Some very meaningful football is about to be played at the game’s highest level on NFL Championship Sunday.
Sadly, the Boston College Eagles have few representatives left in the proceedings.
In the AFC Championship game, the only former Boston College Eagles will be playing for the team that, ironically, most BC fans will not want to win. The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots will play for one spot in Super Bowl XLIX; while the locals in these parts will be rooting for the Pats, Eagles fans with no official interest in the game might lean towards the Colts.
The only ex-wearer of maroon and gold who will be starting on NFL Championship Sunday in either contest will be Colts offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo. This is his first appearance in the conference championship round since he was drafted in 2011.
On his team, there are two other Boston College alumni: backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and another offensive lineman, Gosder Cherilus. The latter is on injured reserve, and if the former plays instead of Andrew Luck at any point, Indianapolis has big problems that they will hope to address.
On the hometown Patriots, there are no Boston College Eagles. A few years ago, they used to have Ron Brace, but that ship has sailed.
When it comes to the NFC Championship, had there not been season-ending injuries to two former Eagles, both would have had Boston College representatives. Even though they are not playing, one of their teams will go to the Super Bowl (and hopefully they are invited along).
B.J. Raji, defensive lineman of the Green Bay Packers, and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis of the Seattle Seahawks will cheer on their teams, but not set foot on the field. Raji was injured prior to the start of the 2014 season and has not played at all. Pierre-Louis had a rookie season consisting of seven games before a shoulder injury landed him on Injured Reserve in November.
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The two most high-profile Eagles in the National Football League are out. Just last week, Pierre-Louis’s Seahawks vanquished Luke Kuechly and his Carolina Panthers. Those Panthers kept Matt Ryan and his Atlanta Falcons out of the playoffs, though admittedly, the Falcons have nobody to blame but themselves.
Will any Eagles play for Mr. Lombardi’s trophy in two weeks, or will Boston College’s ex-Eagles be shut out of the proceedings? Seeing as Castonzo is the only one likely to appear on NFL Championship Sunday at all, the odds are not looking great. The Colts are a 6.5-point underdog to New England.