The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Tighten up


With roughly 58 million television viewers, Sunday's NFC Championship game was the most watched television program since the 1998 Seinfeld series finale - what's the deal with that?! I understand the pull of New Orleans and Brett Favre. Both are great and improbable stories. But when it came to game play, I was underwhelmed. Then again, perhaps I'm the minority.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional back-and-forth drama of a sloppy game, but if I want to see a half dozen turnovers in one half, I'll spend a Saturday afternoon watching my nephew's Pop Warner team.

When it comes to Sundays - especially during the playoffs - I expect to see professionals playing like professionals. These are the best of the best. 70,000 people didn't pay as much as $9,000 to see one and a half turnovers for every quarter played. Still, a high-scoring game won by three makes for good television, regardless of the NFL's questionable overtime rules (with the victor often decided by the flip of a coin). In this case, I think we got lucky that both teams played poorly.

The Saints offense had 34% fewer total yards than their season average, and Drew Brees threw for 32% fewer yards than his norm. Sunday's NFC Championship had nine fumbles - placing it among the top five highest totals in NFL-postseason history. Still, the bonehead award goes to the Vikings. Driving late in the fourth quarter, the team was penalized for having 12 players in the huddle. Then, rather than keep the ball on the ground (you do realize that's Adrian Peterson behind you, right?) and allowing his team to kick a field goal, Favre decided to the wrong team. It was eerily reminiscent of the 2007 NFC Championship, when Favre threw an interception in overtime that set up the Giants' game-winning field goal.

Sloppy football games certainly have drama, but unless your mom still drives you to practice there's no excuse for careless play.

By Jason Maloni  |  January 26, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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