Daily Archives: December 9, 2007

‘Tis the Season: Colts featherdust the Ravens

The Indianapolis Colts on field with the Baltimore Ravens. Wow, what a heart-wringing night for Baltimore.

Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne made the first touchdown of the evening in the first quarter. During Indianapolis’s next possession (via fumble recovery), running back Joseph Addai made a TD. Addai made another one by the end of the first quarter (resulting from a turnover from an interception). Colts 21. Ravens 0. The Colts got a safety at the end of the first quarter, giving them two points. Addai gave his team another TD in the top of the second quarter. Ravens return specialist/wide receiver Yamon Figurs made a 94-yard kick-off return TD in the top of the second quarter. Colts 30. Ravens 7. Indianapolis wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez made a 57-yard TD. And then it was halftime.

The third quarter more or less started with a touchdown from Colts Anthony Gonzalez. Indianapolis 44. Baltimore 7. In the top of the fourth quarter, Ravens wide receiver Devard Darling made a TD. The two-point conversion was not successful. Under two minutes left of play in the fourth quarter, Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith (who went into the game for Kyle Boller in the bottom of the fourth quarter) ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Colts 44. Ravens 20. And then the game was over.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Tonight’s telecast of Sunday Night Football did not begin with an extreme close-up of Al Michaels. I’m so happy. After the Faith Hill credit sequence, the first image on screen was of the Ravens running out from the underbelly of the stadium, which then cut to a zoom-out shot of a little kid in Ravens fan attire, which then cut to a slight low angle close-up of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, which then cut to a medium close-up of Al Michaels.

2. I love the way John Madden holds a microphone. His hand is so big in comparison. It looks like a child holding a lollipop.

3. What is wrong with Pioneer? A third eye in the sternum? A mouth with teeth for an iris? Ears as fingertips? What are we, trying to be Salvador Dali? The tag line reads: Seeing and hearing like never before. If the idea is to suggest that with a Pioneer Kuro TV, the viewer can experience aural and visual stimuli in a whole new way, emphasizing the blurring of lines between the world transmitted through the monitor and the world outside of the monitor would efficiently convey the message. How does the making strange of body parts effectively sell a flatscreen television? Going solely for bizarre-memorable?

4. After Joseph Addai made his second touchdown in the first quarter, John Madden pointed out how discouraged Ravens head coach Brian Billick must be feeling and then added, “And now it’s raining.” Adorable. John Madden is adorable.

5. Towards the end of the first quarter, when the camera cut to John Madden and Al Michaels standing in their booth, Michaels remarked something along the lines of “when people ask ‘what’s wrong with the Ravens,’ it’s never one thing.”

6. There was a brief segment of archival footage consisting of news reports about the Colts relocating themselves to Indiana in 1984. Apparently, ever since they left, whenever the Colts play in Baltimore, their name on the scoreboard reads “Indy” instead of “Colts.”

7. With six minutes left in the second quarter, the camera got a shot of the Ravens band in the stands. Al Michaels said that the Ravens band would perform during halftime and that “Baltimore hates Indianapolis. Cleveland hates Baltimore,” somebody else hates/loves somebody…”and we love Paris in the spring time.” John Madden added a comment about the rivalry and then asked Al, “what was that in the spring time again?” Al replied, “Paris.”

8. The play that ended with the Anthony Gonzalez TD in the third quarter began with a dual split-screen. The top half of the screen consisted of two squares, Peyton Manning in close-up on the left (facing the camera), and Joseph Addai’s back on the right (facing away from the camera). The bottom of the screen was the standard high angle extreme long shot of the field.

9. Colts linebacker Gary Brackett intercepted two Ravens passes tonight (the second prevented Baltimore from scoring a TD).

10. When Jim Sorgi went into the game in the middle of the third quarter for Peyton Manning, Al Michaels mentioned that Sorgi has a higher passing record than the starting quarterback.

11. In the remaining seconds of the third quarter, Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason caught a pass from Kyle Boller. He ran four yards to the Indianapolis 9 yard line before being tackled by Colts defensive back Tim Jennings. His left shoe flew off in the process. During the slow-motion instant replays, Al Michaels pointed out the projectile shoe and the camera went to an extreme close-up of it. A very beautiful black and blue Nike too (I can’t find a visual aid).

12. John Madden confessed at the top of the fourth quarter that he isn’t keen on crab cakes or shellfish (“crab, shrimp, mussels, and stuff like that”). This shellfish remark occurred about ten “real time” minutes after the initial crab mention. At one point, the camera went to a medium close-up of a Colts fan eating a sub sandwich of some kind–looked like a sloppy joe or a meatball sandwich to me.
13. Madden also pointed out that the Colts appearance the playoffs this year would be head coach Tony Dungy’s ninth consecutive trip to post-season games.

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

‘Tis the Season: Patriots melt down the Steelers

How many New England Patriots does it take to screw in a light bulb?

