The only unfortunate thing about being in Cairo is that I am missing a good chunk of the NFL playoffs. My roommate's family is awesome enough to have AFN, the military network, so if I wanted to, I could watch all of the games. However, Cairo is seven hours ahead of New York, so those 8 E.T. games start at 3AM here. Ouch.
For those people who have been watching the playoffs though, you must be sratching your heads at the improbable outcomes. Eagles beat the Vikings at Minnesota; the Cardinals pulled out a victory over the Falcons, and the Chargers (the supposed BEST team in the AFC according to ESPN even when they started out 3-5) beat Peyton Manning and the Colts. Seriously, this season makes no sense.
However, despite not being able to watch the games, my brother has been giving me e-mail updates... well more like rants. He also missed the Chargers game, since he had to go to a wedding. Here's how the conversation went down. My brother is hilarious when it comes to football.
My Brother: Monday night:
"So, it turns out that all of our first round playoff picks were wrong, with the exception of the Ravens game! Eagles beat Vikings; Ravens beat Dolphins; Cardinals beat Falcons; and Chargers beat Colts.
So, next weekend, Giants play Eagles (ouch . . .); Panthers play Cardinals; Titans play Ravens; and Steelers play Chargers. Our conference & super bowl picks mostly remain (absent the Colts), but our wacky worst case scenario picks are all fucked. We could conceivably have an Eagles-Chargers super bowl for crying out loud."
My Response: Monday Morning:
"I've been keeping track of the scores here in Cairo. I think my brain exploded when I woke up to find out that the Cardinals and Chargers both won in the same day. I expected ONE upset though, not three with the Eagles also beating the Vikings.
I was really happy when the Cardinals beat the Falcons though. That win meant the Giants were guaranteed to play either the Cards or the Eagles, both of which will be an easy game. Now if the Cards somehow beat the Panthers, the NFC championship game will be LOL for the Giants.
The NFL playoffs is confusing. Single elimination blows."
My Brother's Response: Tuesday Morning:
"Yeah seriously on the brain explosion. I feel like this will be the weekend that the world rights itself again though. I think the Eagles game will be tougher than we think though, as the two teams know each other well. That said, an underreported aspect of the Eagles game was that Westbrook only had about 35 yards on the ground; his total yardage was overflated due to the ridiculous 72 yards he gained on a screen pass . . . A FUCKING SCREEN PASS. I mean look, if the Vikes aren't going to bother to contain a basic screen pass, the game's just not fair.
For the Ravens, I hope you got a chance to see some of the highlights. One in particular was a VICIOUS Bart Scott hit on Pennington a split-second after he released the ball in fear--Pennington was positively propelled backwards, as if he had been hit by a giant flat wall over his entire body rather than being tackled by another person. Reminded me of sci-fi movies where a guy gets hit by a concussion blast and his whole body flies straight backwards. Pennington crumpled to the floor like a broken man. And throws that led to those record 4 interceptions were epic. They were definitely the "bombs" we imagined, only they were bombed vertically instead of horizontally, and into double coverage at that.
Missed the Cards and Chargers' games for the most part. Ryan fell apart for the Falcons, and the Cards--for the first time all season--both ran the ball and stopped the run. The Chargers game was apparently the greatest game of the entire weekend, and I was at the fucking wedding for all of it. I got back to the hotel room in time to see Rivers being interviewed, and to hear the announcers do a recap--insane lead changes, great back and forth, and overtime--an overtime where the Colts defense just imploded in a way I haven't seen in a long time. Just retarded penalties (a crippling face mask, a holding call, a pass interference call, etc.) that let the Chargers march up the field.
And I'm not even talking about Darren Sproles. If you could have told me that the Colts would contain LDT (fuckin' nickname), knock him out of the game, and still lose, I would have laughed at you. And if you would have told me that Darren My-Name-Makes-Me-Sound-A-Little-Bit-Like-I-Should-Have-Been-A-Character-On-The-Jetsons Sproles would have 328 combined yards and would be the difference-maker, I would have left the room and sought help for you.
This last bit worries me. Could mean that the mighty Kurt Warner could have a 450-yard passing game this weekend. Could mean that David Tyree makes a catch with his jockstrap this time. Could mean that Vince Young makes a miraculous return in Tennessee as a middle linebacker, and has 7 sacks. In the immortal words of Kevin Garnett after the Celtics won the NBA championship last year, "ANYTHING IS POSSIBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"."
Yeah, we're like this all time. Especially when it somes to sports.