Is it mere coincidence that the last weekday before the NFL conference championship games is one of the slowest sports-news days we've seen in weeks (or even months)? Unlikely. It's because the same cabal that controls sports wants you to focus entirely on Sunday's games.
You know the key subplots already: In the AFC, it's Brady vs. Manning and, larger, Peyton vs. the Pats (and his own personal legacy of playoff chokery).
In the NFC, it's the conference's most marquee franchise (and it's No. 1 seed) versus the best story in the NFL of the year -- if not the decade (or, dare I say, ever). The playoffs' most maligned QB (Grossman) vs. the league's most valuable QB (Brees). Urlacher and the Bears D vs. the best offense in the NFL, showcasing - at the very least - the most intriguing rookie of the year.
But I'm much more interested in YOUR analysis of the game -- the biggest subplots and intrigues, the biggest X-factors, the biggest challenges and, of course, your picks. So let's light up the Comments section with your final NFL conference championship goodness.
My picks: Pats over Colts. Bears over Saints.
My rooting interest: Colts over Pats. Saints over Bears.
Simply put: You have no soul if you're not rooting for the Saints to advance (unless, of course, you're a Bears fan. And having just come from a trip to Chicago this week, they are fired up).
Oh: And if you have input on the day's other big storylines, put 'em in the Comments section too. Actually, to me, the most intriguing result from last night/news of the morning is that the No. 1 h.s. hoops team in the country (Oak Hill) lost to Chicago's Simeon and Derrick Rose (28 pts, 9 ast) last night on ESPN.