AFC Championship

While the more electrifying contest may very well be the game that follows this one, between the Vikings and Saints, all eyes will undoubtedly be riveted on the outcome of the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New York Jets. Will the Colts avenge the loss that ended their journey towards perfection or will the upstart Jets put an end to what was shaping up to be a historic season for the Colts?

Jet fans will be quick to refer to the first half of the Week 16 contest between the two clubs. Even with the starters playing in the first half, the Jets were hanging in there. Colt fans will be as quick to say that the only reason the Jets even made the playoffs is because the Colts did not feel like beating them.

There will be plenty of talk all week-long leading up to the game about the regular season match up and how the Jets have played since then. Questions about whether the Colt defense can stop the jet rushing attack as well as to who- if anyone- will get stranded on Revis Island will be bantered about. In the end, neither the arm of Peyton Manning nor the feet of Thomas Jones or Shonne Greene will decide this game. No, the best beer from their respective rookie head coaches’ home states will decide the winner.

For Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts it will be Lakefront IPA from the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; from Rex Ryan’s home state of Oklahoma will be Atlas IPA from the Marshall Brewing Company.

Between the two IPAs the battle is fierce in the opening quarter, but as the clock ticks down to zero the Lakefront IPA opens up a slim lead as its slightly stronger ABV (6.9% relative to 6.5% for Atlas IPA) kicks a 48 yard field goal right through the uprights. The Colts lead extends to 10 since the American Cascade and Chinook hops give Lakefront a rather pleasant floral, citrus like scent while the Columbus, Amarillo, and Cascade hops in Atlas IPA lend a hops-like aroma to the beer that is not too noticeable.

The bitterness that the hops gives Lakefront IPA allows the Jets to sneak back in the game by returning the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown giving Colt fans flash backs to the regular season contest. Pale and caramel malts give Atlas its substance and flavor and give the Jets their first lead of the game as Mark Sanchez punches the bowl across the goal line from the one. Lakefront IPA and the Colts come on strong to finish the game as the full body and delicious malty flavor highlighted by the hops give this beer a strong, crisp finish that will keep you coming back for more- final score, Colts 38 to the Jets 21.

There you have it sports fans. Picking winners is tough, but when in doubt, do what I do-just drink.

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