I watched the Indianapolis Colts win against the Carolina Panthers in North Carolina (on CBS) and the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins in London (Fox). The Colts vs. Panthers game wasn’t as eventful as the Giants vs. Dolphins game, so I won’t be typing as extensively on it. I will, however, say that the 4:15pm Colts vs. Patriots game next Sunday (on CBS) is a must-see. And, as untouchable as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might be on the field, I think I like Colts’ Peyton Manning more. So the guy is the spokesperson for every electronics gadget purchasable in a Best Buy store. His team doesn’t always put points on the board in the first or second quarters, but he always gets his fellow Colts on the board and in the lead. Final score of the game: 31 to 7.
And now, for possibly the most talked and typed about NFL game across two continents today: the New York Giants outperform the Miami Dolphins in London, England–making history in the first regular season game played outside North America.
Over 90,000 flocked to Wembley Stadium to watch this game. Boatloads of rain fell over the field (or “pitch” as the English call it), making complete passes and traction problematic. The Giants got thirteen points by the end of the game (two field goals–in the first and second quarters–and a touchdown in the second quarter by New York’s own quarterback Eli Manning). The Dolphins were scoreless for the majority of the game. Their ten points came from a field goal in the third quarter and a touchdown by wide receiver Tedd Ginn, Jr. in the fourth quarter.
Observations & Miscellania:
2. I wish someone could have gathered all the rainwater that fell and have it shipped to Lake Lanier. All that slipping and sliding resulted in two teams full of very dirty uniforms.
3. One of the cameras cut to a close-up of Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor during the singing of the American national anthem. He was chewing gum. Comment dit-on “bad form” ?
4. Brought up many times during the telecast: Giants Osi Umenyiora was born and lived in London for a number of years.
5. In the center of the field was the NFL logo as well as the words “International Series.” By the end of the game, only the NFL crest was still visible.
6. The spectators did a round of The Wave during the second quarter.
7. Former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston made a joke about the sight of players stepping onto the sidelines and having their cleats changed remindeding him of the NASCAR pit stop. I adore his voice.
8. I think I figured out what the red line of scrimmage means! It appeared on screen during the second quarter during a fourth down conversion attempt (I don’t recall by which team).
9. Some guy dressed in an official’s uniform ran onto the field at the top of the third quarter. I don’t know if he ever made it onto the broadcast (in other words, if any of the cameras linked to the live feed were taping him) because when I flipped over to this game from the Colts vs. Panthers one, one of the commentators said that the Fox cameras would not be on him. Instead, they focused on the fans in the stands.
10. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined the Fox sports commentators at the top of the third quarter and talked about his vision regarding the global expansion of the NFL. He foresees over the next four to five years more regular season games being played overseas. I think the priority for the present and near future is to spread the athletic and ideological gospel of football to even more people around the world.
11. In the bottom of the third quarter, Dolphins running back Jesse Chapman made an impressive run–if not for distance traveled than for wriggling out of Giants defensive players’ clutches–and the camera cut to a close-up profile of Jason Taylor looking and smiling towards screen right, clearly at Chapman’s play.
12. Tony Siragusa, aka Goose, mentions that the good folks sitting in the Fox production truck were including quintessential English imagery into the broadcast–Big Ben and phone booths–and then he adds something to the tune of “things unfamiliar to us Americans.” What?! As if American football players and fans have never watched BBC America, 28 Days Later, Mr. Bean, or any movie or TV show ever filmed in London.