NFL Championship Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the year. My female friends often ask me why? Why are you such a big football fan, Cynthia? How can you watch that game for three plus hours, when it's so boring? Well the answer to the first question is simple mathematics.
It's all in the numbers
It's the ONE day of the year that we get TWO--count them--TWO highly competitive, everything on the line NFL games. Yes, the Superbowl is the best game on the biggest stage, but Superbowl Sunday only gives us ONE game. The difference is numerical!
Yesterday lived up to all hype and anticipation that a Championship Sunday deserves. The 3:30 game gave us the NFC Championship match up between the #1 ranked, Drew Brees led, New Orleans Saints and the #2 ranked, flashy and well-coached, LA Rams.
The 6:40 game topped off the day with the #1 ranked, high-powered offense, Kansas City Chiefs and the #2 ranked, defending AFC champs, New England Patriots.
This game that I love
The answer to the second question--why am I such a big football fan--is simple I was raised to be. Growing up I wanted to spend as much time with my father as possible, and he was a big sports fan. Consequently, I watched sports with him. I played sports with him and as I grew up I began to debate about sports with him. Sports, particularly football and basketball was my means of connecting with my dad. In fact, it still is. We spoke about the non-call on pass interference from the NFC championship game for a good ten minutes today, on the phone. You can read more about it here.
My husband is also a big sports fan. We have this in common. Unfortunately, we both are fans of division rivals in the AFC so Sundays can get a bit testy in our household. But we both enjoyed watching the championship games together yesterday. I wish that I could transfer my understanding of the game and my love for the game to all my friends that don't "get it."
Big Games with Big Endings
Both games went into overtime, which hadn't happened in league history. The NFC game is being endlessly tweeted about due to a controversial no-call of blatant pass interference and helmet-to-helmet contact. It's debatable as to whether or not the no-call cost the Saints the championship or whether or not it was Sean Payton's (Saints head coach) hubris, by calling a passing play, which took practically no time off of the clock when they needed to burn time the most, or Drew Brees (Saints Quarterback) throwing an interception in overtime that cost them the game. Either way we got a great first game that gave everyone something to Tweet, write, cry, and argue about for the next two weeks!
The AFC championship game was just as exciting. Tom Brady (Patriots Quarterback) and the Patriots were underdogs going into the game, which hasn't happened in years. But Brady was 3-4 on the road during the playoffs coming into the game. The Patriots would be playing the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium one of the toughest places to play in the league. The temperature was below 20 for most of the game, and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs Quarterback) who is probably going to win the MVP of the 2018 regular season, was on the other side of the field leading the offense. Basically, the Patriots shouldn't have won this game according to all the signs. Granted it took overtime to do it, but #12 won the coin toss and never looked back converting on 3rd down multiple times until Rex Burkead punched the ball over the goal line for the winning touchdown and that was the game.
How can this game ever be boring?
With games like the two we were all treated to yesterday, how can this game ever be boring? Legacies were cemented both good and bad. We learned so much about all four teams involved in this weekend. Plays were made that will be talked about for decades to come. Rules of the game may very well be changed, and now we get a Superbowl that makes New England fans nostalgic--Rams vs Patriots. It was in Superbowl XXXVI in 2002, where Tom Brady won his first Superbowl and he won it by beating the "greatest show on turf" St. Louis Rams. This could possibly be his last since he will turn 42 years old this year. This game could very well be a fitting bookend to a legendary career, or the coming out party for a young and talented team with a equally young and talented head coach.
Boring? I don't think so.
That's Cynthia's mindset on NFL Championship Sunday.