Monday, January 17, 2011

And they want to lockout the players?

Really, NFL?

You mean to tell me you two sides, players and owners, can't hammer out a deal?

Check the TV ratings for the weekend. More people watched Chicago thump Seattle than watched President Obama talk about the Arizona shootings.

The popularity of the NFL is at an all-time high. Maybe it's because people are soaking in all the football they can before owners lock the door on players after the current CBA runs out in early March.

More realistically, it's because football feeds the nation. Period. I'm a hockey guy, and even I know the NFL rules the roost. Sorry NBA, MLB, NASCAR and anyone else. The USA is the NFL's turf.

Chicago and Green Bay will meet for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Think UNC-Duke to the 100th power. This isn't about college ties, this is about one city hating another city. It's not Durham despising Chapel Hill. That isn't the factor in the Tar Heels and Blue Devils. That's proximity, and a 10 mile stretch of Hwy 15-501. In Chicago-Green Bay, it's about one city saying the other could be wiped of the map, and it would be an improvement. I lived that rivalry growing up. Bears fans won't wish the Packers well if they go into Soldier Field and win on Sunday. True Bears fans will root for the AFC team. To a Bears fan, the only good thing coming out of Green Bay is the bus they leave Lambeau Field on after the game.

The NFC title game will be filled with hard hits, and hate. Great tv.

In the AFC, it's the Jets and Steelers. I have friends on both side of the rivalry, and to all of them I say good luck. Should be a dandy game, considering the Jets destroyed New England. Sorry, Pats fans, the final score was not an indication of how close things were. The Jets hammered the Pats up and down the field, for 60 minutes. Rex Ryan's mouth has written big checks, and his team has been able to cash them. They are dangerous.

I'm not running Pittsburgh out of this, by any means. The Steelers are nasty. They play hard. They are physical. They aren't afraid to smack someone in the mouth, because they seem to enjoy when they get hit back. I get the sense the Steelers are carrying their own swagger into the AFC title game, because there are a lot of folks that had it New England's march, no matter who else qualified for the playoffs. I'm guilty of that as well, as I had the Pats in Dallas for all the marbles.

A week out, and not knowing all the injuries, I'm calling my Super Bowl matchup here and now.

Green Bay v. Pittsburgh

And then, Go Steelers.

Mike Solarte

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