Oh, I could have led with the Saints today, but as someone who has promoted "schadenfavre" for a very very long time, how could I not lead today's SN column with the way his season ended last night?
First of all: What a game. Couldn't have been more dramatic. When you read the column, you'll see that I actually had gained some level of zen acceptance that Favre was -- on one ankle -- going to lead the Vikings to the last-second win in the rocking Super Dome, thus simultaneously crushing the dreams of Saints fans (and their ancillary supporters) and launching what can only be described as the most painful two weeks of fawning coverage of all time.
But then... that INT. Like it was scripted. Like it HAD to end. So improbable and yet so probable at the same time, it was like some sort of mythological enigma.
(Then we got to that OT coinflip. If you were following me on Twitter last night, you saw my allergic reaction. Seriously: Can this be the moment that the NFL finally changes its system? Or will it take a "Coin-Flip Super Bowl Champ" to make it happen?)
Anyway: For all my talk about Jets-Saints being superior to Colts-Saints in the Super Bowl, I can live with Colts-Saints. These are the best teams in each conference -- we have known that since about the one-third mark of the season. It should be a wild display of scoring and rabid New Orleans fans and media love for Peyton Manning. Oh, and Katrina. Take a drink every time someone mentions Katrina. You'll be drunk enough throughout the two weeks to blur the experience.
As for the losers: I don't want to talk about Favre next season, except to say that he would be crazy to retire now -- the Vikings will be even better next season, and obviously, they can win the conference. And the Jets have only one problem: Anything but a Super Bowl trip will be a let-down. Consider the expectations completely blown out of whack. (But they might just get there in the next few years.)
The other big story today is the Tim Tebow Show down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. He is the most prominent participant in Senior Bowl history. I'm not sure if that means much, but it reflects his status as one of the -- if not THE -- most intriguing NFL Draft prospects of all time.
We're all going to talk and write a LOT about him over the next three months. The irony is that the Jaguars are going to take him with the No. 10 pick and that's going to be that. It doesn't matter what other teams' scouts think of him. It doesn't matter what Todd McShay or Mel Kiper thinks of him. It doesn't matter where he projects.
He's going to the Jags at 10, and the only thing he's going to do this week or at the Combine in a few weeks or in private workouts between now and Draft Day is clear the low expectations that have been set for him and make it that much easier for the Jaguars to take him (because no team in the Top 9 is going to use their pick on him, no matter how good he looks in workouts).
See the entire SN column here. More later, and if you're intrigued by Tebow at the Senior Bowl, keep an eye on TimTeblog.com.