Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Searching for Rhyme and Reason in the NFL Playoffs

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Loyal readers, I admit defeat. I devote countless hours to being an informed, savvy sports fan. It is an unyielding endeavor to which there is no escape. And yet, I am still continually blindsided by incongruous outcomes and head scratching performances (see: Jets 17 Chargers 14 ). Today, I find myself wholly and utterly befuddled after yet another puzzling playoff result. This isn't how the playoffs were supposed to unfold. Not only were we robbed of two clashes for the ages (Pats/Colts II and Pack/Vikes III), but the one postseason team that wasn't even supposed to be in the playoffs -- the New York Jets -- is one game away from the Super Bowl. Ouch, my brain.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the New York Effing Jets are playing in the AFC Championship Game. The Jets! The same team that midway through the season stood at 4-6, a far cry from any realistic playoff contention. The same team that squeaked into the postseason by claiming victories against the second and third stringers of the Colts and Bengals (essentially JV opposition) in the crucial final two weeks of the regular season.  Led by the brash bravado of head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets continue to defy the odds and prove the experts wrong. Furthermore, for the second time in as many seasons, we have seen a rookie quarterback "lead" -- I use that term very, very loosely -- his team to two road victories against division champions en route to an AFC Championship game appearance (Joe Flacco last year, Mark Sanchez this year). Things like that just aren't supposed to happen in the NFL. But regardless of the circuitous, unconventional path that New York has taken to (and through) the playoffs, they still stand but one more head-scratching victory from the Super Bowl. Incomprehensible. I guess Don Cheadle wasn't kidding, after all.

Ultimately, there appears to be little to no rhyme or reason to the NFL postseason. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to instill some "rhyme" (hopefully the reason will follow shortly thereafter).

Ode to the Playoffs (A Pats Fan's Lament)

Round two was here,
And as was my fear,
The Patriots were no longer playing.
They watched from home,
As I still bemoaned,
Their embarrassing Wild Card slaying.

No matter how hard I tried,
It could not be denied,
That this Pats team was run-of-the-mill.
So I repeated the verse,
That it could be much worse,
I could be a fan of the Bills.

 Elsewhere in the league,
Was myriad intrigue,
For the playoffs were still unfolding.
But something was missing,
So I kept reminiscing,
'Bout the glory I'd grown accustom to beholding.

You see I've been spoiled,
From being deeply embroiled,
Within New England's recent success.
But this most recent loss,
And that damn Randy Moss,
Had me rife with rampant distress.

Although my team was gone,
And their rivals moved on,
I still watched from my comfortable haven.
So I opened a beer,
And for the first time this year,
I cheered on the Colts and the Ravens.

Although I don't like either team,
The winner, it would seem,
To be the lesser of two football evils.
But I could not go on,
It felt ever so wrong,
It caused an internal upheaval.

But it mattered not,
For the root of my plot,
Bore a far more significant reason.
The team that should win,
Would hereby therein,
Have to a chance to end the Jets' season.

The Colts did prevail,
And onward they sailed,
Thanks to Manning's competitive fire.
But still awaiting to play,
On the very next day,
Was the team that draws my ire.

(Lest you forget, I speak of the Jets)

I'm not particularly keen,
Of that football team,
Their subject I rarely do broach.
They make me irate,
They should not procreate,
Especially their overweight coach.

You must understand,
He's a gargantuan man,
Of that, no one can deny.
An arrogant fool,
Who surely will drool,
If his gaze should fall on a pie.

But nevertheless,
I should digress,
From that particularly cathartic discussion.
Because lying in wait,
On the AFC slate,
Was a game of great repercussion.

The stage was set,
For the Bolts and the Jets,
To settle a Divisional Playoff.
The fans, they all prayed,
That the game to be played,
Wouldn't end with an unwanted layoff.

A long winning streak,
An opponent so weak,
The Chargers were feeling so mighty.
But Rex and his Jets,
Felt such disrespect,
That they had been taken so lightly.

The Chargers struck first,
Jets fans feared the worst,
Their defense was being derided.
But the game it was young,
Had just merely begun,
And the outcome was far from decided.

A first half so boring,
Saw little more scoring,
Just one measly New York field goal.
But the game half way through,
The Chargers all knew,
The Jets defense was taking a toll.

Much to my dismay,
The physical play,
Was favoring the team I abhor.
The Chargers were fading,
And thanks to Nate Kaeding,
Were failing to add to their score.

The Jets took a lead,
That they wouldn't concede,
On a touchdown to their young tight end.
The events taking place,
Were such a disgrace,
That Chargers fans could not apprehend.

San Diego was reeling,
And there was a feeling,
That their coach was filled with confusion.
Their 2010 campaign,
And LT's San Diego reign,
Were both likely nearing conclusion.

The vibe, it was tense,
And New York's defense,
Was ensuring an outcome so grievous.
They stymied the run,
They would not be outdone,
Especially their stud Darelle Revis.

But then, a late surge,
As the Bolts tried to purge,
Themselves of an unwanted fate.
Hope was pervading,
But then that god damn Nate Kaeding,
Proved it was too little, too late.

And then it was done,
The Jets had won,
In a most inglorious manner.
The Chargers curtailed,
Had once again failed,
To raise a championship banner.

The Jets fans declared,
Throughout the San Diego air,
A celebration I find most absurd.
In what's normally led,
By Fireman Ed,
They spelled their damn four letter word.

J! E! T! S!
J! E! T! S!
We get it, you know how to spell.
But while they celebrated,
I simply ruminated,
Ugh, I think I'm in hell.

At the end of the day,
The Jets found a way,
To prolong their memorable season.
But I will never resort,
To give them support,
Such would be unforgivable treason.

But I must give them praise,
For all of the ways,
That they showed considerable pluck.
They bested the Bolts,
And now on to the Colts,
If they beat them too, darn.

As the playoffs progress,
I must confess,
I will be rooting for (sigh) my boy Peyton.
Because wishing success,
Upon those dastardly Jets,
Would be akin to worshiping Satan.

Perhaps in time,
Along with this rhyme,
Reason will follow shortly thereafter.
But all that I pray,
Is that the Jets won't display,
A championship flag in their rafters.

Though not very profound,
I still hope that you found,
My narrative both poetic and sassy.
So enjoy the football,
And to one and to all,
 As always, stay tuned and stay classy.

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