Sunday, January 21, 2007

We're down to these two?

Indianapolis 38, New England 34
Straight-up pick: Patriots. Straight-up winner: Colts.
Point spread pick: Patriots (+3). Point spread winner: Colts.

Back in January 2005, in just the second posting on Down and Distance, I prophesied that Peyton Manning would one day beat the New England jinx the same way that Brett Favre beat his Dallas jinx in the mid-'90s: He would conquer his demons by avoiding them. (Favre's Packers were bounced from the playoffs by the Cowboys for three straight years. Then, in 1996, the Cowboys lost to the Panthers in the playoffs, the Packers beat the Panthers, and Green Bay went on to win the Super Bowl.) Turns out I was wrong. When the Colts beat the Pats head to head on Sunday, Manning was following the lead not of Favre, but of Steve Young, whose 49ers lost the NFC Championship Game to the Cowboys after the 1992 and '93 seasons before finally turning the tables in 1994. Regardless, Sunday's AFC Championship Game was the best game of the year and the best NFL game since Super Bowl XXXVIII. Had Tom Brady actually led the Patriots to a touchdown in the final minute, like we all assumed he would, it would have gone down as among the greatest ever. Oh well. Stil a hell of a game. One of the storylines in the past week was that several Patriots were suffering from the flu. Truth, or managing expectations? After the game, I read message board postings from a couple Patriots fans mentioning the flu, and I wonder if there will be more. Imagine what Colts fans would be accused of if they were to suggest thir team lost because players were sick.

Chicago 39, New Orleans 14
Straight-up pick: Bears. Straight-up winner: Bears.
Point spread pick: Bears (-2.5). Point spread winner: Bears.

Shit. You realize what this means, don't you? Jim Belushi, the weakest excuse for a celebrity this country has produced in the past 20, 30 years, will inexplicably get national media face time to fellate his beloved Bears. Jim Belushi is a scumbag, a reprobate, a waste of human skin. He isn't funny, isn't charming, isn't talented. He's coasted for a quarter-century on the name of his dead brother. His entire career is the product of inertia. His movies are awful, but never so awful that people stop giving him roles. His TV series is so banal, so inconsequential, so meaningless that it's patently offensive. He's a failed human being and a disgrace to his family, his city, his country. You expect me to say something about the Bears-Saints game? Please.

Playoff picks performance

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