Dear NFL Playoffs

Dear NFL Playoffs,

I can hardly believe you're finally here again. You are the new Christmas, as far as I'm concerned. On December 25th I slept in until 10 A.M. Then I drove four hours to my parent's house, received about three shitty gifts, ate a so-so turkey dinner and drove back. Big deal.

But it's a different story on the night before the playoffs. I'm so excited I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. I feel like I'm nine years old again, salivating over that Lego catalog on Christmas Eve, and just praying to God that the Barracuda Pirate Ship is under the tree... and what did I get? The stupid Imperial Flagship. But unlike Christmas, the playoffs never disappoint.

I have so many questions to be answered. There are so many exciting scenarios. Can anybody beat the Patriots? Will the reigning Super Bowl champs be beaten by a 7-9 team in Seattle? Can the Colts pull it together in the post-season enough to be a contender? Will my beloved Packers make it past Philadelphia and Atlanta?

Unlike lame-ass Christmas, The the playoffs have six days of festivities. It's kind of like Christmas and Hanuka joined forces, voluntarily agreed to undergo a procedure which would probably be called a suck-ectomy if such a procedure actually existed, then received an injection of awesomeness and ran out onto a football field and kicked the game-winning field goal. For the sake of metaphor, please ignore the fact that a frankenholiday with no innate athletic ability, fresh out of surgery would undoubtedly be in no condition to kick a football.

Thank you, NFL Playoffs, for adding some holiday cheer to my life once a year. I do have one question. And I don't mean to be nit picky here, but why are the winners of the Super Bowl referred to as "World Champions"? Every single team is from the U.S. At least baseball has the Blue Jays. That sort of justifies the use of the term "World Champions."

You know what? I bet it's another post-season holiday miracle, like the Immaculate Reception, the Hail Mary, and the Music City Miracle. When the Lombardi trophy leaves the holy sepulcher and is given to the Super Bowl champions, they become supernaturally transubstantiated into World Champions, despite never having left the U.S.

Sebastian Braff


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