JEFF: The Biggest Game in the History of the Universe
By Dan O'Donnell
Everybody has been talking this week about the matchup for the ages. It's time I threw in my two cents worth. I know our readers on the West Coast will be disappointed but I'm not talking about the Oregon-Arizona State game. The unbeaten Patriots and the unbeaten Colts. This is indeed as big as it gets for the regular season. Yet, as I watch the Patriots demolish everything in sight throughout this season I'm reminded of a saying I once heard, "when the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."Go back to January 21, the AFC Championship game in Indy. It's halftime and New England is on its way to another Super Bowl. Nobody outside of New England wanted to see the Patriots in another Super Bowl. Nobody wanted to see Bill Belichick, emotionless as ever, accept the Vince Lombardi trophy with yet another bland, monotonous sound bite "I'm proud. Our team executed."
Suddenly, the prayers of Patriot-haters were answered. The Colts stage the big comeback and win 38-34. The entire world rejoiced. The mean and frumpy Belichick had finally been defeated by the much more person-friendly Tony Dungy (I'm sure Dungy never pushed a cameraman out of the way. I hear Belichick walks around the Boston area pushing old ladies and little kids all over the place.) Peyton Manning finally got his shot at winning a title and delivered two weeks later in the Super Bowl. No more dynasty talk for New England. The prayers were answered.
How did New England respond? Oh, all they did was land the biggest free agent on the market, acquire Randy Moss for pocket change, and pick up an additional first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Remember all those dropped passes New England had in the second half of that title game that immobilized their offense? As a result, the Patriots picked up four quality receivers that are now lighting the world on fire. Remember how the Colts marched up and down the field for 32 second half points? New England responded by signing all-world stud Adalius Thomas and drafted Brandon Meriweather to help solidify an already-strong secondary. Good luck scoring 38 points this weekend, Peyton. Remember spygate and how the NFL took away New England's first round pick? Heading into the season it looked like the Patriots would have, at worst, the 26th overall pick. Of course, the NFL did not take away the first round pick New England got from the 49ers. Notice how San Francisco's season is going right down the toilet? I can just see it now, sometime in February: congrats on your 19-0 season Mr. Belichick, your reward is the 8th pick in the first round. You get the feeling the next time New England loses, America will have inaugurated a new president.
So here it is. Patriots-Colts again. The Colts are the defending champions. They're at home. They beat the Pats twice last year. Oh by the way, they're also the underdog. Enjoy this monster matchup but please don't pray for an Indianapolis win.