Proponents of a playoff system in college football took a big hit on Sunday, thanks to St. Louis and the Vikings qualifying for the NFC playoffs. St. Louis and Minnesota might be the two worst NFL teams to ever qualify for the playoffs and also illustrate that no playoff system is perfect.
The current roster of the NFC playoffs looks mighty thin, especially since two the conferences hottest teams--Carolina and New Orleans--didn't even qualify for the post season tournament.
The Vikings should be quickly dispensed by the Packers next week as Minnesota has lost 20 of its last 21 outdoor games. The last time the Vikings won outside? It was at Green Bay in the season opener in 2003. Don't look for a repeat.
St. Louis will travel to Seattle, which means that either Mike Holmgren or Mike Martz is going to get into the second round of the playoffs.
Yeah, the playoff system works.
ST. LOUIS IN PLAYOFFS AGAIN
There are those in the St. Louis media that want add Martz's name to the Lombardi trophy for getting his team to the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
But these are the same guys that continue to believe in Tony LaRussa.
How quickly people forget that the NFC West is one of the worst divisions in the NFL. The Cardinals, 49ers, and Seahawks have not set the NFL ablaze in recent years. While other franchises have risen and fallen, the NFC West seems content to flounder.
The Cardinals, save a few years, are an enduring image of futility. The 49ers have not been the same since the early 1990s, and the Seahawks recent playoff string has only been a recent phenomenon.
Props to Martz for keeping the cruise control at 63 mph and holding the franchise afloat. Much like Andy Reid of the Eagles, both coaches have many playoff appearances in recent years but neither have been able to capture the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
And that trend doesn't look like it will be snapped this season.
ERIC DICKERSON, ST. LOUIS LEGEND?
It's bad enough that St. Louis named it's 1995 expansion team after the Los Angeles team that folded the previous year. But now St. Louis wants to hijack the tradition and history of Los Angeles football by naming players such as Dickerson and Merlin Olsen to the St. Louis Ring of Fame.
Think about that last one for a moment.
Olsen's main nemesis for years was tackle Conrad Dobler.
St. Louis Cardinals tackle Conrad Dobler. How much did Olsen detest Dobler? During a scene in Olsen's Father Murphy, there was a tombstone in the graveyard that read "Conrad Dobler. Gone. But not Forgiven."
And that was 20-years after they had stopped playing.
Now Olsen is in the St. Louis Ring of Fame and Dobler--who played for the home team--is not.
And St. Louis fans refer to Georgia Frontiere as the savior. Don't worry St. Louis, she's going to live long enough to screw you, too.
ONE THEY MISSED
If you want to honor somebody that truly put St. Louis on the map, why not go with the late Nathan Cook. Many of you remember him as Milton Reece on the White Shadow, but to us he'll always be the guy that gave faulty directions to Clark Griswold in Vaction, while his partners swiped the hubcaps from the car.
NEWS AND NOTES AROUND THE NFL
The Bills, Birds, and Panthers miss the playoffs. Too bad there couldn't be a third conference with the fun teams. You could throw the Saints into this group and we would take all four against the NFC right now.
The Eagles drop their second consecutive game. The 1967 Packers were the last team to drop it's final two regular season games and still win the Super Bowl.
It's understandable that Reid didn't want any of his players to get injured, but football players can't turn off and turn on the switch in the playoffs. It will be a month between meaningful games for the Eagles. And without Terrell Owens? This could be an upset special.
Tommy Maddox leads the Steelers to victory.
Was there ever a doubt?
Integrity is lost as some teams rest starters. The playoff scenarios were as confusing to most fans as shoe laces are to Peyton Manning. A team like Baltimore needed to win on Sunday, but it also needed help from the Colts, who did not play their regulars.
Is that fair? Actually it is. If Raven would have won enough games, they wouldn't have to rely on another team to do its dirty work for them.
The true losers in all of this are the fantasy leagues that still play in week 17. What about the accountant that reached the title game of his fantasy league on the arm of Drew Brees? How was he supposed to compete on Sunday?
Eli Messiah and Phillip Rivers get their first NFL wins on the same day. But only one will be going to the playoffs.