YouTube link added 02.03.09
12:24 AM, Sunday, January 15th, 2006:
Most football fans would consider having your adopted team go to the Superbowl, a once in a lifetime event. Yes, there are a few dynasties - but most of the football guys I know, never see their team make it - and if they ever do, it's literally their only shot of every being a satisfied football fan for at least a year...
...but having your team play your best friend's team in the Superbowl is absolutely ridiculous. Especially considering said teams were adopted 20 and 25 years ago and it's the only teams we ever select when playing videogames. (Please watch me running a kickoff for 103 yards in our online league in 2003)
So what once was just "hoping our teams would be good, so we can play our favorite teams in next year's Madden", is now 2 games away from fucking insanity. If this happens, I'm hiring a film crew to film us watching this. Let me give you a little insight for those casual sports fans:
The Bears came out of nowhere after a 1-3 start to reel off 8 in a row, gain the #1 defense in the league, and secure the #2 seed in the NFC. The Steelers suffered injuries mid-season, but got their star quarterback when it mattered and they won 5 in a row including last week's playoff win in Cincinnatti. A healthy Pittsburgh all year would've given THEM the #2 seed, yet because of the mid-season injuries they snuck in as #6 - but of course now those seeds don't matter. 2 wins and you're in.
Chicago is at home against basically, the only team I didn't want them to play: Carolina. Carolina was in the Superbowl a couple years ago, and they are extremely streaky. Although we beat them 13-3 in the regular season, they are much better and I am absolutely nervous about today's matchup. We should still win. Our defense is so reminiscent of the Baltimore Ravens run in 2000 it's spooky. An "ok" offense, with a KILLER defense...and a quarterback that simply knows how to "not screw up". If we win this game, I believe we'll be in the superbowl. We match up extremely well with Seattle (who're already in the NFC Championship with a win today) and our momentum will carry us.
Pittsburgh on the other hand is facing the Colts in Indianapolis. Everyone believes Indy will win and rightly so. They went 13-0 before losing their first game (they then rested their players the next 2 acquiring one more loss) and they're the definition of perfect. They should go to the Superbowl. They belong in the Superbowl. One problem: They haven't had a meaningful game in a month, and haven't had a meaningful WIN in over that. They are rusty. They are shaky...and the upset is in the air. The Steelers are on a huge 5 game winnning streak and Roethlisberger (their quarterback) is on FIRE. Indy doesn't want to play them. Basically, this will be a game won or lost in the first quarter at 1:30 PM today. If Indy scores quick and looks's over. If Pittsburgh trounces... we're in for the upset of the last several years.
So the path is set. Now let's add the destiny to this:
It just so happens I'm going back to Columbus the first week of February. Never even occured to me when I booked it last monght that it was during the Superbowl. So Marty and I will be able to watch this game together, which hasn't been feasible since 1999. When I realized that, this all just took on an air of destiny...
...but realistically? The logical guy in me? It doesn't matter who from the NFC goes to the superbowl because the Colts are going to CREAM them. That's common knowledge from a realist. As well, the Panthers are more balanced than the Bears and will make Rex Grossman (Bears QB) look like Eli did last week and embarass the Bears at home. I do NOT have a good feeling about ANY of the two games today and will certainly be a nervous wreck for several hours.
It's funny, most fans are blind. They believe in their team with all of their heart. I HOPE with all of my heart. I PRAY with all of my heart. But, I'm not stupid. Like the Cavs-Lakers game a couple nights ago. I turned to Cassi and said - LeBron is going to miss one of these free-throws to tie the game. When he made the first, I said: "He will miss the next one, it's too much." And he did. I'm a HUUUUUUUUUUGE LeBron fan, but as someone who's seen game situations a MILLION times, you just get a feeling. Doesn't make me any less of a fan, and it doesn't mean I didn't PRAAAAAY that he would make it... but my head knew.
So here's to the heart. Because if the Steelers and Bears somehow pull off their games today... we're both going to meet in the Superbowl, and Marty and I are going to lose are ever-lovin' minds. Not only will it be an event for us - Superfan Ron is a Steelers fan, as seen in his avatar from the boards:
...and my Uncle David is a huge Steelers fan as well. Marty would have plenty of support. I don't care, bring it on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let my head be wrong, and let our teams make it to the Championship games next week.