By DJ Gallo
Page 2

Let me guess, you watched this weekend's NFL games and thought to yourself: "This is great, but I really wish I could read all about this in an alphabetical form."

Well, you're in luck. Here is the NFL wild-card round from A to Z:

Addai, Alexander, Asante Samuel and Akers
Players with an "A" in their name made huge contributions for the winning team in all four games. And as cameraman-shoving Patriots coach Bill Belichick can attest, one can go a long way in life by acting like something that starts with an "a."

Boxing
Jets coach Eric Mangini loves to show his team clips of old fights he can relate to football. If he's looking for a bout that can serve as an analogy to yesterday's Jets-Patriots game, I suggest he go with Ivan Drago killing Apollo Creed in "Rocky IV."

Coughlin
Giants co-owner John Mara said Tom Coughlin will learn his fate later this week at a meeting. Mara better be on time for the meeting, though, or Coughlin might try to fire him.

Decoy
Decoys were everywhere this weekend. Brad Smith served as one for the Jets, as did Terrell Owens for the Cowboys. And for Kansas City, there were Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Hall and Eddie Kennison all being used as decoys -- which was probably one too many. The Chiefs should have had at least one player actually moving the ball downfield.

E-A-G-L-E-S • Eagles!
Eagles fans do this cheer incessantly whenever the team is having success. At work, at a restaurant, at a funeral -- it doesn't matter. And just a tip, should you be unfortunate enough to come across a group of chanting Eagles fans: I've always found it's best to punch them in the stomach during the "A" part of the cheer because their hands are raised above their heads, completely exposing their midsection.

False starts
The Giants obviously have many problem areas, but they have perfected false starts. And I wouldn't be surprised to hear that guard David Diehl caused several accidents on his way home after the game by repeatedly running red lights.

Goat
Tony Romo was the weekend's biggest goat. But Romo shouldn't get too down on himself because some people love goats. Most notably: Tom Brady.

Holders
If Romo's botched hold showed us anything, it's that we too often overlook the importance of holders, kickers and long-snappers. But no more. Those guys will now get the respect and attention they deserve. I even think holder will replace quarterback as football's most prestigious position, and before long we'll hear rumors of Jessica Simpson nuzzling Koy Detmer's neck-beard at a trendy nightspot.

Injuries
Philadelphia cornerback Lito Sheppard had the worst injury of the weekend with a dislocated elbow. Owie. But Romo prevented an even worse injury when he failed to get the ball down for Martin Gramatica's attempt at a game-winning field goal. Had Gramatica won a playoff game, his celebration would have resulted in at least a torn ACL, if not spontaneous combustion.

Jockstraps
This is what was lying all over the field after Brian Westbrook's 49-yard second-quarter touchdown run tied the game for the Eagles. And some were bigger than others, Giants. Lucky for you I'm not saying which of you had the small ones. But let's just say that most of them were small.

Kickers
Kickers might not always have the respect of their teammates, but David Akers proved that they are valuable members of any football team. That's why, in honor of Akers and all kickers, I hereby declare this week National Kickers Go Wedgie-Free Week. (In their stead, just give punters a double-dose of wedgies.)

Lard
The New York Giants inserted backup quarter(got)back Jared Lorenzen into the game twice on third-and-short. Once he picked up the first down on a sneak, and the other time he called a timeout. Presumably to get a sandwich.

Manning
Eli Manning's Giants were knocked out of the playoffs and Peyton Manning's Colts advanced despite three interceptions from the commercial pitchman. So even though Indianapolis won, nothing happened this weekend to stop anyone from thinking that long-lost Manning brother Ricky Manning of the Bears still has the best shot of them all to win a Super Bowl.

NFC
Knock the NFC if you want to, but the conference posted two playoff wins this weekend. I didn't think it would get that many.

Oxygen
Jeremy Shockey was shown taking oxygen several times during the Giants-Eagles game. So apparently he does, in fact, take in oxygen and -- presumably -- some must make its way to his brain. Who knew?

Playbook
Winning in the postseason forces teams to go deep into their playbooks so they can give opponents different looks. The Eagles did the best job of this in the wild-card round, somehow finding some plays never-before-seen in Philadelphia in which the quarterback takes the snap and, instead of passing the ball, turns and hands it to a running back. Weird.

QB rating
Of the four winning quarterbacks from his weekend, only one -- Tom Brady -- had a quarterback rating above 100. The others -- Peyton Manning, Matt Hasselbeck and Jeff Garcia -- all clocked in under 80. The fact that you can win in the playoffs with mediocre quarterback play is great news for Rex Grossman and the Bears. Now they only have to get him up to mediocre from embarrassingly awful in time for this weekend.

Roc-A-Fella
Chiefs running back Larry Johnson shaved the logo of hip-hop label Roc-A-Fella Records into his head for Saturday's game. I suppose that was a pretty good way for Johnson to show he is "keeping it real," but it still pales in comparison to the huge "Thug Life" tattoo Peyton Manning has on his chest.

Self-esteem
I always respect people who don't care what other people think of them. So my respect goes out to you, Seahawks fans. Your wearing of bright green gloves Saturday night said to the rest of the country: "We don't care if anyone takes us seriously as football fans." Mission accomplished, Seattle.

Tiki
Happy retirement, Tiki Barber. I hope you enjoy it. Although I'm sad you didn't achieve your goal of playing in the Super Bowl in your hometown of Miami. (Actually, Barber is from Roanoke, Va., but for the sake of a story, I think we should have pretended he was from Miami.)

Underwear
This is what I'd bet Jerry Jones soiled when Romo botched the hold.

Von Oelhoffen
The Jets signed Kimo Von Oelhoffen to a three-year, $9.2 million contract in the offseason. Did he think they paid him all that money simply to bang into the opposing team's offensive line play after play and make a few tackles? No. He was brought in to take out Brady's knees in the playoffs. And he failed.

Whaaaaa? Eagles safety Brian Dawkins took the field Sunday by crawling. I really don't have anything else to add about that, except that Dawkins' peculiarly well-manicured facial hair is not the only strange thing about him.

X factor
The X factor is that unexpected something that comes into play in every game. Every week, it's different. For instance, the Colts' X factor this week was having a run defense. Whereas next week that won't be their X factor. I can say that with almost complete certainty.

Yo-yo
Every game this weekend had wild swings in momentum, just like with a yo-yo. And to continue the yo-yo analogy one step further, the yo-yo's string eventually snapped for the Giants, Jets, Cowboys and Chiefs. And to continue it further still -- after the string snapped, the yo-yo went rolling out into the street and the Jets and Chiefs chased after it and were hit by a truck.

Zoophobia
What does the fear of animals have to do with this weekend's NFL action? Absolutely nothing. But you try to come up with a "Z" word for one of these clichéd alphabet columns. It's not easy.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN the Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book -- "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" -- will be in stores soon.




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