Shutdown Corner - NFL

The holidays have passed, but there's no more important time to give thanks than right now, because we, as NFL fans, have playoffs. The alternative, the system that our semi-pro league uses, has provided some fun along the way (specifically, 70), but is generally useless.

To illustrate how much we have to be thankful for, I thought we might take a look at what the NFL postseason would look like if the NFL used the Bowl Championship Series. Here we go.

If the NFL embraced the BCS instead of these silly playoffs …

Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

It's the Packers and the Saints for all the marbles, which is a tough break for the 49ers (and the Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Texans, Falcons, Lions and pretty much everyone else), but that's the way it goes.

The 49ers were close to getting the bid, but their losses came later in the season, and the pollsters are notoriously biased against West Coast teams. Sorry. Also, Drew Brees and the Saints are a little more media-friendly, and this way, the media gets to promote the Brees vs. Rodgers Heisman showdown.

And yes, it's a rematch of a game that's already happened this season, but we care nothing about that. But take solace, 49ers fans …

Other BCS Bowls:

Bud Light Bowl: San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots

… because you get to compete for the title of Bud Light Bowl champions. It won't be easy, though, because you have to play against the Patriots, due to the AFC East's automatic tie-in with the Bud Light Bowl. Also, NFL BCS games aren't under the same financial restrictions as college BCS games, so their gift baskets can contain anything. Participants here get a six-pack of Bud Light and a small private island.

Doritos Bowl: Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

By virtue of winning their division by tiebreaker, the Broncos became eligible for BCS selection, and the Doritos Bowl was thrilled to get Tim Tebow in their game. Coincidentally, Tim Tebow will also be the star of a FocusOnTheFamily.com commercial in his own bowl game. Huge ratings are expected.

[ NFL playoffs video: Tim Tebow needs a 'miracle' against Steelers ]

Non-BCS Bowls:

Hyundai Bowl: Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions

It's a shame that Baltimore won its division and still got shut out of the BCS, but it's just that the Steelers fans travel so well. The Doritos people couldn't say no to the Tebow vs. Roethlisberger, good vs. evil storyline. Also, from what I understand, the Ford family isn't thrilled with their placement in the Hyundai Bowl and will refuse the trophy if they win it.

[NFL playoffs video: Lions look to slow down Saints ]

Pepsi Bowl: Houston Texans vs. New York Giants

No one really cares about the Pepsi Bowl.

[NFL playoffs video: Should the Texans start QB Jake Delhomme? ]

T-Mobile Bowl: New York Jets vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Jets, despite their massively disappointing season, did become bowl eligible with their eighth win of the season. A handful of players could be suspended for that game, though, because that team is just a mess. Also, it's a little-known rule that Notre Dame becomes NFL bowl-eligible in any season where they win seven games, and lose their college bowl game by less than 14 points. No one is sure why this rule exists, because it's not 1941 anymore.

Jerry Jones Bowl, presented by Jerry Jones: Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys

This bowl was created just four days ago, when Jerry Jones decided he wanted his team in a bowl game, and when he said to Roger Goodell, "Hey, I'll give you a bunch of money if we can be in a bowl game," the league couldn't resist. They also got special permission to paint Jerry Jones' face at midfield, just this once. Also, as part of the gift basket for players in this game, Jerry Jones will put everyone on a cruise ship and sail them into international waters, where they'll be able to kill a bald eagle or a human being (player's choice), consequence-free.

Pizza Hut Bowl: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Pizza Hut people were very disappointed that the Dolphins didn't qualify for the postseason, because they had planned a promotion where fans would get to vote at halftime on whether or not they could trade Reggie Bush for an actual slice of pizza. If enough fans voted yes, Bush would actually be banished from the game at halftime, and everyone would receive a free coupon for a slice of Pizza Hut pizza. But the Dolphins didn't qualify, so now, again, no one cares.

E-Trade Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Diego Chargers

This bowl is unnecessary in nearly every way, but you know, this happened, so screw it. The media has dubbed this one the "Can You Believe We Didn't Get Fired?" Bowl, and it should be a good one. Norv Turner hasn't been very good in the playoffs, but in the E-Trade Bowl? Norv Turner is nearly unbeatable in the E-Trade Bowl.

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