Mark is 4-4 so far with his Spirit Animal-driven playoff picks. I’m 5-3. The story will pretty much be told this weekend, as our picks are completely opposite of one another.
Which is surprising, because Spirit Animals are often expected to guide us down our paths in life. And since I consider Mark Tennis to be my personal spirit animal, I’m quite aware that I may be veering off course here. Anyway, let’s do this:
Mark: 49ers win 31-28. The dirty miners held on at the last second to their mother lode of a win against the Saints. On the heights of their gold fever, the 49ers will have what it takes to wash the Giants right out the back of their sluice box. Eli Manning will be left in a pile of dredge tailings 100-yards long while the Niners find pay dirt.
Justin: Giants win 28-24. Have you seen this new YouTube video about the 49ers, set to the tune of Journey’s “Faithfully?” Bay Area fans did the same with “Don’t Stop Believing,” back when the Giants won the World Series. I take some comfort in the fact that both SF teams have embraced such a horrible SF band. In an ideal world, they’ll throw some Santana in the mix next time around, so I can get all of my crappy eggs into one crappy basket. Somehow this all adds up to a Giants victory. (I’ll be happy for all of my 49er friend fans if they win, by the way. This is more of a jab at Journey than anything else).
Mark: Ravens win 28-17. Just as the mighty spirit animal Universe would have it, the Ravens used their cunning intelligence and urban skill to scavenge a win over the stately Texans last week. Crows and Ravens are found on every continent except Antarctica. Unless Ellis and Gronkowski have been training on the South Pole, the Ravens will have the clutch skills to orchestrate another big win.
Justin: Patriots win 33-21. Mark has taught me to appreciate the awesomeness birds in recent years, and for that I’m thankful. So, I get the appeal of the Ravens. I’m also positively swayed by Flacco’s handlebar mustache and accusations that he was caught skateboarding last week. Still, my desire to see a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl rules the day. Plus, I’m pretty sure the Patriots will dominate, even if the current crew is playoff inexperienced.