Wild Card Weekend is for underachievers and party crashers. Championship Sunday is about splitting hairs. The Super Bowl is about the spectacle. Divisional Weekend is for the football lovers. The best eight teams standing proceed to attack each other, and the losers are written out of history. Divisional Weekend is where surging young teams earn their dynasty stripes by managing the pressures that come with a bye week. It’s a red tide wherein coincidental powers clash most aggressively because, at this level, there are no broken brackets.
It is, after all, the most heartbreaking round. Tony Romo in Seattle in the Wild Card round was house money for Cowboys fans all along. Tony Romo at home to the Giants was wasting a 13-3 campaign on a weekend in Cabo San Lucas with Jessica Simpson.
Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, there has been an eight-team playoff table lumped into a Wikipedia entry as the “Divisional Playoffs.” Four-plus decades into the best weekend of football on the calendar is an opportune moment to itemize.