No idea.  They did beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34 to 13 (game broadcast by CBS).

The Steelers got three points from a field goal in the first quarter.   The Patriots haven’t allowed any points on a first drive this season, so the Steelers field goal had to be counter-matched with a touchdown by wide receiver Randy Moss.  In the top of the second quarter, Moss made a 63-yard touchdown.  New England 14.  Pittsburgh 3.   Steelers halfback Najeh Davenport gave his team some hope in the second quarter after catching a 32 yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown.   In the bottom of the second quarter, Pittsburgh got a field goal, giving them a total of 13 points so far, one point behind the Patriots.  Of course, the Patriots weren’t going to accept such a narrow lead.  They put up a field goal of their own with fewer than sixty seconds left in the second quarter.  Patriots 17.  Steelers 13.

Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a TD in the top of the third quarter (the result of Randy Moss recovering the ball, throwing it back to Brady, who then launched a 56-yard pass).   Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker’s TD later in the fourth quarter was quickly followed by a brief scuffle between a few of the players from both teams. New England 31.  Pittsburgh 13.  The fourth quarter gave the Patriots a field goal.  The Steelers’ efforts were ultimately unharvested.

Observations & Miscellania: 

1.  CBS cut to a commercial (or two) after Moss made his second TD of the day.  Upon returning to the game, the camera was on Moss and Tom Brady sitting on the bench (filmed in a medium close-up from behind).  The commentators made some remarks about how happy Moss and Brady appeared.   I can’t imagine a closer partnership between two co-workers than wide receiver and quarterback.  I think one would have to look in law enforcement and the military to find a similar dynamic.   Arguably, pair skaters and pas de deux partners also develop the same kind of relationship.   Quarterbacks and receivers practice and build the ability to move in unison without verbal communication.  Trust is important for successfully executed plays.  Likewise, a ballerina and her partner must practice and build a sense of trust and harmonic balance such that she knows she won’t be dropped, and he knows how to lift her so that she doesn’t fall.

2. Furthermore, dancers have their own perception of what is and is not a good or great performance.  To the audience, if the dancers don’t fall or look like they’ve messed up, and exhibit a modicum amount of emotion, then the audience is happy. For dancers, however, it’s not enough to hit all the moves with the necessary degree of emotion.  They’ll think they did a lousy job even if the audience couldn’t disagree more.  For football players, the element of scoring points is a more concrete factor in determining whether or not a team feels it performed well.  Moreover, maintaining performance statistics is apparently a priority too.  For the fans, if their team wins, then they’re happy.  For the team, winning by a certain score or a certain numerical gap and not making mistakes potentially dampens an overall victory.

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

FYI.  The Monday Night Football game (December 10) between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints will be broadcast by CBS for viewers in Atlanta.

‘Tis the Season: Cowboys thread past the Lions

Did the Dallas Cowboys win the East with their win over Detroit Lions (televised on fox)?

Cowboys kicker Nick Folk’s missed fifty-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter must have given the Lions enough of a spark that they scored when they next got possession of the ball. Running back TJ Duckett gave his team a touchdown in the half of the first quarter. The Lions got a field goal not long after the TD. Dallas would shorten that point gap with a touchdown from running back Marion Barber in the top of the second quarter. Detroit 10. Dallas 7.

That decreased gap increased again when the Lions put three more points on the board with a field goal. Detroit running back Kevin Jones enlarged that gap even more with a TD in the bottom of the second quarter. Marion Barber shrank that distance in the very, very bottom of the first quarter. Going into halftime, Dallas 14. Detroit 20.

In the third quarter, Lions Kevin Jones gave his team another touchdown. Detroit 27. Dallas 14. Cowboys Marion Barber made another TD in the bottom of the third quarter. Dallas 21. Detroit 27. But, soft what light through yonder window breaks? It is Cowboys tight end Jason Witten’s game-winning touchdown. Final score: Dallas 28. Detroit 27.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. The special teams coach for the Detroit Lions is a Cantonese fellow named Stan Kwan.

Asian Pride! O!o

2. Marion Barber’s TD in the bottom of the second quarter resulted in part from Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s fifteen-yard dash for a first down (two plays prior to the TD).

3. Why are the referees wearing black pants with a white stripe on the side rather than the usual white pants?

4. The Cowboys won by one point (or one touchdown with a good extra point). I was convinced the Lions were going to win because Witten’s game-saving TD was made with about a minute left in the fourth quarter. What a way to right a wrong (Witten had fumbled the ball just in front of the end zone on the Cowboys’ possession earlier in the quarter).

5. Surprisingly, Dallas wide receiver Terrell Owens, who usually makes at least two touchdowns per game (oui?), didn’t put any points on the board today.

6. The Cowboys’ victory was also due to Detroit kicker Jason Hanson missing a field goal in the fourth quarter.

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

pic cred: detroitlions.com