Posted on: January 11, 2009 4:45 pm

Thoughts after the Eagles victory

The Eagles victory over the Giants earlier this afternoon underscored two important points I think have typified this season. First off is one point that I think holds true over any postseason, which is that the bye (and to a lesser extent, clinching early) is overrated. The number of low seeds or underdogs advancing through the playoffs are classic examples of teams that built momentum while other top seeds rested on their laurels.

The Giants and Titans had wrapped up postseason births early on, and coasted to the end of the season, losing games here and there and generally not keeping on top of things. This clearly hurt both teams, as the Titans had costly red zone turnovers by Alge Crumpler, LenDale White, and Kerry Collins. If the Titans had even held themselves to the lofty goal of merely two turnovers in the red zone instead of three, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But as it is, the top three seeds (New York, Carolina, Tennessee) are gone, and upstarts like the Ravens, Cardinals, and Eagles are moving on.

The second point which has brought the surprising number of low seeds advancing this postseason is a fact which I reiterated this season: There were no dominant teams, and the top seeds had potential upsets waiting for them. The Titans and Giants were the top seeds going into the playoffs, but neither had a lot of momentum, so when the Eagles and Ravens came to town, people weren't surprised when the game was close.

The Colts were one team most people assumed would succeed. They had won nine in a row, Peyton Manning wrapped up his MVP and appeared to be playing excellent, and Joseph Addai was back from his various injuries during the year. Yet even the Colts, who some considered the prohibitive favorite even with their #5 seed, fell to the Chargers, who built momentum by winning four in a row to finish at 8-8.

I'd even go as far as to say that there are teams who missed the playoffs who could easily have won a game or two, the Cowboys and Patriots being the examples that spring quickest to mind. In a season in which we had some of the worst teams ever to step on the field, there was a lack of stability at the top of the league.

As for the later game, I'm still betting that the Steelers will win this game, but at this point, you can't argue with the Chargers momentum. Phillip Rivers is a shaky QB, LaDanian Tomlinson being out would seem to be an insurmountable hurdle against the #1 defense, and players like James Harrison and Troy Polamalu are going to wreak havoc all day. Yet, a part of me feels the exciting Chargers could easily pull an upset. As long as Darren Sproles is out there racking up all-purpose yards, and Mike Scifres is pinning Pittsburgh back inside their own 10 and 20 drive after drive, I could see the Bolts pulling it out. After all, the Cardinals are hosting the NFC championship game. At this point, anything can happen.

So sit back on your couch, grab your favorite drinks and snacks, and don't let anything interrupt your game viewing, unless the phone rings. It could be Donovan McNabb calling to make some hotel reservations in Tempe.
Posted on: February 2, 2008 1:06 pm

Chris Berman is a jerk! Watch this video!

Well now that I have your attention, I'd like to talk about the Patriots.

No, just kidding, here it is. www.collegehumor.com/video:1799919
Ironically, this entire week I have posted nothing but stuff about Chris Berman. Once Gregg Doyel posted his little Berman rant in his article, I felt like I had to share my personal story about him. For those who read it, I hope you enjoyed it. For those who didn't, here it is again.

My friend Mike went to the same overnight camp as Chris Berman's son, who is apparently also a jerk. Camp Caribou, in Maine, is a camp for fairly wealthy kids, and the camp is nearby a hot dog stand with "Maine's best hot dogs." On the last day of camp, when parents came to pick up their children, my friend and his mom went to the hot dog stand, and lo and behold, Chris Berman and his son were in front of them in line. Unfortunately, there were only 3 hot dogs left, and the stand was getting ready to close up. So what does Berman do? He gets one for his son, two for himself, and turns to my friend, who was 10 years old at the time and says "Tough break, bucko."

I think this brief but heinous interaction with Berman shows his character is quite questionable. I've talked to people who work as loyal peons at ESPN who said that Boomer is a jerk 24/7.

Now that I have the eponymous honor of being made the "featured poster of the week", I decided to wage a humanitarian effort by using what limited power the position gives me (a spot on the Community front page) to post all my grievances about Berman, and hope people will realize he is a talentless toad. If at least one more person agrees that Berman is a good-for-nothing, lowlife scumbag, then my work here is done.
Posted on: January 22, 2008 10:38 pm

Scattered Thoughts from Today

I planned to come on here and blog again as soon as the NFC Championship game was done. Here I was, all prepared with my post, all about how difficult it was for me to be a Packers fan who had lived in Patriots territory all his life, and how life would become increasingly difficult once I went back to school in Madison.

Alas, that dilemma is one I will not have to face. The Packers played a horrid 2nd half, highlighted by costly interceptions by Brett Favre and a nonexistent running game from Ryan Grant. My hats are off to the Giants, and I wish them the best of luck as they face the behemoth known as the Pats in the Super Bowl.

