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Escapism: NFL Picks Finally Come Through!

The home teams won. The #1 seeds both won (for the first time in 17 years). After going 1-3 in the divisional round, we’re finally at the .500 mark. The monkey at the typewriter has finally spelled something right! And I’m sticking with the Colts to beat the wonderful Saints in the Super Bowl on February 7th in Miami.

NFC Title Game

It was a sloppy, crazy game but watching that 40-yard field goal attempt soar through the uprights in overtime was a tension-filled handful of seconds of great drama. Even without a rooting interest, it was a neat and emotional moment to watch Saints fans celebrate in that blinding blizzard of confetti.

Sports seem like silly games children play in the face of horrible disasters like Katrina. But sometimes they do wrap people up in a unifying cause- so for the eternally long-suffering residents of New Orleans, this really does mean something. That this moment of triumph would occur in the same building that was once home to so much misery makes it all the more compelling and poignant.

Do they make them any tougher than Brett Favre? It’s a shame he has to live with that interception that ended the Vikings’ end-of-game drive that appeared to be aiming a dagger at the heart of the Saints. Aside from the sight of the field goal attempt clearing the uprights, the other iconic moment of the game was watching Favre barely able to limp off the field, his face grimacing in pain. Even as they worked on his leg on a stretcher, you knew he’d be coming back. Please, sports reporters, stop asking him if he’s going to retire now. He doesn’t know and whatever he says won’t matter anyway until August.

AFC Title Game

By the end, it was hard to believe the New York Jets had actually led the game 17-6. They were doing all the right things; sacking Peyton Manning, connecting on long bombs for touchdowns. But the Colts are one hell of a football team. They might be going down as one of the greatest teams of all time right now if they hadn’t started resting players in the final two games of the season and lost them both. Then again, if they had sought perfection and gotten key players injured, they might not be going to the Super Bowl at all.

There’s an obvious story-line to the championship game and it will be an awkward moment for former Saints quarterback and New Orleans hero, Archie Manning, as he watches his son suit up against the team he led for so many years. If the Saints lose, it will no doubt feel cruelly ironic that their hero begat the guy who beat them.

I don’t see how New Orleans bests Indianapolis in the Super Bowl, but for now, once inundated Bourbon street, will be host to a non-stop two-week party. Check that; could be more nearly a month’s worth of debauchery.

If the Saints pull off the miracle, records for the world’s longest running street party will fall easily, for Fat Tuesday, the key day in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday and that would be nine days after the Super Bowl- on February 16th.

I can’t even imagine the hangover.

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