The Indianapolis Colts went from 14-0 to 14-2. The New Orleans Saints went from 13-0 to 13-3. And after each perfect season dissolved into season-ending imperfection, this was the loud chorus heard across Sports Nation:
The Colts and the Saints won’t win another game this year – they’re both one-and-out in the playoffs.
My friends, the Colts and the Saints will be meeting in Super Bowl 44. I am sure of it.
Quick disclaimer: Prognostication is an art, not a science. For instance, my Team of Destiny this season had the NFL’s second-worst record. How bad were the Lions? They won one more game than the Rams, which is akin to having one more girlfriend than Harvey Fierstein.
Why do I hate turning on AM radio in my car? Because all you get is traffic, weather and some yahoo telling you that the best quarterback around isn’t going to win a playoff game.
Peyton Manning could throw a football through a tire iron from 105 yards away while playing ping-pong in a Sony commercial. He is more dependable than a Maytag, more indestructible than The Terminator – if I thought bad news was going to hit me, I’d just stand behind Peyton.
Somehow, it became fashionable over the last week to dismiss Manning’s Colts and Drew Brees’ Saints.
I like Brees’ chances at home in New Orleans and I like Manning’s chances at home in Indianapolis. Brees often was unstoppable this season and Manning, time and again, proves unstoppable when the game is on the line.
Indeed, the Colts and the Saints stumbled, with nothing on the line, in the season’s final weeks; truth be known, the Saints teetered even before that, playing erratically en route to 13-0.
And, yes, it probably is better to have momentum going into the postseason. But there’s no surefire formula to ensure success. Renoir, for instance, painted nearly every day for two years before embarking on his “Luncheon of the Boating Party” masterpiece; van Gogh, on the other hand, lied around eating cheese puffs and swilling cough syrup for months before creating the sublime “Starry Nights.”
(Column intermission: I need to apologize to 540 ESPN Radio listeners in Milwaukee. While on the Homer show recently, I predicted a Colts-Vikings Super Bowl, which, of course, contradicts my Colts-Saints forecast. I simply misspoke, likely due to the fact that I was doing the interview on a speakerphone while showering.)
(Column intermission, P.S.: It does bring to mind an old ploy by the late Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. Before, say, a Cowboys- Redskins game, The Greek would go on Dallas TV or radio and explain why the Cowboys were going to win, then he’d go on Washington TV or radio and explain why the Redskins were going to win. The Greek knew it was best to please everyone all the time; Couch Slouch, regrettably, pleases no one most of the time.)
Oh, and we’re supposed to believe the Jets are Super Bowl-bound?
That was the other preposterous notion flooding the airwaves last week – that with the league’s No. 1 defense, the Jets are title-worthy. The Jets only made the postseason because two playoff-bound teams took a knee; before that, they played hardly anyone all year with a potent offense. And, what, Philip Rivers is going to lose to Mark Sanchez? Maybe Sanchez will be a Pro Bowl quarterback in five years, but right now he’s that puppy you keep on the leash for fear if you let him off the leash, he’ll run right into the middle of traffic.
Don’t get me started on Jets coach Rex Ryan, who walks around like an emperor in search of an empire.
By the way, speaking of coaches, I’m happy for Norv Turner. After his stagnating stints in Washington and Oakland, I figured – to quote Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” – “if this guy owned a funeral parlor, nobody would die.” But Turner’s won three division titles in three years in San Diego, so, apparently, if this guy owned a discotheque, everybody would dance.
Actually, come to think of it, I could see a Chargers-Saints Super Bowl. Or Chargers- Vikings. Or maybe Ravens- Cowboys. I am sure of it.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Don’t you feel embarrassed that the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton dispute began over a card-game debt? Isn’t gambling the root of all evil? (Paul Griffith; Indianapolis)
A. Nonsense. You just shouldn’t gamble on plane flights. That’s why I don’t go on cruises – when you are in a somewhat confined area with a group of people you would not be with otherwise, nothing good can happen.
Q. Do you have hopes, goals and/or dreams? (Brian Nelson; Tokyo)
A. In my youth, I wanted to change the world. Now, I want my DVR to record stuff without a glitch and I want to be regular.
Q. If Dan Snyder owned the United States, how many presidents would he have gone through by now? (Bob Johnson; Crownsville, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. So will ESPN start televising no-limit Bourre soon? (Dan O’Neil; Penn Hills, Penn.)
A. Pay this wise soul, too.
Norman Chad is a syndicated columnist. You can enter his $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail email@example.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!