Sunday, January 13, 2008

No Place Like Home?

Damn, I'm running a little late here. First game, the under card, has already begun, with Indy holding a 7-0 lead over San Diego as the first quarter closes. I was gonna pick San Diego anyway, so let me do so, just have a hunch that Chargers are gonna stay hot. Colts are solid in every way, but something is just missing here, maybe the pure hunger they had last year in their Super Bowl run.

I have no preference in this game, don't hate either team or especially care one way or the other. I think Colts defense is a little better overall, although San Diego has more explosive athletes who are more likely to make a late game changing play. Whoever wins here, I will root for them like hell to derail the Pats next week. Just what I've been hoping for all year. Let's call it San Diego in a true squeaker, 28-27, and you were there.

Second game is being billed as the underdog Giants versus NFC East Champion Cowboys. Noting the Cowboys 12 All-Pro selections this year, Giants MLB Antonio Pierce tried to make it the All-Pros versus the All-Joes, although there is a fallacy to that line or thinking: it's not like baseball where one team outspends all the other teams; both teams spend the exact same amount under the salary cap. It's not my fault if the Cowboys have a bunch of exceptional young talent, starting with QB Tony Romo.

Now, Romo didn't have the easiest coupla weeks leading up to this game, what with the Jessica Simpson angle that this tabloid and gossip driven sports culture shamelessly ran with. In fact, has there ever been a second-year QB under more scrutiny than Romo has been, getting ready to make the second playoff start of his budding career, and just his 28th game as a starter period. I mean, did this kid do anything illegal, anything immoral to warrant this kind of backlash -- besides the cardinal sin of using some off days to take a break along with 3 or 4 other teammates? Yeesh!

Fortunately for Dallas, the game will be won or lost on the field. If there's an athlete who can handle this type of added pressure, I would guess it's the undrafted free agent who soared from obscurity to celebrity like a roman candle last year -- a Romo candle? -- with a refreshing blend of aw-shucks humility and brazen confidence. Today is either the latest stage in the upward trajectory, or another high profile setback like last year's Seattle disaster -- really no middle ground here when you're the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

What's missing here is that Eli Manning is just one mediocre game away from his own avalanche of criticism and doubt. One bad game and all the negativity comes crashing back. There's only room for one hero and one goat. My money is on Romo to duplicate the success he's had when he was in mid-season peak form. With an offensive line that gave him all kinds of time in the previous two wins over the Jersey Giants ready to assert itself, I'm seeing a 29-13 score -- although a late garbage time TD may close the final gap to 29-20 before it's all said and done. As it is written, so let it be done...


jimithegreek said...

well dallas did win 2 out of 3 against big blue!!
well you got 3 out of 4 right this weekend!!! romo played well
all four games were pretty darn good to watch. next week will be fun to watch

Wardens World said...

This is my absolute sports nightmare -- losing to the Giants in the playoffs. A play going the other way here or there and Dallas wins, altho it never should have come down to that. The key drive was just before halftime, when the Giants marched down the field. Pathetic.