Let the Pointless Speculation Begin: Steelers @ Patriots
My title is, of course, wildly inaccurate, as the pointless speculation about this particular AFC Championship Game began the second the curtain descended on the Ravens game, leaving the Steelers with the AFC North crown.
I wonder, by the way, what the AFC North crown actually looks like. I imagine it with a couple of Valkyries crossing swords—you know, the women from the Wagner opera (although the Norse legends from which Wagner drew his material long pre-dated the 19th century.)
See what I mean? I think the speculations should be opened up freely this weekend. After all, some of us at least need to distract ourselves from worrying about the game.
Therefore I shall continue, temporarily, in this vein, and speculate on what the AFC East crown looks like. The Patriots are very accustomed to hoisting it—they have only missed doing so twice since 2002 (when the division reorganized into the current configuration.) In 2002 the Jets won the division; in 2008 the 10-6 Patriots, playing with Matt Cassel at quarterback, lost out to the 11-5 Miami Dolphins. So I imagine the crown being topped with, perhaps, a boy band. Maybe In Sync or something like that. Perhaps they are sporting Ugg boots. So in honor of how much cooler the AFC North crown undoubtedly is, here is The Flight of the Valkyries. Picture Le’Veon Bell gaining 11 yards on a play where there appeared to be no hole whatsoever:
But I’m guessing you didn’t click on this article to hear Wagner. So let’s get to the important stuff—like who’s actually going to win the game? I’m feeling a bit calmer about things since I checked out the Dave Damashek Football Program to see who Football Baby, aka Damashek’s toddler, picked. I’m happy to say it was the Steelers. Football Baby actually has a pretty fabulous record picking games—he’s 116-51 lifetime (which is pretty impressive given how short his life has been so far.)
I also noted that Tunch Ilkin was most enthusiastic as he declared he liked this matchup on Steelers Live Thursday. Bob Labriola was, naturally, living in his fears, but Tunch said he felt better about this matchup than he did about the Chiefs last week. So that’s something to hang your hat on. Not much, I suppose, but Tunch does watch a ton of film. Check out the video, linked above, and then the one that follows it, which scouts the Patriots’ defense. I guarantee it will make you feel better.
Tunch, of course, has no idea how Sunday’s game will end, and neither does anyone else. There are a couple of things I can guarantee, however. The first is this—whichever way the game comes out, the traditional post-game greeting between Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin is almost certainly going to be lacking in any sort of warmth. The second—win or lose, I suspect it is going to be a very exciting game to watch, especially if you don’t have a dog in the fight. That’s as far as my speculations are going to go.
And finally, although the following video was actually made for last week’s game, Tom Brady does get a mention, so it seems appropriate: