It's that magical time of year when expanded playoff pictures start showing up on NFL broadcasts. Few things compare to the excitement of realizing that your mediocre team is technically still alive for a postseason berth. These snapshots have long been a staple of post-Thanksgiving presentations, using the same terminology of "in the hunt" for organizations looking to get back on the right side of the cutting-off point. During last week's Monday Night Football, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman lamented this fact and tried to do better, landing on "Sniffing Around."
Lo and behold, it appears MNF's crack creative team huddled up and did the Poochie thing where they said 'okay so we're all good with Sniffing Around, right' and adjourned for some local Tampa cuisine. Because there was that phrase last night.
This may be controversial but I like "in the hunt" better. Sniffing around connotes Stanley Hudson bringing his daughter to work and confronting Ryan Howard in the break room after misconstruing the situation. But hey, most innovation is under-appreciated in its own time.
I think we all know the future here. Every network will develop their own playoff picture terminology and then sell it to advertisers. It won't just be Sniffing Around, it will be the Benadryl Sniffing Around zone. Or the Ziplock Clinch Column. Still remarkable to be alive to see something evolve in real-time.