Column: Thanks a lot winter!


Well, the potential blizzard of 2018 turned out to be a bust.

I am slightly torn about this as it would be an interesting experience. But at the same time, I believe I would have gone slightly stir crazy. We’re not talking like in “The Shining,” but a little cabin fever would have kicked in for certain.

The expected doom caused many area high schools to cancel/postpone sporting events. I am glad that area athletic directors played it safe. At the same time, that means less sports coverage for this edition of the paper.

So, let’s talk about the professional and collegiate sports.

I am going to start with the National Football League’s Divisional Championship rounds. The Atlanta Falcons, a six seed in the NFC, traveled to frigid Philadelphia to meet up with the top-seeded Eagles. That’s strange, Philly was the top seed and at home and was considered to be the underdog. Well, in one of the more boring of the four games played over the weekend, the Eagles survived by a final of 15-10.

Who is next for the surprising Eagles? That would be the Minnesota Vikings. Did you watch this game?! Holy cow, that was one bizarre ending, which is being coined as the “Minnesota Miracle.”

I’m not a huge NFL fan, but this weekend was very entertaining.

New Orleans trailed 17-0 at halftime. New Orleans then trailed 17-7 after the third. In the fourth, the two teams teeter-tottered back and forth and with 25 seconds remaining in the game, the Saints kicked a field goal that put them up 24-23. Anyone that follows football knows that Saints’ quarterback, future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, is capable of bringing a team back but, Case Keenum?

As New Orleans fans held their breath and Minnesota fans hyperventilated, the clock began to tick. Keenum and the Vikes found themselves at their own 39-yard line with 10 seconds left in the game and possibly their season. Keenum took the snap, launched the ball downfield to his primary target, Stefon Diggs, who proceeded to corral the ball, avoid one of the worst tackle attempts in history and sprint away down the field, 61 yards for the game winning touchdown.

It was the first time in NFL history that a playoff game was decided on a game winning touchdown and a clock that read all zeroes.

The moral of the story? Minnesota at Philadelphia for the NFC Championship. The Vikings are favored and have the potential to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their own stadium. And that is exciting!

In the AFC, the heavily favored New England Patriots, as expected, had no trouble ending the Tennessee Titans season by coming away with the 35-14 win. Tom Brady is still the GOAT and Bill Belichick is still a coaching wizard. We all know what the Pats are capable of and they have one more game to go before a trip to Super Bowl LII.

That game will be played against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

What?!

The Jaguars are playing for their first divisional title after pulling a slight upset on Sunday at Pittsburgh against Big Ben and the Steelers. First, everyone wanted to see a Patriots/Steelers AFC Championship matchup, myself included. However, it’s safe to say this Jags team means business. I mean sure, they allowed Roethlisberger to throw for 469 yards and five touchdowns but, as they say, a win is a win. In the highest scoring divisional playoff contest, the visiting Jaguars upended the Steelers; 45-42. Could this be Jacksonville’s year or are the Patriots just too strong to defeat, I mean, they are healthy and that is scary!

Also this weekend, in addition to watching Tales From The Darkside with my lady and eating a steady diet of meat-free deliciousness, I watched some college basketball.

What an entertaining few games: Michigan upset Michigan State, Texas Tech upended West Virginia, Kansas survived at home against Kansas State and yadda, yadda, yadda.

You know what I like about college basketball? They are playing, mostly, for the love of the game. There aren’t huge contracts, individual shoe deals, endorsements for Icy Hot or any of that mumbo jumbo. These kids are hooping for the sport and that is admirable! Also, have you watched Trae Young from Oklahoma play? Kid can flat out ball!

I will leave you with some random thoughts.

They have done some remarkable things with meat-free products. Sausage tasting like sausage without the guilt or grease, nuggets actually tasting like chicken nuggets but without the cruelty. It’s incredible and I don’t feel so gross after the consumption. Old Crow is still delicious, old music can send you back to memories that you may or may not want to recall.

I love organizing. I wish that I could be a professional pantry or fridge organizer. I am not sure why I love it all so much but it soothes my soul. I used to despise dogs but Dexter is my dude. Family Feud is always funny, especially at midnight. I love you Brandi and thanks for making the “blizzard” tolerable, even if you did send me out on a wild snipe hunt.

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Chad Clinger

Galion Inquirer

 

 

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy and @galionsports. Email him at cclinger@aimmediamidwest.com or call him at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048