Good Championship Sunday Morning!!! Are you guys ready??? I know I am!! How about that Divisional weekend? The Ravens/Broncos game was insane, intense, and inconceivable. Double-over time to give Ray Lewis and the Ravens another shot against Tom Brady and Patriots for the Lamar Hunt trophy (a trophy, fyi, that has never been hoisted by the team that was owned by Lamar Hunt). The Green Bay Packers were handled handedly by Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers, while the Atlanta Falcons did everything in their power to try to give that game to Seattle.
Over the past few days, much has been made about Ray Lewis leaving the NFL after his final game this season, but this is my blog, so I'm going to give this space instead to my favorite Tony Gonzalez. You did not misread that. I am officially declaring Tony Gonzalez as my all-time favorite NFL player. I think for most of my readers this has been a foregone conclusion; however, in my heart, Joe Montana has always been number 1. Here's why it's changed. I have watched Tony Gonzalez's entire career from draft day until last Sunday, while I was a kid for most of Joe's career. As a Chiefs fan, it has been heartbreaking to watch my team leave the field defeated after every playoff game. I will never say I know how those players feel, but it has to be 10 times worse than what the fans feel, because the players, unlike the fans, truly have the game in their hands.
I have always felt bad when I had to watch Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Derrick Thomas, Priest Holmes, Trent Green, Will Shields, Brian Waters, and, of course, Tony Gonzalez as they left the field defeated, which is probably why I cried just as much as TG did when he finally won a playoff game last week. Let me tell ya, I'm a sports crybaby. I cried like a baby when the Braves won Game 7 of the NLCS in 1992. I bawled again when they won it all in 1995. I cried when Joe Montana played his last game. I cried with my family when the Saints finally won the Super Bowl in 2010. Some people cry at Chick Flicks, I'm not one of them...but when Tony Gonzalez cried after that win, I broke down like a baby, and I don't apologize for it. Not at all...
Now for the games...I went 2-2 last week, and only one of my Super Bowl picks is left...
First up is the NFC Championship game. Colin Kaepernick is going to be a star in this league. No one could think differently after watching him dismantle the Green Bay Packers last week. That said, you would have thought that Matt Ryan was chopped liver last week. Sure, Matt Ryan has not been the greatest in the playoff, *cough* Peyton Manning, but he is far from chopped liver. I mean, I wished the Chiefs had a Matt Ryan. The Falcons continue to fly under the radar as they managed to slip out of the Georgia Dome with a victory after giving up a 20 point lead. Practically every prognosticator and Las Vegas are picking against the Falcons, who mind you are the #1 seed. IF this were any other NFC Championship game, I would be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers were my childhood team and my grandmother's favorite team. Today, however, I will be rooting for the Falcons, because I want TG to have that Super Bowl feeling, even if it means that he will be leaving the field for good. I picked the Falcons to go to the Super Bowl, and I going to stick with my pick. Falcons over the 49ers.
The AFC Championship game is probably the one I'm least looking forward to. I'm not a fan of either of these teams. I hate the Patriot, mostly because of Belichick. I don't care for that guy...I normally root for all things villain, Darth Vader, the WWofW, the Joker, you catch my drift, but Belichick is the nothing...the Keyser Söze of the NFL...I just can't get behind him. Like the Raiders, I just can't do it. The Ravens are named after a poem by my one of my favorite authors Edgar Allan Poe, and it seems as if Ray Lewis has been lurking the fields since old Eddy was writing his tales of horror, and like Poe, Ray Lewis has been striking fear and terror into the hearts of NFL quarterbacks for 17 years. On the other side of the field is the Emperor and Anakin Skywalker going for their SIXTH Lamar Hunt trophy. Even with three Super Bowl rings, Brady still feels he has something to prove, and he wants to join Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only Quarterbacks with four Super Bowl rings. Lewis vs. Brady for the last time. I'm picking the Ravens.
While my brain is screaming no-no-no-no-no-NOOOOOOOOO, I'm going with my heart today, and I'm picking a Ravens/Falcons Super Bowl in the Super Dome. To the warriors taking the field, as they say in The Hunger Games, "May the odds be ever in your favor."
Until next week, “The warrior's approach is to say "yes" to life: "yea" to it all.”~Joseph Campbell.