Finding Mudville: The Pretenders

  • Monday, January 14, 2013


I usually refer to the first weekend of the NFL playoffs as Pretenders Weekend.
Itís a Saturday and Sunday of weeding through the riff-raff of too many playoff teams permitted into the post season. Itís like hiding the socks and underwear you got for Christmas in the back of your closet where you wanted super cool gadgetry and toys instead.
Still, four teams were sent packing, this yearís socks and underwear in Cincinnati and Indianapolis in the AFC, and Washington and Minnesota in the NFC.
The Bengals, bless their hearts, they try. Theyíve been around since 1968 and they last made it to the Super Bowl in the 1980s. They were the victims of Joe Montana and his final Super Bowl win. They havenít been there since.
Oh, they have made the token cameo appearance over the last couple years but like this year the Bengals are usually one and done. This year they were beaten by an expansion team, the Houston Texans.
I used to be a Bengals fan. I used to think their striped helmets were pretty cool. I was in college at the time. Back then I thought polyester leisure suits were cool, too.
The other Saturday game featured Green Bay and their arch nemesis Minnesota, though itís too cold up there this time of year for anybody to be much of a Vikings fan. The Packers are the NFLís New York Yankees. They did their thing and sent Minnesota home to ice fish with relative ease.
Both Saturday games were boring time killers. No drama. Predictable.
Sundayís games though, featured the guy who ran Peyton Manning out of Indianapolis in Andrew Luck, and the Master of Over-Hype in Robert Griffin III (I refuse to call him RG3).
Because Griffin plays in the media favored northeast it has been pre-ordained since draft day last spring that he would be this yearís NFL Rookie of the Year.
Luck could have had an argument for what he did in Indy after the Colts horrendous season last year while Peyton sat out nursing a bad neck. But Andrewís luck ran out today. So did Griffís.
Actually Griffinís knee ran out on him. Itís ironic that while the Washington Senators shut down a healthy Stephen Strasburg after just 160 innings pitched, the Washington Redskins played Robert Griffin III on a leg and a half.
What do they use for logic in Washington, anyway?
Itís never good when I see a body part bend in a direction itís not supposed to bend. What happened to Marcus Lattimore is way too fresh in my mind.
Shame on Mike Shanahan for playing him, that could have been more of a disaster than the train wreck it turned out to be.
And nobody has paid any attention to Seattleís Russell Wilson, who could very well finish third in the Rookie of the Year voting but instead sport a Super Bowl ring for his rookie season.† Were it not for the Fail Mary pass in Week 3, nobody would have ever heard of Wilson and given the NFLís regional coverage formula nobody this side of the Mississippi gives a hoot what happens in Seattle anyway.
Right now, Seattle is scary good.
Nobody wants to play them yet this coming weekend my Falcons get them.
You want to hear about another one and done playoff team? Thatís Atlanta lately.† And now they have to face Seattle.
But hey, the good news is, there are just six more weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

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