Not to go "Sports Guy" on all of you, but does anybody remember the football scene from Not Another Teen Movie? The hero, Jake, runs on to the field and launches a would-be game-winning touchdown... into the stands. A stunned school janitor, played by Mr. T, looks on and says, "What the hell was that?"
That was what it was like watching Nate Kaeding miss a potential game-winner on Saturday night.
The Chargers offense rolled all season, but the inevitable Marty-ball took over and turned the Chargers into the Raiders. Most fans had started to believe that the Chargers could be a team of destiny. Not to use a tired baseball analogy, but in a year where a scrappy team over came the odds to win the World Series, anything seemed possible.
Yes, Cal State Fullerton's victory in the College World Series had inspired some Chargers fans to believe that if George Horton could overcome his playoff shortcomings, certainly Marty Schottenheimer could do the same.
But it just wasn't to be.
BUT IT GOT WORSE
It was inevitable, but Mike Martz is in the second round of the NFC playoffs. But that's only part of the bad news. St. Louis is going to win the NFC. It will win the NFC with a home playoff game next week.
St. Louis is going to knock off the Falcons, who will likely prove that Jim Mora, the younger, is a chip off the old block. Mora the elder did not win an NFL playoff game in stints with the Saints and the Colts and that bloodline will be too much for the Falcons to overcome.
And when the Vikings go to Philadelphia and deliver the knockout punch to the TO-less Eagles (who look a lot like the Cardinals without him), St. Louis will host the NFC Championship Game.
How did this work out so perfectly for St. Louis?
HANDICAPPING THE AFC
So who do you pull for when the Chargers are out of the playoffs?
But don't expect the Steelers, even with Touchdown Tommy, to reach the Super Bowl. Bill Cowher has done a great job of making Pittsburgh downright hospitable for the AFC Championship Games. Both the Chargers (1994) and Patriots (2001) have advanced to the Super Bowl after playing in Pittsburgh.
The Colts would have won at Pittsburgh too in 1995, if Quentin Coryatt could hold on to an interception.
But that just means that the winner of the Colts v. Patriots game is going to advance to Pittsburgh and ultimately the Super Bowl. And don't go thinking that it's going to be the Patriots that advance. The Hater Nation's luck is not that good.
Look for Idiot Savant Manning to lead the Colts against the Martz of St. Louis. Is there really any other way this thing could go?