Shanoff's WUC: Schadenfavre and Super Saints

Today's Calls: Brett Favre vs. Brett Favre, Saints vs. Colts, Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning, Rex Ryan vs. Brad Childress, Tim Tebow vs. NFL Scouts, Kentucky vs. No. 1, Kelly Kulick vs. Rachael Flatt and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Oh, the schadenfavre. ↵

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↵You could not have drawn up a more fitting way for Brett Favre to end his latest comeback season -- perhaps his career -- than throwing a game-killing interception on his last throw, ending any chance the Vikings had of winning in regulation and setting up the Saints' thrilling win in OT. ↵

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↵Ironically, it was only now that Favre had finally earned my begrudging admiration. This season was arguably (and, for haters, maddeningly) his finest -- certainly his finest if you factor in he was a 40-year-old. And he had played gamely -- even lamely, when you count the way he rallied from that busted ankle. ↵

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↵This was it. I had conceded that he was about to lead Minnesota to a conference-winning field goal and that the Vikings would destroy the dream of the Saints in the Super Bowl and deliver to Favre the single greatest moment of his career... ↵

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↵... until Favre was Favre. ↵

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↵Of course he was. This is who he is. This is what the Vikings -- and Vikings fans -- signed up for. This is how they knew, down deep, this experiment was inevitably going to end. ↵

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↵I salute you, Brett Favre: For being more than I thought you could be -- and yet, in the end, everything I knew you would be. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Who Dat? More to the point: We're all Saints fans. OK, maybe not Colts fans. (And Vikings fans might still be a little raw.) But otherwise, how can you begrudge the perennially hapless Saints advancing to their first-ever Super Bowl? Never been an easier team to root for in a league championship game. ↵

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↵SB Matchup: While tough for folks sick of Peyton Manning, this is the Super Bowl matchup we've all been looking forward to since the halfway point of the season (or earlier). Dominant you'll-be-tired-of-them-by-next-Sunday-let-alone-Super-Bowl-Sunday story lines: (1) NOLA resurgence. (2) Peyton Manning. (3) Offense, offense, offense. ↵

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↵Early Super Bowl pick: Saints 45, Colts 41. ↵

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↵What next for the Jets: The good news is that this season went better than any Jets fan could have ever imagined. The bad news is that Rex Ryan has left little room for improvement. (Yet I get the feeling he actually likes the insane expectations.) ↵

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↵What next for the Vikings? And when I say "the Vikings," I mean "Brett Favre." The biggest question: Will Favre be back next season? Its ending notwithstanding, Favre showed that he's as good at 40 as he ever was. He should come back. But will he? ↵

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↵Senior Bowl aka Tebow Bowl: "I'm here to be an NFL quarterback." Tebow is also in Mobile to be the biggest spectacle in the history of the Senior Bowl -- the biggest star ever to play in the game, the most intriguing prospect in the 2010 Draft. I don't think he needs to show he's NFL-ready; all he has to do is be better than the low expectations for him. ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Kentucky is king. Not only are they the only unbeaten team left in college basketball, but also they are playing better than anyone else. Texas proved itself unworthy with its two-loss week, capped in Connecticut on Saturday. (That first loss -- to Kansas State -- lost a bit when K-State lost to OK St..) ↵

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↵Tonight's Best: G'town at Syracuse. Should be a fun one. (The Big East is so rough, but expect Pitt to fall precipitously after a 2-loss week, including yesterday's ugly loss to Seton Hall.) ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: I find Kevin Durant a lot more authentic than LeBron -- and nearly as intriguingly skilled. But LeBron got the best of KD on Saturday night in their head-to-head box-score battle (37/9/12 to 34/10) and scoreboard (100-99). ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Just when you think the Knicks have turned a corner, they go and do something like this. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Curt Schilling with a comeback? Please please please... say it ain't so. Between Schilling and Favre, it's all a little bit too much. (Apparently, he denies a comeback -- but you never know.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile: Miguel Tejada is what passes for an exciting signing in Baltimore these days. Unfortunately, it's not 2002. ↵

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↵MLB Superlatives: Here's why I'd take Joe Mauer over Albert Pujols: It is a lot harder to find a sick-hitting C than it is to find a sick-hitting 1B. I will pick up a "good enough" 1B and my lineup will be better off for it. ↵

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↵Barrier-Breaker: Kelly Kulick, who became the first woman bowler to win a men's event on the PBA Tour. ↵

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↵Winter Olympics: Rachael Flatt is THE U.S. star to know -- after winning the national title, she will be the U.S. favorite in women's figure skating, the marquee event of any Winter Olympics. ↵

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↵The Last Word: I hope that the result of the NFC title game convinces the NFL that they must finally change the overtime rules to allow for some version of "fair ups." The Saints won the game because of the whim of a coin flip. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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