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Championship Sunday: The Grantland Staff Experience

In varying states of terror and drunkenness, we e-mailed during the games yesterday. Here are the results.

Bill Simmons: And we’re off!

That chick who sang the national anthem did a great job.

Dan Fierman: Steven Tyler and Gender Confusion, a Short Play:

My 4-Year-Old Son: “That lady is a bad singer.”
Me: “It’s a man.”
Him: “No it’s not. I’m taking her microphone away.”
Me: “What are you going to do with it?”
Him: “Break it. Break it into 100 pieces.”

FIN.

Mike Philbrick: I know Joe Flacco isn’t “elite,” but replacing him at this point in the season with the Johnny Cakes cook from The Sopranos is a little drastic.

Mark Lisanti: Highlights from Steven Tyler’s Playoff National Anthem Gig Backstage Rider

  • 6 scented candles that smell like Joe Perry (leather pants, Jack Daniel’s, guitar polish)
  • 12 caged doves, for harvesting fresh earring feathers
  • Assortment of cowboy boots in various endangered-animal skins (only must-have is white tiger hide)
  • A “fuckload” of pastel scarves, with the precise “fuckload” amount to be determined by Mr. Tyler upon arrival
  • Danny Woodhead must act as a human footstool for at least a half-hour at some time prior to kickoff
  • Pregame session with Tom Brady’s hair stylist

Simmons: Ten minutes, 3 punts, 1 field goal, Pats by 3. Pretty disjointed game so far. My favorite parts: (a) footage of Drew Bledsoe (today’s honorary captain) giving Brady the “I know it was you, Fredo” pregame hug; (b) Pizza Hut announcing that their pizzas cost $10 per pizza across the board (great news for fat people); (c) it’s just impossible to believe the Ravens can make the Super Bowl with their QB’s facial hair; (d) Phil Simms keeps claiming that Baltimore’s defense has a “good” plan after a 13-play drive that would have ended five plays earlier if Brady hadn’t overthrown a wide-open Gronkowski for a TD. Is their plan to keep hoping Brady overthrows wide-open guys? If so, kudos to Chuck Pagano, I think it’s working. By the way, I am thinking of getting All-State Insurance because of Ryan O’Reilly and President Palmer — talk me out of this.

David Jacoby: Easily the most exciting play of this game thus far was Edelman’s punt return for negative four yards.

Bill Barnwell: The move to hire multiple ex-Oz cast members to shill for insurance companies fascinates me. We’re one step away from Simon Adebisi holding a machete to somebody’s neck until they tearfully agree to switch their renter’s insurance. Patriots have now rushed three or four players on each of the first three Ravens third downs and produced two sacks and a scramble for three yards. There aren’t normally cameramen from The First 48 lingering around on the Ravens sideline, right?

Jay Caspian Kang: Someone needs to go find Sandra Bullock and tell her that her son Michael Oher is getting beat on. Too soon?

Simmons: Fourth and 2 feet from New England’s 5 — Baltimore kicks a field goal. Just insane. You have to get a touchdown there. Even if they didn’t get it, we would have been trapped on our own 5 with Brady playing like crap. By the way — one of my friends (Pats fan, I won’t name him) is already flipping out via e-mail about Brady. Some highlights: “What do all our playoff losses have in common? unconscionably terrible throws by Tom Brady.” and “Brady missing Gronk and then throwing that pick would be like Larry Bird missing two free throws to lose a playoff game. It simply cannot happen.” I’m not as worri — whoops, Brady just overthrew a wide-open Hernandez. (Thinking.) Still not worried! It’s Tom Brady! Three Super Bowl rings! I BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fierman: Law Firm — not usually the most patient dude on the planet — with the
beautiful pause to let the blocks develop and then goes in for the TD.
Thus far:

7 carries, 47 YD (6.7 carry), 1 TD. And 3 or 4 first downs

Yes, this is distracting me from rumors on Patriots fanboards that Hoyer was just spotted warming up.

Rembert Browne: That Dr Pepper commercial just made me invest my life savings in Mr. Pibb Xtra.

