2006 AFC Title Game Tops List of 10 Best Ever
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It's championship weekend in the NFL. With that, there HAS to be a top-10 list of the best title games in history, right? Of course.
Yahoo sports came through and ranked the 2006 AFC Colts-Patriots AFC Championship as the best championship game ever.
The full list is linked above, and another AFC title game the Colts were in actually made the list too. 1995, the Jim Harbaugh hail mary that fell a fingertip short in Pittsburgh, was ranked the fourth best game, but let's be honest.
You barely even remembered that.
This list is about that holy day in January of 2007 when the Colts finally welcomed the Patriots into their house for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. Here's what Yahoo sports had to say about the game:
"1. Manning finally gets to a Super Bowl
2006, Colts 38, Patriots 34
If you wanted to make an argument for this being the greatest game in NFL history, I’d listen. The backstory set up a classic. It was Peyton Manning trying to finally get over the hump against the Patriots, with the better team and home-field advantage. Then the Colts fell behind 21-3 on an Asante Samuel pick-six early in the second quarter. It seemed Manning would have to wait again.
But the Colts kept chipping away. The comeback featured a touchdown catch from defensive lineman Dan Klecko and a fumble recovery in the end zone for a score by center Jeff Saturday. The game-winning Colts drive was vintage Manning, and had one hold-your-breath moment when Reggie Wayne fumbled up in the air but the ball landed back in his hands. Joseph Addai scored the go-ahead touchdown on a run with a minute left. Tom Brady was picked off shortly after that. Manning finally had slain the dragon. You won’t find many games more entertaining than this one, in any sport."
January 21, 2007 should be a holiday in the city of Indianapolis. No work. No school. Every year a day off to remember and celebrate the glory that was this day and this game.
Hell, Jim Irsay could open up Lucas Oil Stadium and replay the game on the jumbotrons, and I guarantee the place would damn-near be full. It's not like the building has been in use the last few January's (HEY!).
But in all seriousness, there can't be an argument to #1 on this list. The hyperbole about big sports moments being like movies can be overdone sometimes, but this storyline legitimately was everything you could ask for in a movie. Hero. Villians. Storyline and a climax like none other. It's everything you could want in NFL Network's "America's Game", and it still is.
And who can forget this, arguably the most iconic call in the history of Indianapolis sports?
Still get chills.
The only competition against that radio call from Bob Lamey would be Mark Boyle's "DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD", but this was to go to the Super Bowl. As Reggie Miller even states himself in his 30 for 30, "Now I just wish it would have been to go to The Finals."
I'd be perfectly fine with some sort of statue/rememberance of Marlin Jackson lying on the ground, pointing to the sky with the ball in his arms across the way from Peyton's that has that call inscripted on the base of it. It's that iconic to this franchise.
Now, who do I talk to about this January 21 day off?