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You're going to see a ton of NFL playoff preview breakdowns around the Internet today. But I wanted to give you something different. So, I've called on two of Hot Clicks Nation's favorite women to give us some insight into the Ravens-Patriots battle. Stacy Keibler is a huge Ravens fans (and a former cheerleader) and Maria Menounos is a Patriots loyalist. I spoke with each woman about their squads and some other things.
SI.com: Who is your favorite Raven?
Keibler: Ray Rice is just killing it right now and I'm a big fan.
SI.com: What are the keys to this game for the Ravens?
Keibler: They need to sustain a running game to give Joe Flacco more time when they throw. I think they need to avoid the flags. And they need to hold the Patriots to field goals.
Keibler: Baltimore 20, New England 17. Rice scores the game-winning touchdown! Plus, that was the score when I went home and saw them beat Pittsburgh, so it's good luck!
SI.com: Do you have any trash talking for Patriots fan, Maria Menounos?
Keibler: I'm very sorry to hear about what happened to Wes Welker.
SI.com: OK. Enough about football. I have to ask you two other questions. First, you're appearing on How I Met Your Mother this week. Tell us about that.
Keibler: It's this Monday, it's the 100th episode. It's just a one-time thing for now, but they're saying I'm the new bartender at MacLaren's, so when I left the writers and producers said they'd love to have me back, so I'm hoping I can go back because it was the best job I've ever been on. The cast is not only such talented actors but they're such great people and so much fun. Most of my scenes are with Barney. Neil Patrick Harris is so brilliant. He's so quick, such a good performer, such a good person.
SI.com: Lastly, I know you're focusing on acting, but the WWE now has guests hosts for Monday Night Raw each week? Any plans to do that?
Keibler: It's funny because I actually went to them when they were in my hometown of Baltimore a little while ago and they completely ignored me. Then, probably a month later, my publicist called them again and they said "Oh, we would love to have her" and they gave us some dates, but it didn't' work around my schedule. So maybe in the future if the timing is right, but right now there no plans to do it. But it would be so much fun to walk out and feel that energy again and be around my fans. I would absolutely love to do it.
SI.com: I think I know the answer, but who is your favorite Patriot?
Menounos: Well, not this season. Tom has come back from his injuries and been great, but Wes Welker has been consistent the whole year and I really firmly believe we're in the playoffs because of him. What happened to him was absolutely tragic last week, and I was actually crying while watching because I just knew what that injury meant. And it was so moving because I've never seen a player crying when he's injured. And he was emotional and it was because he knew it was over. I couldn't handle it. I was wailing.
SI.com: What are the keys to the game for New England?
Menounos: I think it lays on our defense and Brady, specifically Brady really connecting with Randy Moss as they've done in the last couple of games. They also need Julian Edelman to step up in place of Welker. If those things happen and our defense is tight, I don't think anyone can stop us. And certainly not Baltimore.
Menounos: Patriots 24, Ravens 17.
SI.com: Your friend, Stacy Keibler, sarcastically said she was sorry to hear about what happened to Wes Welker.Menounos: I know Stacy used to be in the WWE and I just recently made my debut with them, and I'd be happy to take her on. I'd put her in the chicken wing!
I think I speak for all of Hot Clicks Nation when I say that we would love to see that match. Anyway, my thanks to both ladies for their time. You can follow Stacy and Maria on Twitter.
You Won't Find Better NFL Experts Than These
Stacy Keibler, Maria Menounos :: Getty Images
Here's an exclusive, detailed report on how his recovery is going.
Speaking Of Welker...
The two things people have been up in arms about the most over the past couple of weeks are the BCS and Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. The BCS mess gets more publicity, but the Hall of Fame is quite the disaster, too. Pat Hentgen actually got a vote this year! Anyway, Deadspin calls out three writers for their inept job, but I have to disagree with them on one thing. Lisa Olson should not be the first runner-up. She should be the winner -- in a landslide. According to Deadspin, she has turned in a blank ballot EVERY YEAR SINCE SHE BECAME ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. Awful.
A Complete Joke
There's nothing like getting robbed of the title game we were expecting because of an injury (more on that below). But Alabama was crowned champions, nonetheless, last night and there were definitely some highlights. For example, there was Nick Sabangetting pummeled in the face by his players during the tired and played out Gatorade celebration. And there was two Texas players pointing in opposite directions after a fumble.
BCS Game Goes Bust
Nick Saban :: AP
With Colt McCoy getting knocked out of last night's BCS Championship in the first quarter, Larry Brown Sports looks at the most ill-timed sports injuries.
Hurts So Bad
You may remember that before the NFL season started, Hot Clicks launched an NFL Pick 'Em contest. The winner, with a total of 154 correct picks (out of 256) was Matt Gibbs, who runs the very funny site, Yep Yep.
Pick 'Em Contest Update
You have to give Colt McCoy credit for giving an interview immediately after the game last night. He easily could've jogged into the locker room after not playing because of his injury and no one would've knocked him. You also have to give him credit for one of the more interesting quotes we've ever heard during a postgame interview: "I really have no pain in my arm. I just can't feel my arm."
Sports Video Of The Day
We might as well continue the theme of today's edition.
Stacy Keibler Video Of The Day
Not only does she love football and wrestling, but she knows how to belly dance, too!
Maria Menonous Video Of The Day