Chuck Klosterman: I actually liked that Dr Pepper commercial, Rembert. At first, I was like, “In what kind of dystopic society would everyone wear paradoxical T-shirts that attempt to project a image of who they wish they were?” But then it hit me: “Oh yeah. The one we’re already living in.”

Barnwell: Simms talking about how the Ravens got “positive reinforcement” by kicking the field goal was an even worse invented justification than, “You have to take the points on the road.” What’s positive about telling your offense, “You have been getting killed up front to the point where I don’t trust you to get two feet”? Did anyone on the team really go back to the bench and say, “Well, golly, we got three points and now the game is tied! I’m so great!” And is that positive reinforcement gone after the Patriots just marched 75 yards in three and a half minutes? It’s such a bullshit dump.

Klosterman: Ray Rice would be awesome at limbo contests. I bet he loves attending wedding receptions.

David Cho: The wedding receptions you’re going to have limbo???

Robert Mays: Am I going insane, or does Cam Cameron look like an entirely different human being from when he was in Miami? I can’t tell whether it’s the beard or his face being fatter or the general lifelessness in his eyes, but it’s sort of creeping me out.

Lisanti: Joe Flacco is the Egg McMuffin of second-tier quarterbacks sporting a Fu Manchu in this football game.

Simmons: Phil Simms thinks the bootleg play-action pass in which Joe Flacco severely underthrew an open-by-20-yards Torrey Smith and cost his team four points was what got Flacco going on the ensuing touchdown drive (six straight completions). I’m going to say it’s the fact that the Patriots are stacking the line to stop Ray Rice and daring Joey Cakes to beat them. One of us is right.

Lisanti: Wes Welker is the Egg McMuffin of wide receivers who could comfortably fit inside a fanny pack.

Browne: A transcript of Boldin and Edelman’s six-second trash-talking session:

Boldin: You see Red Tails yet?
Edelman: Hell no, I don’t wanna see no Red Tails.
Boldin: You better go see Red Tails.
Edelman: What you gonna do if I don’t?
Boldin: You’re seeing Red Tails.

Klosterman: I know all you guys seem to hate Flacco, almost to an unreasonable degree. But isn’t he well positioned to (potentially) become the greatest QB to ever wear the number 5? It’s really just him, Donovan McNabb, and Dieter Brock. He’s already no. 2!

Barnwell: I am sorry for whatever Jeff Garcia did to you or your family, Chuck.

Is there a single Ravens fan out there who didn’t feel like they got away with something when the Patriots kneeled twice to end that half?

Simmons: Halftime: Pats 13, Ravens 10. The key storylines for the second half: How many times will Nantz and Simms get Welker and Edelman confused? (I bet “over 5.5 times” for the entire game and we’re already at 4 … do I just ride my bet or try to middle it with the second-half line of under 2.5 times?) Is Tom Brady ever going to show up? (Joe Flacco doubled his QB rating in the first half even though Flacco overthrew or underthrew three wide-open bombs.) Will half the people on this e-mail chain ever show up? (It’s unclear.) Eight of my dad’s 10 favorite shows are CBS dramas — knowing this, can I watch the ads for them without thinking of my dad gleefully adding them to his DVR Season Pass? (No.) When will Onward State mistakenly report the death of Ray Lewis’ career? (I say in the next 45 minutes.) And if you’re a Ravens fan, is it a good sign or a bad sign that you’re excited to be down three right now? (I guess we’ll see.)

Sal Iacono: Weird stuff going on this game. Brady off … Flacco on … Belichick not challenging questionable calls … and for the first time in five years I actually understood Shannon Sharpe’s halftime assessment. All that said, I like the Pats in the second half -4.

Lisanti: Ravens management was so encouraged by only being down a field goal at halftime that their traveling secretary was tentatively browsing Priceline for three-star Indianapolis hotels.

