The NFL: Is it still the AFC’s League?

With one week left in the regular season I must ask, has the tide finally turned? Has the unbridled domination of the NFL by the AFC finally been undone? Can the NFC finally hold its head high and make a case that it is not a Triple-A version of professional football?

The last time the NFC had any kind of recognizable pride was Super Bowl XXXVII, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers routed the Oakland Raiders 48-21 (Note: this is also the Super Bowl that decidedly proved it is not wise to trade a coach, thank you Al Davis). The following year the Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three seasons and the perception ever since has been that the AFC is far superior to the NFC.

The feckless performance by the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears in consecutive Super Bowls did little to altar that notion. Even the lone NFC win in the last six seasons has been rewritten as the New England Patriots failure in the face of the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins and a fortuitous catch by the Giants David Tyree. The game has been forgotten as one that New York won by forcing the Pats to play a grind-it-out defensive game unlike any they had played in that perfect regular season.

Now, suddenly, the NFC has six teams with double digit wins guaranteed a spot in the postseason, while the AFC only has four. Could this be the season that the power shifted finally begins or at least the season the NFC is deemed a worthy conference to compete with the AFC? Can I stop using interrogative sentences and begin presenting evidence by way of declarative sentences? Stay tuned (that’s an imperative sentence, but I’m getting closer).

The only major factor that the NFC has on its side is that there were two teams realistically chasing a perfect season in the conference to the AFC’s one. The Minnesota Vikings remained a candidate for the perfect season until Week 7 and the New Orleans Saints remained immaculate until Week 15. The Indianapolis Colts, the lone AFC team in the perfect-season running, lasted until Week 16.

The fact the Colts lasted the longest in this race is a point for the AFC. The fact that Indianapolis pulled its starters with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter actually gives the AFC another point. Colts Coach Caldwell basically laughed in the face of the quest for the perfect season, making the competition that the Colts basically won seem trivial (though letting down all those fans with Colts tickets). He saw that the Patriots proved that the perfect season is nothing without the Super Bowl win and suddenly the AFC’s best team looks more mature and poised than the NFC’s best team (the Saints), who admitted it wanted this juvenile distinction.

The harder facts- the comparison of records- is clearly on the side of the AFC. Overall, the AFC is 124-116. The NFC is currently 115-123, but will be 116-124 after the all-NFC North Monday night game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.

Not all of the AFC or the NFC is going to the playoffs though. The only teams that are going to the playoffs for sure from both the conferences are the current division leaders. The AFC division leaders are currently 13-2 against NFC opponents and the NFC division leaders are only 11-5 against AFC opponents. The NFC’s record includes losses to the terrible teams like the Raiders and middle-of-the-pack teams like the Titans. The AFC teams have lost to the Vikings and the Saints. That is a huge difference in quality of losses.

The NFC may have two wild card teams with 10 wins, but the AFC has five teams with 8-7 records still playing for two playoff spots. That field of competitive teams has forced me to keep the NFL tie-breaker rules bookmarked since Week 14. The only other team the NFC wild cards had to worry about in that time was the New York Giants (looking at the NFL standings you may notice the Atlanta Falcons are also 8-7, but that is only after they won two games in a row far too late in the season to matter).

Even in the needless subjective defining of teams the NFC pales in comparison. The offensive juggernaut New Orleans Saints are the younger brother to the wizened offensive mastery of the Indianapolis Colts. The unpredictably explosive Philadelphia Eagles are less practiced at that unpredictability than the San Diego Chargers, whose ability to score 21 points in a quarter on a whim is now a staple. The venerable excellence of the Minnesota Vikings is undermined and largely unappreciated because the franchises inability to win a Super Bowl (they should have won at sometime with the Purple People Eaters or in the years during the Randy Moss saga) while the New England Patriots have been able to redefine their franchise history of epic failure in the 21st century by winning three Super Bowls and by becoming arguably the team of the decade. Nobody immediately recalls the 46-10 loss in Super Bowl XX when thinking of the Pats, not even Chicago Bears fans.

The AFC remains the clear-cut supreme conference of the NFL while the NFC still needs a few more Super Bowl wins and the overhaul of quite a few of the teams’ offenses to begin to end the AFC’s dominance.

NFL Tickets

Jon and Kate Gosselin Call it Quits

Here is a weekend update and let’s start with some happy baby news. First it is official supermodel Gisele Bundchen and New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, are expecting their first baby together. Tom has a son with Bridget Moynahan also. The couple is very excited and the baby is due in the early part of next year. Rachel Griffiths, from the ABC show “Brothers and Sisters” just had baby #3, a girl. The new baby joins big brother Banjo, 5 years old, and sister Adelaide 3. She has her hands full that is for sure. Parenthood suits Matthew McConaughy and girlfriend Camila Alves, the two are expecting their second child. Levi is 11 months and will soon be a big brother; the couple is looking forward to this next baby. In other happy couple news it seems that David Duchovny and Tea Leoni are making progress on their relationship. The couple separated last fall due to David’s sex addiction struggles. He entered rehab for his problem and the couple is “still in love”, says a friend of Duchonvy. “They very much care for each other and whatever happens they are working it out for the kids.” The couple has 2 kids, Madeline 10 and Kyd,7.