Now, on to the non-sports stuff.

First off, rest in peace Heath Ledger. While it is still hard to tell how your legacy will be remembered, initial reports have painted him to be a James Dean figure, a loner with Hollywood looks who couldn't stand the labels of "heartthrob" and "hottie" he was forced into. In reality, his acting was insightful and showed many great sides. I eagerly look forward to the release of "The Dark Knight," as Ledger is rumored to have immersed himself into the role, even using a razor to cut the sides of his mouth a la the General in "Pan's Labryinth" to give his Joker an authentic look. I loved Jack Nicholson in the original role, but wow, that is commitment...

Now, back to sports...

Tom Brady was spotted walking in New York City wearing a protective boot. Yet, the first thing I thought of was "what the heck is Tom Brady doing in New York? Visiting his good pals Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez?" I hope Brady is 100% for the game, not only because I want to see the Patriots hand it to Eli Manning and the Giants, but also because I'm sure the Giants want to have a chance to beat the Patriots on their own terms, and not have an excuse like a hobbled Brady hanging over their heads.

Finally, a lighter note from Tinseltown:

All year, as I was sitting at school, praying for a 4.0 and a BCS bowl for the Badgers, I thought to myself "that's about as likely as 'Norbit' winning an Oscar." Ah, if only my dreams had that good of a chance. It is with great amusement and horrid fascination that I report the Eddie Murphy hamfest "Norbit" was nominated for an Oscar in "Best Makeup". If only I had known all those times I was saying these things, the chances of Norbit winning an Oscar were actually 1 in 3.

That's it for now. Strangely, despite my relative lack of activity on CBS, I have somehow temporarily acquired a "top 10" sticker next to my head. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since my old friend ChiSoxandIrish has perpetually been in the top 10 despite barely ever visiting CBS, but I guess all I can say is... thanks?

Until next time,
Posted on: January 15, 2008 1:53 pm

Starting Out

Well, I've had a few blogs in my time. Mostly they have turned into meandering treatises on my life in general, and often lack in substance. Still, I think having a blog on CBS, a site to which I am a frequent visitor, would be a good idea. Here, rather than bringing in posts about entertainment, politics, or the everyday happenings of my life, I'll write about sports, and sports only.

That being said, here's what I'm thinking for the AFC and NFC Championship games this weekend.

NFC: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers:

As a Packers fan, I was elated when the Giants were able to bring down the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs. While I did think Dallas had slipped in recent weeks, the fact that Brett Favre was winless in Dallas over his illustrious career was troubling. Now, the road to Super Bowl 42 is going through Lambeau, so there are no excuses. The Packers are the youngest and most inexperienced team in the NFL, but their team chemistry and natural athletic talent have shown through that. The Giants are on a hot streak, however, and pose a worthy opponent. Watching Eli Manning dissect the Dallas secondary with his 53 second scoring drive at the end of the first half in the previous game showed me that even with his inconsistencies, he can show courage under fire. Still, with Plaxico Burress still not 100%, Amani Toomer getting up there in age, and relative youth at the other receiving slots in Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss, I think the physical Packers secondary will frazzle them. During the Seattle game, Matt Hasselbeck and the Seattle receivers were constantly losing their composure calling for flags on Al Harris and Charles Woodson, and the Giants can't let that happen if they want to stay in this game. On the other end of the field, the Giants depleted secondary still played well against the Cowboys at the end of the game, yet one wonders how well they will hold up against Brett Favre spreading the ball all over the field for the duration of the game. In my mind, both of these factors will lead to a close Packers victory.
Prediction: Packers 24, Giants 17.

AFC: San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots

Once again, before I begin this prediction, I must admit my biases. While I am a Packers fan first, I spent the duration of my childhood growing up in Massachusetts, and therefore have a very large soft spot for the Patriots. I was pleased to see the Colts fall, especially given the fact that the Chargers are now ravaged with injuries at the skill positions. LaDanian Tomlinson is set to play, as are Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, yet they are not 100%, and any disadvantage they have against the unstoppable force known as the Patriots is a major one. Still, the Patriots have petered off in recent weeks. They have found ways to win, but have not dominated games like they did earlier in the season, when they routed the Chargers. The Chargers defense, with All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie, are a dangerous bunch, and their run defense could pose a threat to Laurence Maroney. Still, given all the injuries to the Chargers, and the fact that it's Tom Brady, at Gillette Stadium, in the AFC Championship game, I have to give the win to the Patriots.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Chargers 20

Well, that's all for now. Until next time (most likely the Super Bowl itself), this is Favreism, signing off.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com