Bye Bye Buffalo Bills…

Yesterday, it was announced with little fanfare (and surprisingly few comments from the peanut gallery) that the Bills in Toronto Series was being “postponed” for 2014.  Yeah, and the last time I “postponed” a date, I never saw her again.  Looks like the writing’s on the wall for the Bills in TO, and as someone who attended every single one of those games–except for last year’s sorry-ass contest–all I hafta say is “It’s not me, it’s you.”

Let’s face it, the Bills haven’t helped themselves by bringing some gawd-awful squads up here.  This franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since Doug Flutie was their QB (that was 14 years ago, in case you’re wondering), and their results weren’t much worse in Toronto than they were at any stadium in America–a mere 1-5 in six regular season contests.  But it’s not just that they lost those games, but how they lost them: 16-3 to Miami, 19-13 to the Jets, 22-19 to Chicago, 50-17 to the Seahawks…  OK, so I quite enjoyed that last loss.  But it’s no secret I was sitting on the visitor’s sideline for that one. ;)

When they announced the 2013 opponent as the Atlanta Falcons, I was a little less enthused.  After all, I did have a bit of a beef with Atlanta–who knocked the Hawks outta the playoffs on a last-second field goal in 2012–but I figured that the reigning NFC South champs would make Buffalo burgers out of the Bills, who had about as much depth and talent at QB as the Calgary Flames have got in goal.  As it turns out, Atlanta’s season went been shitty *inside joke* in a hurry, and they were about as bad as Buffalo coming in…but even with Seattle playing on MNF that week, I opted to sit at home and watch a Broncos game rather than pay money to see that sorry spectacle.

It figures that last season’s game was the highest-scoring Bills contest in Toronto, with the so-called home side losing 34-31 in overtime.  That could actually be considered exciting–if either team had anything to play for.  But the biggest complaint afterwards wasn’t about the Bills giving up a game-tying TD in the last two minutes, or the piss-poor play of EJ Manuel (18-32, 210 yards, 50.3 QBR); it was about all the fans cheering for the Falcons.  Cuz hey, it may be 1,600 km away, but Atlanta’s still on the East Coast, so their fans’ll still travel.  And it’s not like the visitors making more noise was a new thing–any Bills fans who hadn’t left by halftime wanted to puke, not shout, in that Seattle game.  In fact, Bills center Eric Wood went on local radio afterwards and said stuff like “[Toronto]‘s a bad atmosphere for football. I mean, nobody wants to play there.  I guess for opposing teams it beats the hell out of going in somebody else’s stadium and dealing with a bunch of crowd noise.”  Really, he could’ve been talking about any Bills in Toronto Series game there…except maybe their lone win over Washington.

Now, there are some–including The Mayor of This CityTM and his First Brother–who think that as a world-class city, we deserve a world-class team in a world-class football league.  Well, the Bills may play in the NFL, but they haven’t been a world-class team in 20 years.  And as I’ve said before, Toronto’s just not that big into football.  I mean, the Argos haven’t brought a decent crowd out to Rogers Centre since Doug Flutie was their QB.

Speaking of which, it’s probably just as well that I won’t hafta pretend to be a Bills fan once a year anymore.  Even after dropping a lotta weight these past few months, I just barely fit into my Flutie jersey…

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*James Franco voice* “Looook at all ma sheeeeet!!!”


After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl 43-8!!!!!, there was no way I was leaving The Big Apple empty-handed.  Cuz unlike those Broncos fans who’ll be burning all their Super Bowl gear (among other things) after their loss, this is a moment that I’ll cherish forever…or at least until Seattle repeats next year.  In any case, I certainly purchased my share of merchandise, to say nothing of the freebies obtained at the stadium.  That’s right, attendees of the Super Bowl receive a gift bag–or a gift seat cushion, as it were.

156I actually bought this shirt at the Newark airport, where everything Super Bowl related was on sale Monday.  Those magnets only cost me a couple bucks–while that pint glass woulda been a lot cheaper had I picked it up at the airport instead of paying 20 bucks for it at Macy’s (roughly the same price as that program).

157This was one of the most popular items at Macy’s: the Super Bowl t-shirt with the full Seahawks roster on the back.  I actually had to scrounge through a rack of assorted items just to find one in my size!

158Funny story about the lanyard; I went to just about every merch stand on the 100 level of the stadium, and they didn’t have any.  I bought that one at the Newark airport the day after the game (it came with a pin, which is blocked in the shot).  The rubber band was a freebie I picked up at the security tent; the hat cost me 25 bucks or so at Macy’s.

