The Main Event... Fatigue: 1/25

Welcome to the first edition of The Main Event... Fatigue, my new (hopefully)weekly sports feature. Today, I'm going to posting about some of the main issues in sports from my own perspective, focusing mostly on the NFC Title game. Hit the jump for the rest of the article.

The Main Event.... Fatigue

NFC Championship Edition

What a game. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of last night's Saints-Vikes overtime slobberknocker. That game was intense, especially as someone who hates Brett Favre and the Vikings (mostly Brett Favre) and considers the Saints as my "well, if the Bears can't win it all, I hope those guys do" team. So I was incredibly pleased with the outcome of that game, and I think it was a hard fought game where the best team won. It's as simple as that, the Viking outgained the Saints by double the yardage, but the Saints didn't turn the ball over on stupid throws or from carrying the ball like a loaf of bread. Adrian Peterson may have had 3 touchdowns, but those fumbles from him, Berrian, and Harvin sealed the game for the Saints. Add in 2 interceptions from Favre there was no way they were going to win that game. The fact that it came as close as it did shows how well the Vikings defense played despite all of the turnovers, the D did a terrific job in this game. But the blame for the loss in my mind falls on one man: Brad Childress. The Saints "scored" a touchdown in the fourth quarter despite the runner's knees being down on the 2, but in the TITLE GAME Childress decides to not bother challenging what turned out to be the critical play of the game. I could tell that he didn't make the end zone, and since they lost by a field goal in overtime you can't tell me that challenging that wouldn't have made a difference. If the call got reversed, the Vikes might have held the Saints to a field goal, which would have been the Vikings winning by four instead of losing in OT. Childress deserves the blame for this loss.


For the Brett Favre angle, it boils down to this: I've been a Bears fan as long as I've known what football is. I've lived for the Bears every winter, no matter what part of the country I've lived in, and for over a decade and a half I had to deal with Brett Favre and the medias constant need to praise how great and hom much fun he's having playing football. All that time with the Packers, the sports media treated this interception prone, reckless QB like the second coming of Jesus as a quarterback but the rest of the country ate it all up. After screwing over the Packers and the Jets so he could play for Minnesota, at last people woke up to the fact that Favre has always been a selfish and egomanical QB more likely going to destroy teams than win championships. Just look at his previous two teams this year. The Jets without him were one half away from going to the Super Bowl (though I credit that more to gaining Rex Ryan than losing Brett Favre) and the Packers looked to be one of the more dominant teams in the NFC before running into the only team in the playoffs that could match their offense and exploit their defense (The Cards).

And now, once again after ending his season with an interception to seal his teams fate, people are already talking about whether Favre will be back next season or if he's going to retire. Why do people put up with this guy anymore? I can tell you right now Favre will play next year the only question is where and how long will he flip-flop to avoid going to training camp. But what's worse than the retirement question is that once again the Favre bias rears its ugly head as this is now a Vikings loss and not a Saints win. I'm guilty of it too with this piece, but I felt the need to fight against pro-Favre backlash following the loss started by Peter King and Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN that the high-low hits that hobbled Favre for the rest of the game were late hits and dirty plays that should have been flagged for two seperate infractions. This is rediculous, as those hits were clearly clean hits and not a roughing the passer type call, and maybe, just maybe, you could have called the low hit a penalty with the "No low hit on a QB" rule in effect but you could just as easily argue that he was blocked into a low hit and it was unintentional. Favre was already given at least two different gift calls from the officials on plays that were very suspect, and flagging the Saints for that would have been egregious. Favre didn't lose this game alone, but he sure as hell didn't win them the game either and he definitely doesn't deserve all of the sympathy he's getting.

The Saints

This is their moment. After everything that New Orleans has gone through since 2004, I don't think there is anyone outside of Indianapolis that is rooting for the Colts in this Super Bowl. The first Super Bowl trip for the Saints happening in such an incredible way in New Orleans further cements their postition as this season's team of destiny, but the last time that Peyton Manning was in a Super Bowl against a team of destiny they completely out-played my beloved Chicago Bears. However, the Saints are a much better team than that '06 Bears team, and they have a much, much better coach in Sean Payton than the Bears had/have in Lovie Smith (why does he still have a job again? Right. The money). This might be the most evenly matched Super Bowl in recent memory, with the Colts unfortunately having the edge in terms of Defense-Offense. But that's why teams of destiny are teams of destiny; because all of the numbers point to someone else as being better than them, but in the end the numbers don't matter. Either way, I think this could be one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. And I'll pulling for the team formerly known as the Ain'ts.

Random Other Sports News:

  • I would talk about the AFC title games, except that outside of the first half where it seemed like "Shit, the Jets might have a chance to win this whole thing" the game was obviously going to go to Indy. The Jets proved that they are a real challenger and not just another pretender, but in the end the Colts are the number one team for a reason. And I think they would have beaten the Chargers too.

  • The Bears still haven't hired either a defensive or offensive coordinator, which means we're going to be stuck with a bottom-of-the-barrel OC and probably an inner promotion of Rod Marinelli as DC. Ah, the illusion of change strikes again. And people wonder why I'm so down on the Bears organization...

  • Inexplicably, Vinny Del Negro still has his job as coach of the Bulls. I... I don't even know what to say anymore. When the reason a coach is with your team boils down to "Well, we're not losing as much as we were and we couldn't hire anybody else, so we'll just ride it out this season". Not a great idea guys.

  • It seems to me that since Hulk Hogan has taken over TNA, he's determined to drive that company into the ground as fast as possible. Pushing over-the-hill and massively overrated guys that are only there cause they're Hogan's buddies like the Nasty Boyz, Scott Hall and X-Pac, and Mr. Kennedy down the throats of TNA fans when you already had a group of talented wrestlers in place that now aren't getting air time just screams of stupidity. A.J Styles, Danielson, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Wolfe. Those are the guys you should be making room to get more pushes, but at the very least Styles is still Champ and it doens't look like he's losing the belt anytime soon. But everything else just screams "Hogan thinks he's right and everyone else are idiots" to me.

  • Finally, I'm going to be watching the Royal Rumble for the first time in 6 years this weekend. My predictions are that we're going to see two people return to WWE at the Rumble with Booker T all but a lock to be one of those, and odds are even that the win is going to a young star who'll get the big push for 2010. I'll tell you who I'd like to see in order of preference: CM Punk, John Morrison, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Christian, HBK, and Bret Hart. That's who I'd like to see win, and if you don't think that Bret Hart will be in the Rumble than you're kidding yourself. But here's who I think is going to win: Ted DiBiase. There's been talk of him going Face and fighting Orton at Wrestlemania, and so I think we're going to see DiBiase win the Rumble and Orton wins the belt. Then it'll be just like the end of Evolution when Batista won the Rumble. It's going to happen. Mark my words. Mark them! (shakes fist)

Well, that's all for this week. I'll be back next Monday with the winner of the Rumble and whatever the big headline in the world of Sports is. Until then, have a great week sports fans.

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