Guaranteed Winners for NFL Title Games: CBS and Fox
Today's NFL conference championship games look to be two for the ages.
While the stadiums will be full and the fans will be fired up, the ones who will be truly fat and sassy when all is said and done are the networks.
Bovada is showing odds indicating close, low-scoring games, which should keep the TV audience entranced:
CBS gets the ball rolling with the classic Brady-Manning matchup, as the New England Patriots travel to Denver to face the Broncos in the AFC championship game. This showdown would have done well with any teams participating, since it's a title game, but with the Patriots -- complete with headliners Tom Brady and Bill Belichick -- facing off against Peyton Manning and the favored Broncos, the ratings should be off the charts.
The NFC combatants -- Seattle's Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers -- just despise each other. Seattle coach Pete Carroll and San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh have mutual animosity going back to their college coach days at USC and Stanford respectively.
The teams have been chirping all week, and most say that if the game was anywhere but Seattle, the 49ers would easily advance to the Super Bowl. But it isn't, and Seattle is one of the tougest places to play. And the Fox network people are thrilled to have this late game on their network.
The winners advance to the first cold-weather Super Bowl, which many casual viewers will tune in to see just because it's a cold weather game in New Jersey. Yes, that's right; it's in New Jersey, not New York, although Fox will most likely show more shots of the Big Apple during the broadcast.
The weather factor has become even more intriguing lately. A drive by the Meadowlands on Saturday night revealed a harsh scenario of cold, snow, and fierce wind. In two weeks, it could be much worse.
Should a Super Bowl really be played under those conditions? Fox will be happy because of the ratings, what with the event itself and the unique conditions. But the fans in the stands will have to show the hardiness of outdoor hockey spectators -- boda bags loaded with SevenUp and bourbon, people! -- because if they don't and when they realize the price of the tickets, flights, and motels, they may have wished they just stayed home.