159Ah, the aforementioned Super Bowl seat cushion full of stuff.  You’ve got a football-style hand pouch with three packs of hand-warmers, earmuffs, a game-day radio, faux leather coffee-cup holder, Super Bowl branded chapstick(!), a handkerchief, New Girl gloves (hey, I watch that show!), the light-up toque from the halftime show…and last but not least, a pack of tissues.  But not just any tissues–Puffs Plus with Lotion!  Cuz a nose in need deserves Puffs indeed, y’all!

(Of course, with game-day temperatures well above freezing, I didn’t actually use any of that stuff.  Not even the seat cushion–I wasn’t watching this one sitting down!)

Scenes from Super Bowl Weekend…

013(The view from Hoboken.)

Suffice to say, New York City is expensive at the best of times.  Sticking the Super Bowl in the nearby Jersey swamp means 14-dollar beers and 16-dollar cheesesteaks…but hey, at least the former comes with a souvenir sippy-cup?  OK, so Super Bowl Weekend was an overblown, overcrowded disaster, but the end result was all that matters.  Can you say 43-8?


Where to begin?  How about Super Bowl Boulevard, the blocked artery on Broadway where movements were as frequent as a constipated granny.  Bad visual?  Well, you shouldda seen the place!  People were completely crammed, especially at the NFL Shop at Macy’s, where everything was 50 per cent off…on Monday after the game.  Yeah, I was there Saturday.  And in a sure sign that the Seahawks were gonna win, they put up this display of Russell Wilson–not Peyton Manning–in store:


Speaking of Russell, there he is in Times Square…or not.


One of the major attractions on Super Bowl Blvd was the giant toboggan, which dropped down faster than Peyton Manning’s QB rating:


There was apparently a three-hour wait to get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy.  Most people just took a photo from outside–although I did get a clearer shot of it the following evening. ;)


There was supposed to be a Seahawks rally in Times Square at 7 pm, although where in Times Square wasn’t specified.  To me, though, that meant the big red steps at W 47th and Broadway.  Turns out that FOX Sports had already set up shop…


And there wasn’t much of a rally.  I got to see some Seahawks (and Broncos) cheerleaders, and watch Donovan McNabb throw a few footballs into the crowd.  Oh, and there was also a drumline:


I spent Saturday evening at the Legion of Boom Fan Cave, which was basically the covered terrace of the Copacabana Club with a few 12th man banners on the walls.  That, and eight-dollar Heinekens.  But to their credit, the evening’s designated rappers had a pretty catchy number about “Hawks on top, Broncos on the bottom” that turned out to be quite an accurate prediction.  Man, this place had everything: Chips and salsa, white girls twerking, two different versions of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”…  (I left during the techno remix.)

Saw a late-night pizza spot somewhere around W 48th that advertised two slices and a drink for four bucks.  What they don’t tell you is that offer only applies to cheese-pizza (aka plain) slices.  Also got to see the wonderful New York customer service on display.  “Yous betta have exact change, cuz we ain’t got no stinkin’ coins!”

I should mention that I stayed in Long Island City, which isn’t in Long Island, but rather the borough of Queens.  That neighbourhood is worthy of a full post in itself, so stay tuned for that.  I woke up relatively early on Sunday, and being that there’s nothing to do in LIC, I ended up taking the PATH train over to Hoboken, where fishing is apparently pretty popular:

015Hey, we are on the Jersey Shore… ;)

Anyways, the bar I ended up at was almost directly across from the train station, was named after two southwestern states and packed a playlist full of classic rock, oldies and AC/DC.  Hey, I’ll take it over Robin Thicke and Jay Z.  (Turns out “Empire State of Mind” is pretty popular around these parts.  And they play a lot more Bon Jovi than Springsteen!)  That said, the girls working there all seemed like the type who spend their Friday nights at Karma.  Let’s just say yoga pants, spray tans and cleavage were also on the menu next to the nachos and fajitas…not that I’m complaining.

