This Week's "Game Of The Century"
..as if more needs to be said about the Packers and Cowboys Thursday night.
This much we know for sure:
--it means alot, up to and including home field advantage for the playoffs (provided Green Bay makes it).
--many people won't be able to see it, thanks to the ongoing tussle between large cable companies and The NFL Network.
--the hype is of playoff proportions.
We've found out that there was this guy from Burlington who went on to become a fairly accomplished quarterback for the Cowboys--I think the name is Room?--and that he didn't necessarily worship at Brett Favre's altar. That shocks some of us in Cheddarland, but as the guys on ESPN's "P-T-I" so ably point out, Romo may be among the new era of sports fan who cheers not so much for local teams but for athletes from everywhere who have unique skills, recent success, or really cool commercials.
We've talked to virtually everyone from Burlington--from the high school athletic director to the Queen of the annual Chocolate Festival--for their remembrances of the stud q-b and their prediction for Thursday night. It makes me wonder if there'll be any new journalistic ground left to plow if these two teams meet up again in the post season.
Don't get me wrong--I'm just as stoked as the next fan for the game. I know it has ramifications beyond the regular season--it's more than just one of 16 scheduled contests, what with the Packers on the cusp of an unexpected playoff berth. The thought of seeing warm weather playoff foes slogging through Lambeau in January is enough to make one want to start calling about flight availabilities to Phoenix.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, let it be said that this very radio station is doing all it can to fan the flames, for obvious reasons. We carry the games. Our fans expect extreme coverage. If we don't provide it, listeners will get it elsewhere.
Now that I've purged, allow me to predict: expect a high-scoring track meet, with Favre and Romo carving up the respective defenses (especially if Green Bay has to go without Charles Woodson). Cowboy tight end Jason Witten will have a huge night as the Packers D has been unable so far this year to contain such threats this season. I look for Terrell Owens to be a non-factor--he won't like the way Al Harris mauls him and will be completely thrown off his game. Dallas has not one, but two solid running backs who'll have fresh legs all night. Look for the Cowboys to chew clock on the ground, using Witten to change pace--the overall effect will be to eat clock, score points and keep the high-powered Packers passing game off the field.
The Dallas secondary can be had--meaning Favre and company could have a large night. The issue will be stopping the Cowboys attack and getting gloms on the pigskin.
How do I see the game turning out? It's just one guy's opinion, but I see Dallas winning 35-31.
Lord, I hope I'm wrong.