Its one of the great Hollywood lines.
Apollo Creed the heavyweight champion has just been taken the distance by the unknown southpaw Rocky Balboa.
Just as the bell goes at the end of the 15th round Creed turns to Balboa and utters; “Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”
With one of the few breaths left Rocky retorts; “Don’t want one.”
This was of course an exchange of lines from a fictitious movie, where the heavy underdog finally finds a purpose and emerges a hero.
With the NFC and AFC Championship games starting in less than 24 hours there are two Hollywood scripts that are waiting to grace the silver screen.
For two future Hall of Fame enshrinees it is an opportunity to match Rocky, and take a further step to becoming a World Champion.
Both the Atlanta Falcons tight-end Tony Gonzales and the Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis have huge emotional investment from their fans as Sunday ‘could’ be their last ever NFL game.
Anyone who is not a fan of the final four teams should be having their heart-strings pulled by these two living legends, as they battle through to the Super Bowl complete with teary post-game press conferences and premature confetti.
Problem is some dreams are not meant to come true, and Sunday will be where the analogy of this particular Hollywood boxing film will fade away like a reel of archived 1970’s celluloid.
I just can’t see the Baltimore Ravens stopping the New England Patriots (who will be at home) from returning to the Super Bowl, where I predict they will battle the San Francisco 49ers, fresh after defrosting from a cryogenic freezing process administered in the mid 1990’s. Saying that I must have Sylvester Stallone on the brain as the whole defrosting comparison led me to think of Demolition Man.
I am admittedly making a big hash out of my playoff predictions this season, with my only two highlights being predicting the exact correct score for the Texans v Bengals Wild-card game and the fact that the Falcons would actually advance from the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
So to my predictions – about as scientifically prepared as Bob the Builder with a bunsen burner brewing crystal meth (yes I am watching Breaking Bad – currently just started Season Tw0 in case you were wondering)…
49ers @ Falcons
49ers backs Frank Gore and Lamichael James will grind out the tough yards behind battering ram fullback Bruce Miller. The Falcons will be intent on holding Kapernick to under 75 yards rushing so Gore will want to get 20 carries. If Gore gets over 25 I can see the Niners winning by at least a touchdown. 49ers outside linebackers containing Tony Gonzales. Dialing up too many blitzes will give Tony time to get warmed up so the 49ers will need Ahmad Brooks to remain patient.
49ers to win 31-27 in a game that looks close if you just see the final score but in truth is dominated by the 49ers for the majority of the game. I don’t think Colin Kaepernick will be as dominant as he was against a porous Packers defense, but I do see him passing for three touchdowns.
Ravens @ Patriots
Pats tight-end Aaron Hernandez need to have a big game. As the Boston Mayor informed the media ‘Gonk’ is out, so Hernandez will be asked to form part of the big woven safety blanket that consists of Wes Welker and any Patriots running back named Ridley, Vereen or Woodhead. The Ravens will be determined to get in the grill of Tom Brady to stop him getting into that mesmeric rhythm that has taken him to five previous Super Bowls. The Ravens gave up two special teams touchdowns last week, something that the previous Super Bowl winning Ravens team would not have allowed. I have predicted the Ravens to lose the last two weeks so I feel obliged to do the same again. This time I don’t see the result being as close as last year. I do see the Patriots offense stalling in the red-zone, but my bold prediction is Pats kicker Gotkowski connecting on five field goals.
Patriots to win 29-19 in a game where Tom Brady is rattled but not derailed.
This gives me a 49ers v Patriots Super Bowl. To end on a pugilistic note a knockout game you must agree.