Tag Archives: Bill Belichick

BCS Championship 2009: Florida clamps down on Oklahoma

All right. Floridian reptiles of the SEC and Midwestern man-shaped creatures of the Big 12 dove into Dolphin Stadium in Miami for four rounds of last-spandexed-prolate-spheroid-clutching-collegiate standing in front of a full house. Televised on Fox, the first quarter churned to the nine minute mark when Gators quarterback Tim Tebow threw the ball and Sooners defensive back Nic Harris snatched it from flight. No score.

SWEET PEAS in a platter of eggplant. The second quarter darted off Tim Tebow struggling to find a receiver. When he finally found a target, he let loose, and the ball got into the hands of wide receiver Louis Murphy, who then stumbled and staggered a bit amidst a few Sooners towards the end zone. His body broke the plane, he hit the turf, the ball popped out of his hands and back onto the field. It was ruled a touchdown. Florida 7 and Oklahoma 0. How did the Sooners react? Quarterback Sam Bradford shuttled the ball to tight end Jermaine Gresham for a TD. Both teams 7. Halfway through the quarter, Tebow threw another interception…into the welcoming bosom of Sooners defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Although the Midwesterners were able to get down to ten yards within the end zone, Florida’s defense got in the way. With about three minutes left to play, Tebow threw the ball to running back Chris Rainey for yards (his right knee/calf got mangled by one of the Sooners). The moshpit bottom of the first half had the Sooners back in the red zone for what could’ve been a touchdown. But, wide receiver Manuel Johnson was unable to keep his hold on the ball. Gators safety Ahmad Black and linebacker Ryan Stamper kept the ball alive, and then safety Major Wright caught the ball.

The third quarter saw its first substantial breath of dramatic air with roughly five minutes left on the clock when Tebow connected with running back Jeffrey Demps, who made it a couple yards from the goal line. A couple plays later, running wide back receiver Percy Harvin got the ball into the end zone. Florida 14 and Oklahoma 7. Sooners kicker Jimmy Stevens attempted a forty-nine yard field goal…or attempted to attempt. The Gators put a stop to the projectile seconds after release.

The top of the fourth quarter said hello to the Sooners tying the score, thanks to Jermaine Gresham’s stride into the end zone. 14 a piece. The Gators retaliated shortly thereafter with Percy Harvin running fifty-two yards. Gators kicker Jonathan Phillips made a twenty-seven yard field goal, giving his team the top bunk again. Florida 17 and Oklahoma 14. When the Sooners got the ball back, Ahmad Black intercepted Bradford on the fourth play. And then there were four minutes left in the game. The Gators were in the red zone; Tim Tebow let the ball go almost as if he were dunking a basketball, and wide receiver David Nelson made a TD catch. Florida 24 and Oklahoma 14. Final score…but not after the referee was taken down during the third-to-last snap of the game. And then the camera cut straight to an extreme close-up of Sooners head coach Bob Stoops looking screen-left.

The Gators have won the 2009 BCS Championship.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Both bands had a turn on the field before kickoff.

2. Tom Brennaman and Charles Davis were the commentators.

3. Yolanda Adams sang the national anthem. C’etait pas mal.

4. The Gators wore white jerseys and white pants. J’adore.

5. Oklahoma won the coin toss and took the field first on offense.

6. Although both teams are familiar with the BCS stomping grounds, tonight was the first time they had played each other. Vraiment?

7. There was so much orange and blue in the crowds–made me think of Gulf. Does anyone remember Gulf gas stations?

8. Fox Sports debuted a hexangle camera set-up for the online broadcast in which viewers could play producer/director and choose the angles s/he would like to watch the game online. I tried to check it out but it took quite a bit of time to load. I saw that there was a cable cam, an Oklahoma Band, a Florida Band, and a quarterback cam.

9. Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick were at the game.

10. I cannot emphasize it enough: I love it when football players chew on their mouth guards.

11. Chris Leak was on the Gators sidelines.

12. Percy Harvin has a great figure.

13. The fourth quarter field goal that gave Florida the 17 to 14 lead could’ve been a touchdown. Tim Tebow thought he heard a whistle blow on the play prior to the snap (3rd and 6 on OK 10), and thus drifted backwards and tossed the ball away. Are noise-makers and whistles going to be prohibited from henceforth?

14. David Nelson’s fourth quarter TD catch was preceded five plays earlier by an amazing twenty-nine yard catch.

15. After Chris Myers talked to Percy Harvin, the camera cut to an extreme close-up of a female Sooners fan, probably a student. On her right cheek was the OU logo; on her left cheek…a trail of a tear.

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


NFL 08: Chargers grill up the Patriots

The New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers square off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.  Unfolding on the Chargers’ turf, the first quarter started with a San Diego field goal.  Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski’s field goal was no good.  On the Chargers’ next possession, wide receiver Malcolm Floyd made a touchdown.  San Diego 10 and New England 0.  Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding attempted but missed his second field goal at the bottom of the first quarter. The second quarter put the Patriots on the board with a field goal.  San Diego 10 and New England 3.  With about two minutes left in the quarter, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson made a TD.  Going into halftime, San Diego 17 and New England 3.

