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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford gears up for NFL playoff excitement

Joshua Campbell
Guilford College football players Rod Hedrick, Avery Garner, Phil Couillard, and Josh Campbell at the Armfield Athletic Center.

As the NFL regular season comes to an end, the playoff games are getting a lot of attention from fans. As some football fans may tell you, the 2023-24 season has been exciting and shocking. 

Teams that you would expect to succeed have fallen from the top of the NFL rankings, such as the Philadelphia Eagles with a four-game losing streak towards the end of the regular season. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who made it to the playoffs last year, failed to do so this year as they lost five of their last six games in the season.

Teams you usually wouldn’t expect much from have risen to the occasion, such as the Cleveland Browns. The Browns, who weren’t expected to perform well, ended the regular season with a record of 11-6 heading into the playoffs.

Every year, Guilford College students and athletes wait for these games leading up to the Super Bowl, anxious about who will come out on top. A few Guilford football players recently shared their insights about the playoffs. They were asked how the NFL games might motivate them, what they do to celebrate the playoffs, and if the playoffs affect them in a positive way leading into their spring athletic season.  

“I was surprised to see teams like the Browns, Lions, and Dolphins making an appearance in this year’s playoffs,” said Avery Garner, a first-year football player.  In the first round of the playoffs, the Houston Texans defeated the Cleveland Browns (45-14) and the Kansas City Chiefs scored a decisive victory over the Miami Dolphins (26-7). 

In this weekend’s playoff games, on Jan. 20, the Houston Texans will face the Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers will play the San Francisco 49ers. On Jan. 21, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go up against the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Buffalo Bills.

With many NFL teams this year, the standings and regular season results were close, which makes playoffs exciting but also nerve-racking for the fans. “I feel the most exciting part of this year’s playoffs is that based on the regular season, any clinched playoff team can make it to the Super Bowl,” said Josh Campbell,  a sophomore on the football team.

Many at Guilford celebrate this event as if it were a holiday, with activities like dressing in their favorite team’s attire, making food and cooking out, and gathering together to watch the games.

Some Guilford students have traditions, such as junior football player Phil Couillard. “I’m a huge Cleveland Browns fan,” he said. “I usually order some pizza and sit back and enjoy some good football and relax.” 

There’s also room for friendly competition between students.  “I absolutely plan to watch the NFL playoffs as I plan to cheer for the Miami Dolphins, the greatest team in the nation,” said sophomore football player Rod Hedrick. Different students are zealous fans of different teams and friendly banter is inevitable as the playoff brackets tighten.

While this time of the year is meant to be a celebration for fans and a time to kick back and watch good football, it is also a time for Guilford College student-athletes to get motivated for their spring season, which started Jan. 15.

Watching NFL games serves as a valuable learning experience.  Like studying film, viewing NFL games offers insights and motivation to put in extra effort in the off-season. As Campbell said, “watching the NFL playoff games motivates me to work hard towards the season. With me watching football gets me excited to compete and make plays.”

There have been many close and exciting games this year, but inevitably there will be more until the NFL is down to its final two teams of the season. Will the teams that make it to Super Bowl 58 give fans the shock of a lifetime or is the outcome of this year’s playoffs a given? Only one team can win it all.

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    Debbie HedrickJan 23, 2024 at 8:13 pm

    Go Quakers!!! Can’t wait to watch you guys play.