Which team controls its own destiny this final week of the NFL?
None, according to Bob Costas.
After Cris Collinsworth tried to map out the AFC playoff scenarios on NBC’s “Football Night in American” studio show Sunday, Costas chimed in: “And you know what? Thank you for not saying what we hear hundreds of times every NFL season at this point — radio, television, everywhere — talking about teams that ‘control their own destiny’ or ‘control their own fate.’ If it’s destiny or fate, folks, you can’t control it. Control the outcome, control the result, you can’t control destiny or fate.”
It even made Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick oooh and ahhh at the magnificent contributin Costas had just made, and Patrick to reference it just before Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was interviewed on tape with Bob Neumeyer, saying his team was in a position “to control our own destiny.”
Wrong, fool. You don’t know games end in ties, and you don’t know … never mind.
Destiny’s outcome for Week 17, as TV will show it to us:
== 10 a.m., Channel 2: New England at Buffalo (with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf) Why it’s important: The Patriots have a shot at the AFC East title, but only if the New York Jets lose (see 1:15 p.m. game). The Patriots can’t get a wildcard spot. Other CBS games in this window: Kansas City-Cincinnati, Chicago-Houston, Tennessee-Indianapolis, Cleveland-Pittsburgh and Oakland-Tampa Bay.
== 10 a.m., Channel 11: New York Giants at Minnesota (with Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger and Laura Okmin). Why it’s important: The Giants have already clinched the division. The Vikings could clinch if Chicago loses tonight to Green Bay. Other Fox games in this window: St. Louis-Atlanta, Detroit-Green Bay, Carolina-New Orleans and Seattle-Arizona.
== 1:15 p.m., Channel 2: Miami at New York Jets (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). Why it’s important: The Dolphins win the AFC East with a victory. The Jets win the AFC East with a victory and a New England loss. Other CBS games in this window: Jacksonville-Baltimore (if the Ravens win, they’re in as a wildcard).
== 1:15 p.m., Channel 11: Dallas at Philadelphia (with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver). Why it’s important: The Cowboys clinch a wildcard spot with a victory. Philadelphia needs a win, plus a loss by Tampa Bay and/or Chicago. Other Fox games in this window: Washington-San Francisco.
== 5:15 p.m., Channel 4: Denver at San Diego (with Al Michaels, John Madden and Andrea Kremer). Why it’s important: Winner advances. Loser doesn’t. Call it a wild-wildcard game.