NFC Wildcard

I feel surprisingly relaxed going into the Seattle game. Whatever happens, I’m entirely confident that the Vikings defense isn’t going to lay down like it did when its three best starters were out, and it’s going to be fun to watch one last game that will be like they were in the days when I went to games at the Old Met. The one I remember most was a Monday Night Football game when we beat the Steelers, 17-6. That would have been 1976, and although it was early October, I remember it being a pretty cold night. But I was happy: vengeance for Super Bowl IX!

Still, as much as I hate to admit it, the Vikings probably did the right thing by going with the covered stadium. It’s so cold that tickets are going for as little as $45; people are a lot less willing to sit out in the freezing cold for four hours than they were back in the 1970s. Let’s face it, the value proposition has changed over time. Sitting at home watching a 12-inch black-and-white screen is very different than kicking back and taking in the game with a massive HD widescreen. And can be damnably cold in Minnesota in January.

Needless to say, my brother and a few of my friends are there; they opened TCF with Favre’s last game and they’re closing it today. Skol Vikings!

In the other game, I would be surprised if Washington has any real trouble with Green Bay. I thought the Redskins were crazy when they drafted both RGIII and Cousins in the same draft, but it is a QB-driven league, and someone in the Washington front office clearly recognized that two bites at the apple are better than one. And even if a player looks like the real deal in his rookie year, that’s not necessarily the case.

In other NFC news, Cam Newton’s description of the Carolina huddle cracked me up:

C Ryan Kalil – “He’s like the dictator.”

LG Andrew Norwell – “He’s the yeller.”

RG Trai Turner – “He’s the finisher.”

RT Mike Remmers – “He’s the panicker of the huddle.”

LT Michael Oher – “He’s the grandfather of the huddle. He’s a Scrooge. He doesn’t want anybody to play around, no matter what the score is.”

FB Mike Tolbert – “He’ll say a corny joke every now and then, and he has like a 20 to 30 percent chance of making people laugh. But it’s just the thought that counts.”

TE Greg Olsen – “He’s the overseer. He listens to the plays and he’s like, ‘No, no, no, that’s not right. It can’t be even, it has to be odd. I can’t zoom, I can’t motion that way because – no Cam, that’s not right.’”

WR Devin Funchess – “Has no clue what the hell’s going on.”

WR Philly Brown – “He’s cool.”

WR Ted Ginn Jr. – “He’s always exhausted.”

WR Jerricho Cotchery – “He’s just the meditator. The Jerricho that you see scoring the touchdowns is going to be the same Jerricho that you see pregame.”

Of course poor Ginn is always exhausted. They send him on fly patterns as a decoy for everything from an off-tackle dive to a halfback screen pass.

UPDATE: Seattle 10, Minnesota 9. Unbelievable. Zimmer coached a fantastic game and you could even say that the Vikings deserved the victory, but you simply can’t expect to win if your kicker is going to choke on a 27-yard field goal.