The bar’s proximity to the train station allowed me to hop aboard the 2:20 to Secaucus, from where I had to take another train to the Meadowlands.  Even though the game didn’t start for another four hours, Secaucus station was already pretty sweaty:


Fortunately, all the people pictured made it onto the next train, myself included, on which we witnessed MetLife Stadium rise up out of the swamp…


A few thoughts about the stadium itself.  Did I mention they had 14-dollar beers (16 for imported) and 16-dollar cheesesteaks?  Hell, I even switched to Miller Light to save a couple bucks–that stuff only went for 12.  Alas, the concession stands seemed to be as unprepared as NJ Transit.  The deli counter ran out of pastrami well before kickoff (I presume they killed another cow by halftime?) and the aforementioned cheesesteak stand had an equipment malfunction, namely the processed cheese machine.  Cuz without that stuff, it’s just steak.  Luckily, they got it up and running after oh, about a half-hour wait in line…

I eventually made it to my seat right around the time my phone died.  But this game being sponsored by Verizon, they actually had set up a rather elaborate charging station, complete with finger-scan technology.  Only downside was that it’s halfway across the concourse, so I missed Queen Latifah singing “America the Beautiful.”  No biggie.


This is the view from Section 101.  If it looks like there were more Broncos fans than Seattle supporters here, you’re probably right.  It definitely seemed louder when Denver was on defense, at least for the first couple quarters.  The orange-clad noise sure died down after that, though.  To their credit, while there were thousands of tickets for resale in the two weeks leading up to the game, every seat in the place was full, and just about everybody was wearing either a Denver or a Seattle jersey.  I did see a couple broads–and even one dude–in expensive fur coats though, haha.

I also had the added perk of being right near the Seattle tunnel, which gave me a pretty decent vantage point when the Hawks ran out onto the field:




They even brought the 12th man flag out…


…oh, and this flag, too:


And if you thought Renee Fleming singing the national anthem was impressive, you shouldda seen the chick signing the anthem:


Broadway Joe (in fur coat) actually botched the coin toss the first time around.  But apparently, the tuck rule was in play, so it’s all good:


Aaaaand with that, we’re underway!


Didn’t pull out my camera in time for the opening safety, which happened in the end zone right in front of me.  Pretty sure this was on the ensuing possession, though:


Unfortunately, this drive came up a little short.


They honoured the 2014 class of Hall of Famers during a timeout.  That’s ex-Hawks tackle Walter Jones in the middle:


That said, I much preferred this form of commercial-break entertainment:



Now, I’d hate to be the guy who paid five-grand for seats on the 50-yard line only to have Bruno Mars’ band’s backs to him at half time.  They set up the stage right along the sideline, which meant that I had a pretty decent vantage point, although I had to zoom in to the max to get a few half-decent pictures.  Hell, I didn’t even realize this was Bruno on drums for the intro:


Of course, the TV camera got in the way of a couple of these:




071(I dunno guy, but I don’t think Flea’s bass is plugged in to anything…)





I went on a beer/bathroom run during Bruno’s last song, so I missed the big fireworks at the end.  But, more tragically, I also missed the bigger fireworks at the start of the second half.  See, there’s some New Jersey state law that says the only valid form of ID is a US ID.  (God bless America and no place else!)  But it turns out, three of the four times I went to buy beer, they didn’t even ID me.  Unfortunately, I got the one senior staffer who took the “anyone that looks under 40″ rule a little too seriously when I made it to the front of the line a couple minutes before the second-half kickoff.  And when I showed her my Ontario license, I learned of this silly law.

Now, I wasn’t about to go back to my seat empty-handed, so I went over to the next beer line instead.  I had finally made it to the front when Percy Harvin took the second-half kickoff 87 yards back for a TD to the end zone near where I was sitting.  Yeah, I saw it on a video screen on the concourse…  But I did get this picture of the receiving corps celebrating Jermaine Kearse’s TD later in the quarter:


How do I know that it’s garbage time?  Robert Turbin’s getting the carry off the left-hand side…


Of course, I already posted my post-game celebration photos last night.  As Broncos fans rushed to the exits, I made my way down the aisle until I ended up in the third row, behind two rows of professional photographers.  I’m sure there were plenty of pictures of me, taken both by fans and professionals, although I haven’t seen any of them.  Hey, maybe if I tell you what I look like…

In any case, there was such a stampede of Broncos fans that the stadium ran an announcement on the video board telling anyone who was taking the train to stay in the stadium due to congestion at the track.  That was fine by me–I stuck around until there was nothing left to see except security and confetti on the field.  But even then, there was a massive swarm of folks gathered outside when I finally left.  Put it this way:  I walked out of there around 11, and didn’t get back to my hotel until 1:45 am.  And I swear, I didn’t even stop at a bar, or parade naked down Times Square in nothing but my Seahawks gloves and a Super Bowl lanyard…  I’m pretty sure that picture would’ve made it in the paper!

