Friday, January 7, 2011

Playoff Extravaganza

Today is the start of one of the greatest sports weekends of the year. I would put NFL wild-card weekend in the top 5 sports weekends. Especially when the Packers are playing. Here is my list: 1) Thursday-Sunday 1st 2 rounds of NCAA Tournament; 2) NFL Divisional playoff weekend (same as wild-card basically, except for there are generally no bad games; 3) 3rd and 4th rounds of NCAA Tournament; 4) NFL Wild-Card Weekend; 5) NFL Conference Championship Sunday. All of these weekends cover multiple days, and allow maximum sloth to entertainment ratios. There are plenty of weekends where you can sit on your ass and watch sports, but there are very few that can entertain you in a quality fashion. 3:30 p.m. Saturday cannot get here fast enough.


The other day on a local sports-talk radio channel there was a 20 plus minute conversation about the last time the Packers played the Eagles in the playoffs. Of course, it is among the worst playoff losses in recent history, and still stings to this day. It was the "4th and 26" game. The conversation wasn't awesome necessarily because it was being discussed. It makes sense to talk about it even though there are probably less than 5 players on each team that even played in that game, so it is irrelevant to this match up. No, it was awesome because the majority of the conversation was people calling in bitching about the possessions before and after the Eagles converted that ridiculous 4th and 26 play.

I had actually blocked the previous possession out of my mind, but now remember it vividly. In case you forgot, the Packers had the ball at the Eagle 41 yard line, facing a 4th and 1 up 17-14 with about 2:30 left. At that point in time, the Packers had arguably the best running game (or at least the best running back in the NFL). This was Ahman Green's franchise record 1,883 yd season. And Green was a battering ram. The chances of any NFL team converting on 4th and 1 is pretty good. The chances of Green getting it were better. Instead, Mike Sherman decided to punt. Of course, the punter (I believe Josh Bidwell) pounded it into the endzone, even after a 5 yard delay of game penalty. On the Eagle's first play, Duece Staley ran for 22 yards. Which completely eliminated whatever field position Sherman was trying to preserve. (What followed was: incomplete pass, sack, incomplete pass, 28 yard throw to FredEx on 4th and 26, leading to the eventual game tying field goal).

Everyone remembers the possession to start OT, when on the first play, He Who Shall Not Be Named winged a 1st and 10 pass into double coverage, right at an Eagles defender for a pick, which led to a quick FG and a loss. The sports-talk guys were awesome because as they discussed it they played five straight audio clips of Paul Allen He Who Shall Not Be Named interception calls. Hilarious.

Here we are, 7 years later and there were MULTIPLE people calling in to bitch about Mike Sherman punting on 4th and 1. Tell me how many fan bases could a) remember anything that happened, even in a horrible loss, in a game 7 years ago; and b) would still be upset about it. Packer fans are awesome.


I think I make this list every year, but in 2011, here is my list for my lifetime:

1) He Who Shall Not Be Named's last throw as a Packer/ Ice Bowl II (NFC Championship v. Giants) (The Pack were large favorites, really good, and at home. At it is still very fresh. Blew an awesome chance at a Super Bowl. My asshole uncle had bought plane tickets to Phoenix, site of the Super Bowl, before the game. Watched it at home alone with my wife. I remember screaming/flying/spinning into the air on the He Who Shall Not Be Named pick, and being inconsolable for about a week).

2) The John Elway Helicopter Game (Super Bowl loss to Broncos) (I feel like this would be higher if it hadn't happened when I was 17. Still can't watch this when they replay it ALL THE TIME. And everyone ignores that Terrell Davis ran for like 731 yards that game. Watched at a friends house).

3) The Catch 2 (Wild Card loss at 49ers)(Made worse by the obvious Jerry Rice fumble that wasn't called, and there being no instant replay. I was 18 working at Best Buy, and watched the entire game after rigging up a video game TV in the video game department where I worked. Nobody was in the store. I was an idiot in high school).

4) The Vick Game (first home playoff loss ever, Wild Card v. Falcons) (Bad because we were a lot better, and Vick DESTROYED us by himself. Watched at home.)

5) 4th and 26 (Divisional round at Eagles) (The worst part of this is that I was watching it at a bar in Omaha, and this asshole Eagles fan was in my face the entire game. It remains the closest I've ever come to punching a stranger in the face.)

6) The Randy Moss Moon Game (Wild Card at home against Vikings. Bad because it was the Vikings.)


I went 123-126 and a bunch of ties against the spread in NFL games this year. That isn't going to put food on the table.

This week I've got: Seahawks (+10.5), Colts (-2.5), Ravens (-3), Eagles (-3).

I really do think the Packers have a legit shot to win. I just wouldn't put money on it.


Unkown Blogger said...

you forgot the He Who Shall Not Be Named throws 6-7 picks against the Rams that one year and every other playoff game we lost after SBXXXII that were all His fault...

Juicelaw said...

I also forgot last year's game.