Well, it was an exciting day of professional footballing yesterday.
The NFC championship was the first game of the day, with the Chicago Bears taking on the New Orleans Media Narrative That Would Not Die. It was a good game through halftime, as the Saints climbed back from an early deficit to close the gap to 14-16 somewhere near halftime. (Ed. Details on the actual games will be fuzzy as the Yuengling and poker hands were flowing freely at my place.) But the Manning magic manifested itself in this game, as with all games. Here, that meant that the stunning Saints of 2006 started to resemble the bumbling Aints of the Archie Manning era, and the team crumbled more quickly than a powdery beignet at Cafe du Monde. Even with Rex the Sex Cannon under center, the Bears stomped their way to a convincing 39-14 rout and earned a ticket to the Super Bowl -- the first time they've ever done it without a lameass theme song.
The AFC championship was a classic matchup between the New England Patriots and their perennial prison brides, the Indianapolis Colts. This looked like it was going to be another blowout, with the Pats streaking to a 21-3 lead in the first half. This time, the Manning magic was dispelled, as Peyton Manning -- a man more associated with choking than Dr. Heimlech -- managed to lead his team back from a huge deficit. This was a wild one, with three different linemen scoring touchdowns, two of them on goalline fumbles. but in the end, the Colts executed a terrific late-game touchdown drive to take the lead, and a Tom Brady interception in the last seconds of the game sealed it. Colts win 38-34, and Peyton Manning has now been signed to do every single network television ad. (Look for his new Tampax spot this weekend!)
That gives us a phenomenal matchup for the Super Bowl. Personally, I like both of these teams and their coaches, so I'm torn. As much as I fear the Manning hype, it would be nice to see the Colts win this one and put to rest the endless hours of choke talk from the sports hacks. But I'd be happy to see the Bears win as well. Brian Urlacher survived intimate relations with Paris Hilton. He deserves a little sunshine in his life.
Consider this an open thread for all things football. Feel free to post your Super Bowl predictions, your thoughts on the games, or your rueful complaints about how much you ate/drank yesterday.