So the question mid-week is not who you think will win the NFL conference championship games, but who you WANT to win the games.
I'm of two minds:
(1) I'm definitely rooting for the Saints. Like many/most of you without a rooting interest among the remaining four teams, the prospects of the most historically futile franchise getting to the Super Bowl is a wonderful prospect. I like Saints fans. I like New Orleans -- there's no question, the region deserves the break.
(2) I'm rooting against Brett Favre and rooting against the Colts. I'm a longtime Favre-hater, but I actually respect and admire the way he has killed it this season as a 40-year-old. And while Peyton annoys me, I'd like to think that I am watching the greatest QB in NFL history. Still: The Colts essentially threw an NFL game -- "tanked" doesn't do justice to their decision against the Jets in Week 16. And, yes, I'd like to see that kind of decision given a karmic punishment.
Mainly, I cannot fathom what two weeks of Super Bowl lead-up will be like if it's Favre vs. Manning. I'm totally OK with Saints lead-up. And, while New York media annoys me to no end, I'm OK with Jets lead-up, mainly because it would be so unpredictable.
And so I'm rooting for Saints-Jets in the Super Bowl. How about you?
Complete SN column here. More later.