For my Super Bowl article, I decided to go in a different direction...the future. This will begin my series leading up to Super Bowl XLV. I’m not going to be writing this article, I’m going to have fictional sportswriter Al “Gap-Tooth” Maddensworthshaw explain the playoff picture in the 2010 season. But first, lets lay down some back story...
It’s 2011, and the season’s wrapping up. Sportscaster Al “Gap-Tooth” Maddensworthshaw, created when Al Michaels, Michael Strahan, John Madden, Cris Collinsworth and Terry Bradshaw suddenly came down with mad cow disease, is here to give you the low-down on the NFC and AFC championship games, and who he thinks has the best chance to make the Lombardi Trophy their own.
“Well, we’ve seen a great postseason so far. It started off with wild-card weekend as it always does. I know I was sitting at home, drinking some booze and eating turducken when I realized, oh man! I’m supposed to be calling this game!
So, I used my old wide receiver skills to run over to the studio in two seconds flat, and sat down to watch the AFC East champion Toronto Canadians take on the No. 5 seed wildcard, the Kansas City Chiefs. I had watched the Canadians back when they were the Bills, and I was excited to see them back in the playoffs with new head coach Mike Shanahan.
If there was any controversial game, it was this one. Ed Hochuli’s call in 2008 had become history, but his latest guffaw, also in a game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos during Week 17, was even bigger. Quarterback Philip Rivers roundhouse kicked Jay Cutler, but when Jay Cutler asked Rivers to politely stop, Rivers fell on the ground crying.
Not knowing what had happened, Ed Hochuli threw a personal foul flag on Cutler, which gave the ball to Los Angeles on the one yard line. They easily scored by running Knowshon Moreno straight up the gut. Of course, the Broncos were up 135-7 at that point, so it wasn’t as big of an issue.
But, let's get back to the game. The Canadians were leading 24-23, but the Chiefs and Mark Sanchez were driving down the field. They had made it to the one yard line with .01 seconds left on the clock. So, the Chiefs put the ball in the hands of Brandon Jacobs, but he was thrown backwards 16 yards by Marcus Stroud. But Ed Hochuli was too busy looking at his abs, and had to take the Chiefs word for it that they scored. A 29-24 victory put the Chiefs into the divisional playoffs.
The late game on was the No. 6 seed wildcard Green Bay Packers and the No. 3 seed NFC South champions the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers were led by Aaron Rodgers and the running game of Derrick Ward.
The Falcons, on the other hand, were making their third straight playoff appearance. After losing to the Cardinals and Vikings in the first round the past two years, Matt Ryan wanted a taste of the glory. He went out and tossed for 450 yards, a pretty average day in most quarterbacks books. But when he threw for 11 touchdowns, people started looking. The previous record, 10.5, was set by Kyle Orton when he played the Lions the previous year, was eclipsed. Add on three Michael Turner rushing touchdowns, and the Falcons moved on to play the No. 2 seeded Washington D.C. Presidents, building momentum with a 98-1 victory.
The Packers had scored a free throw on the Falcons, but the Falcons' stifling defense, led by cornerback Nnamdi Aosmugha, shut down the Packers' offense. That wrapped up Saturday‘s games. They were pretty good, I guess, but Sunday‘s were even better……..
Hold on, lemme grab a beer and I’ll tell you about the Ravens/Steelers game and the Vikings/49ers game!”
Well, as Al "Gap-Tooth" Maddensworthshaw grabs a beer and a Brett Favre-shaped cake, I'm going to have to interrupt and end Part 1 here. Thanks for reading, and I'm gonna go grab another tape-recorder so we all can read more about the exciting road to Super Bowl XLV!