Super Bowl: NBC gets lucky with Tom Brady - Eli Manning matchup

If there’s one thing I learned from Sunday night’s NFC championship game, it’s this: I will never, ever purchase Xfinity. What was that, those commercials popping up during the telecast near the end of the fourth quarter? (If it didn’t happen at your house, then good for you.)

I admit I don’t understand how the pictures appear on the magic screen, but I don’t even have Comcast Cable (nor will I ever have it, now). So how did that happen? Was it the national telecast, or our local Fox affiliate, or demons in the wires? I was annoyed; Giants and Niners fans must have been going bonkers.

Demons aside, I thought Sunday’s conference championships might produce a Super Bro Bowl – Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh – and a battle of less-than-extraordinary quarterbacks. Alex Smith vs. Joe Flacco might not be NBC’s dream match-up, but who cares? Not our problem.

By the way, what’s Jim Harbaugh’s damage? He’s done an amazing job in San Francisco, yet can’t manage a courteous post-game handshake. He threw Tom Coughlin’s hand aside like it was on fire and kept running. You don’t have to exchange friendship bracelets, but come on.

He has the offseason to work on it, because the Peacock got lucky with the Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning matchup in Super Bowl XLVI. The huge fan bases in the New England and New York area – that guarantees good ratings for NBC. And NBC could use some good ratings.

(We interrupt this column for a meaningless but nonetheless interesting stat: The Redskins were 2-1 against the 2012 Super Bowl teams.)

Brady was less than his usual stellar self in the AFC game, throwing no touchdowns and two interceptions, and said afterward: “I [stunk] pretty bad today.” And yet the Patriots advance to a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, won by Manning and the Giants four years ago.

It was Manning who was the star Sunday, throwing 58 passes without a single interception. He was sacked six times and by the end of the game he was threatening to make shoulder pads worn on the outside a fashion trend. He even tried to warn his coach that the play clock was winding down on the winning field goal attempt, but Coughlin either couldn’t or wouldn’t hear him. He might want to pay attention to Manning on the sideline in the future.

It’s odd that a guy who already has a Super Bowl ring could be said to have improved this season, but that’s what has happened and is happening, even as these playoffs have progressed. Some have attributed it to big brother Peyton’s absence, but that seems more like an attempt to invent a family drama where none exists.

One thing is certain: Manning, not Brady, is the hottest quarterback heading to Indianapolis, and that’s not something anyone would have expected when the season began. Or when the playoffs began. Or even when Sunday began.

Two weeks gives Brady time to get his mojo back and Manning time to lose his. Either way, I can’t wait to see what happens. If, of course, Xfinity allows it. Wait, the game is on NBC, which merged with Comcast, which owns Xfinity. Does that mean those bleeping commercials will interrupt the Super Bowl?

Can someone please ask Ed Hochuli to explain it to us? He’s so great at that.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Patriots defeat Ravens 23-20 to advance to Super Bowl

Giants beat 49ers 20-17 in overtime to advance to Super Bowl rematch with Patriots

Mike Wise: Cundiff’s missed field goal is a horrible end to a game that had everything

Lee Evans shoulders the blame for Ravens’ loss after dropping go-ahead touchdown

Patriots are early 3-point favorites for Super Bowl

Early Lead: Who will win Super Bowl XLVI?

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