You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
It’s the greatest sporting day in all the world.
I’m a NFL junkie.
The Superbowl is my Christmas Morning. It’s the equivalent of climbing to the summit and breathing in the wonder that is the top of the world.
When my first child was born, still wet with placenta and life, I put a tiny Dallas Cowboys football in his warming bed.
“blue 22 you beautiful little bastard,” I muttered while the nurses sneered.
They were Carolina Panther fans, and they had reason to hate life that year.
I love football.
My earliest memories are Broadway Joe Namath finger wagging after his Superbowl win. I remember Drew Pearson catching a Hail Mary from Roger the Dodger and the Vikings having to eat some ass. I remember sitting in frozen Giants Stadium in 1994, and watching Emmit Smith run through a NY Giants defense with a broken shoulder.
Suck it Giants fans.
If my ex wife would have allowed it, I’d have christened my children at ATT Stadium. I’d have broadcast it on the 60 yard long TV screen hanging over the field. I’d have hired the Cowboys cheerleaders, camel toe’s glistening, kicking up those white boots cheering on the Holy Spirit.
Man I love Football.
If you’ve ever dated me, and you are reading this, then you probably either like me or really like football.
Because it’s high on my check list of compatibility.
Understands a Neutral Zone Infraction. Check.
The RPO is the blue print for my life.
I watch preseason games. I’ll root for guys who will be waiting tables and delivering pizzas after September. I don’t care.
Then the real season starts and I get that tingly feeling a child gets when they race down the stairs on Christmas morning and they are immersed in the twinkling glow of the tree.
Whose NFL pregame show to watch?
Terry Bradshaw or James Brown?
That is a lovely problem to have.
I watch every game. I can tell what network is broadcasting by the camera moves, the graphics package, the announcer’s voice.
I plan my week around the games.
Monday Night Football: The week is full of promise. A reason to start the week!
Thursday Night Football: Get me a beer!
Sunday: Turn on the Red Zone Channel and watch every game over the course of 7 hours.
Andrew Sicilliano is the host. He is a skinny man with a plain face and huge ears.
He is the Dumbo of sports broadcasting.
He is smart and sassy as he stands before a gigantic monitor with every game happening all at once.
It’s visual splendor.
This must be what the Romans saw as they stood above the Bacchanalia preparing for the orgy below.
I feel bad for regular people who only get one game on a Sunday.
That must be what death row feels like.
My home is filled with the ability to watch every game, any game, multiple games.
I can watch on multiple platforms while sedentary or mobile.
I am the ambulatory equivalent of Howard Cosell with smart phone and 2 fantasy leagues.
I get a lump in my throat when my 42 inch plasma suddenly becomes a Red Zone quad box with 8 teams all trying to score.
It’s like steroid fueled ants running around in micro helmets.
In the sad and boring off season, battered by the onslaught of boring baseball and irrelevant hockey, I have found myself watching repeats of games played when my children were in grade school. That’s sad. But True.
Sometimes, late at night, when the cold winter wind belts the window pane and the room is dark with hopeless despair, I’ll turn on the NFL channel and let the sound of pads cracking and Al Michaels voice warm my room.
It’s the visual fireplace that I neither have nor use.
This weekend, Championship Weekend, is the greatest football weekend of the year.
This is the week that 2 teams survive a gauntlet of meniscus tears and dislocated fingers and elevate to the cathedral of excellence; The Superbowl.
And to get there, you must win on Championship Sunday.
PACKERS. 49ers. TITANS. CHIEFS.
2 move on. 2 Go home.
It’s quite simply; that simple.
Win and move on.
Lose and nobody remembers your name.
It’s almost easier to be the Bengals than one of these four championship teams.
The Bengals have been out of it for almost the entire season. The Bengals went through the motions for 17 weeks, fighting to be the worst so they could get the 1st pick in the NFL draft.
WAY TO GO BENGALS!
But these four teams? PACK. 49ers. TITANS. CHIEF.
Sunday means something. It matters to the players. It matters to their fans. It just simply matters.
If the Titans upset the Chiefs on Sunday, KC will collectively die a figurative death. The chiefs are overwhelming favorites to represent the AFC in the Superbowl. For the Chiefs, getting to the Penultimate game is not enough.
And for the Titans? Well, they were 2-4 once upon a time. Their stadium was an empty echo chamber and season ticket holders gave away their seats to whatever fan base was coming to Nashville to drink itself into oblivion in some ubiquitous honky tonk.
Derrick Henry is a Rushing King. Ryan Tannehill the comeback player of the year.
Now everyone is a Titan’s Fan.
Where you all been?
Every where I turn it is two tone blue this and Titan Up that?
I’m not saying that’s bad, I’m just saying it’s kind of weak.
Suddenly Nashville is a bastion of NFL insanity.
Sunday, downtown will close down and massive screens will be erected on lower Broad.
People will come and brave the cold and cheer and watch the Titans vs Chief’s game.
The sounds of grid iron excitement will mesh with the occasional twang of countrified guitar licks that exit each beer hall on sporadic gusts of wind.
I can honestly say I always root for the Titans.
EXCEPT IF THEY PLAY THE COWBOYS.
Then the Titans can suck a leaky egg.
I’ve been a Cowboys fan. I remember the moment. It was 1974 and Roger Staubach lead the Cowboys back against the Washington Redskins on a Thanksgiving Day almost 45 years ago.
So this is it. The final four of the NFL.
The Superbowl is often a bust.
But the NFC and AFC championship games are usually ball busting, gut twisting, fist pumping romps in the grass.
I love it. I need. I want some more of it.
Thanks for that line Tim McGraw.
So enjoy the next 3 weeks.
Because after the MVP shouts; “I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!”
It’s sporting wall paper.
It’s dullness personified.
It’s bowling and beach volleyball and luge from somewhere white and icy.
The visual wasteland of Post NFL is on the horizon.
Get your bets in. Frost those mugs. Reserve your seat up front.
Sunday is CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND.
There’s simply nothing better you can do with your clothes on.