If the Jets beat the Dolphins and the Patriots lose to the Bills or the Ravens lose to the Jaguars then the Jets are in.
If the Eagles beat the Cowboys and the Buccaneers lose to the Raiders and the Bears lose to the Texans, or the Vikings lose to the Giants, then Philadelphia is in.
If the Chargers beat the Broncos and the Colts beat the Panthers and the Saints beat the Falcons and the 49ers tie the Cardinals and the Seahawks do an exceptional interpretative dance at midfield using glow sticks, then the Buccaneers are out. [Simon Cowell and David Hasselhoff will form the two-person panel to judge whether the dance meets the GARTSE — Generally Accepted Reality TV Standards of Exceptional.]
The New York Giants will clinch the East Division with either:
- A Philadelphia tie with the combined score totaling exactly 64 points or
- Richard Faull (the “leading expert on the anatomy and chemistry of the mammalian brain and on neurodegenerative diseases of the human brain”) repeating as the winner of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Rutherford Medal.
If the price of oil sinks to $29 a barrel on or before December 28 and The New York Times publishes its entire December 29 issue in Esperanto, and the wind, as calculated at 11:17 a.m. on December 30, hits gusts of 59 mph out of the Southeast, then Mildred Peachman, a retired school nurse from the Midwest, will get in. If the above is coupled with a Bears tie, then Peachman’s out (sorry Mildred) and the Buccaneers get a first-round bye.
If the Bengals can become carbon-neutral by Week 17, and the Vatican adds one more photovoltaic panel to the roof of the Paul VI Audience Hall energy project, then Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, will outbid eBay legend bestbuyer_1954 for a refurbished British red telephone box, thus sending the Titans into the playoffs as a Wild Card.
If this year’s Super Bowl stadium’s field surface is grass (which it is), then Roger Cook, head landscaper on PBS’s This Old House is in. Congrats, Roger!
If, globally, executive compensation curbs prove successful in preventing bad business practices and excessive risk-taking by the world’s financial leaders, then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is in.
The New England Patriots will clinch home field advantage if:
- The Buffalo Bills’ wives fail to raise at least $2,000 at their annual bake sale or
- The foie gras ban in Chicago is reinstated.
If a randomly selected sample of Bottlenose Dolphins displays more cognitive capabilities than the N.F.L. Dolphins in head-to-head testing, then the real dolphins are in and the N.F.L. Dolphins are out and baseball’s Yankees, inexplicably, are in.
If the Chudnovsky Brothers take pi to two billion more decimal places, then they’re in.
If you beat this yellow light, you’re in.