December 26, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Week 17 of the NFL season.

A week too awesome for most fantasy leagues.

When playoff scenarios become playoff matchups. 

When great players sit on the bench and bench players become great. 

When a team filled with stars is led to a playoff-clinching win by an outside linebacker no one even knew existed beforehand.

When a wide receiver that would finish his career with 418 receiving yards makes a last-second game-winning touchdown catch for a 3-12 team, which allows a team in another division to make the playoffs.

When a 15-0 team plays all their starters to keep their undefeated season alive against a 10-5 team that also plays all their starters without any incentive other than to derail the other team's bid at history.

Week 17 is great because it's a showcase of the league as a whole.  While the season's best teams rest up for the playoffs, the other teams try to put a happy ending on their seasons.  Teams still in the hunt do everything they can to clinch a playoff spot against teams that would be better off losing to get a better draft pick.  Yet all but the best teams play out the games with maximum effort, just because winning feels great and losing feels awful.  Just to maintain the integrity of the league.  You always have to earn a win against a bad team, even if that bad team is completely out of the playoff picture.

Enjoy this week of NFL action, because it's the last time you'll see over half of these teams until next year.  Enjoy the Giants-Cowboys matchup.  Watch the Chiefs and Chargers try to screw up the AFC West.  Check out the Browns' attempt to keep the Steelers from winning the division.  Have fun watching NFL football this week, because it's some of the purest, high-quality football you'll see all year.

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