Of Celebrity Poker and the NFC Championship

Was anyone else reminded of the way Mimi Rogers played poker in her head-to-head matchup against David Cross while watching the NFC Championship Game yesterday?

In case it isn't immediately obvious what I'm talking about, let me 'splain. Mimi Rogers was playing really well—while patiently explaining the mechanics of Texas Hold 'Em to idiot Scott Stapp— until the game got down to two players. At that point, she suddenly went from playing aggressively to playing defensively. She checked way too often, giving David a chance to bluff—and to get her to lay down several winning hands in a row. It was all about not losing rather than winning... so David won.

To my eye, that's what happened to the Eagles yesterday. Before the game, one of the CBS commentators (yes, CBS—there were pre-NFC game updates during the AFC game) reported that the Eagles were concerned with not losing a third straight NFC Championship. I turned to Al and said, "Uh-oh." Uh-oh was right. Whereas the Panthers came into the game with confidence, even braggadocio—and backed it up— the Eagles played tentatively, as if they were scared to lose.

As the Panthers' secondary pummelled the Eagles' wide receivers and a defensive lineman broke Donovan McNabb's ribs, my thoughts moved from Mimi to the time I hurt my tailbone snowboarding at Heavenly. I figured I could still board the next day, as long as I didn't fall down. Consequently, I fell getting off the chairlift—and every 5-10 feet thereafter—until I was a sobbing, hysterical mess who couldn't even stand up on the board long enough to clear the lift area. Oh, how I wish the Eagles had gone into the game intending to win—intending to shred the mountain, as it were—instead of trying not to fall down. Maybe then they would have bet big instead of checking.

Posted by Lori in sports at 7:07 PM on January 19, 2004