San Diego defended their goal line very effectively against the Patriots in the top of third quarter (through the nine minute mark).  New England quarterback Matt Cassel got his team down to the red zone but was unable to complete any passes for a touchdown.  He even tried to get into the end zone himself on fourth and goal but to no avail.  On the Chargers’ next possession, tight end Antonio Gates made a TD catch.  San Diego 24 and New England 3.  Chargers corner back Quentin Jammer intercepted Matt Cassel on the Patriots’ next turn
“at bat.”  One play later, the camera went into a close-up of New England head coach Bill Belichick mouthing what looks like “hey Finch!” to an off-screen person.  That Chargers drive ended with a field goal.  San Diego 27 and New England 3.

The fourth quarter took off with a field goal for San Diego and ambled towards the bottom with a Patriots TD by running back Sammy Morris.  San Diego 30 and New England 10.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Tonight’s halftime Toyota Line of Scrimmage spotlight: Maryland School for the Deaf.

2. Towards the bottom of the third quarter, Al Michaels informed John Madden that Matt Cassel, at age twelve, played in the 1994 Little League World Series.  There was a video clip too.  Earlier in the game, Michaels and Madden discussed Cassel’s minimum football experience, getting more time on the sidelines than on the field.  I think Cassel could be the subject of an interesting football film (and or book but only if John Feinstein writes it).

3. Sometime in the third quarter, Al Michaels made a comment about Chargers head coach Norv Turner’s IQ going up 15 to 20 points after running back Michael Turner was traded to Atlanta.

4. Have the Chargers’ colored jerseys always been light blue? No, but they were in th 60s.

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

By the way, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals played quite an exciting overtime game.  Click here to find out how the Cardinals beat the Cowboys 30 to 24.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers 40 to 26.  Click here for details.

And the Jone-Us Brothers will be performing during halftime of the Thanksgiving game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks.

NFL News: Papa, Can You Speak Louder?

I don’t think the following article I found on AJC.com is an April Fool’s joke–I hope it isn’t.

NFL defenders to wear ‘wired’ helmets

Coaches will be able to speak with players on the field

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published on: 04/01/08
Palm Beach, Fla. — Taking another technological step forward, NFL owners approved a communication device for defenses Tuesday.

One defensive player will wear a helmet similar to what the quarterback is allowed on offense. Should that player leave the game, a teammate can be designated to also have the device. But only one defender with the device can be on the field at a time.

“We want to safeguard against a situation with two players on the field at the same time with the helmet communication,” said Atlanta Falcons president and competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay.

“We are talking about a three-down player, perhaps a linebacker who doesn’t come off the field,” added Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, the other co-chairman of the committee that recommended instituting the device. Fisher has just such a player in Keith Bullock.

“In the event he goes down because of an injury, we’d identify our backup player as another three-down player.”

Fisher noted this change won’t eliminate entirely the need for signals from the sideline, something that pretty much has disappeared for offenses.

“The defense will still have need to signal in a hurry-up situation, where the ball is snapped very early,” he said.

The vote was 25-7 in favor — 24 yes votes were required — and all seven negatives came from head coaches with offensive backgrounds.

Voting against the measure were Seattle (Mike Holmgren), Tampa Bay (Jon Gruden), Oakland (Lane Kiffin), Philadelphia (Andy Reid), St. Louis (Scott Linehan), Washington (Jim Zorn) and Green Bay (Mike McCarthy).

Read what Bill Belichick had to say about this matter here.

Super Bowl XLII 2008: Giants Sautee the Patriots!

The New England Patriots and the the New York Giants ascended to the top of their respective AFC and NFC conferences at the close of the 2007 season. Today in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium, they touched helmets in a test of ultimate gridiron skill and talent.

Televised on Fox, the forty-second Super Bowl game started with the Giants receiving the kick-off. New York ended their first drive with a field goal. The first quarter ended with only two possessions (a Super Bowl record for fewest number), one per team. The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. New England 7 and New York 3.

On the Giants’ next drive, their quarterback Eli Manning threw a brilliant thirty-eight-yard pass to wide receiver Amani Toomer at the nineteen yard line. A touchdown didn’t seem too out of reach (despite a five yard penalty for a delay of game). Unfortunately, Giants wide receiver Steve Smith couldn’t keep onto the ball and Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs snatched it. Going into halftime, Patriots still 7 and Giants still 3.

The third quarter included a sack of Tom Brady by Michael Strahan at about the seven-minute mark. There was no scoring. Sweet Fancy Moses!! The fourth quarter began with a touchdown by Giants wide receiver David Tyree. It was so pretty and culminated a drive that partly consisted of an awesome forty-five yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss. New York 10 and New England 7. Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss put another TD on the board in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Patriots 14 and Giants 10. And that’s how the game ended. Yes? NO!!!!

With just about forty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress made a touchdown. New York 17 and New England 14. And that would be the final score. The subterranean dog has won Super Bowl XLII.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin must be one of the happiest persons in the world tonight.