Speaking of newspapers, though, I picked up a couple the next day for souvenirs (and also to read about people bitching about transit as I spent six hours in Newark Airport on Monday).  The New York Post had a pun on Peyton’s name, while USA Today appeared to imply the Hawks talked a lotta smack…


But the best cover had to go to Newark’s The Star-Ledger, which ran this double-sided pullout of the TD return I watched from the concourse:

154(This one’s going on my wall…as soon as I find a frame for it!)

Final thoughts?  Best sporting experience of my life, by a country mile.  Most expensive, too–but worth every penny!  That said, I don’t know what I’ll do if the Hawks make it back to the Big Game in Arizona next year…  Anybody got a rental property in Phoenix with a private jet to spare? ;)

Well, that went beyond my wildest dreams…

43 to 8!?  43 to 8 — are you kidding me?  43 to 8!  Man, even as a diehard Seahawks fan, I would not have predicted such a result.  Hell, I personally had ‘em winning 28-13, in stark contrast to several of the so-called “experts” (aka paid TV hacks) who picked Denver.  You might as well hand in your Football Prognosticators of America membership cards now, boys.  You know who you are! :P

Anyways, after spending several hours in the Newark airport due to new-fallen snow, my brain’s a little mushy right now.  I’ll compose my thoughts over the next couple days, but in the meantime, since a picture’s worth a a thousand words, here are a few shots I took of the Seahawks’ victory celebration:




OK, so some of these were shot from the video board.  Unfortunately, everybody on the podium had their backs turned to me.



Case in point:


Confetti cannon… FIRE!



108Fun fact: I attended Pete Carroll’s first game as Seahawks coach.  (Still got the program to prove it!)


(Pretty sure that’s Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith with the trophy.)



Jermaine Kearse–he of the third quarter TD–livin’ it up:



Speaking of in-game heroes, there’s Percy Harvin leaving the field:


And while he’s hard to see through the media horde, that’s Marshawn Lynch in the red sweatsuit.  I take it he didn’t have much to say. ;)






I honestly have no idea who any of these people are:


This could be the best $1,500* I’ve ever spent…

001*OK, so maybe I paid a little bit more than the face value of this ticket…

Did you know that I’m going to the Super Bowl?  Did I mention that already?  Seeing as the near-perfect location coincided with a near-perfect Seahawks season, it really could not have worked out any better for me.  I mean, there are only three NFL cities that Porter flies to–and I don’t expect to see a Super Bowl in Boston or Chicago anytime soon.  Besides, Pats fans would probably drive up the prices…

On the other hand, with the prospect of playing an outdoor game in cold weather for the first time ever, Super Bowl XLVIII tickets were relatively easy to come by.  Although they started off at pretty ridiculous asking prices, the bids dropped by a grand in the span of a week, driven down by a couple consecutive days of polar vortex express on the East Coast.  It actually reached a point where I realized I could afford lower-level tickets–behind the end zone, but still!

No, I won’t divulge how much I actually paid for the above ducat, but I will say the full cost of the trip was substantially less than my annual bonus…which is none of your business, either. ;)

And suffice to say I won’t be blogging for the rest of the weekend.  You’ll get a full report on Monday though…and probably Tuesday, Wednesday…maybe even Thursday.  Until then:


New Super Bowl Prediction: Seahawks Win!

How is this different than my old Super Bowl prediction, you ask?  Well, it’s all about the opponent.  Before the beginning of the playoffs, I had Seattle beating Carolina in the NFC championship and New England in the Big Game.  Meanwhile, I’d pegged Denver to lose to the Colts in the AFC semis.  Whoops!

To be fair, the Broncos never actually played the Colts; since the Cincinnati Bengals found yet another way to lose a playoff game, the younger horses were rerouted to Foxboro and promptly routed by the Patriots.  But in finally beating Tom Brady in a meaningful contest, Peyton Manning showed that he can occasionally win the big one in somewhat inclement climes.  On that note, it’s worth noting the five-day forecast foresees the mercury at kickoff at a balmy six degrees Celsius in the Meadowlands.  I can’t even remember the last time it was that warm in Toronto!  (But hey, it’s supposed to drop five degrees by the fourth quarter…)

Of course, most of the talk over the past couple weeks was about the weather; how it affects not just Peyton Manning, but lesser passers as well, while favouring defenses and the run game.  Need we be reminded that the Seahawks had the league’s best defense and finished fourth in rushing yards?  Like the old adage goes: “Defense wins championships,” and having Beast Mode as an insurance policy, well, I’d take that to the bank.

