I’m approximately 7 hours away from a festivus of drunk kids standing too close to me, telling me they love me, and accidentally spitting when they speak. My overextended budget took a major hit on a bottle of champagne that wouldn’t get Betty White drunk. The truth is, New Years Eve is and always has been a hassle. The price of everything triples along with the amount of sweat in the room. This year, however, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As we drink and make resolutions that will be shot down by January 10th, we have the glimmer of hope that is Sunday football to save our dignity. Even with most fantasy leagues over and done with, Sunday will entertain and erase the shame of shirtless games of flip cup. Rarely does a hangover sound as glorious as it will when it’s coddled with a changing playoff picture and some eggs and bacon. The last Sunday in the season is generally irrelevant, but this year, it has major implications. The AFC wildcard is up for grabs. The Jets, Titans, Bengals, Raiders, and the Broncos are all battling for the last playoff position.
The most intriguing part of the Sunday is the structure of the day. If the Jets can beat an injured Miami team in the 1 o’clock game, the rest of the day will be filled with direct post-season impact. The Broncos, Raiders, and Bengals all play at 4 o’clock. Oddly, the late day games parallel the 1967 AL pennant race, when the Red Sox edged out the Twins and Tigers on the last day of the season. If you aren’t an AFC guy, the night game should suffice. Endless headlines have swirled around the Cowboys and Giants, to the point where seeing them simply play will be refreshing. Whether it’s during the day or night, rarely has the last day of the season had such competition and grand implications. Get as drunk as you want ladies and gentleman; when you arise smelling of late-night hot dogs and stale Coors Light you’ll be greeted with an unprecedented end to a great football season.