A huge bonus for fans of the Jonas Brothers this weekend. During their first concert stop which was in Arlington Texas this week, Miley Cyrus showed up to sing a duet with her boyfriend, Nick Jonas. The two have recently gotten back together and here she sang “Through the Storm” with him. How cute is that? The couple is just 16 years old and after the song Miley gave a little peck on the cheek to Nick. Another couple in love will soon be saying “I Do”. Farrah Fawcett has finally agreed to wed long time boyfriend Ryan O’Neal. The two have been together since 1980 and getting married kind of just became a joke between them.  It will be a bittersweet “I Do” since Farrah is currently fighting for her life against cancer. Sadly Farrah is back in the hospital and has been there for several weeks. Farrah is 62 and O’Neal is 68.

It is sad news for Jon and Kate Gosselin plus their brood of 8, the couple has filed for divorce. After 10 years of marriage the couple has decided to split up. Kate says although she is not happy about the situation she does not feel that the TV show led to the split, that is probably would have happened “had the world been watching or not.” The two also shared that they would continue on with the show and just like they have been doing, they would just tape their interviews separately. Well now that Kate is going to be a single mother, how can she walk away from the show and all that money she is going to need to support herself and her 8 children. It’s a shame, but that is reality.
Perez Hilton’s has offended yet another celebrity and has caused quite a ruckus. This time the dispute is between Will.l.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. It seems that Perez is not a fan of his and was being very rude according to Will.l.Am. He even asked Perez at an after party this weekend after the Much Music Awards, “Hey can you do me a favor, Perez?…Can you not be so blatantly rude to our group on your website? That’s just wrong – you don’t have to be disrespectful” According to Will.l.Am Perez said “I don’t respect you. “ Wow, that was pretty rude. Will.l.Am then says Perez called him a “f**got” He says that then “the fans get all crazy and start on Perez Hilton. I’m just sitting there minding my own business waiting for a car.” Now that is not all, Will.l.Am has made his own video in response to the whole issue giving his side of the story but not only that, Perez does that same thing.  This is what he has to say. He say that the Black Eyed Peas manager, Polo Molina punched him and gave him a black eye as well as punching him a few more times. Perez was twittering the whole things and said he was bleeding and asked his fans to call the police to the scene. So this is where we are at the moment. Polo Molina did turn himself into police and Hilton does admit to calling Will.l.Am a f**got “saying it was the worst thing he could think of to call the singer at the time. He also called the singer “a f***ing coward” and that “he would have had more respect if he would have punched him in the face himself.” Come on people grow up and play nice – seriously are you 12???           

David Hyde Pierce Marries Boyfriend

Good news for Depeche Mode lead singer Dave Gahan. After receiving the scary news that a malignant tumor had been found on his bladder, it has been successfully removed. Originally Gahan was diagnosed with severe gastroenteritis but further tests showed the low grade tumor. The group that has been on tour in Europe and did have to cancel a few shows however will be back on track on June 8th in Leipzig, Germany.

The new Activision “Guitar Hero 5” will be in stores on September 1. Fans are going to be so happy with the new edition and the enhancements that have been added. One of the main new features is that both the diehard fans plus casual players will both be able to enjoy the game. There will be more “social play” meaning you can easily switch from one song to another as well as quickly change the difficulty level. “Guitar Hero 5” will also allow anyone to play whatever fake instruments they want, so if a group of kids all want to play drums…no problem. There will also be more challenges and opportunities to play against people online as well as friends at home. “One game for example, eliminates weaker performers until there’s only one rocker standing.” IT is like a reality TV show right in your own home. Guitar Hero just keeps getting better and better and you can as always expect great music. Guitar Hero has given unknown bands a start just from being heard on the game, like Wolfmother, an Australian band that shot to instant fame. And of course there are the classic bands you will hear like Bon Jovi, and Iron Maiden, and some old yet new faces to Guitar Hero like Elton John and John Mellencamp. There are 82 bands in all on Guitar Hero 5. So enjoy your summer but don’t forget to rush out and buy it on September 1st.

And here are 2 rumors being confirmed and denied by the stars themselves. There has been some buzz about supermodel Gisele Bundchen being pregnant, but hubby Tom Brady, of the New England Patriots, says that is just not true. And remember David Hyde Pierce from “Frasier”, he confirmed with the ladies on “The View” that he did marry his long time partner, Brian Hargrove last October. Pierce says that they did not hide their life but basically have chosen to keep a low profile and not make a big deal. But now with all the controversy and changes in California regarding gay marriage, Pierce has been participating at the gay rights rallies. So David Hype Pierce has California covered and Cynthia Nixon in New York. Let’s get this situation voted on and figured out.
The stars are lending their support to cancer. This year’s “Stand Up to Cancer” celebrity ambassadors have been announced. It is a long list of celebrity’s that will support the organization with their time and efforts. This year’s ambassadors include Marcia Cross (whose husband is currently undergoing treatment for cancer), Sally Field, Kirsten Dunst, Dave Annable, Mandy Moore, Fran Drescher (uterine cancer survivor), Dana Delany, Sharon Osbourne, Patrick Wilson, David Archuleta and Sofia Vassilieva. The organization has raised over $100 million to fund research programs.