Tag Archives: Ellis Hobbs

Love at First Mortality, Say Hi to Ellis Hobbs

I’m done with Atlanta Film Festival reviews!

I’ve come across this uber cool site called In-Mind.org, which is dedicated to social psychology.

A few fascinating pieces (in random order):

Penetrating the Circle of Death

Love at First Sight

Altruism

Positive Illusions

Social Psychology and Futbol

~!~

Cornerback Ellis Hobbs of the New England Patriots will be a Philly Eagle come fall?  Oh, yes.

Super Bowl XLII: Avant & Apres

Before & After. What a difference a week makes.

The February 4, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine was on the newsstands the previous week, before the Super Bowl.  The cover story (written by Peter King) asked, “Can the Giants Get to Brady?

As the nation and NFL fans the world over witnessed on February third, indeed, they can.  They did.

The February 11, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated hit the stands this week, after the Super Bowl.  The text on the cover was no longer a question.  Instead, it became a statement (made by Tim Layden): “What a Catch, What an Upset.”

Also of note in the Feb. 11 issue is a photograph taken by Bob Rosato that appears in the first few pages (after the ads and table of contents) and is probably one that Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress would like framed.

Rosato must’ve been standing just outside the end zone on the Patriots’ side of the field (click here for a bigger version).  Not only is this photo a record of an irreplaceable experience about to happen, but everything about, in, and of the image is quite moving.  It inspires awe, joy, and even sadness–for me at any rate.  When I first saw it at the bookstore, I stood there for several seconds, my eyes unable to turn away.  Specifically, I couldn’t get over New England cornerback Ellis Hobbs’s expression.  It cries shock, horror, and grief all mixed.

You can’t really tell from here, but if you pick up a copy of the actual magazine and examine his face, you’ll see what I mean.

I was also intrigued by the stances of the other players (twelve of which are fully visible, two are obscured).   Only two of them (on the far left) are unquestionably standing still.  The rest of the Giants and Patriots (not counting New England linebacker Junior Seau on the ground) the  in the photo still approaching the end zone with complete “surprise” etched across their auras.

And look, the skycam makes it inside the camera’s lens.

For all of you who, like me, do not have cable (and thus, can’t watch ESPN or NFL Network in the off-season for pigskin fixes), don’t miss the last hurrah for the time being.  2008 Pro-Bowl tomorrow on Fox (4:30pm east coast time).

pix creds: Sports Illustrated

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 Championship 2008: Patriots easy-bake the Chargers

The New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers congregated today at Gillette Stadium for a friendly game (broadcast on CBS) of Let’s See Who Gets to Go to the Super Bowl.

The game-play in the first quarter was mostly uneventful until the bottom of the quarter when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s pass meant for wide receiver Dante Stallworth was picked off by Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer.   That turnover would’ve resulted in a touchdown for San Diego, but wide receiver Chris Chambers caught Philip Rivers’s pass outside of out bounds in the rear of the end zone.  The Chargers ended with a field goal instead, leading 3 to 0.

The top of the second quarter brought the Patriots into the lead with a touchdown by running back Laurence Maroney.   The Chargers increased their points to six with another field goal.  New England 7 and San Diego 6.  Nearing the bottom of the second quarter, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel  intercepted Rivers pass intended for Chambers.  Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a TD quickly after the turnover.  New England 14 and San Diego 6. Rivers was intercepted again, this time by cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who then dropped the ball but safety James Sanders recovered it for the Patriots.  The Chargers narrowed the score gap with a field goal in the very bottom of the second quarter.  Going into halftime, New England 14 and San Diego 9.

The third quarter opened with Tom Brady getting sacked by Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo and outside linebacker Shawne Merriman.  On the next play, Brady’s throw was intercepted by San Diego cornerback Drayton Florence.   The Chargers collected another field goal.  As the bottom of the third quarter drew closer, Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie intercepted Brady’s pass-to-the-end-zone.

