(Bill Belichick and Willie McGinest after being told that Donovan McNabb is so cheap, he forces his mom to act in those soup commercials)

All week long I kept hearing about how today’s New England/Pittsburgh AFC Championship would be a “physical battle.” Ron Jaworski boldly promised this would be “the most physical matchup in the history of the NFL”. To which my reaction was identical to when I heard Skye Sweetnam sing “feel what it’s like to rebel” ; ie. what does that actually mean? Would “the most mental matchup in the history of the NFL” be contested by 22 guys in wheelchairs?

(l-r : Jaws, Skye. They’re both speaking a language I cannot understand.)

Though I’m not shocked that rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger showed even less poise than he did last week against the Jets, that Pittsburgh failed to establish the running game of Deuce Staley and Jerome Bettis was surprising. Big Chin Cowher is now 1-5 in conference championship games, while New England’s rumpled genius, Bill Belichick, extends his playoff record to 10-1, matching that of Vince Lombardi. Perhaps renaming Foxboro “Title Town” is in order?

If you’re one of the handful of people who still think these Patriots are overdue for a playoff loss, consider what they’ve done in the past two weeks. New England’s depleted secondary totally shut down Peyton Manning and the Colts’ high-flying offense, holding Indy to a mere 3 points. Today at Theresa Heinz Field, Tom Brady & co. rang up 34 points on the league’s stingiest defense.

A lowdown, dirty shame, by the way, that ESPN had to use Sal Paolantonio for tonight’s Sunday conversation with Donovan McNabb. With all due respect to the capable Paolantonio, the occasion was just crying out for the return of Rush “Feelgood Hit Of The Winter” Limbaugh. And really, big props to the Eagles on getting the conference title off their backs. And how can you not love a Philadelphia/New England Super Bowl? It’s gonna be Ramona Africa vs. Charles Stuart. The Sadistic Exploits vs. The Groinoids. Philly Cheesteaks vs…..uh…..well, just pretend there’s an edibile food item associated with the Boston area and you’re all set.