Surviving the Watercooler after the 2014 NFL Conference Championships

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Sports talk is a staple of our culture. It’s a common ground that causes enough passion to generate hours worth of conversation while not quite drumming up the instant animosity that religion and politics do.  The problem is that not everyone has the borderline obsession with sports that I do. In the interest of helping people who have healthier obsessions survive workplace discussions tomorrow, and to help me justify the amount I pay attention to football, here are some phrases everyone can use tomorrow.


New England Patriots vs. the Denver Broncos

Quick Primer: Two teams quarterbacked by future hall of famers. The ‘who is better’ debate between Manning and Brady has been going on for the better part of the last 10 years. In this round the Denver Broncos and Manning won with Manning playing fantastically, but getting a lot of help from his defense that shutdown Brady. Honestly this game was less of a contest than the score would indicate. Final score Broncos 26 Patriots 16

Useful Saying: “Looks like Manning finally has the playoff monkey off his back”

Response if someone else says that: “Yes, but Manning has to watch out because if he viewed Brady as his superbowl then he might come out flat next week.”

Useful Saying: “The Patriots only lost because they got bit by the injury bug more than any other team in the NFL”

Response if someone else says that: “Poor Tom Brady is going to have go sleep with his three superbowl rins, supermodel wife, and pile of money? Unlucky is not the word”

Useful Saying: “Who would have thought the Manning/Brady bowl was going to be so boring?”

Response if someone else says that: “Yeah, caught me off guard too”


San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks

Quick Primer:  Two division rivals who hate each other. The coaches coached against each other in college and hate each other. The fans live close together and hate each other. The wide receivers and the defenses trash talked each other in the press over this last week. This was an instant classic of a game that people will talk about for years. Final Score Seattle 23 San Francisco 17

WARNING: There was an injury in this game that was absolutely brutal. It’s the sort of injury that caused me to physically recoil from the TV. If you are squeamish about watching a knee get bent in at an extreme angle and somebody asks if you want to see the video, say no. It was shown multiple times from multiple angles in HD during the game. Both teams jumped up and started shouting for the trainers immediately. It was bad.

Useful Saying: “The refs really screwed the 49ers in this game. The roughing the kicker call, the non reviewable fumble, the unsportsmanlike conduct that ended the half, just awful officiating.”

Response if someone else says that: “True(they really did), but the refs didn’t cause the 49ers QB to turn the ball over three times, that was the Seattle defense.”

Useful Saying: “Seriously, how badly did the refs screw the 49ers in this game?”

Response if someone else says that: “Ok, they did. Getting the refs full time positions could really improve the officiating errors we now notice because of the HD cameras and closeups. But to be fair, the roughing the kicker call was the only one of the calls that really impacted the game. The non reviewable fumble became fumble the next play. The unsportsmanlike call at the end of the half didn’t really impact much because there were only 20 seconds left and the 49ers took a knee instead of going for a low percentage hail mary. The 49ers got some bad calls, but they had plenty of opportunities to take the refs out of the equation.”

Useful Saying: “What was up with the crazy guy in the post game interview?”

Response if someone else says that: “It was a weird interview, but the guy is going to the superbowl, just made the play of his career, and at least it wasn’t the same generic ‘we gave it 110%’ interview we’ve seen hundreds of times. That said, he should probably take it down a notch because he creeped out all of America.”


Preliminary Superbowl Prediction: The defense that completely bottled up Brady will do the same to the still inexperienced Wilson. Manning will struggle early against the Legion of Boom(the nickname for the Seattle defense), but after some halftime adjustments he’ll lead the Broncos to a comeback victory.

As always, questions, comments, and concerns are welcome. Answers are guaranteed.



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