No, I’m not saying that the Super Bowl is adopting environmental issues or using alternate power for stadium lights. I just have the feeling that the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets will be victorious in the NFL Conference Championship games this afternoon. Both wear green as their primary team color. Thus, the Super Bowl is going green.
This is a Washington Redskins blog, so we paid attention to the Chicago Bears only twice before the playoffs. The first was Week Four when the New York Giants clobbered Da Bears 17-3. When I say clobbered, I don’t mean the score. The G-men knocked Bears quarterback and Mike Shanahan’s favorite Jay Cutler out of the game with nine sacks. In the first half. Then did the same to ex-Redskins QB Todd Collins in the fourth quarter.
At that, we paid more attention to our Beast rival Giants than to the Bears. Todd Collins is fondly remembered in these parts. We don’t want to see him so ill-treated.
Why are the Bears in this thing?
The Bears were undefeated to that point. After the Giants game, the Giants were viewed as contenders and the Bears as pretenders, especially after Chicago dropped games to the suspect Seahawks and to us, the struggling Redskins, over the next three games. Only a win over the woeful Panthers broke the streak.
Chicago got a lot better as New York faded. And that seems tied to the growing unity of vision that developed between Cutler and Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz. There is a lot to be said for forging partnerships in the heat of adversity. Sticking with your quarterback as he learns your system is a lesson I hope was noticed in Redskins Park.
If only the Redskins….
That was easier to do for Chicago than for Washington. Chicago’s back-up is the aging Collins whose best performance was running Al Saunders’ offense. Rex Grossman is Kyle Shanahan’s comfort zone. While I did say that Grossman deserved a look because of his familiarity with Shanahan’s playbook, I can’t help but wonder how well Donovan McNabb would perform in this system if he were in it as long as Grossman?
The Redskins made a different choice than the Bears about pulling the quarterback in season. Young Shanahan couldn’t break his Grossman comfort zone. Big Mike backed the boy and then the ‘Skins spun out of orbit. The Bears toughed it out with Cutler and made the playoffs. Not that the Redskins would have done the same, but they would be better off now if they stuck with McNabb.
The name you won’t hear about the Packers
The Packers overcame adversity that would have stumped other teams. As they became more reliant on Aaron Rodgers, he became more formidable and his team am irresistible force. The Bears are underdogs in their own stadiums. Somehow that feels right.
If the Pack wins, you will hear the names Rodgers, Jennings, Starks, and maybe Favre and Lombardi, as reasons why. Spend some time reading the bio of Green Bay president, CEO and former Redskin Mark Murphy at Packers.com and consider the value that excellent executive leadership brings to a pro football club.
There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Rex Ryan breached that line many times. Hubris is ill-served in humans. It’s hard enough to to keep perspective when other people tell you how good you are. Confident self-talk is the fuel of all high-performers–when you talk to your mirror. It’s downright rude self-defeating when you proclaim it to the world loudly and repeatedly. The world just want to knock your block off. Yet, the Jets are still standing. How can that be?
I’m all in on Rex Ryan. His bravura fuels his team. It’s the essential ingredient that gives an aerodynamic lift to the Jets (I can’t believe I just wrote that.) that will propel them past the Steelers (Can’t believe I just wrote that either.)
They once called Rex Grossman Sexy Rexy. That name rightly belongs to Rex Ryan.
The Jets and Steelers are the better teams in these playoffs; better defenses, better running games, better coaching with Ryan the master motivator of his team. The Super Bowl winner will be the winner of this game. What happens with the irresistible force of the Jets meets the immovable object of the Steelers?
The confident Jets move on.