More sports blogging: My picks — and why — for today’s NFL conference championships

As my home team did not make it into the playoffs this year, and my fall-back team lost last week, I’m free to have random reasons for selecting who I want to win today’s NFL conference championships, and thus play in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

In the NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears, I’ll have to go with the sentimental favorite (that is, sentimental for anyone who is not a Bears fan), the Saints. If the Saints win the Super Bowl, it will be the feel-good football story of all time. By June, it will be a movie. Besides, I hate hearing those Chicago fans whining about a quarterback who shares my first name.

In the AFC championship, I’m torn. I would be feeling sorry for Peyton Manning’s constant bridesmaid role were it not for his ubiquitous TV commercial spokesmanships. Is there a product for which he is not the endorser? However, Tom Brady is on every commercial Peyton Manning is not so it’s not like I can be against one of the teams for having an over-exposed quarterback.

Besides, I’m just tired of seeing the Patriots play in the Super Bowl. They need to go through a few decades of not playing in it like the rest of us. Also, despite my Manning fatigue, Tom Brady is just too perfect. He’s a great quarterback without all of Manning’s pretensions (like, we’re to believe, Manning studies game video 80 hours a week in between practicing and counting all his money). Also on his side, Brady wasn’t Mr. First Round pick like Manning. He came from way back and is now the defining quarterback of his generation. He appears on the cover of Mens Health magazine. I hate him.

So despite knowing that if Peyton Manning actually wins the Super Bowl, then we’ll be subjected to him on commercials for years, I don’t think he deserves being known as the big game chokingest quarterback of all time.

Anyway, if the Colts win the AFC championship, the Titans will be able to know they are capable of beating the AFC champions.

So, I’m picking the Colts today.

Bonus reason: I’d love to see a Colts vs. Saints Super Bowl. Such good fodder for sub-plots about New Orleans home-town guy (Manning) vs. the team that has helped to bring hope to the tragedy-filled region.

Later: The Bears won — two e-mails from readers of this blog suggest why I should pull for the Bears in the Super Bowl: Former Titans Fred Miller and Nashville native (Vanderbilt, Montgomery Bell Academy) Hunter Hillenmeyer are both players for da Bears.

Even Later: That is what a monkey coming off of ones back looks like. Peyton Manning won a big one. A really big one. Expect him to be in even more commercials. And it was the largest comeback ever in a conference championship game. Cool thing: The first time an African American head coach takes a team to the Super Bowl, there will be two.

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