But then again, Denver does have the league’s top-scoring offense, averaging just under 38 points per game.  You’d hafta go back some 23 years to find the last time the league’s most unstoppable force met its most immovable object, to Super Bowl XXV.  In that game, the stingy New York Giants D held the potent Buffalo Bills attack to eight points under their season average…but still needed a kick to go wide right for the win.

On the other hand, recent results indicate that the Seahawks should own this game.  After all, they’ve outscored Denver 70-20 over the past two years–albeit in the preseason.  And hey, like I misquoted Jim Mora yesterday, “Preseason?  Don’t talk about preseason–you kidding me?  Preseason!?”  That being said, the first of those two wins was Russell Wilson’s coming-out party, as he earned the starting job with a 155-yard, two-TD performance in the second half.  Incidentally, that game was also Peyton Manning’s first as a Bronco.  His line?  16-for-23 with two INTs.

That being said, I don’t see this game as an August-style blowout.  But if Seattle puts pressure on the passer, locks down receivers and establishes the run game, they should cruise to a 28-13 win.  Hey Peyton–you’re not in Nebraska anymore!

The first time I saw Peyton pass the pigskin in person was anything but Super…

Did I mention that I’m going to the Super Bowl on Sunday?  Well fine, I just said it again.  Obviously, I’m a Seahawks fan and I’ll be there to support my team, but getting to see one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time at the peak of one of his best seasons ever, well, that gives me added incentive to sit outside in below-freezing (Celsius) temperatures for 3+ hours.

Mind you, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen Peyton Manning in person, but it’s a huge step up from the last such occurrence–a preseason game… against the Bills… in Toronto, of all places!  (In case you’re a stickler for detail, this would’ve been August 2010.)  Now, as anyone who’s attended a Bills in Toronto Series game can attest, this dog-and-pony show consistently gives both the NFL and the city of Toronto a bad name.  Just ask Bills center Eric Wood–or, y’know, any of the long-suffering Bills fans who’s ever made the trip up north.  There might actually be a few Bills fans in Toronto, but let’s just say their Jim Kelly jerseys are still in pristine condition.

And did I mention that this was a preseason contest?  To paraphrase a former Colts coach, “Preseason?  Don’t talk about preseason–you kidding me?  Preseason!?”

In any case, I took some time out of my not-so-busy schedule to attend this contest.  Because hey, one quarter of Peyton Manning is better than watching a full season of J.P. Losman/Trent Edwards/Ryan Fitzpatrick/(insert quarterback here), am I right?  Alas, the first quarter of the second preseason game of 2010 was hardly the stuff of legend.  Peyton completed just 8 of 15 passes for a mere 91 yards, and while he tossed a TD to Jacob Tamme, he also had an interception returned for a Buffalo score.  And yes, I stood up and shouted afterwards.

Things got better afterwards, if by better you mean crappy players putting points on the board. As I remarked at the time, “A scoreless third quarter ensued, with the Buffalo third-stringers outplaying the Indy benchwarmers.  They added a couple more scores in the fourth to win by 13, but by then I was already gone, off to the Bovine to see Purple Rhinestone Eagle and company, who were much more entertaining than a buncha future CFLers and Arena League rejects.”

But hey, at least the Bills won.  Whatever happened to Purple Rhinestone Eagle, anyways?

“Getting to the Super Bowl’s too much trouble, we’d rather have fun and do the Pro Bowl Shuffle!”

So this year, they’re shuffling up the Pro Bowl by going the NHL route of having non-conference teams drafted by a pair of (former) star players.  Is that going to make the game relevant?  Probably not.  This is, after all, the all-star game that was moved ahead of the Super Bowl cuz nobody would watch it otherwise.  Not only do the top players from the top two teams not participate, but most of those who lost in the conference finals tend to sit this one out–whether they’re really injured or not.

That being said, what the Pro Bowl needs to recapture the hearts and minds of America is not some overhyped draft, but rather its own theme song, like this one performed by Jimmy Fallon, Will Arnett and company.  (Unfortunately, it’s posted illegally on some semi-obscure streaming site, so I can’t embed; you’ll just hafta click the link.)

Of course, most of the players depicted in that 2011 SNL sketch won’t be participating in this year’s Pro Bowl.  But hey, if you make it out to Hawaii, you just might witness an epic brawl…in the stands:

Round-trip flight: $265. Hotel, two nights: $257.60. Super Bowl ticket: $?????

