Wildcard weekend had an interesting lineup of games this year. All four road teams (wildcard teams) were favored to win over the home teams (division winners). That’s unusual, but this year it actually makes a lot of sense. Many of the wildcard teams had better records than the division winners. In the end, the underdogs won two of the four games (both 6th seeds defeated the 3rd seeded teams).
As I was watching the games, I found myself rooting for the underdogs in several games, but none more than in the Indianapolis-San Diego game. Norv Turner has been maligned at all his head coaching stops. He wasn’t the favored choice after Marty was fired. After all, who fires a legendary coach after a 14-2 season? The Bolts did…so enter Norv. The Chargers didn’t live up to expectations last year, as they failed to reach the Super Bowl. All eyes were on Turner. This season, Norv ran into a roadblock that is very difficult to negotiate…the referees. But, the Chargers persevered, and they were able to capture the division crown at a mere 8-8.
The Philadelphia Eagles were left for dead after the infamous tie with Cincinnati and the subsequent loss to the Ravens. Donovan McNabb was scrutinized for not knowing the rules to OT, as well as his benching for half of a game. Andy Reid was much maligned as well. WIP (local sports radio in Philly) wanted Reid and McNabb gone. They pretty much had packed their bags for them. I asked myself why? McNabb and Reid are the best that this franchise has ever had at their respective positions. They have given the Eagles fans a decade of optimism. They have taken them to four NFC Championship games. And that’s not to mention the Super Bowl in which they lost to the Cheaters! But that wasn’t enough, was it? For the fans, it was get out of town…you bums!
It was very easy to root for the Bolts. How can you not feel bad for Norv and the dark cloud that hovers over his head? He has ties to my favorite team (Cowboys). The current Cowboys coach (Wade Phillips) has ties to the Chargers…it was simple to root for them, even though I had picked the Colts to win the game (and the Super Bowl). As for the Eagles, it was a little harder. They are the archenemy of the Cowboys, but that wasn’t my stumbling block! What made it difficult was the way I get treated day after day, week after week, and year after year by Eagles fans.
During and after the game in which I had not only picked the Eagles to win, but was actually rooting for them as well, I still received several emails and voicemails telling me how much the Cowboys suck! These were the same people who had left the Eagles for dead and had packed the bags of their coach and franchise QB. I wish the Eagles luck, as they move forward in the playoffs and their quest for a championship, not that their fans deserve it! What I’d like to know is…where are all the Nay Sayers now?
After battling all season just to get to .500 (8-8), the Chargers were able to upend the heavily favored Colts in the 1st round of the playoffs. Turner had a big sigh of relief on his face, as he has been on the hot seat all year! Rivers showed why he should be going to the Pro Bowl (and not Favre). I bet Peyton manning would give that MVP award up for another chance at the Lombardi Trophy!
Andy Reid got his team into the playoffs, even though he was under the microscope all season long. Everything the man did was dissected. The man could do nothing right, according to the experts. With his bags packed and airline ticket in hand, Andy is having the last laugh. Just one thing Big Red…shave!
From The Mail Room:
Allen, Sunneyvale, California: Hey buddy, sorry to tell you this but as long as you got T.O on your team you will NEVER have TEAM chemistry. I am a big Eagles fan and nothing made my day more than seeing the Eagles beat the crap from your boys. That was some Ass kicking don't you agree? I hope your owner gives T.O another 5 year extension. Merry Christmas.
Utopia1dc: Allen, first of all they are not my team, as do not have any ownership in them. Just as you don’t have any ownership in the Eagles either! I root for my team, feel free to do the same. I am not a big proponent of team chemistry! These are professional athletes; pride, determination, and money are their chemistry! And yes, it was an ass kicking, but thanks for reminding me, as I had forgotten. Happy New Year to you too!