Sunday, January 22, 2006

Grab Bag: The NFC Championship Game

Thanks For Coming Out, Carolina
I completely lost interest in this game about midway through the 3rd Quarter. Seattle looked on their game, and Carolina looked horrible. This one was a complete dud.

Finally Some Insight From the FOX Crew
Good on Jimmy Johnson for reverting to his normal hairstyle this week, but more importantly for pointing out that continuously throwing at a double and triple-covered Steve Smith was a poor strategy for Carolina. It's a sad state of affairs when I'm commending someone for pointing out the obvious, but such is the state of the FOX studio crew. Cris Collinsworth, where art thou?

And More of the Same From Terry Bradshaw
"Hey Paul Allen, I'm having a problem with my email, can you help me?" Thanks for wasting my time Terry. And the Championship presentation ceremony is not the time to ask Shaun Alexander if he's going to resign in Seattle. That will get you an 'A' at;the Jim Gray School of Sports Broadcasting, but little else.

Lots of Shaun Alexander
He carried over 30 times, and was in until late in the 4th Quarter. On the one hand, it's good to see that he's not hampered by the concussion suffered last week. On the other, you had to wonder what 'Hawks fans were thinking when he was in there with a 20 point lead and mere minutes to play. Not the best management of your star by Coach Holmgren.

A Tale of Two Tortured Cities
This is the first appearance in a championship game for any of the Seattle teams since the SuperSonics made it to the NBA Finals in 1996. It's the first for the Seahawks, who had gone 22 years without a playoff win before last week. Since the '96 Sonics were up against the 72 win Bulls team, this is really the first shot at a Seattle championship since the Sonics last won in 1979. Incredible for a city that's housed Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Shawn Kemp, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Payton, and Dave Krieg.

Carolina's only been in the pro game for 10 years, and in that time they've appeared in a Super Bowl and their hockey team made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Nonetheless, they had Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson in the '90s, and somehow never even became a competitive team (someone explain to me how this happened?), then lost LJ and 'Zo, then the team to New Orleans. They also suffered for a number of years after Kerry Collins failed to pan out as their franchise QB. So there have been some struggles.

Still, that doesn't compare to Pittsburgh. Take away the back-to-back Stanley Cups that the Pens won in the early '90s, and here's what you're left with:

• Mario's career being cut short by injuries.
• The Pens being put up for sale and nearly moving, then having to dump the best player in the league due to financial woes.
• A lone Super Bowl appearance in the mid-90s from a very talented Steelers team. They lost that game, which is mostly remembered for two key interceptions that Neil O'Donnell threw.
• The Pirates management opting to resign Andy Van Slyke instead of Barry Bonds.
• Sid Bream and Francisco Cabrera. Enough said.

So this actually covers three tortured cities. In any case, you have to feel good for the fans of Pittsburgh and Seattle, at least until one of them loses in two weeks.


At 9:19 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

God, do I really have to watch the Superbowl? The thought of either team winning pains me to no end.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Alex said...

I hear ya. I'm about as enthused for this matchup as I was for the epic Tampa Bay-Oakland Super Bowl. Which is to say, not at all.


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