Super Bowl VII

What is this? A tie in the Super Bowl? 105 - 105?!?

Well, something about having Greg in the Super Bowl tends to make for very exciting games. In 2004, Super Bowl IV, Buffy and the Green Team faced off with Greg narrowly losing a championship by only two points (99-97). His loss made Buffy the only two time champion.

Green Team's roster back then was Brett Favre, Thomas Jones, Reuben Droughns, Eddie Kennison, Hines Ward, and Antonio Gates. While Droughns and Ward are still on the roster, neither were standouts this year. Then again, the now re-named Gang Green has never relied on superstars and instead has always patched together fearsome teams from the waiver wire and through savvy drafting. Quick, name one player that you'd associate with the Greenies. None right? Have they ever had a top five talent on the roster? Hard to say right?

But in the last four seasons, Gang Green has won three divisional titles and advanced to the Super Bowl twice (including this year). It can be said that Greg's team has been the best team from the Spunky Misunderstood Geniuses. Nobody has gotten more out of "no-name" talent than Greg, and we say that in the most respectful way possible. This year, they made two draft day trades -- one for Jerricho Cotchery and another for Randy Moss. The two wide receivers combined for 44 points in Super Bowl VII.

In fact, the top four players for Gang Green this season were all wide receivers. Moss, Cotchery, Bernard Berrian, and Hines Ward were all more consistent than the running backs (Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Reuben Droughns) and the quarterbacks (Philip Rivers and Eli Manning). Even without researching, I'm sure there's no way that has ever happened before. Going into the big game, Gang Green was severe underdogs but stepped up to the plate to create the greatest game ever in Catch the Damn Ball playoff history. But more on that later. Let's look at where the Dirty Birds have come from.

Since capturing their Super Bowl title in 2002 (Super Bowl II), the Birds have been a wreck. The trade for Ricky Williams the following year -- in exchange for Michael Vick, Marvin Harrison, and Ahman Green -- devastated the team as Ricky started his sojourn into oblivion. The Bird have had three losing seasons since and while they've made the playoffs twice, they've been swiftly eliminated each time. Despite fielding a very deep team in 2002 (Vick, Harrison, Green, Corey Dillon, Plaxico Burress, Jerry Rice, Chad Johnson, Koren Robinson) the franchise has hit upon hard times.

However, this year, everything clicked as a stable of outstanding WRs emerged. Braylon Edwards, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald, Plaxico Burress, and Greg Jennings enabled the Bird to go run-and-shoot every week -- dubbed the "Red Gun" in homage to the Andre Rison / Michael Haynes offense of the 1990s -- even as the running game (Steven Jackson, Rudi Johnson, Adrian Peterson) struggled with injuries. More importantly, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Hasselbeck provided stability at the quarterback position.

For the last three years, the Birds have had great teams on paper, but have always been hobbled by a bad locker room culture and a hole at quarterback. This year, they ripped off seven wins in a row en route to a 10-3 record and a second place finish in the Inscrutable Drama Kings Division. Even trading away the best QB and WR in the land during the draft didn't stop them from turning in a stellar all-around season.

So what the hell happened this weekend? How did this tie occur? Well, on Thursday night, Big Ben and Steven Jackson started things off swimmingly for the Birds by scoring 32 and 17 points respectively. Meanwhile, Hines Ward only caught six passes for 8 points. Even early Sunday, it looked like the Birds would cruise as Braylon Edwards was on his way to another 20+ point day.

However, by the afternoon games, the tide was shifting. Gang Green's two New York stalwarts started going big. Both Brandon Jacobs (26) and Jerricho Cotchery (25) turned in season high performances. Gang Green's Randy Moss caught two quick TDs in the first half -- but ended up with "only" 19 points. Adrian Peterson, Jon's rookie of the year, turned in a Sunday night stinker and the Birds were left only fifteen points ahead with Philip Rivers to play on Monday night.

Rivers has been mercurial this season, as capable of 30 point explosions as he is of 5 point duds. Still, scoring 16 points didn't seem entirely out of reason. As the Chargers kept on racking up the points against the Broncos and Rivers inched toward 15 points, the Birds were destined for a loss. Then, around the third quarter, Chargers coach Norv Turner pulled Rivers; after he'd accrued exactly 15 points. Similar to the conference championship game versus the defending champion Monkeys (when LDT was pulled after just one explosive first half), the Birds were blessed.

What now? The game was over and both teams had scored 105 points. Fans were confused, the cheerleaders didn't have any "We Tied!" cheers, and ownership wasn't sure what to do. A quick meeting was convened between G-o-d, Allah, John Madden, and Bill Simmons and it was decided that in the spirit of the greatest game ever, and the friendship that exists between the two combatants, the Super Bowl VII trophy would be awarded to both the Dirty Birds and Gang Green. It was a King Solomon-like decision and the peasants rejoiced.

So, here are your 2007 Catch the Damn Ball co-champions, Greg and Jon!

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