Jacoby: We flipped to the Lob City game for halftime, and after seeing Chris Paul’s street clothes we’ve decided that David Stern’s dress code has backfired on him and he needs to make some amendments:

No striped, patterned, or plaid suits
No non-prescription glasses
No bow ties
No pocket squares
No elbow patches
No suit jackets with more than three buttons

Stern needs to put an end to the college-professor-chic movement.

Browne: I’ll be shocked if Gronkowski doesn’t have a sizable role in the Expendables sequel.

Mays: Looks like he definitely will, Rembert.

Simmons: This is turning into the Both Teams Playing Not To Lose Bowl. Pats kneel twice from own 10 with a minute left in the first half, then pass on fourth-and-1 from Baltimore’s 6 for a field goal to start second half. Very un-Belichickian. Reminds me of when we played not to lose in Super Bowl XLII. I just told my family to evacuate my house to be safe.

Katie Baker: Just sat in an hour and a half of Candlestick traffic on the way back from the airport. The Niners are already ruining my life. So, what’d I miss? I’m catching up on the first game entirely via this Twitter account.

Philbrick: Ravens just announced that Sterling Moore will be getting a full playoff share if they make it to the Super Bowl.

Simmons: Sterling Moore missed that tackle on Smith’s TD because our starter (Arrington) got hurt, our 2010 first-round pick (McCourty) had to be moved to safety months ago because he botched the CB position so badly, and also, we spent two second-rounders and a high third-rounder in 2011 on two running backs (both inactive today) and an injury-prone CB who got injured immediately. I already came to grips with these mistakes — what I don’t understand is how the Pats shifted into playing-not-to-lose mode when their defense is THIS sketchy. Uh-oh, we just fumbled the kickoff. So long, my sense of humor today.

Good timing by CBS with the Man on a Ledge commercial.

Barnwell: Not to mention the two second-rounders you spent on cornerbacks in 2008 and 2009 (ahead of Lardarius Webb) who should be emerging as starters in their prime right now.

Ravens don’t really have an answer for the Patriots on offense, which makes the whole conservative decision-making thing even weirder. When they go man, they end up with Bernard Pollard and Dannell Ellerbe chasing shadows through the middle of the field. When they go into zone, Brady lofts passes into the seams and the edges. Also: Why is Ricky Williams on the field in the fourth quarter to start a drive?

Michael Weinreb: Honest question: How much does Ricky Williams actually, legitimately care about the result of this game right now?

Lisanti: IN-GAME TRANSACTION REPORT: Patriots RB/WR Danny Woodhead has been cut following his kickoff fumble. He is replaced on the roster by David Eckstein, who will give the stalling Pats offense a “new wrinkle” in the fourth quarter.

Jack-O: I like that the guy that they just showed in the stands holding up the “NOISE” sign had a Massachusetts vanity plate around his neck that said “NOISE.” That’s a man committed to his craft.

Fierman: YESYESYESYESYES!!

//endtransmissionfromPatsland

Klosterman: Dieter Brock would not have made that throw. Except maybe when he played for the Rams.

Simmons: Flacco! I had been waiting for nearly three hours for that pass. Also — I’ve set a date for when I’ll be able to coherently discuss either the Gronk/Pollard play or Ray Lewis nearly Jack Tatuming Brady on the QB sneak: It’s tentatively looking like April 17th, 2013.

Kang: There can be no more debate. If the Ravens win, Bernard Pollard is the MVP. The British should recruit him to take back the 13 colonies.

Lisanti: How severe a neck injury would Peyton Manning have to suffer to keep him out of commercials? I think it’d take a full decapitation, and even then he’d probably still get in some New Era ads.

Mays: Can we add wide receivers to the conversation earlier about awful talent evaluation by the Pats? In the AFC Championship game, on a play designed as the dagger, Tom Brady is throwing the ball to Matthew Slater.

Cho: Does anyone want to talk more limbo?

Simmons: I am sitting here in a state of shock — why we’d risk the entire season on a TERRIBLE deep throw to Matthew Slater (one catch all season) in double coverage is a question that will never be adequately answered for me. Even T.J. Yates wouldn’t have done this. Maybe Eli Manning really is the best QB in football. I will believe anything at this point.

