There are only three games left in this NFL season, which on the surface is a sad thing (how did this season go by so fast??!?), but luckily for football fans, the two games this weekend are setting up to be a couple fantastic match-ups. The four remaining teams in the postseason – the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers – each finished with 12 or more wins and are considered by football experts to truly be the four best teams in the NFL this season.
While being the best team is obviously important to having a awesome conference championship weekend, it's all the additional story-lines and rivalries that are setting this weekend up to be one of the greatest weekends of football in memory.
Brady vs. Manning
For the past decade, the debate has raged on across the NFL – who is better: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Whichever side you choose, there are plenty of good reasons why you are right. Manning has the huge numbers and more MVP awards; Brady has more championship rings and the most playoff wins in league history. I fall on the side of Tom Brady, although I am extremely biased due to the fact that I am a Patriots fan. However, for many people, this weekend's game between the Broncos and Patriots is the line drawn in the sand; whoever wins the game is the better quarterback and perhaps the greatest of all-time. Of course, that may be going a little overboard, but it has thrown gasoline on the fire of this QB rivalry, which is only adding to the anticipation of the game.
Some people make a lot of money. Like, so much money the rest of us peons can’t even fathom how much money that is. Aside from being a celebrity, it seems like sports is the place to be if you want to be so rich that you can swim in a pool full of money.
According to a recent article, the highest paid employee at most public colleges is not the college president, but some type of sports coach. Most coach football, although some coach basketball, and one highest paid coach does hockey. Many earn in the low millions (as if "low millions" is a thing anyone would pass up).
But their salaries sort of pale in comparison when it comes to what professional sports players make. Sports Illustrated released a list of the top 50 best paid athletes... and they make so much. They could probably buy an island. For their pet giraffe. And that pet giraffe could have a pet monkey. And that pet money of the pet giraffe has its own island, too.
Here are the top 10 paid athletes according to that list. (For the full list, click here.)
10. Zack Greinke, $29,020,000: Greinke, who is 29, plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers and, for that alone, makes $29 million. He also makes $20,000 in endorsements. The Dodgers tend to have the highest payroll in all of the majors, with four of their players on the list. Greinke's contract was at one point the biggest ever for a right-handed pitcher, with a six-year, $147 million deal.
Last Sunday, hundreds of millions of people tuned into the Super Bowl to watch the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31. This Sunday, it's over. No football. Everyone is just forced back into reality. Since early September, you had something to do every Sunday, but now your schedule has completely opened up. Here are few things to get you through the doldrums of the NFL offseason:
1. Finally get around to doing housework
For the past five months, while Sundays have been dominated by NFL football, the list of chores that need to be done around the house began to add up. Now its time face the consequences. That "honey-do-list" is not going to do itself, even though you hoped that it would.
2. Watch other sports
Yes, football is over, but basketball season is just starting to get good. The NBA season is about halfway over with the All-Star Game just a couple weeks away, and college basketball is about a month away from March Madness. Seems like there should be plenty of basketball excuses you can make to get out of housework.
Sure, for some people, the Super Bowl is all about the playoffs beforehand, the anticipation leading up to the big game, the hype surrounding who will win, that moment when a player from the winning team is all like, "I’m going to Disney World!"
But for plenty of people it’s all about the food. Super Bowl parties arguably have the best snacks because there’s no pressure to cook a gourmet meal that’ll impress that aunt you never liked. Most game day parties are all about friends, drinking, and bar food. And who doesn't like that?
Here are my picks for top 5 Super Bowl party foods — and because I want to put my Pinterest obsession to good use, I’ll even include a recipe or two.
Chips and dip
Nachos, guacamole, salsa, hummus… I feel like there are so many options for chips and dip that you really can’t go wrong. It’s not like you even have to make the chips or the dip yourself; there’s nothing wrong with buying a bag or two of chips and some pre-made dip.
Chips are pretty much universally loved, and they’re great to munch on mindlessly while you’re deciding what you’re actually going to eat. Duh. For a healthier option, you can always sub the chips with a great vegetable platter.
Indulge with: Spicy Queso Dip
Guilt-free option: Individual Seven-Layer Dip; Guacamole
And then there were four.
This season's NFL playoffs have been among the most riveting in recent memory and that intrigue should continue into this weekend's AFC and NFC conference championship games. Only the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons remain in the hunt to go to Super Bowl XLVII, and each team carries its own set of storylines. So I got to thinking, which of the potential Super Bowl match-ups will make for the best (or at least most interesting) game?
Here is my list: (vote for your favorite below on the right)
#1 - Patriots vs. 49ers
As a Patriots fan myself, it is very difficult to remain objective when looking at potential match-ups, but this one in my opinion would make for the most exciting Super Bowl. The two teams met earlier this year in a game that the Patriots overcame a 31-3 deficit, only to eventually lose 41-34. That game was one of the best of the season, but it isn't what would make this game so enthralling. Patriots QB Tom Brady is looking to cement his legacy as perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time and win his fourth Super Bowl ring, which would tie him with 49ers legend Joe Montana. Oh and by the way, Brady grew up in the Bay area and was a huge 49ers fan.