I’ve been saying it for several weeks now: if the Seattle Seahawks make it to Super Bowl XLVIII, I’ll be there.  And true to my word–and thanks to some sweet sales–I’ve almost fulfilled my part of the bargain.  At the very least, I will be in New York City for Super Bowl weekend…I just don’t have a ticket to the game yet.

Alas, it seems the football gods have smiled on me again.  With the Super Bowl being about an hour’s flight from The Centre of the Known Universe, the Hawks have fielded their best squad since the last time the game was played within spitting distance.  And hey, the Hawks were in that one too–but don’t get me started on Super Bowl XL!!!!!

Let’s just say that eight years is an awfully long time.  I certainly remember where I was back then; hell, I had only just moved to Toronto a few months beforehand.  I also clearly recall looking online for Super Bowl tickets, only to find that the absolute cheapest, bloodiest of the nosebleed seats were selling for about $1,500, which was triple my credit card limit at the time.  (Hey, what can I say? It was eight years ago!)  But now, if I saw any kind of seat on sale for 15-hundred–through a reputable online ticket broker, mind you–I’d snap it up in a heartbeat.  That is, unless somebody else saw it first.

Y’see, not only is inflation a bitch, but everything’s more expensive in New York City.  And since the Jets’ and Giants’ New York also includes East Rutherford, New Jersey, the latter still applies to MetLife Stadium.  Although prices have come down as selection has increased since oh, about a month ago, we’re still looking at just under $2,500 for the cheapest tickets on StubHub.  Maaaaan, that’s roughly the cost of a European vacation, or a small island off the coast of Nunavut!

Truth be told, I’d probably still pay that much to see the game–but not if I don’t have to.  As one ticketbroker (well, ticket-brokage aggregator, to be completely accurate) tells Forbes, “With two west coast teams and the current forecast of a possibility of storms around game day and temps in the low 20′s, I think this market will be extremely soft.”  Low 20’s?  What is that, -7 Celsius?  Sounds like warm Grey Cup weather to me!  Oh, and here’s the kicker: “With that said, I think this market could dip to $1,500 if not lower if demand is not high this week.”

Lower prices in NYC than in Detroit!?  Now that’s definitely a first.  Last time I checked, you could buy a house in the Motor City for about the cost of an appetizer at Le Cirque.  (Although to be fair, I hear their Chanterelle Risotto is to die for.  So’s that crack-shack in East Detroit–as in, you will die if you set foot anywhere near it, but I digress.)  Aaaaand that’s why I’m prepared to wait it out another week or so.  Why pay twice the price when you can get the same thing for much less?  Well, only in New York, I suppose. ;)

In any case, I will definitely say that if the Hawks beat the Broncos next Sunday, that ticket will be priceless to me.  You’re welcome, MasterCard.

Not sure the networks could’ve scripted a better conference championship Sunday…

Though I’ve been pretty active this weekend, there’s no denying that I’ve been waiting all day for loving you a Sunday night.  Before the playoffs started, I picked Seattle over New England in Super Bowl XLVIII, and we’re now just hours away from cementing that potential matchup.  Mind you, both of these marquee games could go either way…or not.

The AFC Championship features the two greatest quarterbacks in the game today–if not all-time–in a clash between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos that surely has Dick Ebersol creaming his jeans.  (Wait, is he still alive?)  The Broncos had a slightly better record this season, not to mention the league’s leading offense, averaging almost 38 points per game.  But as the Buffalo Bills Daily (of all places!) points out, Peyton Manning is pretty much Tom Brady’s bitch.  In 14 career matchups, Brady has a 10-4 advantage, and has taken two out of three previous playoff games.  What’s more, Manning is pretty much the worst big-game QB since Jim Kelly (sorry, Bills fans).  Hell, his team almost blew a 17 point lead to the San Diego Chargers last week!  Brady 42, Manning 24.

The NFC Championship is the rubber match in one of the fiercest rivalries in football today.  These past two years, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers have won 47 games between them, finished one-two in the NFC West, and each appeared in the playoffs.  Oh, and they also don’t like each other very much.  But you know what else has been constant since 2012?  The Niners absolutely, utterly, and overwhelmingly shitting the bed in Seattle.  We’re talking Ebola virus diarrhea here, to the tune of 42-13 and 29-3 Seahawks.  Maybe this time San Fran will manage to score a touchdown.  More than one?  I wouldn’t count on it.  35-7 Seahawks.

And on that note, it seems that the only Manhattan hotel with rooms under $100 for Super Bowl weekend is a gay-friendly lodging called The Out.  Which goes to show that Niners fans aren’t making plans for the big game, heh heh…