Go BROWNS! And Go COLTS! And Go DirecTV! And more...
It is a bad position to be in, having to rely on another team to win in order to get into the playoffs. But that is what the Browns did when they lost to Cinci last weekend.
The Tennessee Titans now control their own destiny. If they beat the Colts, the Titans get the last playoff spot, and the Browns' season is over. So the Colts control the Browns' destiny -- Colts win, and the Browns are in -- even if the Browns lose to the 49ers.
The problem is, the Colts are already the number 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, and will remain so, win or lose. The Colts' starters are expected to get only limited play this Sunday night. The Titans, on the other hand, have everything to play for.
Normally I'd pick the Colts to beat the Titans. I'm sure the Colts don't want to lose to a divisional opponent. But the Titans have a better shot than they otherwise might, but for all of these surrounding circumstances.
So, I'm hoping the depth of the Colts is good enough and hungry enough to win what is to them an otherwise meaningless game against a Titans team that has everything to gain by winning. I'm hoping Vince Young has a bad day. I'm hoping LenDale White packs the wrong shoes. Whatever it takes, within reason.
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On another football topic -- the NFL caved and is going to show on free TV the Pats-Giants game on Saturday night. Originally, this game was going to be shown only on the NFL Network. However, there is an ongoing spat with the NFL and most cable operators over carrying the NFL Network, so much of the nation was not going to be seeing this game ... unless they had DirecTV, which actually carries the NFL Network.
Well, I for one DO have DirecTV. I've been watching the exclusive NFL Network games in the comfort of my own home, while many others have been going to bars and other establishments that carry the games in order to see the games.
I cannot tell you that I got DirecTV in order to get the NFL Network. I've been a customer and fan of DirecTV since early 2003, when I told my cable carrier to piss off (it was Adelphia back then), as I had finally had enough of their poor service. DirecTV's service and programming has been, for the most part, very good.
However, I am sure that the folks over at DirecTV have got to be peeved that the NFL caved. They've been marketing DirecTV as the sure way to get see the game since they do show the channel. It was never intended to be their channel exclusively, even though that is how it has turned out. At the same time, I am sure there are a lot of bar owners who are peeved that they won't be getting the crowds they might have now that NBC and CBS both are carrying the game. And there may be a few consumers who are mad if they switched to DirecTV just to see the game -- though I might add that I find DirecTV to be superior to cable in just about every way, and I am happy to have it for lots of reasons, and so should anyone who switches.
So why did they do it? Why did the NFL cave? Oh, because a couple of ranking senators jumped the NFL's case about it, and suggested that it might be time to look at the NFL's anti-trust exemption, etc. unless they showed this game. Glad to know the U.S. Senate is right on top of the things that really matter: that the people of this country can watch this game from the comfort of their own homes.
Now, if only our troops in Iraq could watch this game from the comfort of their own homes. That would be something to crow about.