Thursday, January 15, 2009
Devo's Championship weekend picks (4-4)
Ah, championship weekend, my favorite day of the year. Nothing to do but hang out all day and watch the two best teams in each league battle it out.
2 things about Sunday that are near certainties:
1. These games will be more exciting than the Super Bowl. Most of the time, the best two teams are in the same league, with the winner playing the fourth or fifth best team overall. Even when the two best teams are in two different leagues, it doesn't necessarily mean the two best teams meet in the Super Bowl because...
2...most of the time, only one of the two expected Super Bowl teams makes it. Last year, everyone expected a Packers/Patriots Super Bowl. The year before, everyone expected a Patriots/Bears Super Bowl. And the year before that, everyone expected a Pitt/Carolina Super Bowl. So this year, with everyone expecting a Pittsburgh/Philly Super Bowl, one of these teams can be sure to fall short. Which one? Onto the picks!
ARIZONA (+4) over Philly
I hate this game from a fan's perspective. I can't root for Philly as a Giants fan, and I'm not sure that I respect Arizona as an NFL franchise. If Philly wins, I'll be offended as a Giants fan. If Arizona wins, I'll be offended as a football fan. Philly is the better team here and would win this matchup at least 6 times out of 10, but most of the factors seem to be pointing towards Arizona. For one, Westbrook not only isn't practicing, but hasn't been much of a factor throughout the playoffs. Second, the Arizona defense has been solid. Sure, they were basically handed the ball by Delhomme last week, but that doesn't change the fact that they have a few playmakers on the defense. And while their running game was below average for most of the season, it has held its own recently. Throw in the fact that Arizona is home and the Giants were a good quarterback performance away from hosting this bitch, and I'm taking Arizona in something of an upset.
PITTSBURGH (-6) over Baltimore
Baltimore has a nice team-one of the better defenses in the league, a talented, young quarterback, and a veteran receiver who gives his team a few nice plays each game. Unfortunately, nice teams don't win these games. Pittsburgh? They have a team that is similar to the Giants in this way: the only way they will lose is if they beat themselves. In both of their situations, their defense and running games are good enough to carry the team. The only issue is whether the quarterback would ruin it for everyone else. In the Giants' case, the result was clear. In Pittsburgh's case, I'll admit that I thought Roethlisberger would bring about the Steelers downfall, but I was wrong- Ben convinced me last game that he's back and going to lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl. In a game that will technically be close but where the outcome won't be in doubt, I'll say
And not that it has to do with anything but:
When you're unemployed you tend to become immersed in pointless sports debates simply because there's nothing else to do at 1pm on a Tuesday. As such, I was getting bombarded with the 'which of McNabb and/or Warner deserves to be in the Hall of Fame' debate. The simple fact is this: neither of these quarterbacks deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. In Warner's case, yes, he's had 3 mvp-type seasons, starting in '99 and including this year. He's also had 7 seasons that range from adequate to dreadful. I don't care if he's a 3 time mvp, he needs at least 4 or 5 more pro bowl caliber seasons in order to make it. And as for McNabb, I guess the numbers are deceptively impressive, but does anyone think he's had a better career than Peyton, Brady, or Favre? How about Favre, McNair, or Brees? That roughly puts him as the 7th best quarterback of his era. Should 7 quarterbacks go into the hall of fame in a league where no more than 7 people can be voted in on any given year? The thing with the Hall of Fame in any league is that it should be a senses test: Does this man look/smell/feel/taste/sound like a Hall of Famer? In the opinion of this pompous blowhard, no.