The last time I was able to actively participate — as a true fan of a team — in the playoffs was when the 2004 St. Louis Rams went 8-8 and beat the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round of the playoffs (the Rams went 3-0 against the ‘Squawks that year) before getting blown out by Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons 47-17. I vividly remember those days. Bulger to Kevin Curtis! Bulger to Shaun McDonald! Those were the days, man.
Ever since then, I usually spend the NFL playoffs playing a game of figuring out who I want to lose the most.
My favorite NFL playoff game in recent memory was when the 2007 New York Giants defeated the 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. “But Troy! That was eight years ago!” What the hell? 2008 was eight years ago? Alright… a little more recent? I guess when the Packers beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. “Troy! That was five years ago! How about the last three years?” Damn, I give up.
This past weekend was nucking futs.
I was genuinely excited for the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night. Despite the fans in the stadium being a horde of blowhards for booing Ben Roethlisberger’s injury as he was carted off the field, as a detractor of the Pittsburgh Steelers I was happy to witness a team acquire their first playoff win since 1990 under wraps. And… then Jeremy Hill fumbled away the football with a little over a minute left in the game, right before Vontaze Burfict and — surprise, surprise — Pacman Jones screwed their team’s season.
If that wasn’t all, the next day, the Minnesota Vikings held a 9-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks. I was pumped up, thinking that the Vikes were going to send the ‘Squawks home! We wouldn’t have to see those northwest sumbitches in the big game again!
I stopped watching the game to prepare dinner — steak, potatoes and caramelized onions. Now, I love caramelized onions, but if you are making them properly on the stovetop, you cook ’em low and slow, 45 to 50 minutes, on medium low heat, so you end up having to hover around the stove to stir every few minutes.
In the time I was away from watching what was transpiring on the TV, the ‘Squawks managed to score a touchdown and hit a field goal to take the lead. At the end of the game, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh — who was responsible for all the points the Vikes scored on that day — missed a chip shot of a field goal.
That’s the kind of luck the ‘Squawks have been receiving since 2012, from the game winning interception to their miracle comeback in the 2015 NFC championship game. I mean, come on!
Every game — except the Chiefs/Texans (thanks, Brian Hoyer) — was extremely fun to watch this weekend, but two of them were incredibly frustrating.