Over the past years, I have noted a few times that barring anything else, I love the MLB set-up with the Wild Card one-game playoff just as much as I dig Interleague games simply being spread over the course of the season, rather than isolated to a few weeks here and there.
It is easy to complain about the good old days, and I remember back when I thought it was tough with just 16 Major League teams.
So, I remember when the NFL was much like this, and when the AFL started and I began my pathetic love of the Raiders.
While I cannot say I always understood moves the leagues--either of them--like the DH in only one league, for the most part the NFL has evolved into a pretty interesting and competitive collection of franchises.
I like the 16-game season: In fact, though I wind up writing as much during football season as I do during the baseball season, when it seems like there should be some down time there, I love crunching numbers on Sunday with games on.
For one thing, while Diane has been trying to finish up at Davis, Sunday is often the only time during the week we have to hang out together.
True, she is studying while I am watching and crunching, but we sit in the same room, and have lunch and dinner together, and even if we don't talk too much, it is still kind of fun and cozy.
And, especially if it is cold outside, we can have a fire, and I make some chowder and biscuits and it is really a fun and somewhat luxurious way to spend the day.
Furthermore, since there is that parity in the NFL, things just never go any kind of way that is remotely predictable. And, that has made matchups fun, and especially over the past few weeks, there have been just terrific games for us couch spectators.
A few weeks back, there was the interesting Kansas City/Denver game on Sunday night, followed by New England and Denver, and then the Saints visiting the Seahawks. And, all the Saints did was fold in a way none of us could imagine, enduring a pasting that turned the contest that seemed so promising at kickoff into dullsville.
This Sunday gave us the Seahawks at the Niners, and that game started to show us how tough the game is, as San Francisco shut down the potent Seattlites, while right after New Orleans resurrected themselves against the now dangerous Panthers.
This in a week where once again the Patriots came from where they had no right--as in down by 13 with two minutes left--and pulled the win out a la Oakland in 1968, while at just about the same time, Pittsburgh almost duplicated that miracle right after Miami scored with no time left.
And, about that time, the Ravens turned the tables on the Vikings, stealing that win out of nowhere.
All this time, Detroit and Philadelphia were going at it in a blizzard that was fun to watch, and reminiscent of playing tackle football in a muddy back yard as a kid. then the sun came out for the second half, though, making it truly a game of two halves.
But, a week ago Sunday, there were also a bunch of great close finishes to games.
I don't care if there isn't a team that dominates, like the old Packers, or the Steelers or Niners of the 70's and 80's.
It is great when teams have to maneuver and twist and tweak to squeeze out a win with no time.
I can even live with my players--like Cam Newton--taking it in the snoot point wise if the game is good.
The only thing I ask is to please keep it up!