When your team is out, you just sit back and root against the team(s) you hate, and hope the games are entertaining. Luckily, Championship games (in any sport, really) are usually pretty good and competitive. Sunday provided two very interesting match ups: a battle of division rival top defenses and a battle of NFC teams that barely deserved to make the playoffs in the first place. Thankfully for me, the Eagles proved their inadequacy by losing to the Cardinals.

After last Sunday’s Giants loss, I entered the six stages of grief. The shock of the Giants defeat was truly tough. When phase two of denial rolled around and I wasn’t ready, I created an addition to the grieving process: stage one and a half: justification. I chose not to deny that the Giants played horribly, but also to emphasize to anyone and everyone I spoke to that the Eagles did not play well, either. We lost, they did not win. I was willing to admit and work with the loss, but hearing sportscasters, writers, the Quakers and Amish of PA root for an all keystone state Superbowl, generic idiot Philly fans thinking McNabb is the second coming, and Campbell’s Chunky Soup lovers everywhere build up the Eagles like they weren’t some team who didn’t understand the rules of overtime, always blew timeouts in the 3rd quarter and hadn’t had a big game from Westbrook in weeks. There was so much fluff: stuff about McNabb rising to the occasion after his benching as a good thing, not proof that this team doesn’t even have faith and got desperate easily.

Justification phase had me locked in for an Eagles loss because without one I would have needed the best lawyers out there to get my foot out of my mouth for the bargaining phase. However, since justification worked, I skipped the bargaining step really, (well, I kind of bargained with the “Philly will lose” chip all week) fast forward past guilt and rediscover anger.

How is anger phase four of grief? Anger was the entire game! Anger was before one, it started the entire grief process. Okay, whoever made up this phases of grief plan was not a sports fan. Nonetheless, keeping with the theme, I will not need depression. Thanks for my Superbowl XLII DVD, I will cruise into the off-season with acceptance with a beer in my hand and hope to get Anquan Boldin when he realizes that Kurt Warner is being held together by glue and he may want a more solid QB to work with, or Calvin Johnson as the Lions dismantle their entire team to start from scratch. Really, I’m so happy that the Eagles lost that I may even relax and watch some NBA during the bye week. The Giants season is now officially over and I think I’m okay.

Originally published on January 21st in Citizen News (Sherman, New Fairfield Edition)

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