The NFL Playoff season is upon us. This is a glorious thing. What’s not? The unstoppable hype machine that is only just starting to rev its often mind-numbing engine. Less games mean fewer storylines on which to focus from more outlets. The result? Predictable journalism featuring familiar ledes and identical headlines that will guarantee we’ll all be able regurgitate the same stories again and again (if we’re not already). Here’s your early team-by-team guide just in case you’d like to spare yourself the agony.
Words and Phrases to Look For: Tebow Time, Tebowing, Mile High, comebacks, religion, faith, belief, unorthodox, non-traditional, altitude
Storylines to Bank On: Tebow’s leadership, Fox’s gutsiness and guile, Elway’s reluctance to endorse, “new breed” of quarterback, altitude acclimation
Words and Phrases to Look For: Big Ben, helmet-to-helmet, Harrison, gritty, blue collar, Terrible Towel
Storylines to Bank On: Battle-tested Steelers, veteran leadership, Tomlin’s fit in the ‘Burgh, Rothelisberger’s ability to make plays out of the pocket
Words and Phrases to Look For: Franchise-first, young, inexperienced, new territory
Storylines to Bank On: First playoff appearance, “getting over the hump,” not finishing strong
Words and Phrases to Look For: Resilient, bounce back, franchise woes
Storylines to Bank On: Marvin Lewis from hot-seat to playoffs, Palmer’s departure and Dalton’s emergence, Bungles history
New York Giants
Words and Phrases to Look For: Dangerous, up-and-down, battle-tested
Storylines to Bank On: Couglin’s savvy, Eli’s “eliteness,” defensive front, JPP, The “Unheralded” Victor Cruz
Words and Phrases to Look For: Outdoors, identity
Storylines to Bank On: Falcons in cold weather, flying under the radar
New Orleans Saints
Words and Phrases to Look For: Explosive plays, prolific, accuracy
Storylines to Bank On: Brees’s record, Darren Sproles, Nawlins revival
Words and Phrases to Look For: Dirty plan, discipline, restore the roar
Storylines to Bank On: Megatron, Detroit’s depression, Jim Schwartz’s turnaround job, Ndamukong Suh’s stomp
New England Patriots
Words and Phrases to Look For: Consistency, veteran leadership, coaching
Storylines to Bank On: Belichick the braintrust, Brady’s passing, Wes Welkah!
Words and Phrases to Look For: Defensive character, toughness, intimidating
Storylines to Bank On: The Harbaugh brothers, Ray Rice, has Flacco regressed
San Francisco 49ers
Words and Phrases to Look For: Surprise, defense, new regime, change in attitude
Storylines to Bank On: Jim Harbaugh’s rookie coaching success, Alex Smith and his “emergence,” Patrick Willis/Niners defense, Frank Gore’s battles with injuries
Green Bay Packers
Words and Phrases to Look For: Pursuit of perfection, offensive diversity, Lambeau leap, frozen tundra
Storylines to Bank On: The legend of Aaron Rodgers, Jermaine Finley’s return, the “scrappy” Jordy Nelson, whether a loss actually “helped” make the Pack realize they’re “mortal”
So, there you have it. No need to read up on any of these teams for awhile. Leave your painfully predictable stories in the comments.
About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.