Tag Archives: Al Michaels

NFL 2009: Giants scrunch and munch the Cowboys

The New York Giants got a first person look at the towering girth of the TV screen at Cowboys Stadium tonight.  Approximately 111,000 warm bodies filled the place to watch the game?

Televised on NBC, the first score of the game came in the form of a Giants field goal in the first quarter.  When the Cowboys went on offense, running back Marion Barber ran into the end zone for a touchdown.  Dallas 7 and New York 3.  The bottom of the quarter greeted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throwing an interception; Giants cornerback Bruce Johnson grabbed the ball in the air and flew into the end zone.  New York 10 and Dallas 7.  Cowboys running back Felix Jones went to return a kick-off but then dropped the ball at the twenty-eight yard line.  The Giants jumped on the loose prolate spheroid.  They would get another field goal soon after, giving them 13 points to the Cowboys’ 10.

The Cowboys responded with a TD catch by tight end Jason Witten in the second quarter.  Dallas 14 and New York 13.  With fewer than sixty seconds left to play in the first half, Giants QB Eli Manning threw a TD pass to wide receiver Mario Manningham, who juggled the ball in the air as he was sliding across the end zone, but he did maintain possession of the ball.  New York 20 and Dallas 14.  This TD would not have been possible had Tony Romo’s previous pass not hit Jason Witten’s left foot, causing the ball to richochet up into the hands of Giants safety Kenny Philips.  The Cowboys were able to get a field goal and narrow the score gap.  Going into halftime, New York 20 and Dallas 17.

The third quarter started with a missed twenty-nine field goal for the Giants.  It tick-tocked down to around three minutes when Tony Romo got into the end zone.  Dallas 24 and New York 20.  With fewer than thirty seconds left on the clock, Tony Romo  threw another interception right into the bosom of Kenny Philips.

The fourth quarter started with a medium shot of LeBron James, in a black t-shirt and sunglasses, in one of the VIP boxes.  Eli Manning connected with Giants wide receiver Steve Smith for a TD to take the lead again.  A field goal halfway through the quarter maintained that lead.  New York 30 and Dallas 24.  The Cowboys weren’t going to let the Giants keep that top bunk.  Felix Jones got himself into the end zone.  Dallas 31 and New York 30.  Thirteen seconds left!  What would happen?!  Giants Lawrence Tynes attempted a thirty-seven yard field goal, made it, but Dallas called a time-out at the very, very last milli-second.  Take two was good too, though.  New York 33 and Dallas 31.  Wow.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Bob Costas spoke with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before the game started.  Jones emphasized that he wanted the fans to get “an experience they don’t/wouldn’t get watching the game at home/on the TV.”

2.  John Madden was in attendance at the game.  When the camera cut to him (in a medium shot), he was checking his phone.

3.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth provided commentary.  “Gimme a noun, gimme a preposition…be it ever so humble, Jerry Jones has given a new meaning to the word ‘home’,” Michaels said of the stadium.

4.  Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem.  Was Rudy Giuliani included in the montage of faces?

5.  The former President and First Lady were there at the coin toss.

6.  Cowboys Stadium’s field looked like regurgitated spinach.

7.  A camera caught George W. Bush sitting next to John Madden during the middle of the first quarter.

8.  Al Michaels noted halfway through the second quarter that Eli Manning and his offensive line, David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie, have started thirty-four games straight.

9.  A camera caught a glimpse of Jerry Jones’s daughter, Charlotte, and wife, Jean, flanking Laura Bush.  They appeared to be having an interesting conversation.  The former First Lady nodded and smiled and Mrs. Jones used hand gestures to explain something.

10.  Marion Barber’s mouth guard is blue.

11.  The scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium is seven stories high.

12.  Halftime included more interview footage with John Madden and Bob Costas.  My goodness, Costas does age!  Madden said that he only decided to retire two months after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in last year’s Super Bowl.

13.  Wow…there are now Dallas Cowboys Cage Dancers?  The Cheerleaders are a separate piece.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.  Click here for the Cowboys roster.

