The Division Championships — Jets v. Steelers/Bears v. Packers — portend a GREAT Football 2010 season finale for whoever's left standing after this next SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP weekend coming up, heading to the Super Bowl. The teams are ALL competitive and balanced, they're relatively healthy, and the matchups are intriguing. There are no dominant teams in this final four heading for a a pre-Super Bowl showdown. The last time ARCH RIVALS Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers met in a Playoff was in December 1941, only a couple of weeks after Pearl Harbor. The Bears won the game. Let's hope that THAT history repeats itself.
I'm just relieved the Jets knocked off Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots (sorry, Rachel — NOT! Maybe it's something about the name; they sound like a Tea Party chapter). Don't know about you, but to me Belichick is a double indemnity coach: The most overrated and most OBNOXIOUS. That filthy gray hood gives him the look of an extra (a prime suspect) on "The Departed" which is what he is today, thanks to the Jets' bombastic head coach, Rex Ryan. Rex looks right out of Central Casting himself!
Dream Super Bowl matchup: Bears v. Jets. Oh pleeease, stadium gods, make it happen!
The Jets' gifted kid quarterback, the "Mexican" Mark Sanchez, is an awesome talent who looks like he'd be right at home in the barrio, lounging on his front steps drinking a cervezita. Those wide bug eyes give him the misleading look (to opponents) of unhinged panic, as if he's just one step ahead of La Migra and they're relentlessly closing in after being tipped off by a Teabagger. But the truth is, red-blooded Latinos routinely look extra agitated. Sanchez comes from a Drama King culture and the bug-eyed look is just the kid's way of psyching himself up before making a fantastic play.
|The Once And Future King: Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez Is Keeping This Game Ball.|
From the first time I saw him last year, as a rookie, even with all the interceptions and sacks, I knew this kid was going places. Sanchez never got down on himself. He has that very Latino way of responding to adversity: A big gringo knocks you down, you get right back up and try again. Till you get it right. No matter how often or how long it takes. You believe in yourself and that voice in your head says, "I can do this."
It was great to see him on the winning side of the clash against the villain Belichick and the Mayflower quarterback with the whitebread name. Don't get me wrong. I like Tom Brady. He's an artist in the pocket, with the elegant poise of Achilles and vision of the game, picking defenses apart. (BUT ... I always liked Hector, Prince of the Trojans, over Achilles; Hector wasn't annointed with near-invincibility by the Gods — he had to rely on raw courage and sheer skill to stay alive. And he had the dignity to go to his death with head held high, like a Prince. Achilles did not.)
For once, though, it was nice to see Rex Ryan's "D" rise to the occasion and beat back Belichick's bag of dirty tricks and his Trojan Horse onside kick right up the middle, trying to catch the Jets napping in premature celebration with seconds to go. This time the Jets took the "gift", fell on it, and said "Thank you very much, Bill!"
And it was nice to see the kid with the square, determined jaw, the unshaven face of the Mexican laborer, just barely tall enough to be a quarterback in the Big Show, defeat the elegant and aristocratic Mr. Brady, with the finely chiseled features, good bone structure, and ice water in his veins.
For once, it was nice to see the young Mexican kid, the once and future king, stand in there and lead his team to victory, with actions that spoke these words loud and clear: "I BELONG HERE."