Barnwell: Right. It seems like every one of the Patriots’ undrafted free agent/practice squad guy/special teams stud forced into a role by bad personnel decisions guys are going to be involved in a hugely negative play by the time the game ends. I don’t get how these teams suddenly went from being ultra-conservative to hyper-aggressive in the fourth quarter, either.

Kang: Agreed — it’s when F.U. goes wrong. You’re up three points, the Ravens haven’t been able to stop you in the second half, and you’re throwing a bomb down the field to your worst wide receiver. That play works less than 5 percent of the time. The only way you can really lose is to immediately turn the ball over.

Jacoby: Barnwell, talk nerdy to me about the Ravens going for it here.

Barnwell: Jacoby — best of a few bad decisions. Too far to kick, too close to punt. Really stupid thing is calling a timeout before the fourth-down play; how do you run the draw on third down and not know what play you’re going to run if it fails?

Simmons: We knew an All-Pro on the Patriots could single-handedly win this game … I just didn’t think it was going to be Vince Wilfork. (You know, assuming the Patriots win.)

Mays: Q: How do you run the draw on third down and not know what play you’re going to run if it fails?
A: Cam Cameron.

Simmons: Pats made a classic mistake that no good Madden player makes there — if you’re protecting a lead and it’s first or second down right before the two-minute warning, you always pretend you’re running but throw instead because the clock stops at two minutes, anyway. I thought they’d throw there because they tried another Madden play earlier — you know, the one where you get a big turnover in the fourth quarter and throw deep on the next play to the worst receiver on your team hoping for a pass interference or something.

Kang: Please stop alerting the world to my Madden strategy.

I don’t think the world is ready to change their opinion on Alex Smith and Flacco in two successive weeks. It would be like if Rick Santorum and Ron Paul won the next two primaries.

Carles: Right now the play of the game has to go to Bob Kraft. Not for inventing the “American version of ramen” [via mac and cheese], but for removing Steven Tyler from the owner’s box in the second half. It could have been a damning Internet meme that led to the death of both the Patriots and Aerosmith. Today, no matter who wins or loses, we can all rejoice in the fact that the Aerosmith singer finally wanted to miss a thing.

Jacoby: Rembert is in my living room openly cheering for the Ravens. The next “Rembert Explains” column might very well be him explaining the time Jacoby tried to choke him to death with his Monster’s Ball tour T-shirt.

Simmons: Sterling Moore!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who needs draft picks???????

Serious question: How do you know if you’re just nervous or if one of your arteries might be blocked?

Weinreb: Hard Knocks Curse!

Fierman: WOW.

That is all.

Wow.

Carles: Always be wary of ex-Cowboys kickers.

Lisanti: Ray Lewis is going to be standing suspiciously nearby, but not actively participating in, Cundiff’s murder.

Mays: Too soon.

Philbrick: There’s no way Ricky helps Cundiff with his glaucoma now.

Simmons: I don’t care if that game came down to Lee Evans getting stripped on the game-winning TD one and a half steps into it, or Billy Cundiff shanking a season-saving 32-yard field goal because he was late getting on the field … there was never a doubt in the Simmons Household!!!!!!! Quick question: Where can I buy heroin?

Mays: I’ve got a guy.

Baker: I can’t handle all the slo-mo Ravens reaction shots. Tragic. Maybe they shouldn’t have gone for it on that fourth-and-6 after all.

Barnwell: Billy Cundiff’s 2010 season is basically the Brady Anderson 1996 year in kicker form. I can’t blame the Ravens for what they did on the final drive; they tried to go for the touchdown once they got into field goal range, like they should have, and I don’t know that running the ball on third-and-1 is necessarily a great idea. Pats had an ugly blown coverage on the long Boldin pass and then got a miraculous, game-saving play from Moore after Evans beat him.

Shane Ryan: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he wasn’t Bill Belichick.”

— Line from Act IV of my new play, Gridiron

“You’re not a real Harbaugh! You’ve NEVER been a real Harbaugh!”