NFL 2009: Packers au gratin the Bears

Detour:

Paddy Chayefsky contributed to early American television and was an award-winning screen writer.  I clicked to his wikipedia page (from the wiki page of the film Altered States) and couldn’t help but linger on the first line of his entry.  He was born January 29, 1923 and died August 1, 1981.  Fifty-eight years before I felt oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon particles against my mucousy skin, he did.  About seven months after I was born, he died.

Retour:

Oh to be a ligting fixture or a steel beam at Lambeau Field as The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears ring in the 2009 NFL season.  Broadcast on NBC and narrated by Al Michaels (wearing a dark gray suit, a light gray-bluish-white button-down shirt, and a dark gray and silver diagonally striped tie) and Cris Collinsworth (wearing a dark navy suit, a white button-down shirt and a somewhat unsightly maroon tie with weird blockish patterned tie).

The first quarter included a missed field goal by Packers kicker Mason Crosby as well as Bears wide receiver Devin Hester returning a punt and doing what Al Michaels termed, “the spinorama” (Hester caught the ball and advanced five yards by twirling about his center of gravity).  Excitement bells rang out in the bottom of the first quarter when Packers safety Nick Collins intercepted Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s pass meant for tight end Greg Olsen.  The Packers couldn’t do much with that turnover, though.

The second quarter rolled to around eight minutes when Cutler threw a sixty-eight yard complete pass to wide receiver Johnny Knox.  And then the Packers took the ball.  Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly intercepted Cutler.  Bears safety Daniel Manning got his team a safety (how appropriate) when he pulled Packers QB Aaron Rodgers into the end zone.  Sweet succotash.  Cutler’s pass was picked off again byPackers cornerback Tramon Williams.  Bears head coach Lovie Smith challenged the location of where the ball was downed.   The ruling was not overturned.  Packers running back Ryan Grant got himself into the end zone on the next play and did the “Lambeau Leap,” which involves a player running and jumping atop the barrier that separates the field and the first row of seats.  Green Bay 10 and Chicago 2.

Roughly five minutes of the third quarter elapsed when Devin Hester made a TD catch.   The Bears took the lead with a field goal near the bottom of this quarter.  Chicago 12 and Greeny Bay 10.  The fourth quarter started with an offensive play by the Bears where the ball was snapped to running back Garrett Wolfe,* who then ran five or so yards before he was tackled.  Lovie Smith threw down the challenge flag because he believed that Green Bay had too many men on the field.  When the red flag went out, Al Michaels pointed it out, and Cris Collinsworth joked that maybe “he’s challenging his own call.”  Michaels then said, “That’s the line of the evening.”  The referee determined that there were not too many Packers on the field.

Mason Crosby’s thirty-nine yard field goal attempt was good.  His cheeseheads took back the lead.  Green Bay 13 and Chicago 12.  Bears kicker Robbie Gould’s twenty-one yard FG “was true” (as Al Michaels put it, but he said used the present tense) in the bottom of the quarter.  Chicago 15 and Green Bay 13.  Seemed like the Bears would’ve won, right? And then there was the one-minute-remaining mark.  Aaron Rodgers connected with wide receiver Greg Jennings, who would also make the succesful two-point conversion catch.  Packers cornerback Al Harris intercepted Cutler’s final gasp at taking the lead.  Green Bay 21 and Chicago 15.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Those Packers’ uniforms made me think of mustard and relish on a hot dog.  Or corn and collard greens.

2.  Faith Hill sang the Sunday Night football song yet again.  Oh, but she looked so much better in the 2009 promo.  She wore a long-sleeved shirt dress and black knee-high boots.  Her hair and makeup improved greatly as well.  Sprint once again sponsored.  The visual design is reminiscent of “More Money More Problems” and Kpop girl group 2NE1’s “Fire” music video (the space version) with a dash of 4 Minute’s “Hot Issue” mv.

3.  Does Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher age? He’s been a Bear for a decade, hasn’t he?  He only played half of the game, I believe on account of a wrist injury.  He looks like the kind of person that could make you feel safe no matter where you were or what terrible things were about to or might possibly happen to you.  Although, he also looks like the kind of person that you’d want to stay far away from during times of emotional duress (that walk-off the field after Chicago lost.  He didn’t have fire in his eyes and murder on his mind, but there was an unmistakable hint of, “someone needs to be punished.”

