1. Former Washington Redskins linebacker Terry Crews was part of the Golden Globe-winning team from the hit comedy show, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." You may recall Terry's work in "The Expendables" franchise, as well as other television shows over the last few years. I had a chance to catch up with Terry when he was promoting the first installment of those action movies. He was only in the burgundy and gold briefly, for the 1995 season. He played behind Ken Harvey, which meant he never saw the field. On playing behind Harvey, a very beloved linebacker in D.C., Crews said, "I never wished for anyone to get hurt, but come on, the dude was ancient and he kept playing at such a high level! I knew I needed to find a different line of work!" Congratulations, Terry. You are a true first-stringer at what you do.
2. I swear I did not watch the entire Golden Globes ceremony last night--just enough to also see a famous Redskins fan make his way to the stage to accept a trophy: Matthew McConaughey. As he explained to Jay Leno, he grew up rooting for the Indians in the westerns he watched with his father, which turned into rooting for the Redskins on the gridiron. I can just hear David Wooderson--the stoner he played in Dazed and Confused--saying, "Hey man, you got playoff tickets? No? It'd be a lot cooler if you did."
3. Thanks to Stephen Brock, for helping me stay on track for 52 Ten Yard Fights this calendar year. Technically, in order to keep from falling behind mathematically, I need to get one out before tomorrow. The reason I tell you all this is because I have spent considerable space there talking about Jay Gruden, which is why I am not spending considerable space here on that. What...did you think you were going to get Golden Globes coverage AND new coach coverage?
4. There was a time when the sting of missing the playoffs caused me to lose interest in the postseason altogether. If and when a D.C. team falls in the playoffs, it is even harder to watch subsequent rounds. As far as the NFL is concerned, that phenomenon has changed for me somewhat. Maybe it is because the Redskins have been so rarely in the playoffs. Maybe it is because fantasy football and HD television have made football the greatest thing to watch on TV since scrambled porn. Either way, the games this past weekend were too good not to watch. What should really bother me is how much I like Seattle. They have beaten us in THREE STRAIGHT playoff games. There is nothing about them I should like or be rooting for, right? I just can't help myself. Watching Marshawn Lynch run violently through the defense and watching Richard Sherman back up his talk with elite play does it for me. The weather there is simply ridiculous. I can't believe Drew Brees had over 300 yards passing. The truth is that there will always be a part of me that sees the Seahawks as the team that ended our last three straight postseasons. I look forward to opportunities for redemption. After all, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.
5. AFC Championship Game prediction: Denver Broncos 45, New England Patriots 41. Far be it for me to allow my prediction to stand between Peyton Manning's inexorable march to Super Bowl glory. I really want to see a good game, but I think that if my prediction is wrong anywhere, it is in the amount of points the Patriots put up. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have done an incredible job with the guys they have been able to put on the field, but I see Manning being able to succeed in keeping New England's offense on the sidelines. You saw him dig deep yesterday to get those last two first downs to keep Philip Rivers from getting a chance to get back on the field. I envision a similar effort from #18 this week. What would do it for me is if Champ Bailey can somehow assert himself and make a play that swings this game.
6. NFC Championship Game prediction: Seattle Seahawks 31, San Francisco 49ers 24. I believe Pete Carroll when he says that his defense really has no weaknesses at this point in time. It looks like they play defense with 23 players on the field. The 49ers are no slouches, and Lynch is going to have some company all day. Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman are going to both take and dole out the punishment involved in defending the Seattle ground game. What I think will make this game so much fun to watch is that these teams seem to really not like each other. It will really be a contrast to the Manning/Bradyy lovefest going on in the other game. I think Seattle will make more big plays, and I do think their defense will score what will amount to the game-deciding touchdown before it is all over. There are no major Redskins connections on the Seattle depth chart, but there is one player that I love to shout at through the TV. Expect to hear me say (at least a handful of times), "Look at Sweezy get some! Look at Sweezy get it on out there!" J.R. Sweezy, the right guard for the 'Hawks...his name alone makes him better than any of our guards.