Ah, the sweet aroma of the AFC championship game unfouled by the putrid stench of the Patriots. Leaving the petulant Tom Brady and pouting Bill Belichick in their wake, the Jets earned a meeting with the Steelers for the AFC title next week. I can hardly wait.
That I became a Jets fan for a day -- actually a week because I rooted for them in the living room of my Jets-loyalist buddy the Saturday before -- doesn't alter my deep-seated support for the Steelers. I was showing respect for my host when I supported the Jets against the Colts last week. Had he been a Colts fan, I would have cheered for them. And yesterday I was only following my personal creed of rooting for two teams each week of the NFL season: the Steelers and whichever team is playing the Patriots.
I trace my animus toward the Patriots to the schlocks masquerading as knowledgeable football analysts at ESPN. Since 2003 ESPN has been the All-Patriots-All-the-Time Network. Literally gushing over Brady as the "greatest" QB of all time and Belichick as the "great miracle worker," the majority of ESPN hacks have named the Patriots the team most likely to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season for seven years. I suspect their holiday bonus is determined by how much praise they can heap on the Patriots throughout the season, and how many times they can manage to include the Patriots accomplishments in unrelated stories.
After a couple of seasons of this slobbering worship, I gave up on ESPN as having any NFL credibility whatsoever. No doubt they are having a meeting this morning discussing the excuses they will forward to explain the stunning reality that once again the Patriots won't be the national champs.
The problem with corinating winners at season's start is, more often than not, you are left looking foolish. I give you the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots, that many of these ESPN boneheads picked at the beginning of the season to battle it out in Super Bowl 45.
So along with most of football-watching America, I am thrilled the Patriots are out of it. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of fellas and their loyal ESPN sycophants.