4.  I miss John Madden’s ostensibly random comments about pop-culture and NFL history.

5.  I wonder who’ll end up with the greater viewership: NFL Sunday Packers vs. Bears or the VMAs 2009.

6.  One of the NBC cameras cut to a medium shot of Virginia McCaskey, the owner of the Bears, during the middle of the second quarter.  What happens when she is no longer able to own the Bears literally and legally?

7.  Cialis.  Why must a man wait to contact his doctor if he’s been saluting for more than four hours straight?  Why would anyone want to be pointing skywards for more than fourteen minutes?  It has a clinical term too: priapism.

8.  Bears head coach challenged the ruling after Cutler threw his second interception in the second quarter.  I believe someone yelled “I love Lovie.”

9.  Al Michaels remarked in the bottom of the first half that the Chicago and Green Bay matchup began in 1921?  1929?

10.  My, my, the sidelines of football games are populated not only by the teams’ players and personnel, but also by young males (of the Abercrombie catalogue aesthetic) likely between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five.  Interns? Volunteers?  Don’t see the young ladies as often–unless they’re part of the medical team or audio equipment crew (for the network televising the game).

11.  This game felt extremely long, which may tend to happen when both teams’ defensive capabilities out-shine their offensive skills.

12.  In the bottom of the third quarter, Al Michaels quoted John Madden: “When you have multiple injuries, you only feel one of them.”

13.  Cris Collinsworth spoke in the top of the fourth quarter on the Bears offense and mentioned something about the Patriots coming to Soldier Field in the near future, and that the Bears would just have to “get deep penetration into the backfield…but that’s probably the most obvious thing I’ve said tonight” (with a chuckled).  He then commented on Jay Cutler as “now he’s scrambling with a purpose.”

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

*And yet I can’t find Wolfe’s name in the play-by-play, which says it was Matt Forte.  I might’ve hallucinated “Wolfe.”

NFL 2009: Steelers vampire the Titans’ diaries

But first: Georgia Tech buffy-slayed Clemson 30 to 27.

~!~

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans blessed the opening of the 2009 NFL season Thursday night.  Broadcast on NBC, and narrated by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the scoreboard remained empty for most of the first half.  The CW was also premiering its new undead-teen-fiction-turned-undead-teen-TV-show.  I watched it (Nina Dobrev, who plays the female lead, is lovely).  When the pilot was over, I flipped back to NBC and the score was still 0 – 0.

By the end of the first quarter, each team’s quarterback, the stealing Ben Roethlisberger and the tightening Kerry Collins, had thrown an interception.  The Steelers eventually beat the Titans 13 (a Santonio Holmes touchdown and two field goals), to 10 (a Justin Gage TD and a field goal) in overtime.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Goodness Graceland, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels.  What were they wearing?  Collinsworth had on a white, long-sleeve button-down shirt, black pants, and a light blue tie with dark blue diagonally arranged squares on it.  Michaels wore a yellow long-sleeve button-down shirt, grey pants, and a gold and dark blue/black diagonally striped tie.   Tres moche.

2.  After returning to the game from a commercial break in the first quarter, one of the cameras cut to a medium shot of Faith Hill (sans makeup) sitting next to Tim McGraw (who had performed in pre-game festivities).   Faith looked great without the makeup, and she appeared to be eating a cookie.

3.  Pepsi is the official soft drink of the NFL?  Vraiment?  There was a then-and-now-in-the-NFL commercial.

4.  I saw two Old Spice Swagger ads (with karate and with arm wrestling) and one Old Spice different scents commercials.  Unsavory.  Disconcerting.

5.  What exactly did Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke do with his helmet in the third quarter?  He yanked it off and then plopped it back on?

6.  Steelers safety Troy Polamalu took a nasty left knee injury in the second quarter as a result of colliding with Titans tight end Alge Crumpler’s lower body.

7.  Steelers owner Daniel M. Rooney is now also the US Ambassador to Ireland.

8.  Why did Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch jump across the line of scrimmage in the  fourth quarter?  He was charged with encroachment.  It was quite a sight.  I was looking on the Steelers side of the field when suddenly, there Vanden Bosch was…surrounded by black and yellow.  I think time actually slowed down there for a bit.

