NFL Playoffs: Your Guide to Wild-Card Weekend

By Hampton Stevens
Screw the holidays. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year comes in January, when the NFL playoffs begin.

The playoffs are way, way better than Christmas. With football, there's no pressure to buy the right gift for everyone. There are no lights to put up and take down. There are no trees to trim, then shred. There are no parties where you must don your gay apparel. A sweatshirt in team colors works just fine.

As you sit at home this weekend, slothful, snacking on fatty foods—in short, breaking all your New Year's Resolutions at a breakneck pace—take comfort in knowing that wild-card teams can win the Super Bowl. None of these particular wild-card teams will, of course, because the New England Patriots await. Tom Brady has had that look in his eyes all year. You know that look, right? It's the look that says, "No earthly power will stop me from getting what I want." Michael Jordan used to get it around NBA playoff time. Muhammad Ali had that look for a decade. Douglas MacArthur used to get it right before invading a country.

No matter who plays, though, there no doubt that any NFL playoff weekend beats the living heck out of eggnog and jingle bells. Check out our picks for this weekend's slate of awesome. 'Tis the season.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/01/nfl-playoffs-your-guide-to-wild-card-weekend/69082/