• As we sit on the precipice of another glorious round of the NFL playoffs this weekend, and the final step towards the year-end spectacle that is the Super Bowl, it’s far too easy to forget the character issues present in football’s final four teams just a few months ago. For the Jets, the most prevalent malcontent was cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose training camp holdout seemed far more bitter than your average contract dispute. It was head coach Rex Ryan who bridged the cap between the Jets and Revis in the wee hours of an early September morning, and Revis now looks back on the holdout as a positive experience.
  • Even though he once proclaimed that his beloved Chicago White Sox used to play their home games at the hallowed grounds of “Comiskey Field,” Barack Obama is as close as America has come to a sports fan as president in quite some time. His Chicago roots have predictably made the leader of the free world support the Bears this weekend, with Obama predicting a 20-17 Bears triumph over Green Bay.
  • A funny thing happens when Troy Polamalu is healthy for the Steelers: they win, and they do it a lot. Over the past two years Pittsburgh is 16-4 with Polamalu on the field, and 6-7 without him. While Polamalu’s talent is certainly no secret, that’s still a tremendous amount of influence on the outcome of a game for one player to hold.
  • Polamalu has been playing through nagging Achillies and ankle injuries, missing practice last week while also missing the Steelers’ workouts again this week on Wednesday and Thursday. Alarm bells shouldn’t be sounding yet, especially not with head coach Mike Tomlin saying he’ll be on the field today.
  • So now that Jim Washburn has signed on to become the new defensive line coach in Philadelphia, we should just start stitching those Albert Haynesworth Eagles jerseys, right?
  • There were three million participants in ESPN’s fantasy football leagues this year, a homeless man beat them all.

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