Time to take the QB test

Ever take one of those tests where you are given four objects and you must pick the one that doesn’t belong with the other three?

I was reminded of those days when I started looking at the four quarterbacks who will participate in Sunday’s National Football League conference championship games.

The accomplishments of Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, speak for themselves. A three-time Super Bowl champion. A two-time Super Bowl MVP. Eight-time all-pro.

He’s the main reason New England is even money to win the Super Bowl.

OK, he and coach Bill Belichick.

On to San Francisco. The 49ers entered the season with Alex Smith entrenched as the quarterback. But coach Jim Harbaugh made a bold and daring midseason move and replaced him with rookie Colin Kaepernick. In a year in which rookies such as Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks were grabbing all the headlines, Kaepernick barely was on the radar screen.

Now, he’s a household name. Instead of questioning Harbaugh, fans are praising his courage. Kaepernick can run and he can throw. He can beat you with his body and with his brain. He may be a rookie, but he doesn’t play like one.

Check out Atlanta where Matt Ryan has the Falcons on the verge of a Super Bowl berth. Matty Ice has accomplished a lot in his career, but until the Falcons held off Seattle on Sunday, he hadn’t won a playoff game. Now, the question is can he can win another.

Finally, there is the Baltimore Ravens, guided by Joe Flacco, who led his team to the playoffs his first five seasons at the helm.

Now, he has led the Ravens to a stunning win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos last week.

Once again, he has Baltimore knocking on the door of the Super Bowl.

So the answer to who doesn’t belong in this group is Brady as he is the only one with Super Bowl rings, at least for now.

ROOT for the home team: One of the big winners in the end to the hockey strike was Root Sports Pittsburgh, which had been forced to fill its air time with reruns of memorable hockey games from the past.

Come Saturday, the National Hockey League teams will return to the ice for an abbreviated 48-game season.

Naturally, its games also will return to the airwaves, so RSP can show live hockey.

Hockey isn’t a big sport in rural America, but go to any town that has an NHL franchise and you will find great passion.

He’s not done yet: When you reach my age, you start rooting for the older guys in the various professional sports.

That’s why it was particularly heartwarming to see 49-year-old Parker Bohn III win the World Championship title on Sunday.

Bowling, golf and auto racing are about the only sports where the over-40 crowd can stay competitive.