Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bob Lobel: The Patriots Will be Super Again

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

From what I could see, there were two teams that played championship football this past weekend: The Patriots and Panthers. 

Both looked unbeatable at times, though both also looked pretty average at times. There is no sense talking about the other two, because these two teams are going to the Super Bowl.

I hate to be wrong, especially in print, but in this case, I'm not. If some key player fell out of bed or slammed his hand in a car door, it could all change. But, barring something like that, I like my picks.

I think the game is on the verge of becoming something other than a game. The game is actually being determined by the officiating. It has become a  joke. Every great or game-changing play is not complete until the field is scanned for yellow flags which, more often than not, are there like Easter eggs. If there was ever a point shaving scandal in the NFL, the referees would be the first ones to check. 

It's shocking how important they have become on calls that could go either way. Those 60 minutes are a testimonial to the performance of the officials. Then there are the official judges who decide if the call was good or bad. Those guys have become an integral part of the telecast. 

Do the men in stripes have any friends anywhere? Do they need to wear makeup and try some gender changing thing to get them through the supermarket? 

Is there a Caitlyn playbook? 

It is kinda remarkable how this has become so retro.  The game within the game, within the game. It is really remarkable how this has all morphed into something way beyond the original intentions of the game. DraftKings rules. Am I wrong to say this weekend is much more important than the Super Bowl weekend? 

Clearly,  the championship games have so much more at stake than becoming the one team left standing. It’s not about claiming the prize at the end of the road, it's so much more about getting to the prize. 

It’s the journey, stupid. 

Even Tom Hanks in The Polar Express proclaims, "the path is so much more important than the destination." 

Who is going to argue with Tom Hanks? 

So gear up… This game is bigger than all the rest this year. Manning looks so much less than the original, that it's almost a cartoon. And if you really want to impress the people you're watching next Sunday's  game with, make sure you talk about these conference championships, and just off handedly mention that these are the big games, not the one everyone calls big. 

That’s left the the Mad Men who sell it and the programmers who actually make the game an afterthought, which is actually is.

No comments :