— Jim Harbaugh, Act IV, to John Harbaugh

Rafe Bartholomew: Sorry, guys, I was catching up on Blue Bloods. Selleck was brimming with integrity. Pulled myself away from Alcatraz pilot for this.

Simmons: I can’t look at this logically having rooted for the Pats. You tell me: That was a Stomach Punch loss for the Ravens, right? Was that one of the worst football losses of all time? Or second-tier? Was it on the level of Byner’s fumble?

Iacono: That was pretty wild. Just happy that mine and Sportsish Guy’s teaser (NE -1, NYG +8) is still alive and that in typical fashion an ex-Cowboy finished as the goat.

Kevin Hench: Twitter “over capacity.”

Gingrich wins a presidential primary and Joe Flacco outplays Tom Brady in a playoff game within 24 hours.

There is nothing in this box score that suggests we should have won this game ….

Kang: We all just flipped over to Black Knight. Martin Lawrence just got announced as the small forward into the King’s court. Where is Arsenio in this movie?

Baker: Eli Manning is sporting a Sidney Crosby ‘stache. Interesting choice.

Kang: This might be pandering to Mays, but shouldn’t San Francisco drag James Hetfield out for the national anthem?

Metallica songs that could be about Jim Harbaugh:
“Nothing Else Matters”
“Master of Puppets”
“Enter Sandman” (duh)
“Seek and Destroy”
“The Unforgiven”

Any of those could be played at halftime to pump up the crowd.

Simmons: I’m not emotionally ready for a second game. Wouldn’t it make sense to play one conference championship game Sunday night and the other game Monday night? Or is that bastardizing tradition too much?

Mays: We just heard the greatest review explanation ever, right?

Browne: Pretty excited that he recited Genesis before giving the decision.

House: The camera platform just beyond the end zone is kind of subversively brilliant. Vernon played it cool with the “this is my world, y’all” pose, but imagine what an artiste like Ochocinco could muster? You know, if he ever caught another pass again.

Klosterman: Is there a master list of other weird things that NFL has grandfathered in?

Simmons: Recipe for a 49ers win: (1) Let everyone pick the Giants before the game (CHECK); (2) Get sucky weather (CHECK); (3) Hit Vernon Davis for a long TD even though he’s the only receiver who can hurt the Giants and should be doubled at all times (CHECK); (4) Make sure Nicks or Cruz gets hurt in the first quarter (CHECK); (5) Stuff Jacobs on a fourth-and-1 on a play just out of NYG’s field goal range (CHECK); (6) Get one big play on special teams (OPEN); (7) Get one big turnover (OPEN); (8) Make one ballsy call (either a fourth-down play or a trick play) that somehow works and other than that just chew up clock, don’t turn the ball over and let Andy Lee do his thing (OPEN); (9) Wait for Eli’s one dumb desperate throw into double coverage and catch it (OPEN); (10) Wait for Manning Face, then celebrate (OPEN).

Barnwell: Also adding (11) Get out to an early lead and maybe make sure that most of the lights don’t work in your stadium and you have to play the second half in the dark.

Weinreb: What is the release date for the Michael Lewis book on the rise of the tight end?

Lisanti: Wipe down that ball, ref. Wipe it slow, wipe it reaalllllll good.

Oh, hey, is the game back on? How about that Vernon Davis!

Simmons: Just stopped by Jacoby’s house. Rafe is wearing a Giants ski cap and playing “Angry Birds.” Not sure what this means. Does the fact that the Giants are wearing wifebeater jerseys make you feel better or worse about their chances?

Baker: This is a video taken of me over the last hour.

Just decided that if the Giants win this game I’m getting a Pierre-Paul jersey. If they lose I’m projecting an endless loop of Jim Harbaugh shaking Alex Smith pregame onto my wall.

Carles: BREAKING: Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler Are Expecting!!!!

Will their child be born at the intersection of sports and culture?

Philbrick: If they switched the name of that movie from John Carter to Tim Riggins the odds of me going would increase dramatically.

