Monday, January 18, 2010

Back From A Boring Weekend

Good morning, Fackers. On Friday afternoon, Joe called this past weekend the best one in sports. There are some other candidates, namely the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, but I would probably give my vote to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. There are four games on, which start late Saturday afternoon and end at a reasonable time on Sunday giving you a healthy amount of meaningful, intense football to consume. Well, on paper anyway.

Just like the games Wildcard Round, there were three unwatchable tilts that were decided before the first half was over and the one game that was close featured only 10 points in the first three quarters. The average margin of victory through the first 8 games of the playoffs this season has been 17.1 points with only the two aforementioned match-ups being decided by less than one touchdown. Four games have been decided by 30 points or more. Last year, no playoff games were that lopsided.

According to this study, we've watched roughly 88 minutes of postseason football action thus far and I've venture to guess that about 10 of those have been worth paying attention to.

I'm not sure if other Yankee fans can relate, but I've felt detached from the NFL season this year. It was quite the opposite from 2008, the Giants had started off the defense of their Super Bowl victory 4-0 when the Yankees were clearing out their lockers. There was real excitement surrounding that team and although they bumbled a Monday night game against the Browns, they cruised to 11-1 before things fell apart. And when the Giants lost to the Eagles in the Divisional Round, it really hurt.

When the Yanks won the World Series this year, the Giants were already halfway through their season. At that point, their stock had already risen and fell. They were 5-3 after losing 3 in a row and ended up closing out the season a meager 3-5 including two disgraceful losses by more than 30 points in Weeks 16 & 17. They had been eliminated from the playoffs for three weeks so at that point, it didn't really matter.

Now that were halfway through a forgettable postseason and I couldn't care less about how the rest of it turns out. I just hope the Vikings lose this Sunday so we are spared the agony of the two week festival that will be known as "Favreganza" leading up to the Super Bowl.

There's good news, however. It's hard to believe, but pitchers and catchers report exactly one month from today. The Yankees' full squad will join six days later. It's more symbolic than anything since workouts in Tampa don't offer much entertainment to fans - even ones who attend them in person - but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.