Daily Archives: October 21, 2007

‘Tis the Season: Broncos corral the Steelers

Al Michaels remarked, “that was a good football game” after the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers with just a couple of seconds left in the fourth quarter, 31 to 28. Although I’m a self-identified Steelers fan, I wasn’t upset that they lost. They started off somewhat slowly or “lethargically,” as either John Madden or Al Michaels (I don’t recall) mentioned some time in the third quarter, but managed to tie the game 28 to 28 by the bottom of the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh and Denver were tied 7 to 7 for much of the first and second quarters (courtesy of Steelers tight end Heath Miller and Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley in the first quarter). Broncos running back Cecil Sapp made a TD in the second quarter and defensive end Tim Crowder put seven more points on the board via recovered fumble. By the beginning of the third quarter, Broncos were 21 to the Steelers’ 7 points. By the bottom of the fourth quarter, the score was 28 to 28 (the result of touchdowns by Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes in about the middle of the third quarter, Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler at the very bottom of the third quarter, and Steelers tight ends Matt Spaeth and Heath Miller in the fourth quarter). A field goal gave Denver the win tonight.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. John Madden commented that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin played against one of his players, linebacker James Farrior, in a college game once. Farrior was a freshman at the University of Virginia and Tomlin was a senior at William & Mary.

2. One of the Broncos’ most dedicated and visible fan is probably Barrel Man.

3. Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan won Super Bowl XXXII (1998) and XXXIII (1999).

4. Tony Scheffler’s touchdown in the last seconds of the third quarter was the culmination of an eighty-yard Broncos drive that lasted eight minutes and ten seconds. He also hopped off the field near the end of the fourth quarter due to a foot sprain or twist (either Madden or Michaels mentioned that he had broken his foot some time ago).

5. Santonio Holmes ran into a cameraman in the top of the fourth quarter–real life equivalent of the opening scene in Billy Wilder’s 1966 film The Fortune Cookie.

6. Miles, the Broncos mascot, was moving his hips in a figure eight (infinity sign) pattern during the game-winning field goal. The camera was behind kicker Jason Elam in a near extreme long shot, and Miles was behind the end zone. He paused his little hip-dance for a few seconds, turned to look on the field, and then resumed his swaying.

7. Denver put all their heart into this game to honor two former players, tailback Damien Nash and cornerback Darrent Williams.

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

‘Tis the Season: Cowboys steam past the Vikings

Lovely, lovely, lovely.  This entry is going to be pithy.

The Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings were tied for a considerable amount of time in the game today (broadcast on Fox): 7 to 7 in most of the second quarter and 14 to 14 in part of the third quarter.   The Cowboys would ultimately win the game 24 to 14.

For game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.

Read more about the game here.

‘Tis the Season: Falcons can’t quite bat away the Saints

So close and yet so far. My sixth grade PE teacher uttered those words more often than anything else.

Physical distances may be small, but bridging the gap isn’t necessarily easy or guaranteed. “Your locker might be right outside the classroom door, but I won’t let you get your homework because then I’d have to let everyone go get their homework if their locker is right anywhere near the classroom door.” The Atlanta Falcons fell under the ideological implications of this phrase today in their game against the New Orleans Saints (televised by Fox). The Falcons lost by a touchdown. They got a field goal in the first and second quarters and a touchdown in the second (courtesy of wide receiver Roddy White), and just when their spirit and resolve were strengthening, Saints running back Pierre Thomas put six points on the board. Shortly thereafter, Byron Leftwich (who swapped places with Joey Harrington as starting quarterback) suffered a right calf or ankle injury in the third quarter. The score became 14 to 13 with the Saints in the lead.

Numerically, Atlanta was so close, and a field goal in the top of the fourth quarter put the Falcons on top. Nevertheless, psychologically, they were so far behind. Atlanta could not maintain their position. Saints running back Reggie Bush made touchdown and a two-point conversion in the bottom of the fourth quarter. 22 to 16, final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. When the camera goes to a close-up of Byron Leftwich (on the sidelines or immediately after a play), his face makes me think he is very self-aware…not just because he may be on camera or people are watching him. It’s a total, conscious understanding of the present, of being in the moment. It’s hard to describe–his expression is a mixture of “oops,” “phew,” and “thank you, thank you very much.” It was especially heart-scraping to see him writhing on the field and clutching his right leg after Saints defensive end Will Smith tackled him.

2. Yellow = 1st and Ten line. Blue = line of scrimmage. Red = 1st and Ten when there are two minutes left on the game clock? So why was there a red line on the field in either the third or fourth quarter with twelve minutes on the clock? Production team error I suppose.

3. Actor Anthony Anderson was at the game supporting the Saints.

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