Here's why NFL championship weekend is going to be awesome
JAN 14, 2014 1:44p ET
Got plans Sunday that have nothing to do with football?
We don't care if you have to throw a birthday party for your kid at the local Chuck E. Cheese. Skip it. Going skiing with friends? Do it next week. Wife's family in town? Send them out to a museum.
The AFC and NFC Championship Games are going to be, in a word, special. We suggest you spend Sunday sitting on your couch, eating unhealthy foods for hours as the four best teams in the NFL battle on your TV for a spot in Super Bowl XLVIII.
It's time to share all the reasons why Sunday is going to be awesome.
1. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Two of the best QBs to ever play the game square off for the 15th time. Let that sink in for a second. In 10 years we're all going to look back and realize how good we had it, being able to see these guys play each other so many times. This is Magic-Bird, Ali-Frazier,Tiger-Phil type stuff. Could this be the last time we see No. 18 vs. No. 12? Maybe. But we definitely know we will not see this matchup many more times in the future. They've combined for 850 career TD passes, six MVPs, four Super Bowl victories, and one trillion passing yards. OK, maybe not one trillion but a lot. Now they square off yet again with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Life is great. Goosebumps.
2. Jim Harbaugh vs. Pete Carroll. On one side we have a gum-chewing, fist-pumping, life-loving dude with boundless energy. We're talking about Carroll, of course. On the other side we have a tongue-lashing, in-your-face type dude who wants to win and win now. We're talking about Harbaugh, of course. These two guys haven't really liked each other since Carroll asked Harbaugh what his deal was after Harbaugh's Stanford team threw a Hail Mary late in a blowout victory over Carroll's USC squad in 2009. They each want to win Sunday for obvious reasons, one of those being that they'll be sending the other guy home for the year. And that would make both of them downright giddy.
3. Colin Kaepernick vs. Russell Wilson. Think Brady-Manning about 12 years ago. We're not going to play up the whole "passing the torch" comparison because that's disrespectful to what Brady and Manning have accomplished. But these guys have the opportunity to be the next best thing in the NFL for years to come. It helps that they both play in the same division and will automatically play each other twice a year. Playoff matchups like this one will only take their rivalry to a whole new level. We're guessing neither QB cares much about this stat, but it's still interesting:
As of today, 4 times more money has been bet on 49ers than the Seahawks at the LVH SuperBook, according to Ed Salmons.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) January 14, 2014
4. Weather. No dome teams or warm-weather teams are left. These games will be played outside in the elements, the way football is supposed to be played. Wait, it's supposed to be 58 degrees Sunday in Denver? Only a 20-percent chance of rain in Seattle? Come on, football gods. Do something about that. We want cold. We want snow. We want rain. We want slo-mo shots of air coming out of players' mouths. We deserve this. Maybe we'll just have to wait for the Super Bowl for all of that. Or not. We all know how quickly weather can change.
5. Wes Welker vs. the Patriots. The Denver WR has already faced his former team this year and he did it on the road in his old stadium. But now the stakes are raised quite a bit. Will Welker be able to make some big plays against his old buddies or will he make a mistake at a key moment like he did in one big spot with the Patriots?
6. This could be Petyon's last game. According to a report earlier this week, the Broncos QB could call it quits after this season. He didn't give us much info on his future after Sunday's win over the Chargers. Well, he told us all he wanted was a beer. But he didn't exactly come out and say that he would definitely be back for another season. Peyton would love nothing more than to go out on top and call it quits with two rings. We're hoping he does come back. So do some tourism folks in Omaha, Nebraska. But for now we'll just have to be like a professional athlete and take it one game at a time ... and enjoy each one.
7. Seattle's 12th Man will be LOUD. Chances are if you're not from Seattle you've grown tired of hearing about how loud their fans are. We get it. But they are a very passionate group that hasn't seen an NFC Championship Game on its homefield since the 2005-2006 season. Now they get their chance again ... and it's against the hated 49ers. Oh how sweet it is. Buckle up, folks.
8. History will be made before the first snap on Sunday. What are we talking about? Weed, of course. For the first time in NFL history the championship games will be played in cities where pot is legal. What does this really have to do with football? Nothing at all. But come one, how do we ignore this fact? We're guessing many people in both cities will find the games really ... funny. Also pizza places in these towns are just sitting back and waiting for Sunday. Can you say cha-ching?
9. We might see Brady get a high five. This could be the most important storyline heading into Sunday. If you don't get sarcasm we suggest you take a few seconds to look it up. Back yet? Good. The Patriots' star QB has been dissed by his teammates in hilarious fashion throughout the season while looking for a high five. The lastest example happened after last Saturday's victory over the Colts (see below). Will this finally be the day where Brady's hand gets slapped by another teammate's hand in celebratory fashion? WE SHALL SEE.
10. A battle of kickers. Just kidding, we don't care about kickers. Unless they miss a key kick that costs their team a chance to go to the Super Bowl. Billy Cundiff, anyone?
11. Oh yeah, the Super Bowl. By Sunday night we'll know which two teams will be playing at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 2. It doesn't get any better than this. In a world where almost nothing is guaranteed we football fans are pretty much guaranteed a great Super Bowl matchup no matter which two teams advance. Hooray for football!
Now get that couch ready. Sunday is quickly approaching.