24 Dec 2006
It's Christmas Eve here at Rundown headquarters, otherwise known as my home office. The tree is up, the presents are out. I just felt a surge of pride as I snuck a 16-inch bicycle with training wheels under the tree for my four-year old. There's no fire in the hearth, but there will be tomorrow.
And Rundown? It's partially written, but most of it will be hammered out on Tuesday morning when all the results are in and the playoff scenarios are clear. Santa gave me a nice present by allowing the Chargers to come back against the Seahawks. The win clarified the AFC playoff race so that I can start planning ahead for Too Deep Zone articles. The Colts run defense comes in Week 1. The Chargers-Ravens-Bears fullbacks piece in Week 2. Perfect. Thank you, Santa.
And what about tonight? No writing for me after I knock this little blog out. My entertainment options include It's a Wonderful Life, which I love, and carols by the tree with my wife, which of course is wonderful. Oh, and Bengals-Broncos. I taped the game. As you might imagine, Christmas Eve football is tough for a family man. I watched Saints-Giants and Ravens-Steelers early on Sunday, but the weather was clear and warm on the East Coast, and I wanted to walk my son around town to see the Christmas lights. So I taped the late game. By the time we returned from our little tour, the score was 24-17 Broncos in a winter not-quite-wonderland in Denver. I watched the improbable finish, but I need to know more about the game. The Broncos and Bengals are still in the playoff hunt, and they may figure prominently in next week's Rundown.
But still, it's Christmas Eve, the most beautiful night of the year. I shouldn't be watching taped games. I shouldn't even be blogging. The NFL has already carved out a portion of my Christmas by scheduling Eagles-Cowboys for tomorrow. I need to devote tonight to my family, and my faith, and myself.
I'm getting a beer, or maybe a chocolate milk, and I am going to sit by the tree. Until my wife falls asleep, anyway. And then, midnight mass.
Or, more likely, Broncos-Bengals.
Ben Roethlisberger's ability to perform under a heavy pass rush remains critical to Pittsburgh's offensive success.