01-19-2010, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
WSJ - "May I root against the Saints?"
The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19, 2010
'May I Root Against the Saints?'
...And Other Questions NFL Fans Must Ponder as Championship Weekend Approaches
By JASON GAY
Like us, you probably spent most of this past NFL playoff weekend wondering when the actual NFL playoffs would commence. Seriously, fellas: If we wanted to see that much painfully uneventful action, we'd have stuck to the Golden Globes. Thank goodness for the New York Jets, who sympathize with our tragic addiction to drama, and obliged with a rousing 17-14 victory over San Diego that will steer the Chargers headlong into a winter of intense Jungian analysis.
The better news is that we enter the coming NFL conference-championship weekend with four deliciously intriguing teams: the Jets, the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts. OK—three deliciously intriguing teams, plus the Colts. The Saints have never been to the Super Bowl, and the Jets and Vikings haven't been since the 18th century. We know you've already been bombarded with hype and have a few questions. We're here to help:
With the NFL playoffs under way, The Wall Street Journal asked the question: How much football is actually shown (and played) during the average football telecast? The answer, based on a frame-by-frame analysis of four games is an average of 10 minutes and 43 seconds. WSJ's David Biderman previews his story.
May I root against the New Orleans Saints?
No, you may not. Rooting against the Saints is like rooting against Elin Nordegren. They're the Sentimental Team of the Century; if Dick Enberg were calling the NFC championship game, he'd need a trailer truck of Kleenex. Even if you forget everything that New Orleans endured during Hurricane Katrina—and how could you?—they're the Saints, the former Aints, one of the most hard-luck franchises in the history of hard luck. Not long ago, newborns came into the world in New Orleans hospitals with tiny grocery bags on their heads.
If the Saints win this weekend, we expect the Louisiana Superdome to levitate off the ground, stop at Parkway Bakery & Tavern for a roast beef po'boy and fly straight to Miami for the Super Bowl.
Minnesota's Brett Favre is the oldest quarterback to start a playoff game. How old, exactly, is he?
Mr. Favre, who played 16 seasons in Green Bay after a rookie year in Atlanta, is generously listed at 40. But he also toiled last year for the Jets under coach Eric Mangini, so in NFL years, that makes him 802.
The breadth of his career is astonishing. Here is just a short list of the people Mr. Favre has worked with: Sterling Sharpe, Reggie White, Mark Chmura, Bronco Nagurski, Pete Maravich, Alan Ladd and Euripides. You should have seen Euripides. Best return-man ever.
Did the Vikings run the score up Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys?
Cowboy partisans were miffed that Mr. Favre threw a fourth-down touchdown pass to give the Vikings a 34-3 lead with little time left. They considered it unnecessary and obnoxious, and they're right. Anyone who's taken a gander at the new, billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium, with its $40 million scoreboard, knows that if there's one thing that the Cowboys don't like, it's something unnecessary and obnoxious.
Is anyone really rooting for the Colts to win the Super Bowl, other than the city of Indianapolis and Peyton Manning's dad, Archie?
Don't be ridiculous. Archie Manning's rooting for the Saints. The Colts are the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL—respected by everyone, beloved by few outside their own area code. But that's the price you pay when you're a consistently excellent, classy organization that simply focuses on winning games. Except, of course, those last two of the regular season.
Are the Colts still bummed they didn't try for an undefeated season?
Absolutely. They're completely devastated. In fact, if the Colts win the Super Bowl, they plan to melt the Lombardi Trophy into a piece of industrial art and leave it in a vacant lot in Ft. Lauderdale.
Which remaining playoff team has the best celebrity fan?
Please. Minnesota has Prince, and nothing comes close to that.
We couldn't get enough shots of His Purple Highness watching the Vikings in his skybox. We want to know more about that box. We imagine crushed velvet couches, a Jacuzzi, a bubble machine and a cape check. Secret password: "Sensuality." The next closest celebrity fan? Well, Reggie Bush of the Saints is apparently dating Lamar Odom's wife's sister.
Am I really hallucinating or are the Jets one win away from the Super Bowl?
You are hallucinating. Weirdly, so are the Jets. They're not even supposed to be in the playoffs. They were eliminated several weeks ago; just ask their own head coach, Rex Ryan, who said as much. But the NFL messed up and never told the club. It's a terrible boondoggle. The Houston Texans are actually supposed to be playing right now. Sorry, Texans. If the Jets make the Super Bowl, we'll send you a green thong from Miami.
What is Rex Ryan's secret?
Two words: magic khakis.
A dream re-match for BOTH teams. Let's pray for it together...