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It's the first workday of a new year, and that means groggy coworkers, crowded gyms, the imminent end of the college football playoffs, and the imminent start of the NFL's playoffs. Let's get to it!

College Football Playoffs: Run It Back
In these tumultuous times, it’s nice to be able to count on the sun coming up in the morning, newscasters embarrassing themselves on New Year's Eve, and Alabama and Clemson absolutely ruining college football semifinal games with boring blowout wins on their way to facing each other in the finals. That exact scenario has now played out for the third time in four years, as 'Bama crushed Oklahoma while Clemson nearly shut out Notre Dame last Saturday. The good news: the last two championship matchups between Alabama and Clemson were great games (each team won once), and last year's championship -- in which 'Bama beat Georgia -- was too. 

This year's national championship game is on Monday, January 7, and the star players to watch are Alabama's quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson's running back Travis Etienne.

NFL Playoffs: Generational Showdown Time
The NFL's Wild Card playoff round is this weekend, but the best teams in the league aren't playing -- that's because the top two teams in each conference (the "NFC" and the "AFC") get a "bye" (a week off) while lesser teams duke it out for the honor, the privilege, of playing them in the next round. This year, we have elite quarterbacks on all the top teams, though literally from different generations -- seriously, in each conference, the older star quarterbacks are old enough to be the younger ones' fathers, technically anyway.

In the NFC, 39-year-old quarterback Drew Brees leads the top-seeded, high-scoring New Orleans Saints, who also happen to be the Super Bowl favorites according to Las Vegas gambling oddsmakers. The #2 seed L.A. Rams are led by 24-year-old QB Jared Goff, OK, fine, and a great defense that includes tackle machine Aaron Donald.

In the AFC, the ageless wonder whose Boston-area hero status puts Paul Revere to shame, aka 41-year-old Tom Brady, has just led the New England Patriots to a first-round bye for the ninth straight year, which is so ridiculous it's almost rude. But they're just the #2 seed in the conference, thanks to the game-bending skills of 23-year-old Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Seriously, the dude threw a no-look pass the other week. That's... not even a thing in football.

None of those teams are playing this weekend, but fortunately the Philadelphia Eagles are -- the defending champs just barely snuck into the playoffs, where they'll face Khalil Mack and the correctly-feared Chicago Bears defense. Philly's formula so far this year has been the same as it was last year: young star quarterback Carson Wentz starts for most of the season, Wentz gets injured, Nick Foles steps up and leads the team on a winning streak.
 
 
"It was always going to be Alabama vs. Clemson for the title -- right now, all other football schools pale in comparison."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The last time Alabama and Clemson played in the national championship game, on January 9, 2017, Clemson won thanks to this touchdown with one (1) second remaining.
 
 
 
 
 
 
#1 ranked Alabama plays #2 Clemson for the college football national championship on Monday, January 7, 8 PM ET on ESPN.

In the NFL, it's Wild Card round weekend, with games on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps most interestingly, the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday, 4:40 PM ET on NBC. The top teams in each conference return from a luxurious week off to face the Wild Card winners the following weekend.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This tweet was sent on Saturday, the day of the college football national semifinals. They were... not competitive. (Clemson beat Notre Dame 30-3, and then Alabama beat Oklahoma 45-34, but it wasn't that close, with 'Bama taking a 28-0 lead in the first half.)

Also, there's a channel called The Paramount Network?
 
 
 
 
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