Monday, December 29, 2008

Next up

The Dolphins playoff game will be Sunday at 1pm, against the Ravens. 
And somehwat surprisingly, its already sold out.  Why?  As we noted many times that the stadium was under capacity this year.
I guess there are a lot of "front-running phonies" in this town.
Intriguingly, this was the last time Miami met in the playoffs, way back in 2001.   And naturally, these two teams squared off in week 6.  Miami kept it close for a half before Baltimore took control, first on a pick 6, and then with a ball control run game.  Now one problem Miami had that week was that they were without Ferguson at NT, and Soliai hadn't blossomed into the player he is now (and in fact, Starks played more).
Maybe this time, we exact some revenge against Cam.
On a related note, here's how the NFL decides who plays when in the wildcard weekend.
NBC gets a 4pm (early) and 8pm (late) game on Saturday.
CBS and FOX get the other two games on Sunday, one at 1pm (early) and one at 4pm (late)
Who gets the early and late game on CBS/FOX rotates back and forth each year.  This year, it was CBS' turn to have the early game.  For its part, NBC shows the opposite order of games by conference.
That is, on Saturday it is NFC early / AFC late and on Sunday its AFC early / NFC late.
The rule of thumb is the division winner with the best record will play on Saturday; the one with the second best record will play on Sunday.   Since there is one game from each conference played on each day, the other games slot into these time slots.
By the rule of thumb, Miami (11-5) would have played Saturday, and Minnesota (10-6) Sunday.   Indy/SD would be Sunday, and Arizona/Atlanta would be Saturday.
And it would have meant Miami was playing in the late game on Saturday (AFC late). the assignment of who gets the early / late game on Sunday (network rule), that would have meant Indy and San Diego would have met in California at 1pm ET, or 10am PT.   
In that case, the NFL just switches the two matchups, so San Diego goes Prime Time, and Miami gets the 1pm start on Sunday.
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