Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BGB: Conference Championship Storylines

by Ben

A few moons ago, we embarked on writing a post that we hoped to plug into our monthly rotation.  It was our version of the infamous game, “F*@k, Marry, Kill”, but of course it had a certain hometown flair to it.

We equated the F*@k to Donovan McNabb as a one and done here in D.C.; marry as the lifetime hometown hero Cal Ripken Jr.; and kill as public enemy number one as Dan Snyder. 

We can all agree that it is time to update the standards here as we would like to rename this style of post to Buck, Griffin, Blatche.  Buck of course being Buck Showalter, not because we think Buck is one and done, but merely because Buck rhymes with the section it represents. Ya dig?

Robert Griffin III is our beloved Redskins’ savior and will continue to be just that. Do not get it twisted.  Hence why he holds down the “marry” portion.

Andray Blatche is no longer a Washington Wizard, but does not mean our hatred for him should subside. He may be wearing a different jersey, but he’s still a bad person. We do not promote murder, but we can’t think of a better person to embody the “kill” section. (Except for Ray Lewis, but more on that in a hot second!)

So now that we have the particulars all ironed out, let’s proceed to this edition’s topic: NFL Conference Championship Weekend

 The Conference Championship games are this weekend, and the storylines in the two games are juicier than Beyonce’s outfit for the Halftime Show at the Super Bowl.  There may be only two games, but each one has multiple backstories and games-within-the-games to watch.  We are all about making your life easier so we are going to make suggestions based on our Buck, Griffin, Blatche scale on what to watch for; and what to completely tune out.

BLATCHE: The Ray Lewis Retirement Tour

Ray Lewis announcing his retirement right before the playoffs began was a selfish hijacking of his team’s playoff run.  Ed Reed is probably going to walk away after this season too, but he has kept it quiet in order to not become the main storyline. I respect that.

The Ravens are a great team and they won quite possibly one of the greatest playoff games ever played last Sunday.  Thanks in large part to Torrey Smith burning Champ Bailey multiple times, Joe Flacco doing his sporadic dominance bit, and some clutch kicking by rookie Justin Tucker, aka the Anti-Cundiff.  However, all anyone wants to talk about is Ray Lewis postponing his post-football life for yet another week.  Did you see Peyton Manning waiting to talk to Ray Lewis post game???? WOW HOW SPECIAL A MOMENT THAT WAS! (We need a special font to represent sarcasm)

Please don’t forget that Jacoby Jones hauled in a Joe Flacco bomb and scampered for 70 yards to tie the game in an improbable scenario.  But apparently that’s seemingly less important than Ray Lewis retiring.

You can retire from playing football, but you can’t retire from being a murderer, accomplice to murder, acquitted of all charges by ratting out your boys.

BUCK: The Harbaugh Bowl

Two teams. Two brothers. ONLY ONE CHAMPION!

Clearly this is getting ahead of ourselves because both the Ravens and the 49ers (both road teams) would have to win on Sunday in order for this scenario to happen.  But that’s not going to stop all of the major networks from gushing over this potential brotherly battle.  This weekend may be their only chance to talk about it because all it takes is one of these two teams to lose, and it will all be kaput.

Jack Harbaugh, Jim and John’s father, is the Archie Manning of head coaches.  His sperm has produced two of the better NFL Head Coaches in the past few years.  Both coaches have implemented successful and sustainable systems of which their players have completely bought into.  They are both phenomenal leaders of men, and they learned directly from their father, Jack, who was a head coach himself.  Why does everyone slurp Archie, yet ignore Jack?

Anyways, Jim vs. John for all the marbles is as intriguing as it gets, but it’s not the best storyline of the weekend simply because its based solely on potential. 

GRIFFIN: The Atlanta Freakin Falcons

I went back and forth on the best storyline of the weekend.  The one storyline I could not ignore was the continuation of the Brady-Belichick dominance.  If they win this weekend and then the Super Bowl, they will arguably be the GREATEST Coach and QB combo of all time, cut to Joe Montana and the ghost of Bill Walsh nodding in agreement.  That would make 6 Super Bowls and 4 Lombardi trophies.  Simply astonishing. HOWEVA, the Patriots are prickly and we’ve seen this all before from them, so this whole winning after winning thing is getting a little tired, guys.

P.S. A serious tip of the cap to a well run organization that us here in Redskins nation envy to no end.

Another storyline that I think WE ALL feel strongly about is what could have been had it not been for RGKnee.  Up 14-0 at home with a healthy Bobby Griff undoubtedly leads to a win over the Seahawks.  Then we would take our running game to the turf of Atlanta and roll all day there and send Matty Ice and the Falcons to yet another home playoff loss.  Hold on, let’s all take a 5-minute break while we cry and light a candle for Bob’s knee…

OK, I’m back. Sorry about that, it had to be done. 

In reality, the biggest storyline for this upcoming weekend are the Atlanta Falcons.  Matt Ryan, Mike Smith – and the whole team really – got that gorilla off their backs and finally got a playoff win.  It’s hard not to root for this team.  You’ve got a quarterback on the cusp of being great AND being recognized for it.  What’s refreshing about Matt Ryan is that he hasn’t gone out publicly and called himself elite (see, Joe Flacco) nor has his agent come out and called him elite (again see, Joe Flacco).  Just because you say it enough times doesn’t make it true…

You’ve also got a great head coach who has not sold his house in Schottenheimerville (tons of regular season wins, but inept in the playoffs), but that bad boy could be going on the market after this weekend. Kudos to Mike Smith, who will be fighting this weekend o shed that tag that he can’t win in crunch time.

You’ve got the best wide receiver tandem in the league in Roddy White and Julio Jones (Decker and Thomas are close though), and they are electric to watch, especially at home.

Speaking of home, the Georgia Dome will be rocking! It is such an awesome place to watch a game on TV. I can’t imagine how crazy it is to be there.  AND, even though the Falcons are home, they are 5-point underdogs as of Wednesday.  I understand the fact that they are underdogs given the fact that Colin Kaepernick can walk on water, but 5 points!?! Are you FALCON kidding me? A top seeded home dog in the Conference Finals? Now that is a storyline I can get behind.

Another reason for the Falcons being a great story is D-Block. They are just awesome.

And finally, the best storyline coming out of this team full of great storylines has got to be Tony Gonzalez.  Tony G is the best tight end to ever play football. Period.

Please don’t interrupt me Shannon.  This is Tony G’s 16th season in the NFL and last Sunday was his first career playoff win. Pick up your jaw and read that again. It is simply unfathomable to think that a 13 time pro-bowler and the all time leader in TD’s and receiving yards for anyone at their position had to wait 16 years for ONE playoff win.  Obviously football is the ultimate team sport, but damn.  It’s hard not to root for a guy like Tony G. He’s done everything the right way and has been very active in the community.  He has never been in trouble with the law, and gives back to the community on the reg.  It has been rumored that this he will be retiring after this season (but after the numbers he put up this year, why would he hang it up?), but Tony G has refused to comment on that in attempt not to detract attention away from the TEAM. Classy. Unselfish. Not Ray Lewis.

There are two great games this weekend, that are bittersweet because they lack a little HTTR, but I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy some great football.  I hope you can enjoy these two great matchups as well, and for God sakes enjoy an adult beverage…or 9.

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