RUSH: Now, the NFL playoffs. First up at three o’clock Eastern on Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots at the Denver Mannings. There’s a story in the Boston Globe today by Dan Shaughnessy asking: Why does Peyton Manning get less respect than Tom Brady? It’s almost like they’re calling Peyton Manning the Wilt Chamberlain of football. He’s got all of these records but very few titles. He’s won one Super Bowl, and Brady’s won three and been to like four or five. I forget the numbers.
The story is really about the myths of the Brady and Peyton comparisons because they don’t play against each other. Brady obviously goes up against the defense of the other team and Peyton Manning does the other side. The question (it’s a fascinating social media question) is: Why does Peyton Manning get less respect? I think it’s Indianapolis versus Boston. It’s Northeast versus Midwest in terms of media coverage, number one.
There are other, extraneous factors. But this really comes down, as it always does, to the game. The weather is not gonna be a factor, it doesn’t look like. It’s almost 60 degrees in Denver on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots are just an amazing team. They are as adaptive as a championship team as I’ve ever seen. Brady doesn’t have any receivers. I mean, he’s got Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman but his big guns are hurt and out or in jail, or soon will be in jail.
So they come up with a running game. The defense can’t stop anybody, but they win games, but they had some nail-biters this year against teams they should have walked all over (Buffalo, Cleveland), and they’ve had problems in the playoffs. They’ve been vulnerable. They haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004. They’ve been to the Championship Game. The Patriots have a number of times since then, but they haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2004.
It seems like yesterday. It seems like they were winning it every year, but they haven’t been. This could be Peyton Manning’s last year. There’s some talk of that. I tell you, I don’t have a feel for it. This one, it seems to me that on paper, everything is too close, so it’s the intangibles that you can’t predict that are going to be factors: The pregame meal, any distractions, too autographs, too many requests for pictures that make players mad before the game starts that can serve as a distraction.
Is the New England flight gonna have a lot of turbulence and make the players upset? There are all these intangibles you cannot possibly predict. Is Brady gonna have an off day? Is Manning gonna have an off day? Those are things that you can’t predict. On paper, it seems like it would be tough to pick. What is the line? I haven’t even looked at the line. H.R., do you know what the line on this game is? (interruption)
Yeah, New England getting four points. So basically the home team gets three, so New England plus four? Okay, the smart money is on the Patriots to win this thing, not handily, but you’ve got a home team underdog from the betting standpoint. I don’t know how you pass that up. Home team dog in the championship game? However, that hasn’t held true, either. (interruption) Four hours ago, 4-1/2 points. Okay, the money is coming in now on Denver. Which is the idea.
Well, I go with the home team. The odds are with you 60%. You go with the home team. Same thing with Seattle, even more so. Now, this game, Seattle and the Fort’iners? This is not gonna be a football game if the refs lose control of this, and they lost control of the 49ers and the Carolina Panthers. That wasn’t a football game. That was a back-alley brawl. The whistle blew, and it didn’t stop.
There was taunting; there were all kinds of penalties that weren’t called. It kind of bothered me, in a way. It really wasn’t football. It was just street thuggery that was going on and I know that the NFL is worried about it, and I don’t know this either, but I’ll bet you that the officiating crew has been told, “You throw the flag as often as you have to keep this a football game.” Now, Seattle’s got this crowd advantage that nobody other than the Arizona Cardinals has been able to overcome.
Just the noise.
But the Fort’iners have experience being there, and the 49ers are a street team, too, when they have to be. So neither of these teams is gonna out-tough the other, and neither team is gonna out-intimidate the other, and the refs are gonna try to keep control of it, and here again you gotta go with the home team in Seattle. You just have to. You have to pick the home team when the Seahawks are involved in it. Plus, I don’t know if you know this or not but Harbaugh, the coach of the 49ers?
His wife really got on him for buying his slacks at Kmart. He buys $8 khakis that are pleated, and his wife is embarrassed over his lack of fashion sense. He needs to be wearing flat-fronted slacks and get rid of the pleats, and he won’t do it. He likes the pleats. He’s buying $8 pants. They caught him at the combine last year in Walmart buying like 10 pairs of $8 khakis. So when the wife is embarrassed of the way the head coach looks, you have to figure that’s gonna be a factor in the outcome.
So you gotta go with Denver, and you’ve gotta go with the Seahawks.
RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, if I had used the environmentalist wacko method of picking the games, it wouldn’t have changed. The Broncos would have beaten the Patriots in an environmentalist wacko choice, and the Seahawks would beat the 49ers. The environmentalist wacko determining factor there is which team is more pro-gay, and that would be the Seahawks. So either way, environmentalist wacko or straight-up picking, the outcome of the picks is identical.