Tom Brady will not be the third quarterback to have gone to and won four Super Bowls. The other two are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. I didn’t watch the majority of the pre-game montage, vignettes, and Ryan Seacrested “red carpet” banter.

2. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman provided commentary.

3. Tom Brady wasn’t wearing his helmet when he and his Patriots were walking out from the tunnel, but it was on his head by the time they ran on the field.

4. Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem. Holy Mary in a Manger. Jordin’s father was an NFL player, Phillippi Sparks. She did a pretty good job. She didn’t sound nervous and didn’t try to impress anyone with high notes or long-held notes, nor was her performance underwhelming. Is it my imagination or does the “Star Spangled Banner” seem shorter and shorter every time it’s sung?

5. Mike Carey was the referee today. He’s been officiating in the NFL for eighteen years but hasn’t been to the Super Bowl prior to this one.

6. Nearly halfway through the first quarter, after returning from a commercial break, the camera cut to a glimpse of Peyton Manning in one of the VIP boxes. He looked amazing, very polished, tres beau.

7. After returning from commercial break (featuring a Tide stain remover), the camera caught glimpses of Giselle Bundchen (wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, a greenish (?) scarf, and gold hoop earrings), Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and Pamela Anderson in various VIP booths. Jenny and Jim were sitting next to each other.

8. Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell and defensive end Michael Strahan brought down Tom Brady, which was followed by another collective hit by defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck just past the halfway point in the second quarter.

9. At the very bottom of the second quarter, the camera cut to Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Patriots, sitting in his box. Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson were sitting behind him.

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the halftime show. Hmm. It started off all dark except for a lit guitar-shapped arrow going into a lit heart (on which Tom Petty and his band were performing). They performed “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Falling,” and a third song that was mostly instrumental. I was satisfied with this year’s halftime show because I rather like Tom Petty’s music.

11. Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, was wearing a red hoodie today instead of the usual grey.

12. At the top of the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a shot of LL Cool J at the stadium. Jeremy Shockey, Giants tight end, also received a medium close-up. He broke left leg during a game against the Washington Redskins near the end of the season.

13. Giants rookie defensive tackle Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady with fewer than twenty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, helping to ensure that the Patriots wouldn’t score again.

14. No offense to any Patriots fans who might be reading this post, but I don’t think I’ve been as happy in months as I was when Plaxico Burress made that TD and Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady in the bottom of the fourth quarter. My mouth hurt from smiling so much.

Memorable commercials for me:

Audi R8 (reference to the first Godfather film)

Diet Pepsi Max (reference to the Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell SNL skit–you won’t get it unless you’ve seen the SNL skit)

Budweiser (featuring Clydesdale horses and a Dalmation dog and incorporating the sports inspirational narrative)

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

Be sure to tune in to Fox next Sunday for the 2008 Pro-Bowl game.

AFC Divisional 2008: Patriots corner the Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots huff and puff in a test of speed, agility, and survival of the fittest at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Televised by CBS, the first quarter began with a touchdown by Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones (on their first possession to boot; Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard threw the ball to the end zone as he was being pulled down to the ground by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel–from the instant replays, it appeared that the ball left Garrard’s hand at the same time or a couple of nano-seconds before his knee hit the turf). Of course, the Patriots weren’t going to take that kind of showmanship; they put their own TD (thanks to tight end Benjamin Watson) on the score board just after the middle of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. The Jaguars retaliated with another TD by wide receiver Ernest Wilford in the middle of the second quarter. Jacksonville and New England both 14. The tie would hold through the end of the second quarter.

Come the third quarter, it took roughly seven minutes for the tie to be broken….by the Patriots with a TD by wide receiver Wes Welker. Jacksonville narrowed the point gap with a field goal towards the end of the third quarter. New England 21 and Jacksonville 17. With less than two minutes on the clock in the third quarter, the Patriots scored another TD (thanks to Benjamin Watson).

The fourth quarter ran six minutes and the Jaguars got a field goal. The Patriots made one as well on their next drive. New England 31 and Jacksonville 20. And that would be the final score. Was there any real doubt that New England would be victorious tonight and go onto the AFC Championship Game?

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on New England’s first snap of the game.

2. Thinking back on two other games the Patriots played where they didn’t completely dominate their opponent in the first half–specifically

Against the Indianapolis Colts on November 4.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 25–

tonight’s game against the Jaguars was probably the most unwieldy..in the sense that going into halftime, both teams were tied 14 to 14. Two touchdowns each.

3. No matter if the Jaguars made a mistake or executed a play well, whenever the camera cut to a close-up of Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio appeared anxious and a bit sad. Bill Belichick, th Patriots head coach, wore one expression too–something that signified skepticism and determination. His shots included more high angle medium shots, though.

4. Upon returning to the game from commercial break after New England’s field goal gave them 31 points, footage (possibly taken during the commercial) of Tom Brady petting Wes Welker’s head on the sidelines was aired. Brady must be letting that facial hair grow because of winter weather.

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