The Year of the Dragon, which starts today, is considered to be the luckiest of the Chinese lunar years, and Sunday's two NFL conference championships provided additional proof.


The Patriots beat the Ravens to earn their fifth Super Bowl berth under coach Bill Belichick. Check out Belichick's birthday: April 16, 1952. That means he was born during a Year of the Dragon.

Among the traits traditionally associated with those born in a dragon year are being smart, energetic, ambitious, passionate, extroverted, conceited and quick tempered. OK, maybe Belichick will never fit the extrovert profile, but there are more hits than misses on that checklist.

Then there's Giants rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams, who helped set up the winning field goal in overtime by forcing 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams to cough up the ball.

Jacquian Williams was born July 20, 1988, which makes him a dragon, the only mythical animal of the 12 in the Chinese zodiac.

"I always dream of making a big play," Williams told reporters after the Giants' 20-17 win at Candlestick Park.

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On the other hand, Kyle Williams was also born in the Year of the Dragon -- one day before Jacquian -- so again nobody should be gambling the mortgage strictly based on zodialogical interpretations.

But depending on strategic deployment at the line of scrimmage, Super Bowl 46 could produce another pivotal one-on-one, dragon-vs.-dragon match-up: Patriots right guard Nate Solder and Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul.

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