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200 Miles From the Citi


January 24, 2010 7:20 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume IV)

AFC_NFC.JPGDon't know if you noticed, but I nailed the four games last week against the spreads, and only missed with 2 over/unders.

This week, as though there wasn't enough already on the line with the Jets, I take a one-point lead in my playoff pool into the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Click on through to see what I'm going with today.


We'll go in reverse order this week:

VIKINGS AT SAINTS

The Saints have been the cream of the crop all season in the NFC, and I'm not going to get off their bandwagon now.  Sure, they struggled late in the season, but they looked like their explosive selves (defensively as well as offensively) in their first playoff game.  They are capable of making the Vikings play from behind, and that is not a recipe for success for one Brett Favre.  It'll be tight early, but the Saints will pull away when Favre resorts to his slinging ways trying to play catch-up...and the Saints will advance to the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl.  I was all set to go "over" on this one, but these are two decent enough defenses that I think it'll go way under the 52.5 I'm seeing:

MIN_NO_Pick.JPG

JETS AT COLTS

Up until the Colts had the crazy (regular season) success of the Peyton Manning era, the Jets and Colts had such a similar shared stretch of futility.  Often they battled one another for last place in the old AFC East.  I've sat through more than my share of 6-3, 9-6, 3-0 "battles" between the two less-than-mediocre teams.  I thought about that a lot as I sat in Lucas Oil Stadium watching the Jets and Colts play just a month ago.  Especially when the fans around me talked about how much they "hate the Jets".  I never hated the Colts as much as the Dolphins - the Dolphins are my number one hated team.  The Colts were just so bad back then....you couldn't hate them.  So it's funny that the two teams are meeting in such an important game.  I've been laying this game out for you all week, I really have nothing to add other than my final score pick is solely based on reversing the result of the 1998 AFC Championship Game.  Go Jets:

NYJ_Ind_Pick.JPG-I'm wearing my lucky outfit today - the same thing I wore on our trip to Indianapolis.  (That means it's extra lucky, since the Jets are back in Indy.)  But I'm not alone - Rex Ryan will be wearing his black sweater vest over white, I'm sure, and Mark Sanchez is still growing his playoff beard (which I read he started when the Jets were 7-7).  And while we're on this topic, how long have the Colts been wearing their blue jerseys at home?  They did it against the Jets in Week 16 and against the Ravens in their playoff opener (and from the looks of it, have all season).  But I thought they were a white-on-white home team all these years.  Anyway, I bring it up because the Jets have had lots of success lately in their white-on-whites...it would be interesting to see the Colts force them to change colors.

-One last comment on Indianapolis...the best quote I heard all day during the Week 16 game was when we were walking out, and there were still some stunned (and pissed) Colts fans sitting in their seats, waiting out the exits.  Some guy was sitting with his family and says, "The Mafia won that one.  The Mafia."  I don't think it was a New York/New Jersey reference so much as a "the game was fixed" reference...but I didn't stay near enough to the guy long enough to find out.

-So the Mets have been making some noise.  The buzz was that they missed out on Joel Pineiro and Bengie Molina, but may trade for Tim Hudson or sign Ben Sheets (Sheets is trying out in front of Mets' personnel - I think that would be one of those low-risk moves that the Mets have to make....Hudson I don't see getting traded, let alone within the division).  Then they added Gary Matthews, trading Brian Stokes to the Angels for Matthews, who the Angels are still paying all but $2 million.  Great deal financially for the Mets, which makes it a pretty good deal overall.  I feel pretty good about Angel Pagan filling in for Carlos Beltran, but he's no iron man himself, so Matthews will probably get plenty of playing time...hopefully he can rediscover himself with the Mets.  (I liked Stokes out of the bullpen, incidentally...or, at least, he didn't drive me nuts like some of the other relievers.)

-Also, the Mets announced that they'll induct Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Davey Johnson, and Frank Cashen into the Mets Hall of Fame this year.  The big complaint about Citi Field was that it ignored some of the Mets history while focusing on New York National League baseball - I'll have more on that as the baseball season draws nearer.  This is a move to correct some of that, and appease the fans, I think.  The Mets haven't had a Hall of Fame induction since 2002, so this is a good way to re-introduce the Hall of Fame.  I always felt, even at Shea, that the Mets Hall of Fame was not accessible, so I hope they do it right at Citi Field.  I like the move - of course, anytime the 1986 Mets are celebrated, I'm on board.

-I guess I really haven't had a bigger sports day than this since Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.  Let's hope this one turns out better.

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