Daily Archives: September 28, 2008

NFL 08: Panthers encircle the Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons up at the Carolina Panthers (broadcast on Fox).

Literally, the second play of the game, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception; Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall ran into the end zone.  Luckily for Atlanta, a personal foul (roughing the passer) penalty on Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers nullified that TD.  Halfway through the first quarter, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart helped his team take the lead with a TD.  By the bottom of the first quarter, the Falcons narrowed that lead with a field goal.  The top of the second quarter decreased that lead even more with another Falcons field goal.   Towards the bottom of the second quarter, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith runs fifty-six yards into the end zone for a TD.  14 to 6.  At the very bottom of the second quarter, Falcons kicker Jason Elam got a do-over with a field goal kick because the Panthers had too many players on the field.  Elam got it the second time.  14 to 9.  Carolina might be ahead in terms of score going into halftime, but both teams made enough mistakes that the numbers could’ve been flip-flopped.  In other words, if neither team made the personal fouls, false starts, and holdings, perhaps the Falcons would be the one with fourteen points and the Panthers with nine.

The third quarter ended with a Carolina field goal and the fourth quarter progressed with a touchdown (executed by wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad).  24 to 9.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. On the matter of defensive tackles in the red zone.  Due to laws of physics concerning momentum and velocity and what happens when two moving objects collide not from opposite directions, would it be fair or scientifically correct to suggest that a defensive linebacker could inadvertently aid the other team’s runner in crossing over the goal line?  Of course, if the runner’s knees touch the ground before the ball breaks the plane, it’s not a touchdown.  But, is it so improbable that the knees don’t go down first?  What happens when a thigh goes down first?

2. There are so many conditions and variables when it comes to taking and keeping the lead on the scoreboard.  Does Team A’s offense have to be equally good if not better than Team B’s offense?  Couldn’t Team A have a comparable if not slightly worse offense than Team B but have a stellar defense?  I suppose what I’m ultimately wondering is if Team’s A’s offense has to be as good if not better than Team B’s defense. The skill and talent of the special teams rounds out the conditions.  If Team A’s offense is only comparable to or a smidgen worse than Team B’s defense (or Team A’s defense is only a tad better than Team B’s offense), then Team A’s special teams would have to effectively kick arse-bottoms.  Eh?

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

Off Topic: Spike Lee on the war film

If Spike Lee wants to make a movie set during World War II, why not?

I watched and reviewed Miracle at St. Anna (200eight) for Filmthreat. Here’s an excerpt:

When viewing the work of an auteur filmmaker, there’s an automatic, perhaps unconscious, compulsion to sift through the conversations, sights, and sounds of the film for elements that conform to or contradict the qualities associated with the filmmaker. When Spike Lee became a household name in the 1990s with “Do The Right Thing“, “Jungle Fever,” and “Get On the Bus;” and then continued into the 21st century with “The 25th Hour” and “When The Levees Broke,” his cinema was considered one of social commentary manifested through cynical and satirical characters.

“Miracle at St. Anna” initially poses a challenge for identifying signature traits of his style not only because it’s a war film (the genre formula is likely to steer plot development), but also because it is based on a book. If the humorous dialogue cannot be solely credited to Lee due to the screenplay and the actors’ performances, Lee nonetheless leaves his creative imprints throughout the film. His social commentary comes across via the juxtaposition of images and the use of extreme close-ups. For example, a short clip from the World War II film “The Longest Day” (1962), starring John Wayne, opens the film. As Hector Negron watches these images on his TV, he laments under his breath that he “fought for this country too.” Immediately, the issue of visibility and representation is introduced: “Miracle at St. Anna” will be a story about voices that need to be heard and experiences that need to be known.

Other themes, such as the complexities of warfare and of humanity, are addressed briefly but poignantly in the scenes that reveal the protagonists’ conflict of interests and scenes that feature Captain Eichholz (Christian Berkel), a Nazi who doesn’t buy into the ideology of the Führer but still has a job to do. Eichholz is not a sympathetic character; instead, he is a reminder that allegiances and betrayals in times of war are much grayer than they are black-and-white.

Click here to read the entire review.


When I first saw previews for the film, I knew I was going to watch it. I like Derek Luke as an actor and was curious to see where the Spike Lee-ness would be in the film. After looking up more information on the film and realizing that James McBride wrote the source material and the adapted screenplay, I volunteered to review it. I read his book The Color of Water in my AP Psych class when I was a senior in high school.

I picked up the Miracle at St. Anna book after I watched the movie.

The book includes a disclaimer after the dedication page informing the reader that “this book is a work of fiction inspired by real events and real people. It draws upon the individual and collective experiences of black soldiers who served in the Serchio Valley and Aquane Alps of Italy during World War II.” McBride took “certain liberties with names, places, and geography, but what follows is real. It happens a thousand times in a thousand places to a thousand people. Yet we still manage to love one another, despite our best efforts to the contrary.”

The Movie Tie-In version (cover same as the poster).

The Non Movie Tie-In version.

Read more about the production of the film in this LA Times piece here.

Click here for more pictures.

Click here for an interview with the four main actors.

Click here more information on The Longest Day (1962).

A screencap from production notes.