As much as I’d love to spend time talking about the magic of The San Pedro Beach Bums, playoff football is the real subject. Saturday night’s game was like watching the Seinfeld episode where everybody did the opposite. Troy Brown muffs a punt, Vinatieri misses a field goal, Brady throws a pick in the endzone, McGinest’s name is only called when he’s dope-slapping Izzo on the sideline, and Brady can’t throw a screen pass to save his life. You seldom see one of these things happen in a game, Saturday we saw them all. Even the “all-star” refs did the opposite, calling Samuel for pass interference when it was clearly offensive pass interference if anything. So Denver goes on to score 27 points, all off Patriot turnovers. Season over.
The double-edged sword was Indy losing on Sunday. As a Pats fan I’m always happy to see Indy exposed for the frauds and chokers they are, but on the other hand we could be hosting the Conference Championship game. The “much improved” Indy defense was nowhere to be seen in the first quarter, and Manning pulled a Manning, folding in a big game when pressure is applied, and following up by pointing the finger at his offensive line. Way to go Peyton, maybe if you had a few loaves of bread autographed for them they’d block better.
In both AFC games, officiating was horrible. If Indy had come back to win that game, Steeler fans would have had a lot to complain about. The non-interception call was just wrong, and the non-call on the false start/offsides was no better. And Hines Ward getting mugged with no call? The NFL needs to look at keeping quality teams of referees together for the playoffs instead of the all-star concept they have. The best quote on the near loss came from QB Big Ben:
“Once in a blue moon, Jerome fumbles,” Roethlisberger said. “Once in a blue moon, I make a tackle. They just happened to be in the same game.”
Now the real sports drought begins. I’ll watch the rest of the playoffs, with no real team to root for, although I do not want Pitt to win it all. I need baseball.