Ominous clouds have been gathering over the Atlanta Falcons for several months–if only those clouds would unleash a downpour onto the earth and lakes instead of our NFL team.
I don’t believe I have to utter his name, the one who was to be the beacon for a new and better team. The darkness appeared when he left.
The Falcons’ loss to the New York Giants tonight (31 to 10) at the Georgia Dome on Monday Night Football (televised locally by CBS) literally punched a crater into my belly (I felt nauseated). You and I both know how sports sociologists and psychologists would explain what I experienced while I was watching the game.* Atlanta started out with an incredible burst of energy, putting three points on the board with a field goal in the first quarter. After Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer made a touchdown a few minutes later, Falcons running back Jerious Norwood ran sixty-seven yards for a touchdown, making the score 10 to 7. What a sight; time stood still for a couple of moments. I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The joy and hope produced by that TD would soon fade, though.
The Giants would gain twenty-four more points by the end of the game (a field goal in the fourth quarter; another touchdown in the first quarter by running back Reuben Droughns; a TD in the second quarter by wide receiver Plaxico Burress; and a TD in the fourth quarter by running back Derrick Ward).
Observations & Miscellania:
1. It’s nice to see that Monday Night Football hasn’t decreased the number of crowd shots (FYI; MNF was already moving to ESPN by the time I decided to write a seminar paper on football. I have the 25th anniversary tape of the show, but I never got to watch any of the games in real time on the telly prior to the switch. Since I still don’t have cable, I can only watch MNF when it’s broadcast on a local channel or if I go to a restaurant that shows the games). I think it’s important for TV viewers to get a glimpse here and there in close-up of the fans in the stands. Secondary text (everybody at a game that isn’t the players or the coaches) is essential.
2. 1st and 10 line and the blue line of scrimmage were working the entire game.
3. The Falcons wore all black.
4. The Falcons’ cheerleaders wore pink tops and black shorts.
5. Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall made a spiffy interception in the third quarter, which was essentially the most exciting part of that quarter.
Hopefully this works. Click here for Norwood’s amazing touchdown.
For game stats, summary, and play by play, click here.
For the Falcons game recap, click here.
For the Giants recap, click here.
* Sociologist Gerhard Falk remarks in his book Football and American Identity that “football is a performance that has predictable experiences, including the opportunity to escape isolation and become part of the greater human society” (75). Even though I watch most football games by myself in the dining room, I feel connected to the teams that I like. As an audiovisual text, a televised football game facilitates and encourages the formation of a psychological bond between the viewer and the players–it doesn’t matter if neither party is likely to ever lay eyes on the other (not counting organized events where fans can meet and greet players).
pic cred: NFL.com