by John Walters
1. Janis Fund
We know that the Cardinals won and that Larry Fitzergald, who caught two passes for 80 and all of Arizona’s yards in overtime, was heroic. But how about second-year pro Jeff Janis of the Packers? He basically retrieved two Hail Marys on the same drive, the first one a 4th-and-20 from the 4-yard line 60-yard reception.
Janis was selected in the 7th round, 236th overall, of the NFL draft, in 2014. He had 101 receiving yards on Green Bay’s final drive alone, or six more than in the entirety of his first two NFL seasons leading up to Saturday night. The 24 year-old had two touchdown catches on Saturday. His salary this season? $510,000.
Oh, and how about that throw by Aaron Rodgers on the game-tying touchdown? Fading to his left, about to be hit, and he still uncorked a 55-plus yarder.
2. Batman V Superman: Brady V Manning
Not sure if the AFC Championship Game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots will be epic—or if it will even live up to the standards set by the teams’ meeting in the Mile High City earlier this season—but it will likely be the final time Tom Brady, 38, and Peyton Manning, 39, meet in the postseason.
Brady: 4 Super Bowl rings. Manning: 1 Super Bowl ring.
Manning: 5 NFL MVP awards (most). Brady: 2.
Manning: No. 1 all-time in career passing yards (71,940). Brady is 5th.
Manning: No. 1 all-time in career passing TDs (539). Brady is 3rd.
Manning: No. 1 all-time in game-winning drives (56). Brady is 3rd.
Manning: No. 1 all-time in comebacks (45). Brady is 2nd.
As I arrived at the end of this item, I learned that “Brady-Manning Rivalry” has its own Wikipedia page. Things it would have been nice to know TEN MINUTES AGO!
3. Sheep Labor
Last week someone in the media (holds up two thumbs, points them at his clavicle) proposed that instead of returning to Los Angeles, the Rams should move somewhere that rams actually exist: such as Montana.
The Billings Bighorns! You could even have a cheering section for the hooligans and call it the “Butt Heads.” Oh well, another great idea to which no one will listen.
4. Cougar Town
Yes, this is an authentic photo, not staged. It was taken not long ago and yes that is the Hollywood sign in the background. Mountain lions, a.k.a. cougars live in southern California, and you probably already knew that, but you may not have known that a few live in the Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica mountains.
Great segment all about this on 60 Minutes last night. Also, they are proposing a wildlife overpass on the 405 so that wild animals, such as the mountain lion, can migrate. This is the best idea I’ve read in a long time, and far more worthy than throwing money at Stan Kroenke for a stadium. We need to make this happen.
5. Dream a Little Dream
On the occasion of Martin Luther King Day, here’s an excerpt from his famous speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963—less than three months before JFK was assassinated—in front of an estimated 250,000 people. Dr. King was just 34 years old when he gave this historic speech. “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.” Give it 17 minutes of your day.
This song from hair metal supergroup Damn Yankees is probably cranking in Joe Dirt’s Gremlin right now as you read this. The DY consisted of Tommy Shaw from Styx, Jack Blades from Night Ranger, asshole Ted Nugent and some drummer. This tune hit No. 3.
Warriors at Cavs
TNT 8 p.m.
Honestly, the atmosphere for No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 19 Iowa State in Ames (High!) tonight will be better than this. But you do have the Warriors (37-4), who have lost 2 of their past 3, visiting Cleveland (28-10). The leaders of their respective conferences, with Stephen Curry versus LeBron James. Note: As well as Golden State has played, if they lose tonight, they’re just one game ahead of San Antonio.