Serve up some
home cooking!

Jan 9, 2007 4:21 AM

As we enter the second round of the NFL playoffs, historically the four rested teams usually win their games. I’m sure new injuries from an extra game come into play. Plus, there is more time to prepare on the part of the bye teams. More important, they are usually better and, of course, are playing at home.

Colts vs. Ravens -4½: The Colts played their hole cards vs. Kansas City so Baltimore will not be surprised by the rejuvenated defense. Also, they are totally capable of running Manning out of the pocket, which makes him less effective. I’ll take the Ravens here and hope for a wet, slow field.

Patriots vs. San Diego -5: The Chargers have the better defense, are playing at home, and have the MVP of the league in their backfield. This game may be high scoring but San Diego will advance as advertised.

Philly vs. New Orleans -5: The Eagles almost got beat by the lowly Giants last week, so it’s not too much to expect that the Saints will go marching in this week.

Seattle vs. Chicago -9½: I know the Bears have a great defense but can you ask Rex Grossman to outscore a pretty good team by 10 points? Put me down for the only dog I’ll play this week.

As I look back on last year I can’t help but think of all of the astonishing events that took place in our world.

Was it possible for a professional football team to win four consecutive playoff games on the road as underdogs and bring the Lombardi Trophy home to Pittsburgh?

In the NBA, where the top five teams in basketball were all from the Western Division, how could they lose to a team from the East that wasn’t even from Detroit?

In baseball is it possible that a team from Detroit could win the World Series after losing over 100 games only a few years prior to 2006? Who can believe that you can go from almost worst to first in light of the spending surge of the Yankees and Red Sox and an even better line up of the Chicago White Sox, the previous year’s winner?

Does it seem possible that a mediocre football team from Baltimore who acquired only one key free agent in the off season will go on to bigger and better things about a month from now? The two paragraphs above certainly give some indication of a possibility at least.

How about a horse named Barbaro who won the Kentucky Derby only to break down in the Preakness, and as the world looked on survived an even bigger challenge? His battle and victory were indeed heart warming.

How about Wake Forest, a perennial soft spot on all their opponents’ schedules, going to the highly respected Orange Bowl on January 2? And don’t overlook the accomplishments of the New Jersey college of Rutgers holding their own with all the big boys.

Indeed it was a great sports year and certainly a treat for we the devoted fans of athletics. This year may even be better as the NBA All-Star Game arrives in the greatest city of all, which in itself is astonishing. Thanks Mayor Oscar, I’m a believer.

What do President Bill Clinton and Coach Nick Saben have in common? Hint: Something about sex, women and I will not coach at Alabama.