Russell: Right now, I’m thinking about the playoffs between the Cowboys and the Packers. Man, that was a really great game. This game was really close and I really enjoyed it. I mean, I lost a couple dollars there. My Packer fans, you got me this time but next time is a whole new ball game. I want to say I can’t figure out what’s going on with the Bulls right now. They gotta stay healthy and that’s the key. You pay these players big money to show up. They gotta start doing their job, not just Jimmy Butler, [Robin] Lopez or [Dwyane] Wade. It’s gotta be a team effort. They gotta step up. They beat good teams, and then with the bad teams, their offense is just going south. You gotta play to win.
Bill: Yeah, the Bulls don’t seem to play up to the capacity of the other team. When I played basketball, I always played better against good teams. It’s because generally a good team is more predictable and more structured. You can figure out ways to play with them, whereas poor teams are sloppy and a mess. There’s no way you can hold up the whole year having Butler and Wade charging in there like Derrick Rose. He got injured a lot because he was charging into the fray with no regard for his body. The game has changed and it’s really more of an outside game. Moving on to football, these games are high-scoring games. Why is that? You have one-on-one coverage. You can’t do double coverage or zone anymore because you’ve got five guys going down the field every play. If you’ve got a quarterback that’s big enough and fast enough and throws hard enough, then you’re going to win. You may win in the last minute, but you’re going to win more than you don’t. The quarterback has to be able to move out of the pocket and then throw on a run. It’s a matter of who’s the back field for the other team and there aren’t enough great backs to play the number of great ends, so it’s a passing game. I’ve never seen a game where a team wins with six field goals. That’s ridiculous.
John: Looking at the football teams that are left, they all have elite quarterbacking. I never believed defense won championships. I mean, you need an adequate defense, but you can’t win that way. You gotta have that number one quarterback. The four teams that are left, you’ve got Aaron Rogers against Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger against Tom Brady. They are all elite, Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Nine times out of 10 you’ve got to have that number one secure stud quarterback to win a championship. Not every team is going to be like the 1985 Chicago Bears. Look what happened with Kansas City against Pittsburgh. Granted they gave up six field goals, but if they had a number one legitimate quarterback I think they would have won that game. On to basketball, the other day Golden State got their sweet revenge against Cleveland. They mopped them up! Now they’ve given LeBron something to think about.
Russell: I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl this year. It’s going to be hard not to watch football for a while, but I guess I’ll go back to watching some college basketball.
Bill: The games have really evolved to situations that are more exciting to watch, but a little less fundamentally sound like it used to be. Rules have changed the game. I’m going to pick the Packers and Rogers to win because of Rogers, his receivers and I really love a team that’s owned by the community.
John: New England looks like a machine, but any four of them could really win. You’ve got the elite quarterbacks, although I’m more doubtful of Matt Ryan, but I could see any of the other three win.