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The Diary of a Fantasy Virgin : Week 18

Wild Card weekend came and went. The home teams went 4-0. My prognostication record was 2-2, which was better than last year’s first weekend of the playoffs. I find myself watching how each of these games turn on one play. They turn on a decision. And then it all turns in the wrong direction for one team. I am shocked how there is less resiliency in the playoffs as one team appears to be able to impose their will. I was totally wrong on the Pittsburgh-Denver game being a snoozefest. That was only the first quarter when Pittsburgh had six points and Denver had eight yards!

Wild Card = 4-0 For Home Teams

Detroit proved that their future is bright. New Orleans proved it has a crazy and talented offense. The Houston Texans win with a rookie quarterback. The Cincinnati Bengals just need some more time. Atlanta struggles to find its way for a third straight year. The New York Giants are back and in the picture. “Tebow magic” makes a reappearance in shocking fashion. The Pittsburgh Steelers proved that they were actually more injured than was previously stated. They lost several key players in the first quarter, and Ben Roethlisberger re-tweaked his ankle, making him ineffective for a little while. You know I have to talk about the first overtime with the new rules.

The First Overtime With The New Rules

So over the weekend we had the first overtime with the new rules. In a weird twist of irony, it took longer to describe the new rules before the coin toss than it took for the game to end as the first play from scrimmage was an 80-yard throw and catch in stride from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas, who was only one stiff arm away from running into the end zone. The game ended in about 11 seconds. What kind of buildup for overtime is that? 

Note: The Steelers could have tried to kick a 67-yard field goal to win it. It would have been a record-making kick but instead they just tried for the Hail Mary, which was thwarted by five Denver rushers. That is a clever way of stopping the Hail Mary. The ball really flies at Invesco Field as all but one kickoff was a touch back. In another piece of irony, Steelers’ kicker Shaun Suisham kicked it through the uprights from the 35-yard line on the opening kickoff of the overtime. Maybe his leg was strong enough. 

Let’s get to this weekend’s games. These games are tough to pick … or maybe just go with your gut.

Saturday’s Games

First up on Saturday is The New Orleans Saints playing in San Francisco against the 49ers. We will learn what is better – to have a defense or to have an offense. The Saints have the offense and the 49ers have the defense.   In a battle of wills, I believe that home field trumps all.   Remember that playoff game last year in Seattle? San Francisco comes out on top.

The second game may end up being the highest-rated game behind the Super Bowl this year. That would be the Denver Broncos visiting the New England Patriots. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense was much better than the New England Patriots this year. How can Tim Tebow do it again? Do the Patriots get their first playoff victory in three years? So many questions, but I say that the home team prevails. Coach Bill Belichick earns his paycheck this week. If the Patriots lose this year, I am not going to pick them again … until they win two games in the playoffs. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. What happens if you fool me thrice?

Sunday’s Games

In the first game on Sunday, the Houston Texans visit the Baltimore Ravens. The Texans finally come back down to earth and they find out that it was the wrong year to lose their starting quarterback. 

The last game of the weekend is the New York Giants in Lambeau Field playing The Green Bay Packers. What happens when a really good defensive team goes into a hostile environment?  I say nothing. The Packers come out on top.

It has been awhile since I wrote my last diary entry. Let’s give it a go.

Dear Diary

So my wife and I ran a marathon on Sunday. It was our second marathon, and these things aren’t getting any easier, let me tell you. I had injuries training for this one and struggled to keep my head above water. But in the end we finished, and a good time was had by all.

Less than 1/10th of 1 percent of the world ever experiences the feeling of crossing the finish line of a marathon. If you ever get the time I wholeheartedly suggest you give it a try. We did not run our first half-marathon until 2006, and only four years later we ran our first full marathon.   It can be done! You can do it!

What else is a five-hour jog like with 14,000 people? I would say nothing.

Master D.

Tim can now be reached at and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.

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