The fourth quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.  New England 21 and San Diego 12.  Final score.  The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. The pre-game music montage was comprised of orchestral accompaniment to some song called “Unstoppable.”  I didn’t catch by whom.

2. Jeff Triplette was the referee today.
3.  Laurence Maroney’s TD in the top of the second quarter was quite characteristic of the Patriots scoring pattern from the 2007 season.  If they don’t put on the ritz in the first quarter, they’ll do it in the second (and usually quite early).

4. Although San Diego’s points all came from field goals, their defense was able to keep New England down to fourteen points through the end of the third quarter.  The 2007 norm was that by the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Patriots would have scored at least four touchdowns.

5. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was in the game for only three plays.

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

‘Tis the Season: Patriots bypass the Giants; 16-0

So that nearly the entire country would have the opportunity to watch the New England Patriots make history by having a 16-0 season, the NFL Network-televised game against the New York Giants was also broadcast on NBC and CBS.  I elected to watch the game on my local CBS station.

 

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs made the first touchdown of the evening, five minutes into the first quarter.  The Patriots ended their first possession with a field goal.  In the top of the second quarter, Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss made a TD, did a little dance, slammed the ball down onto the turf, and got a penalty for excessive celebration.   The Giants answered that TD with a 74-yard kickoff-return TD by wide receiver Domenik Hixon.  New York 14. New England 10.  Seconds before halftime, Giants tight end Kevin Boss made a TD.   Giants 21. Patriots 16.  New England has been behind six times this season and they’ve always managed to win.  I wonder if it’ll happen tonight.  Probably?

Nearly halfway into the third quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress caught a pass for a TD.  The Patriots weren’t going to accept that kind of skill; their running back Laurence Maroney put six more points onto the board close to the bottom of the third quarter.  With the one-point conversion, the Patriots were up to 23 points, still five points under the Giants’ 28.    At the top of the fourth quarter, Randy Moss caught a 65-yard pass for a TD.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raised his right arm and made a peace sign with his fingers: New England would go for a two-point conversion.  And it worked.  Patriots 31. Giants 28.  Towards the bottom of the fourth quarter, Laurence Maroney made another TD.  With one minute left on the clock, Plaxico Burress made a TD.   So close and still yet so far.  Final score: Patriots 38.  Giants 35.  New England made their history.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Idina Menzel sang the National Anthem.  The audio was a little odd–sounded like someone just stuck a microphone to a speaker (echo and all).

2. I’m still not keen on the NFL Network score bar (middle top of the screen), but the field graphics (down and yardage) is exceptionally crisp.  It reminds me of a hot dog and a Slim Jim.  I’ve expressed the same thing before.

3. Commentator Cris Collinsworth uttered during second quarter (regarding a particular play where the Patriots were on defense) the following words:  “the penetration on the front side is forcing those on the back side to go in a little deeper.”  Easily misinterpreted.

4. In the very bottom of the second quarter, Patriots linebacker Junior Seau and Giants Brandon Jacobs got into a little scuffle.   Shortly thereafter, Patriots defensive lineman Vince Willfork stuck his right index finger into Jacobs’s face mask.  The referee charged Seau with a penalty.

5. After returning to the game from commercial break at the top of the fourth quarter, the camera went to a medium shot of Patriots guard Logan Mankins, offensive lineman Matt Light, and center Dan Koppen  sitting on the bench.  They all reminded me of filmic representations of vikings–as in the Nordics not Minnesota’s team.

6. Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs intercepted one of Eli Manning’s passes meant for Plaxico Burress nearing the middle of the fourth quarter.   After this moment, the Giants lost their umph.   Laurence Maroney made a TD at the end of that possession run.

7. In addition to the magic that happens between Tom Brady and his offensive teammates that enables them to score, they also have this effect on their opponents.  If the other team is playing pretty well (even leading in points), as soon as their spirits are dampened by an interception, an avoidable fumble or incomplete pass, or significant and ostensibly debatable penalties, the roll they were on suddenly slows to a crawl.

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