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Meaningless Expectations

The football playoffs have taught us all something.

Expectations, nor pedigree, mean anything in the playoffs.  The New York Jets have rolled by two of the hallmark quarterbacks in the NFL in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  Neither were easy victories for the Jets, but it just goes to show.  Rings nor pedigree mean a thing.

Then look at the other end.  The Eagles were touted as a “favorite”, so to speak (even though the makeup of their team was flawed from day one) and blammo, gone.  Jay Culter doesn’t exactly have the pedigree, but here he is, in the championship game to fight for the right to get to the Super Bowl.

It’s always been something I’ve always wondered about.  Do rings automatically give your team an edge in the playoffs?  I don’t seem to think so.  Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers only had one Stanley Cup championship winner on their team in Chris Pronger.  Something tells me it just means nothing.

Honestly, it takes playoff experience to do well in the playoffs–a bunch of kids won’t make a bunch of noise without some seasoning.  But the degree of how many championship winners a team has is not something I think makes sense.  Look no further than the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The team was wonderful during the regular season, but were ousted in the first round of their first foray with Sid the Kid and company.  The next two years, they made it to the Finals, with one Cup under their belt.

Does that play favor to Pittsburgh’s playoff success this year?  They”ll know what it takes to win, but I doubt it gives them automatic rights to the championship.  Pundits love to give teams just free right to the championship just because they won it before.

Not sure if I like that assessment.

What do you out there in the world think?  Should expectations be thrust so willy-nilly on teams just because of favoritism?  As they say, the teams have to play the game to get the result.  Look no further than the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints.  You tell me how many people bet against the Saints.

They play the game for the reason.

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