Starting Lineups: Surveying The Aftermath Following Conference Championship Sunday


It's been less than 24 hours since Conference Championship Sunday commenced, and already everyone has lost their collective minds. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have stamped their tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City (New Jersey), and the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers are now left to ponder what could've been if things had rolled differently. Yep, I'm already sad that football is almost over.

Judging the tweets, Facebook posts, text messages and media prognostication that have already taken place following the Sunday evening festivities, these four things are clear.

ONE: People are starting to question Tom Brady's legacy, which honestly has to be one of the most absurd things I've ever heard in my life. The Patriots really had no business even being in the AFC Championship, and when guys like Aaron Dobson, Austin Collie and Matthew Slater (who?) are getting targets in the second biggest game in the NFL season, you know you're in trouble. Just tip the cap to Brady for an absurd year and keep it moving.

TWO: I feel bad for the San Francisco 49ers. There, I said it. If you know me, you know I've never been a fan of the Niners (thanks to my love for Deion back in his Atlanta days), but everything that transpired last night was hard to deal with. The Iupati injury. The Bowman injury. The fumble at the goal line. The egregious penalties. I'm not saying that Niners deserved to win because of injuries and penalties, but I'm not going to be mad if a Niners fan feels bitter about it.

THREE: There will be a lot of people around the world rooting for the Denver Broncos because of what transpired following the Seahawks' victory over the 49ers, which is the saddest, most petty thing ever. Root for the 15-year veteran that is Champ Bailey. Root for arguably the best offense the NFL has ever seen. Root for a man who we affectionately call "Slinkyneck" around here because it's incredible that someone could recover from a broken neck and have the greatest season in his entire career. Stop being an ass and grow up.

FOUR: I love Richard Sherman. I love Marshawn Lynch. I love Pete Carroll. The Seattle Seahawks are a bombastic team full of bombastic players, and I love typing/saying the word bombastic. This team ain't for everybody, and that's perfectly fine. But if the Seahawks somehow find a way to complete the magical ride, this will be a victory in the face of explosive offensives across the world. Defense can still reign supreme, and talking crazy in the process is perfectly acceptable as long as you can back it up.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everybody. Make this day a day of service, and enjoy your morning reading material on TSFJ.

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