It's offical. The suits at NBC have deemed the showdown for the NFC West the capstone for the 2010 NFL season and have 'flexed' the St. Louis Rams, on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, to a 7:00p CT start. It will be the final game of the regular season for the entire NFL.
Seeing as the NFC West has been flogged by every reporter, talking head and ESPN personality (not totally undeserved) this season, we're sure that this week will be festooned with pot-shots and overt disdain about how two teams with a a combined 13 wins will be the way that the NFL season winds down.
My advice to you? SCREW THEM.
That's right... screw 'em. Let everyone that wants to talk about rule changes, their eagerness to bet against the winner of this game in the first round, or the general crappiness of the NFC West do so until they're blue in the face. Because at the end of the day the Rams are one win from having a home playoff game. And that win is going to have everyone's attention.
Sure, there is some value in flying under the radar all year. The Rams haven't been on past 3:15p all season. And with the proliferation of games on days other than Sunday, that's harder than it looks. You're really got to screw the pooch for an extended period of time to not even get a Thursday night bone thrown here or there.
Alas, the Rams haven't seen the brightness of the NFL spotlight in years. And Sunday is finally a chance for our city to bask in huge ratings, Chris Collinsworth, and national consciousness. Hell, it's a de facto playoff game for the right to play whomever gets the 3 seed in the NFC.
And it will be awesome.
Are the Rams ready? Well that's a whole different beast all together. They squeaked by a dysfunctional 49ers team that all but fired their coach at halftime and then refused to answer immediately to questions wondering if he'd be back for Week 17. They've also lost in a wide variety of fashions. So if anyone tells you they know what the hell is going to happen with the Rams, on the road, in a tough stadium, against a pretty gawd-awful team with a playoff berth on the line, with a rookie quarterback?
I'd heed them no benefit of your doubt.
it's going to be a wild one. Two pretty mediocre teams chock full of guys that know whatever they've done the past 16 weeks has all come down to these 60 minutes. Deep down, they probably know that since they're not making it to the real Super Bowl—this game becomes THEIR Super Bowl.
And it's on prime-time, for everyone to see.
If it turns out to be the vomit-inducing display of football acumen that everyone expects? Well, at least you can sleep in a little on Sunday and still be buzzed before gametime.