To say that the last Sunday of the 2008 NFL season provided drama is a massive understatement. Where to begin? Let’s start with an NFL first: the Detroit Lions managed to provide their fans with a completely winless season. That’s one coach fired. The mighty Dallas Cowboys, once dubbed “America’s Team”, couldn’t get out of their own way or even figure out how to play a few downs with both hands around their own throats. They were humiliated by the Philadelphia Eagles, which is fitting since the peristaltic spasm known as T.O. used to play for Philly. Dallas will watch the playoffs from the sidelines.
But wait… there’s more. There’s another Texas angle. Chicago might have made it to the playoffs, but for the Houston Texans. The Bears loss to the 8-8 Houston team knocked the Windy City into the recliner along with Dallas. New England lost their shining star in Tom Brady, played with a relative unknown at QB, managed to rack up an 11-5 record… and still missed the playoffs. All of that is fine fodder for the water cooler.
The best story, however has to be the Jets Dolphins game. We all know how Brett Favre cried and quivered in his retirement dance. He held the Green Bay Packers hostage to emotion for just one more season and they finally just cut him loose. The New York Jets threw their hat in the ring and asked the old one to take the helm of the faltering franchise. In so doing, the Jets ditched their developing QB, Chad Pennington, to Miami. Miami was 1-15 last season and Chad wasn’t all that solid, so this seemed like a good move. The Jets started winning a few games and pundits were preparing their “oh no… here come the Jets!” headlines. But you have to play the game. And the game was played yesterday. The Dolphins toppled the Jets. Favre was humiliated, his coach was fired, and Pennington vindicated as the Dolphins secured the AFC East title.