Except when they play the Green Bay Packers or are involved in a game the Pack needs them to lose. Actually, I am just a NFL football junkie. Some teams I like less than others and for different reasons. Their style of play, their uniforms, a couple of their players, or even the coach. In the case of the Vikings, it’s all of the above with the exception of the coach who I know little about. If the Packers aren’t in the playoffs, then I’m a fan of the team from the Black and Blue division that is in it. Even the Bears. And Lions, if they ever make it my lifetime. I’ve enjoyed watching them since Fran Tarkenton created Houdini moves on the field. Man, he frustrated me when they played the Pack. And Carl Eller was always laying on top of our quarterback. Bud Grant was a coaches coach. Yes, that was back in the day. But I admit I have felt sadness over each Viking Super Bowl loss. I’m hoping that changes this season. My dream Super Bowl would be for the Vikes to play the Patriots, be the first team to win the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium ( I doubt there will ever be a Super Bowl game in Lambeau-lol), and jump out to a 23 point lead. I doubt that they would blow it. Another desire would be to hear from some Vikes fans and explain something to me – Skol.
Out of the 30 million or so viewers of this year’s College Football Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide, there was probanly only one person who even thought about replacing Jalen Hurts with freshman Tua Tagovailoa after halftime. Nick Saban. Love, hate, or envy the Tide because they get a lot of the top recruits and “Just win, Baby”, they also have the best head coach. This move was pure genius and cemented his name alongside another legacy. Someone called Bear and who happened to also coach Alabama. They both have six National Championships. Nick Saban will get more. Probably enough for all ten fingers and maybe a few for his toes. TuaTagovailoa is now a household name, even if you’re one of the several million who can’t pronounce his name without help. Yes, he threw the pass. Yes, DeVonta Smith caught the pass. But it was Nick Saban’s genius (or the riverboat gambler in him), that produced the opportunity. Roll Tide!
Kudos to the Wisconsin Badgers for beating the Miami Hurricanes on their home turf in this year’s Orange Bowl. They beat them at their own game-creating turnovers. They won that battle as well as the second half battle 3-1 and a final of 34-24. After an ominous start in which Bucky fumbled on the opening drive, Alex Hornibrook, Jonathon Taylor and a bend but don’t break defense, they took a couple links out of the Canes’ vaunted Turnover Chain. Too bad they gave up all those big plays inthe Big 10 championship game against Ohio State. Otherwise, they maybe playing for the National Championship tonight.
What a boring game unless you love defense. Thanks to Bortles’ running, because he couldn’t connect with a receiver, Jacksonville kept the Buffalo Bills from winning a playoff game in over 20 years. The Steelers will dominate the Jags, especially if Antonio Brown is healthy. We’ll see how Big Ben will be.
Matt Ryan and a stingy Falcons defense made lamb meat out of the Los Angeles Rams. When they score 20 or more points (this year not in last year’s Super Bowl choke), close the door and get ready for the next game. All predator bird game. Eagles without Carson Wentz have not scared anyone. Mattie Ice and gang will score more than 20-see ya next year Philly.
Not sure why this is happening but Kansas City can’t seem to win a playoff game at home. All those weapons and yet the streak is now 0 for the last 6. Part of it was due to Kelce getting smucked and out for the game (and now the season) because he failed the concussion protocol. The upstart young Titans reward? A visit to New England. The Chiefs handled them the first week of the season. Not a chance for Tennessee. I like Alex Smith but am glad the 49ers chose him ahead of Aaron Rodgers.
New Orleans’ elite quarterback Drew Brees fired missles and his receivers made all-pro adjustments to make catches as the Saints go marchin’ on to the second round of the playoffs. brees more than compensated for the ground game that was often stuffed by the Panthers defense. Speaking of defense, it was nice to see the NFC’s biggest crybaby on the ground several times. Next test? The Minnesota Vikings defense and their rejuvenated offense. If Sam Bradford plays instead of Case Keenum, I will not root for the Vikings, even though I would love to see them beat New England and be the first team to win a Super Bowl on their home field.
Had the Wisconsin Badgers not given up so many huge plays in the Big ten championship game, they would be in the college football playoffs. Instead, they were chosen to play in the Orange Bowl against the #10 Miami Hurricanes and the Turnover Chain. It will be important to do what they do best. Hold onto and pound the ball down the teeth of the Hurricane defense. An occasional pass will do too. The Badger D needs to minimize the big play capability of the Miami O, especially since it is a home game for them. If they play the way they played in their first twelve games, it will be one of the finest freshly squeezed moments in Badger football history.
Being a grandfather is a special thing. Being able to watch them grow through sports is priceless. Thanks to Arctic Circle here in Kimberly, Idaho, I am blessed to be able to watch my grandchildren and children of friends participate in sports at an early age. Last Saturday I attended the 9-11 year old girls basketball games. The first at the request of a good friend whose daughter Mercedes was playing for the Mystic against the Liberty. The Mystic pulled out a last minute win. The next game was my grandaughter Graci’s team, the Stars playing against the Liberty. It was no contest for the undefeated Stars. But, the scores don’t matter in this league-much. It’s all about having fun with the girls they go to school with and with a mildly competitive flavor. Priceless are the faces of the young players when they make a basket or free throw. Watching ten young ladies chase a loose ball like a school of piranhas brings a chuckle to my soul. Growing up, we didn’t have this great opportunity, especially for girls. If anything was available in the way of sports, it was for the “good “ol (young) boys” group. Back then boys played sports and girls were cheerleaders or pompon girls. Thankfully, those days are gone. I want to express my gratitude to Arctic Circle in this area for sponsoring athletics for our youth and to organizations everywhere that do the same.
Losing Aaron Rodgers put the Green Bay Packers in the position of not making the playoffs for the first time in… a long time. Brett Hundley turned the team into the Cardiac Pack. Engineering a couple of come back wins in overtime and almost taking down the mighty Steelers. But he isn’t the answer at quarterback-maybe ever should Mr. Rodgers retire. Welcome back St. Aaron. The Pack needs several Hail Marys in order to make the playoffs now. They need to win all three games with a rusty Aaron Rodgers and hope a lot of teams in front of them to lose. Impossible? No. But miracles happen and if it’s meant to be it will happen. It will take lots of hope, faith, prayers and a miracle or three. Start praying to St. Aaron.