As Mark Trible eloquently stated, Sunday’s AFC Championship represents the totality and beauty of the game of football. We’ll be gifted Wes Welker once again stepping on a dynamic stage, a performance capable of manifesting itself in a variety of fashions within the same game.
Born-again running backs in LeGarette Blount and Knowshon Moreno carry the weight of vital running attacks needed for both teams’ success. And, in large part, it’s Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. The All-American boys from different sides of the tracks only to have their paths cross repeatedly near the top of football’s Mount Olympus.
“I don’t care about shit no more. Or you can say I’m worse. Cause I really don’t give a fuck now.”
Nearly 20 hours northwest lies the site of another gridiron brouhaha, wholly different from the gentlemen’s game taking place in Denver. This year’s NFC Championship represents the part of town mothers warn their kids about or the last drink a person consumes knowing damn well awaking to a hangover now rests as the only outcome.
The NFC Championship is a street fight waiting to happen.
The NFC Championship game will hurt. From those witnessing the bloodbath live to those watching grown men detach limb from limb from the comforts of a living room or local bar, by 10:00 p.m. EST Sunday, all parties will have felt the wrath of investing so much into this game.
The NFC Championship will embody hate.
Hate so authentic the NFL understands Seahawks-Niners epitomizes the equivalent to what Ravens-Steelers held only a short time ago. Hate so authentic fans with California billing addresses are now victims of discrimination as attempts to purchase tickets have fallen on deaf ears. Hate so authentic the final score has the legit possibility of being 15-12 while still running being one of the greatest football games of the modern era.
Hate so authentic mutual degradation hasn’t felt this prosperous since 50 Cent and Murder Inc. Their chronicles on the first chapter of the Beef DVD series laid forth the account of two neighboring MCs torn apart from conflicting differences while excavating for success in the same game.
Seattle-San Francisco, on the surface, harbors similar intangibles.
Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh can never be confused for the other’s Secret Santa, a beef originating when both manned sidelines calling plays for collegiate boys. Now, leaders of men, the ante is upped as is the innate, devious and perverted desire to witness one cower in disappointment and pain at the expense of the other’s enjoyment.
Marshawn Lynch doesn’t like anyone not on his team or not feeding him Skittles.
Colin Kaepernick’s ever-expanding and gripping role as The Joker now faces its biggest scene yet in a venue that has served as his own personal house of horrors.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s receivers — led by Anquan Boldin — and Seattle’s secondary — led by Richard Sherman — could very well create their own sub-genre of malice highlighted by unsportsmanlike conduct calls and trash talking the likes of which may make David Stern hand out fines.
“I can’t say that I can resolve a situation or a beef with somebody. I can’t stand this n*gga. You understand what I’m saying? This ain’t WWF. It’s not like I just got rap beef with this n*gga. I don’t like this lil’ n*gga … for pretending so much. It makes me sick.”
Vulgar language notwithstanding, perhaps no quote accurately assesses the level of animosity and degradation the city of Seattle plays host to Sunday than the one above. There’s no love lost between the ‘Hawks and Niners because love never existed in the first place. Instead, all that remains is a trip to the Super Bowl and ending their arch rival’s season while doing so.
Such is the ultimate prize. For San Francisco, it’s the moment of reaching the franchise’s second consecutive “big game” with the chance to rewrite the wrongs of last February. For Seattle, it’s one win closer to a potential Richard Sherman and Pete Carroll press conference, one sure to break the Richter Scale interview scale if there ever was one.
Now, the $6 million question all revolves around who wants this prize worth fighting for more. Who wants to dig deep on that pivotal fourth-quarter third down? Who wants to hit harder? Who wants to become legendary?
We’re all probably better off heading to church Sunday morning.