The New York Giants victory in Green Bay guarantees us one thing and one thing only the absolute certitude that anyone who says they predicted this is a stinking liar who should be shunned by all of society until his or her much-deserved death.And were not kidding here. None of you saw this one. In fact fewer of you saw this than predicted that Alex Smith would be capable of doing what he did Saturday. Youre all liars, too, but you were forgiven in the euphoria of Saturday.But this? Uh-uh. Dont even try. Youll come off not only as a complete B.S. artist and a comprehensive gasbag, but youll have completely missed the spirit of the thing.
This NFC Championship is the triumph of wacky possibilities, between the team that blew an entire decade to make this moment as good as it is, and the team that allegedly fires its coach every other week whether he needs it or not. This is the game between the two quarterbacks who between them look like their aggregate age is 15. This is the game whose historical antecedents predate the death of Kim Il-Sung.This is the worst thing young people can endure their forebears talking about games that are older than they are.But mostly, its about a game nobody saw coming, and will be unable to properly process. Not that we wont try, mind you. Pundits must dit their puns, or fear losing their cushy gigs on the punditry gravy train.But theyll be lying, too. Theyll mercilessly break down the Giants-49ers game of midseason in search of entrailclues, but this game wont be played like that one. We dont know what it will be played like, but what we saw from the 49ers and Giants this weekend should convince anyone that nobody knows anything about anything any more.So, with that as the backdrop, you should embrace the wacky unknown this week. When someone asks you what you think, your answer should be, I have no freaking idea. I know what Id like to happen, but I havent got a clue. Not one. Now buy me a beer.I mean, why would you want to act like Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory? What would you gain from feigning expertise you dont have about an event you didnt think would occur, let alone in the ways in which they were made possible?Ill tell you. Nothing. Youd look like a jerk, is what. Youd be the one everyone backs away from in the office, and who doesnt get invited to the party on Sunday because youd foul the air with cries of I knew that was going to happen.Better off to be like all your friends, laughing and shrugging and saying, Well, Ill be damned over and over again. Better off to admit your fallibilities among your fellow fallables, and drink for free. Frankly, its better to drink for free than claim you invented the cure for polio even if you have Jonas Salks social security card.But in case you cant fight off the temptation to sound like Peter Kings dry cleaner and spout off all the reasons why you know it would be Giants-49ers, just weigh that knowledge against the contempt of everyone you know or are likely to know for all eternity. Nothing is worth that.Oh, and if you actually did see it coming, and you even have a dated and notarized betting slip to prove it, keep it to yourself. Youll still look like a jackass, even if you did pull this prediction out of your earhole. There is some wisdom youre better off keeping to yourself.Now, let the pundits do their dance. And youll all be forgiven if you end up shaking your upraised middle finger at the screen while they do. Youll be right to do so.