head will explode along with 100,000 other Americans who can't handle another week's combination of Brady screaming ridiculous pep talks to his teammates and then smirking away the final 3 minutes of the game. For all the Montana comparisons, could you ever in a million years imagine Brady stepping into the huddle needing an epic drive to win the Super Bowl and cracking, "Hey - there's John Candy."

As for the late game, I am sure that Unk answered the above question about unlikable quarterbacks with a shout of, "Eli!" as he read it. But Eli is a Seinfeld fan, and that makes him ok in my book. Plus, the Chargers were a franchise uninterested in winning when Eli came out, which is probably why very few of the Raider fans I know hate them the way they hate the Chefs and Donkeys.

I grew up in Wisconsin. I'm biased. But Favre is unquestionably a likable quarterback. The guy has fun. He loves the game. He loves his teammates. And he's going to take the Packers to the Super Bowl this year. As I write this the temperature in Green Bay is -7. Tomorrow's TV-friendly evening kickoff might pass the 1993 Raiders game that I attended for the 2nd coldest game ever played at Lambeau Field. Unless the 13-mph wind forecast is a drastic underestimate, Favre will operate well with a heavy dose of Ryan Grant to back him.

Tomorrow I'll add as much Wisconsin insight as I can gather, but from my viewpoint the Packers will win 31-20 for the following reasons. The Giants have hobbled (Burress) or old (Toomer) WRs, and Shockey is gone. Woodson and Harris can man up, leaving Bigby free to cheat up and slow down the running game. If Bigby has even half the game he had against Seattle, the defense will be stout. Gotta love a guy named "Atari." To score on New York means limiting the pass rush. No team has a better quick-hitting pass game than the Packers, and with Grant's emergence and a diverse screen game, the Packers should be able to game plan for that. Look at what they did last week against Kerney and company.

If my picks are right, this could set up a personal disaster on par with Super Bowls XXXII and XXXVII when teams I absolutely hated (Broncos and Bucs) beat teams I love (Packers and Raiders). Oh yeah, I'll be on a plane.

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