The playoffs. And not just any playoffs - the NFL playoffs. The local team, the Eagles, is still involved (are still involved). They're playing the Arizona Cardinals, who most people don't give a snowball's chance in Hell of winning on Sunday. Most people around here don't anyway.
I'm not one of them. The Cardinals scare me a little, mostly because most people around here don't give them a snowball's chance of winning on Sunday. That doesn't mean I'm not rooting for the Eagles, it just means that I have a healthy respect for the opponent.
The Eagles have been here before. "Here" being the NFC Championship game. For my non-sports fans, it's the game where the winner goes to the Super Bowl - the game with the office block pool. This is their fifth trip under large head coach Andy Reid. Three times they have lost, and on at least two of those occasions, the people around here didn't give a snowball's chance in Hell to their opponent. I'm hearing the same sorts of things now. Not just from fans, but from media types who should know better.
They're already encouraging trips to Tampa (the site of Super Bowl Roman Numeral), which isn't a bad place to visit, but it would be more enjoyable if you could work a football game in someplace. Actually, it's not really a football game, but I digress.
They say that the Cardinals are a weak playoff team. I say, so are the Eagles. After all, a record of 9-6-1 sounds more like a locker combination than a football record, and losses to the lowly Bengals and Redskins late in the season don't fill me with confidence.
The real danger comes in the build-up. It's barely Wednesday and Eagles fans are in full Super Bowl mode, having looked past the Cardinals and on to whomever they will meet at the Bruce Springsteen concert - er ... Super Bowl.
They get themselves all worked up only to have (more often than not) their hopes dashed by some team that, like Vietnam and South Korea, you never heard of until they kicked your ass at something.
In life and sports it's best to respect your opponent until you prove that you can beat them. Then, the trash talking can begin in earnest. Phillies fans are doing it now and Eagles fans would be wise to wait until Sunday at 6:00pm before they start ordering party platters from Shop Rite.
But, nobody listens to me, and besides, it's too late. The frothing has begun.
It's all over but the pissing and moaning.