[This column brought to you by the 8% of me that doesn't want to try to punch a hole through a brick wall right now]
Nothing like a home playoff loss against a divisional rival by your favorite team to ruin an otherwise unbelievably awesome weekend.
This is one of those times when you are reminded that loving a sports team can be a steaming pile of baby diapers just like all other aspects of life. It was nice to watch the GMen when they were a red giant with an 11-1 record, mowing down six teams with a winning record in a row. It was not as nice to watch them dwindle into a white dwarf in a game against a team who benched their starting QB during the season and had to hit a hot streak and got fairly lucky just to sneak into the playoffs.
I'm not going to get into the officiating because that's something that fans of losing teams like to cling to, instead of acknowledging that their team wasn't good enough for that not to matter. I'm not going to get into the play calling because Kevin Gilbride knows way fucking more about football than I ever will.
Maybe it was the wind, but Eli Manning was tossing up wounded ducks the likes of which have not been seen in quite some time. The once sanctified offensive line wasn't pancaking would-be tacklers at anywhere near the rate they were when the Giants were universally considered of the best team in, as Mark Schlereth might say, THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Derrick Ward probably gave back some of the money he made himself when he violated the Panthers to the tune of 215 yards on 15 carries.
The playoff flame-out doesn't completely take away from the awesomeness of that Panthers game, the undressing of the Ravens, or the victories IN Arizona and IN Pittsburgh. It's just that now we are left with horrific hypothetical ponderance that is... "What If".
I fucking hate "What If". "What If" sucks a bag of dicks.
Tomorrow is going to be one of the rare days where work will be a welcome break from sports. I don't want to listen to Mike & Mike state the obvious, apply some hindpsychology, and talk about Plaxico Burress. I'm sure Max Kellerman will spin his take around, so he won't be eating any humble pie after proclaiming Eli Manning as the best QB in the NFL. I'd guess what Michael Kay's take is going to be, but trying to predict what such a nimble mind would say is a rabbit hole I don't want to go down.
Maybe when I wake up tomorrow I'll forget that the one team that links me to my childhood and that I truly take pride in (sorry, Yanks), just laid an egg that next Sunday will hatch into the 8-8 Arizona Cardinals, who were 3-7 outside of their historically shitty division, hosting the all-faggy-bird-team-name NFC Championship. I hate the anticlimactic nature of the BCS, but this just goes to show that even a single elimination playoff system isn't going to tie up all the loose ends either. I'm the type of person who will watch the pretty much all of the playoffs in any sport because of the inherent do-or-die drama, but I just might have to take this one off.
In the words of Bob Seger: "No matter what you dream, or feel, or say, it ends in dust and disarray"