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Wild-Card Weekend

My one serious sports-watching vice is the NFL. I find most sports fairly boring to watch, but there's something about football... I think it's football's unique stop-and-start nature, where the viewer has time to think about and anticipate the next play -- neither free-flowing like soccer (which I love to play but don't usually watch), but not paint-drying-watching-slow like golf or baseball.

Anyway, so this was wild card weekend in the NFL. I suppose this would mean more if I had blogged it here first, but I did pick the Redskins, the Patriots, the Panthers, and the Steelers to win. Having said that, I didn't think the Redskins would perform so atrociously on offense, I didn't think the Patriots would manhandle the Jaguars quite so badly, I didn't think the Panthers would shut out the Giants, and I certainly didn't anticipate the Bengals losing their starting quarterback on his second play.

In any case, the important thing around these parts is that the Panthers won. They're a schizophrenic team -- when the good Panthers show up, they can quite literally beat any team in the league (and have). On the other hand, when the bad Panthers show up, they can be embarrassed by quite literally any team in the league (and have been). Thankfully, the good Panthers showed up today, and the result was the Carolina Panthers 23, the New York Giants 0.

Next week, Carolina plays at Chicago, where they lost earlier this season -- but again, if the good Panthers show up, they could whip the Bears. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins will play at the Seattle Seahawks, a game the Seahawks will win handily. This could set up an interesting situation for me, because the two teams I think of as my "home" teams are the Panthers (because I've lived here the past few years) and the Seahawks (because of how the Pacific Northwest feels like home for me). If Carolina plays in Seattle for the NFC championship... well, I'd cheer for the Panthers, but it would be close. And I'd seriously consider something I've never done, flying out for a football game. I can only imagine how cool that would be to see in person. But that's two weeks and a couple of games away from now.

So, congratulations to the Panthers, and good luck against the Bears next weekend, and good luck to the Seahawks next weekend as well -- but not the weekend after if the Panthers are still in it.


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