Every week of the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. So let's tell the story of Wild Card Weekend through GIFs.
If you've ever been to an NFL game, you know how close fans can be to the visitor's bench. It's not unusual for colorful dialogue to be exchanged between players and fans (some of them very well-lubricated) who are known to get brave from the other side of a 10-foot wall. All fair play, but it all ends when a player can deliver the above send-off. It is the burn to end all burns at a sporting event. Peace. So long. Go home. There is nothing left for you here.
You know your team blew it when the opponent is waving goodbye.
Has anyone done more to enhance their reputation in the past two weeks than Marcus Mariota? In Week 17, he stiff-armed Tennessee into the playoffs. Then, as a heavy underdog in in Kansas City, Mariota spearheaded a comeback that allowed Daren Bates to troll Chiefs fans into submission. The comeback really took shape with the above touchdown, which will be tough to beat as the most memorable play of this postseason. As Jon Gruden astutely noted, Mariota's touchdown pass and reception would've been worth 12 points in your fantasy league. That's production.
And don't get me started on the bad juju that continues to surround the Chiefs in the playoffs. Five years earlier, Kansas City lost a 45-44 wild-card round heartbreaker to the Colts, a game in which Kansas City led 38-10 in the third quarter. And that game also featured a touchdown in which the quarterback recovered a loose ball and dove into the end zone. How is this possible?
A great season for the Rams ended on a sour note against the Falcons on Saturday night. It's a bummer, too, because Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was flying. The Around The NFL Podcast had boots on the ground at the game, and I can report that that crowd was ready for a party that never came. At least the 70,000 in attendance got to see Snoop play at halftime.
I don't think there's a better gift for fans this time of year than that Saturday night home playoff game. It's just so fun, especially if you're in Southern California, which seems like the only place in America that isn't a sub-zero bomb cyclone death tundra right now.
You know it's a scene when Larry David took the Prius downtown for the evening.
This replay doesn't do justice to how fast Sean McVay was sprinting down the sideline to get his timeout. Watching from the press box, I thought a crazed fan had run onto the field and was about to belly-flop into the end zone. I'm guessing NextGen Stats would clock McVay in the realm of 21 miles per hour.
Quarterback injuries are always the coolest looking injuries.
Being a sideline camera guy comes with risks. For example, here's a 6-foot-5, 235-pound quarterback barreling down at you like a freight train. One can only imagine the look of sheer terror on the camera operator's face as a giant human rumbled out of control into his orbit.
Oh, we have that angle, too?
In the first miracle of 2018, this man is still alive. Fantastic!
Remember earlier when I brought up how close the fans can get to the players? Well, that 10-foot wall doesn't always protect you.
You have not done your job as an NFL postseason telecast provider unless we get at least one awkward owner's box celebration. That's the good stuff, CBS.
This is adorable.
And this just might be the greatest spike of all-time. If someone told me the ball punctured a hole in the roof of the Superdome, I would totally buy it. Gronk: You have officially been put on notice.
Until next week.