Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano discuss today's NFC title game:
GS: John, I'm looking at the matchups this week, and it's like one of those children's puzzles where you try to figure out which picture doesn't belong. And I have to ask you … the Cardinals?
JR: What? A team can't have a bad century or two? Doesn't mean they don't belong. If this season has taught us anything, it is go with the hot team. And Arizona had an impressive show against Carolina.
GS: I'll agree the Cardinals were impressive. They were so good that I started to wonder if Bill Belichick had snuck his Patriots into Cardinal uniforms. However, that would be cheating, and Bill wouldn't do that. That said, I'm not sure I agree the Cardinals are the hot team. Not after watching the Eagles torch the Giants.
JR: I would have been more impressed if Plaxico Fife was in the game but, yeah, the Eagles did themselves proud in New York. So, can Philly's defense harass Kurt Warner in better conditions the way it did Eli Manning in the cold and wind?
GS: It depends. Where are they going to set the air conditioning controls? Seriously, I would think the Eagles have too much defense for Arizona, but who knows anymore? Neither side is the same team it spent most of the season being. Suddenly, the Cardinals have a defense and Donovan McNabb is a star again. There hasn't been this much re-invention since Britney Spears hired a new publicist.
JR: I tend to trust McNabb's history a little more than Arizona's defense. Okay, no more dancing around. Are you guaranteeing refunds to anyone from Philadelphia who buys airline tickets today for the Super Bowl in Tampa?
GS: I wouldn't even spring for extra peanuts on their way back. But, yeah, I like Philly. Then again, I liked Carolina last week, and I had a crush on Atlanta. Remember, it was suggested that the Cardinals were the worst playoff team of all time. Can you imagine the mood in Philadelphia if the Eagles were to lose to those guys?
JR: There's not enough Cheez Whiz in the world to soothe that kind of pain in Philadelphia.