So now, the Super Bowl is set for February 12 in Chandler, Arizona, home of the Cardinals.
The top seeds in both conferences held serve despite trends going in the opposite direction Sunday to set up the "Big Game".
In Philadelphia, the Eagles defense picked up right where they left off a week ago against the Giants, allowing only a touchdown to Christian McCaffrey, and knocked rookie QB Brock Purdy out of the game with an elbow injury, although he did return when his backup, Josh Johnson, was injured, in a 31-7 rout.
It was Purdy's 1st loss as a starter, and a very costly one. It also took some shine off 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans, who played in Houston and Philadelphia during hsi career, and was being looked at for a possible head coaching position after just two seasons as coordinator, a position he accepted when Robert Saleh left to coach the Jets.
For what it's worth, we mentioned that Philadelphia wrestling icon Paul Heyman cut a heel promo on the "City of Brotherly Love" one week ago, touting Purdy and the Niners to get heat. In terms of kayfabe, the Eagles might want to consider sending Heyman an autographed game ball, since they can say Heyman gave them extra motivation against the Niners.
But we know the truth, of course.
In Kansas City, a bizarre referee's call in the 4th quarter sparked the Chiefs, and denied the Cincinnati Bengals a return trip to the big dance.
In case you missed it, KC was facing 3rd down & 9 yards to go. Patrick Mahomes' pass to Travis Kelce only goes 3 yards, and the Chiefs have to punt. But, wait! An official waved it off, saying the clock started a wee bit prematurely, and the down was thrown out. Given new life, the Chiefs ultimately won the game on a 45 yard field goal by Harrison Butker with 3 seconds left.
More grist for the mill for those that believe the zebras are beholden to the league's media partners.
In the aftermath of Saturday's Royal Rumble, there are some ill-educated fans who believe that Cody Rhodes hasn't won it yet.
You see, Rey Mysterio never entered the match, and it was speculated that estranged son Dominik, now part of the Judgment Day faction, had ambushed his pop and stole one of Rey's signature masks.
In reality, the elder Mysterio was injured in a match Friday on Smackdown in which he beat Karrion Kross. It was posted online that the rules of the Rumble match clearly state that if a competitor doesn't come out when his number is called before the next one is called, then he is ruled out.
Clearly, some fans don't understand how this all works.
True story. I attended the 1992 edition of the Rumble, the 1st PPV at what is now MVP Arena. Coming out of the show, and bound for the bus stop, I had the misfortune of waiting with a disabled fellow who didn't follow the storyline, and claimed Ric Flair, who won the event that year, had "cheated" when it was abundantly clear he hadn't, and that Hulk Hogan, who finished 3rd, was the actual winner.
I never saw that fella again.
Hockey lost one of its icons over the weekend.
Bobby Hull, nicknamed the Golden Jet during his playing days, passed away Saturday at 84.
A 2-time Hart Trophy winner, and a 3-time scoring champion, Hull racked up 610 goals and 1170 points before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. Hull bolted for the upstart WHA in 1972, and played for Winnipeg (now an NHL team) before jumping back to the NHL to play for Hartford for 9 games in 1980.
Son Brett, who played for St. Louis, surpassed his father in career goals scored, and the Hulls are the only father & son team to win the Hart Trophy.
Off the ice, Bobby became outspoken with some very controversial beliefs at the turn of the century, falling into certain delusions about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Rest in peace.