Beat The Man - Championship Edition

"Playoffs? PLAYOFFS???" Well, there's a Jim Mora left in this thing, so why not? Though heartbroken at the absence of his beloved Seahawks at this level, Scott Jones takes one more shot at The Man.

One step away from the Super Bowl…

Last Week: 2-2
Playoff Record: 3-5
Season to Date: 39-40-1


This is the weekend where the Seattle Seahawks were due a true battle, at Qwest, for the rights to represent the NFC in Jacksonville. Only… that didn’t happen.

This is also the point in the season where my record has earned fair respect and we all gather ‘round to hear what Schlep has to say about this week’s winners. Only… that didn’t happen either. My record, like a monumental Mike Holmgren press conference - is a bore.

Sports fans, I can’t tell you how disgusted I am with the results of my picks – on a week to week basis. I mean, truly, I did not encounter one single glorious week. Not one. Not one single week to hang my hat on and say “Uh huh, yeah, ya see there? I reckon I’m worth listening to!” Instead, I pontificated a bunch of gobbeldy-gook that proved to be about as relevant as a cockroach in a Baghdad motel.

However, if Mr. Holmgren can keep his job with reasoning that amounted to little more than (and I quote) “I don’t know”? I suppose I can as well. So without further, um, residue…


ATLANTA @ PHILLY
Yes, here we are again in Philadelphia. Last year at this time, the entire football viewing public understood that if the GreenBirds were to lose a 3rd straight – no one would survive. And I mean that literally. The Philly fanatics would storm the field and lay waste to anything living. Sunday Bloody Sunday. But that didn’t happen…

Instead, The Eagles threw out the blueprint that got them there and jumped at a couple key Free Agents. Quite vocally, I thought that approach was absurd - they had hit the panic button, and it was all over. Obviously, I’m a fool. We can now all agree that Terrell Owens was the biggest difference-maker in Football this year (though it pains me to say that). He’s a punk. But he punked anyone that dared to deny him. Week in and week out “The Showboat” made headlines. And he did it with his on-field accomplishments. Nothing could stop Terrell Owens. Except of course… an injury.

Since he left the field they have not been the same in Philly… that’s news to no one.

On the visiting end of things we have the upstart Atlanta Falcons. With their freewheeling QB (the NFL’s answer to Basketball’s Jordan), and a coach who’s as loose as your favorite Uncle. Young and unrestrained (oddly enough, youth is not a liability here - ehem). Who can insist this ain’t tons of fun? This team is out there enjoying their Football. And I think that’s a key element here, folks.

In my view, the Falcons are the perfect counter to the enormous pressure Philly is faced with. Atlanta has no umbrella of concern. No sea of boo-birds surrounding them. No circle of doubt from past performance. They’re free, baby. Free to reach out and grab it.

And I think they just might.

Did the Eagles do anything this past Sunday to convince you otherwise? (All I saw was a Viking team coached by a guy with Seahawks disease. A familiar game plan: Avoid the run when it’s working. Avoid recognizing the opponent and game plan/adapt accordingly. Force it cuz you’re stubborn. Thatta boy – I know that approach quite well).

Falcons plus the 5. (Wish it were 6… I really thought it would be… but I’ll take it just the same).


PATS @ PITTSBURGH
When was the last time you saw a road team favored in the Championship game? I mean, that is quite rare. (Can I get a fact checker, please? Can we please have a fact checker for the prognosticator who can’t earn his way past .500? Oy vay, I’m inept!). And really, had the Steelers been more impressive vs. the Jets do you think there’s any chance they’d find themselves with points in hand? Not a chance, Sally.

Therefore, am I going to take the “Home Dog”? Against the Super Bowl champs - are you kidding me?!! No. I’m forgetting about Pittsburgh’s chances to win it all as fast as you can say “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Roethlisberger today”. Or maybe even before I can muster “Roesthel-meister Roethel-berger”… Actually, that’s a bit too fast. But he’s clearly the key to defeat.

Half-way through the year I had the kid behind the curve facing New England and Philly. But he clocked in to both of those games and produced like a skilled veteran. At that point I had to give him the benefit of the doubt… until he proved otherwise. And now he has. Big Ben’s clock got a little off-beat against the Jets. It’s expecting a lot for the guy to rebound from that in one week for the AFC Championship. Are you willing to bet that he will?

And besides, the World Champion Patriots line up on the other side of the ball. One of the most clutch teams in history. They don’t need to wonder what they’re doing. They just do it!

And they’ll do it again on Sunday. I like the Pats minus 3 on the road.


For what it’s worth, the picks are:
ATL+5
NE -3

And that wraps up the lamest article I’ve written in years, folks. My heart just ain’t in it without the Hawks…

And I thought about, um, “riding off into the sunset”. But, and you all know this about me, I mean, golly gee whillickers, and I really feel this way, my daughters would all agree, I think about playing golf sometimes, and I noticed the ball has all kinds of dimples in it, which is interesting, and did you notice that the sun always sets on the same side of the planet? And that’s sort of unusual. But really, and you can ask non-speaking-Ray about that other stuff that doesn’t concern me, I mean, compared to my meaningless nonsense he’s a fountain of courage, but – as long as I can keep stabbing my fingers at the keyboard and letters and stuff keep responding on the monitor, I think I’ll keep doing it. And why shouldn’t I? Um, jeepers… I d-o-n-t k-n-o-w.

Beat The Man… cuz I can’t take another year of Mike Holmgren’s ignorant and polarizing approach.


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