Simmons: At Jacoby’s house we’re talking about how angry we are that Liz Gateley doesn’t make terrible shows for MTV anymore. We watched all of them. My favorite was the Hawaii show — I don’t understand why Hawaii isn’t used for more movies and TV shows. People watch Hawaii Five-O and The Descendants is about to win the Oscar even though it wasn’t that good — in both cases the key character was Hawaii. We should put a Hawaiian logo on our site and pretend we’re running it from Hawaii. At what point do Patriot fans get pissed off that Victor Cruz was playing an hour away from Foxborough and we didn’t even spend a seventh-round pick on him?

Mays: Victor Cruz would just clutter up the depth chart. No need for him to take reps away from Taylor Price.

Jacoby: I never understand why punters don’t create contact and fall down after every punt like a jump shooter. What is the downside?

Lisanti: The surrender of the unconditional respect we all have for their grittiness. Also, a dramatic increase in punter ouchies.

Baker: Can I subscribe to a sub-channel that’s just one continuous tracking shot of Victor Cruz like we just got? I’d put that on full screen and the game in the picture-in-picture.

Browne: Pam Oliver should sue Fox for making her get her hair wet on National Television. That ain’t right.

Barnwell: I’m pretty sure teams score on drives when the other team commits a penalty for an automatic first down on third-and-19 127 percent of the time.

Barnwell: Or not. But the 49ers should have accepted that penalty and then ran for it on fourth-and-1, right? I’m not crazy about this!

Philbrick: No, your craziness has nothing to do with this.

Barnwell: You were supposed to edit out the part of my preview that said “Vernon Davis won’t have a big game,” Philbrick. It’s still amazing that we are midway through the third quarter and Alex Smith still hasn’t completed a single pass to a wide receiver.

Jacoby: Vernon Davis, you have to go back to the B-boy stance well after the second touchdown. Huge oversight.

Carles: Having a great time over at Jacoby’s. Great selection of root beers. A&W, Blue Sky, MUG, Barq’s, IBC, and even Dad’s Root Beer.

Having said that, I just took an upperdecker in his bathroom.

House: I’m not in the habit of blowing Carles, but that was a WORLD-CLASS example of the proper use of “having said that.”

Simmons: Are we really going to have a Super Bowl with a receiver-less offense going against a defensive-backless defense? It’s the nonexistent force against the nonexistent object!

Simmons: Classic Eli Manning — a horrendous pass into double coverage that two DB’s fought to intercept and somehow dropped, then collided and one had to be carted off in a stretcher. That’s Eli football at its finest. (Sorry, I’m trying to work up the right amount of bitterness and bad blood for two weeks from now.)

Simmons: Amending last point from “carted off on a stretcher” to “helped off by two people while wincing like he has two collapsed lungs.”

Lisanti: Hey, did anyone else just get a visit from 10 San Diego Chargers serenading them with a Bette Midler song? Don’t worry, I slammed the door on them before they could get to the part where they try to get me to kick in for new uniforms next season.

Browne: If the Pats win the Super Bowl, will Steven Tyler be onstage again? Will he get to meet Obama? Will Robert Kraft commission him a Super Bowl XLVI belly chain set?

Barnwell: Sucks that the diner didn’t realize that the Chiefs only started singing in their kitchen to distract them from Scott Pioli installing listening bugs.

Carles: When it comes to Utah alum who were drafted no. 1 in any professional league, Andrew Bogut has to be cringing when he thinks about the perception of his legacy if Alex Smith is able to win this game. Elsewhere, Jamal Anderson also has to be concerned that his current legacy as ‘greatest Utah alum to create a memorable touchdown dance’ is also in jeopardy as we enter the fourth quarter. When it is all said and done, and we look back on the legacy that #UU (University of Utah) athletes have left on the professional sportosphere, Keith Van Horn’s long socks will always be the bright spot in one of the most controversial programs in all of intercollegiate athletics.