9.  Hines Ward?! Hines Ward!  Don’t be mad.  Don’t be sad.  Don’t cry a puddle, not even a puddle.   What did he do or didn’t do?  He made a reception in the bottom of the fourth quarter but was bumped from behind by one of the Titans’ players and dropped the ball.  Ward was roughly twelve yards away from the end zone.

10.  A tender moment occurred in overtime.  Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace caught a pass and was cradled down to the field by Titans safety Vincent Fuller.  They remained in that “embrace” for some ten seconds longer than was probably necessary.

Get summary, stats, and play-by-play here.   Have you noticed NFL.com’s new Game Center interface?  You like it? I’m undecided at present.

NFL 08: Cowboys stuff the bellpeppers out of the Giants

New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys sitting in a tree.  F-I-S-H-I-N-G .

First comes blood.  Then comes a barrage.  Next comes Manning through a sodden parish.

The first quarter started with some crinkling bits of near-agony as the Giants came within a whisper of losing possession of the ball on Eli Manning’s first handle on it.   Not to suggest that the first quarter wasn’t filled with gasp-inducing game-plays, but the clock waddled down to the zero without any scores.

The second quarter started with Cowboys Tony Romo quarterback connected with wide receiver Patrick Crayton for a touchdown.   The Giants challenged the touchdown call because they believed Romo’s body was completely beyond the line of scrimmage.  Giants head coach Tom Coughlin lost the challenge.   The Giants got themselves on the board with a field goal, courtesy of John Carney towards the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 7 and New York 3.

The third quarter barked off with Eli Manning throwing an interception (his third of 2008).  Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman snatched the ball from the intended target, Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon.   The quarter ended with no added points for either team.

The fourth quarter bolted forth with some very impressive Cowboys action, including some running and catching by former GaTech Yellow Jacket running back Tashard Choice and catching by tight end Jason Witten.   Fullback Deon Anderson made a roomy TD catch shortly thereafter.   I’m telling you, time seemed to slow down as the ball crossed the goal line and was traveling towards Anderson’s grasp.  Dallas 14 and New York 3.  Giants defensive ends Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka sacked Tony Romo and got on top of the ball in the end zone for a safety.   Dallas 14 and New York 5.  John Carney threw up a field goal not long afterwards.  Dallas 14 and New York 8.  HOLY BOOTCUT  JEANS MADE IN AMERICA.  Or as Al Michaels said, “It’s the good ship lollipop.”  Tashard Choice made a thirty-eight yard rushing TD for the Cowboys in the bottom of the quarter.  They went for a two-point conversion, but it didn’t happen.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Terence Newman intercepted Eli Manning in the moshpit bottom of the fourth quarter.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  I like the Cowboys’ uniforms with the white jerseys.  I’m not keen on their navy blue look.    The juxtaposition between the Cowboys and the Giants’ garb was striking to me.  It was like the light vs. the dark.

2.  Awesome Budweiser commercial.  I love those horses.

3.  Not an awesome commercial.  Actually, it’s disturbing.

4.  Halftime included a discussion on the controversial Steelers TD that gave them the win against the Ravens.

5.  Tonight’s Line of Scrimmage segment featured The Boys Ranch run by Carl Farley.  I’d embed a link but mozilla keeps stalling when I tried to load the page.

6.  According to Al Michaels, John Madden’s favorite food is the Stub Sandwich, consists of  “two eggs, bacon, sausage, cheddar and potatoes, smack in the middle of two pieces of toast” as this web page corroborates.

7.  After returning from commercial break near the middle of the fourth quarter, the camera went to a high angle medium shot of Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Terrell Owens gabbing on the sidelines.  Romo and Owens were smiling.  Witten’s back was facing the camera–who knows what expression his face wore.  The hair on the top of his head, however, appeared to be, dare I say it, thinning.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Each day through My Window

I watch him as he passes by. I say to myself, I’m so lucky he’s so fly? Fine?

Now for a brief intermission:

Random[oid] ponders about the cell phone.

I’d like to be friends with this bartender.

Al Michaels loves to say “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…” in reference to recurring football plays.

Jason Cole’s thoughts on Falcons running back Michael Turner.

Natalie of Community Channel and the consequences of lending a hand.