And then there were two.
Four became two. One future hall of famer heads towards retirement, another continues on his fairy tale path into history. Two brothers make history facing each other seeking the Lombardi Trophy.
Two franchises live on. Thirty others are sitting at home.
For many a team making the playoffs seems like a success. The chance to play in the Super Bowl still exists. The dream is still alive. For others, they have to think of next year. That is the reality for thirty teams. After February 3rd one more team joins that list.
Only one team can be the champion. Second place is simply the first loser, a harsh reality, but still very true.
For the rest, they sit back to celebrate what has gone right over the last season while lamenting the failures. That is no easy task. Ultimately, unless you make it to the Super Bowl the whole season is a failure.
Each of these teams simply need to put the season behind them so they may concentrate on getting to the last weekend next year as players and coaches not just spectators.
The dream lives on for a few this season, for so many more they must look to the future.