Baker: WHY IS ED HOCHULI TAKING SO LONG

Simmons: Now in play thanks to the tip of Kyle Williams’ knee: Giants lose by one but cover the spread, giving us two “underdogs cover but lose” in one day … I guarantee that’s never happened before. (I have a gambling problem.)

Barnwell: What I don’t understand is why Williams didn’t go after it. I mean, he must have felt it hit his knee, right? Did he really have the balls to think “All right, if I just act cool, nobody will realize this hit my knee”?

Sarah Larimer: ELI!

Kang: Kyle Williams did that twice against the Saints — he took a ridiculous risk on one punt and misplayed another. Can’t believe a Ted Ginn injury swung a playoff game. Finally caught up with the Niners at the worst time possible.

Browne: That 10-second moment with the Giants WR trio was the highlight of my viewing season.

They are, like, BFFs. Forever.

Baker: “That’s better than a pass interference!” is the most optimistic phrase I’ve said all night.

Barnwell: Get the feeling that we’re waiting on that one really crazy Harbaugh play, right? That last drive came close, with the swinging gate counter followed by the play-action to a mole, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

Mays: Alex Smith is about to get the ball with a chance to take his team to the Super Bowl.

Mays: Never mind. Yeah … never mind.

Baker: After the way they managed the two-minute drill to end the half, I am nervous. Also remember the last time Tynes was in an NFC Championship?

Simmons: Eli has definitely achieved some sort of status, because I fully expect him to complete crazy third-and-15 passes at key points of games at all times now.

Jacoby: How does the 49er punter not let his momentum carry him into Kiwanuka and take his team to the Super Bowl?

Weinreb: Catch with your helmet, Cruz!

Lisanti: This is some of the most exciting serial punting with the Super Bowl on the line in playoff history.

House: DEGENERATE GAMBLER ALERT: I’m fairly certain that if this goes into OT, the OVER (43) remains very achievable. Under new OT rules, if the receiving team’s 4t possession only results in a FG, the non-receiving team could score a TD and the magic number would be a HIT. Am I right?!???

Barnwell: I don’t think they would have to kick an extra point, so that would be a push. You’re looking for field goal, field goal, touchdown. (Sighs the under.)

Lisanti: This game is keeping Dave Winfield from a delicious dinner.

Wrap it up, Eli!

Browne: Ed has been waiting to explain this brand-new rule his entire life.

Simmons: Sal and I can’t decide whether to celebrate today’s winning teaser — we have Giants +8, what happens if the Niners kick a field goal, then get a defensive touchdown? Don’t the Niners win by 9? Can Ed Hochuli take 10 minutes to explain this for us?

Jacoby: I just greenlit a reality show called Ed Hochuli Explains.

Lisanti: Ed Hochuli Explains The Reconciliation Process in Congress

Ed Hochuli Explains The Infield Fly Rule (web minisode)

Ed Hochuli Explains Cold Fusion

Ed Hochuli Explains NBA Chemists

Ed Hochuli Explains Recent Heather Locklear

Barnwell: Ed Hochuli Explains Clarissa Explains It All

Simmons: There’s a chance this game might last so long that we’re all going to start thinking that Alex Smith sucks again.

Mays: If I could push a button, and three random people in the world would die, but this game would end, I’d do it.

Barnwell: Somebody needs to go back and re-cut trailers for every Denzel Washington movie ever using tracks from Watch the Throne.

Cho: This is the first Barnwell e-mail I’ve read on this whole chain that I agree with.

Simmons: Wow — who knew Ted Ginn Jr. and Lee Evans would decide our Super Bowl matchup?

Baker: I was just holding a bottle of wine and about to pour a glass and then that happened and I instinctively just drank straight from the bottle.

Simmons: It’s on.

Lisanti: With that, Coughlin finally justified the three-zipper poncho.

Ryan: As we said in ’08, IT’S PARTY TYNES!!!

Lisanti: Everything’s cool now, Big Dave is off to get his takeout:

Dave Winfield (@DWinfield_ESPN)
1/22/12 7:49 PM
Let me go pick up the family’s Chinese food at PF Chang’s now; game over

Filed Under: Grantland