Jason Whitlock at Foxspots.com has me fired up again. (For the record – I don’t read him all the time and I don’t agree with everything he says). In his NFL Truths column today, Whitlock said this:

“The next time someone tells you that a playoff format would make college football perfect remind him/her of the Colts laying down against the Jets and the legitimate allegations the Patriots and Bengals will lay down this weekend to keep the defending champion Steelers out of the playoffs.”

I already get ..um….sorry, Mom, but there isn’t a word other than.. pissy…about teams sitting their starters before the playoffs.

You don’t have to tell me about the injuries. The Bears lost Peanut Tillman and Johnny Knox and I don’t want to know who else in Monday’s awesome-awesome game against the Vikings. We weren’t playing for anything other than respect. During the Bears 2006 season, they were playing for nothing in the last game and they sat the starters. Against the Packers. Brian Urlacher looked like a caged lion on the sidelines of that game. It hurt more to watch him – and the network made us watch him – than to watch the loss. Almost.

Anyway. Forget the Colts. The Colts were not my point. It was the next part. Follow this, please:

““Cincinnati is probably going to go into New York and lay down for the Jets and not play them hard just because they’re not going to want to see Pittsburgh in (the playoffs),” Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley told the media on Wednesday. “No one wants to see Pittsburgh in it. That’s just how it is. Everybody knows we’re a dangerous team once we get into the playoffs, no matter how we played the whole year.”

It’s true. Pittsburgh can’t qualify for the playoffs if the Pats and Bengals both lose.

If you were Cincinnati or New England and had an opportunity to eliminate two-time Super Bowl winner and fourth-quarter assassin Ben Roethlisberger by keeping the playoff hopes of New York’s Mark Sanchez and Houston’s Matt Schaub alive, wouldn’t you lay down?”

No. No, I would not lay down. You know why? Because that is bloody cowardly.

I remember in 1985 when the Bears were in the playoffs. During the AFC Championship game, I told my mother that I was rooting for the Patriots. We had already beaten the Patriots that season. The Dolphins, the other contender for the AFC Championship, had beaten the Bears in that famous Week 13 debacle.  She said, “Wouldn’t you rather play the Dolphins, so the Bears can redeem themselves?” No. I wanted the Bears to play the Patriots and win, win, win.

Someone has translated the logic of my eleven year old self into a reason to throw a football game. That should be illegal. Illegal. Against the laws of God and Man. Anyone who does that should be sentenced to a lifetime nickname of “LoserDawg” and be forced to wear the girl-pink version of his jersey every game for the rest of his career.

Damn Whitlock. I could’ve gone the whole happy-football weekend without hearing that particular “legitimate allegation”. I’m going to start drinking now.

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