Monthly Archives: November 2008

NFL 08: Falcons are all the rage in the Chargers parade

The Atlanta Falcons fast-boat to California to grill some steaks with the San Diego Chargers. Televised by Fox, the first quarter trotted to about five minutes on the game clock before anybody scored. The Falcons did–Jason Elam and a field goal. Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson got his team on the board with a touchdown at the bottom of the first quarter. The Falcons responded with another field goal. San Diego 7 and Atlanta 6.

The second quarter twinkled about the nine minute mark with former Charger tight end Justin Peelle making a TD catch. Atlanta 13 and San Diego 7. Halfway through the second quarter, I noticed two more points for Atlanta on the TV scorebar graphic. Que? Apparently, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers incurred a penalty which translated into a safety for the Falcons, so 15 to 7.

The third quarter commenced with Chargers safety Eric Weddle recovering a fumbled catch by Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran for an eighty-six yard touchdown. Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the interception call. Smith did not win the challenge. Atlanta 15 and San Diego 13. The fourth quarter shot out a TD catch by Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, his first TD reception of the year (the others were run in). Atlanta 22 and San Diego 13.

The Chargers’ next possession included a few strong plays but their field goal attempt was blocked by Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson. Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton recovered the ball. Not long afterwards, San Diego got their hands on the ball after their defense brought Falcons running back Michael Turner to the ground. Mike Smith challenged the call and lost it. The Chargers picked up a field goal at the end of that cul-de-sac run. Atlanta 22 and San Diego 16. At about the two minute mark in the fourth quarter, Philip Rivers hurtled the ball towards wide receiver Malcom Floyd. Falcons safety Erik Coleman went in for the tackle/ball. He and Floyd collided quite audibly in mid-air. It sounded like two plastic trains being smashed into each other. Or bamboo sticks being whacked against each other (a la kendo or tinikling).

Paraphrasing the commentators, Atlanta pivoted the ball to San Diego three times but still managed to stay in the lead…and then ultimately win the game 22 to 16. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson were commentators.

2. Michael Turner was focused on the game–so much so that before he kept to himself before the festivities started. He didn’t acknowledge his former teammates (of four years) on the field.

3. The second quarter ended with four attempts by the Falcons to cross the goal line. The Chargers were able to stop them each time. In watching those exchanges, I started thinking about red zone offense and defense. Why would the offense make four running tries instead of two runs and two passes? Or, if three running attempts were fruitless, why not try passing on the fourth? Well, because you wouldn’t want the other team’s defense to take advantage of any imperfections with a pass. And then there’s how the defense would respond to what they think the offense would do. It really isn’t too different from the game of rock, paper, scissors in that respect. If your opponent went with paper three times in a row, would you think they would go with paper on the fourth? If you had gone with paper three times in a row as well, would you switch to scissors or rock on the fourth? If you believed your opponent would bust out the paper once more, what would you do?

4. I have, and I bet you have too, seen this Peyton Manning Mastercard commercial at least seven times as of today. While some of you are probably sick to toadstools of it, the more I see it, the more I like it. I especially adore the way Peyton says, “the weather is sweet. Nice.”

5. Matt Vasgersian remarked that Jamaal Anderson is a Ludacris lookalike. Hmmm. Do you concur?

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

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The Pittsburgh Steelers clobbered the New England Patriots 33 to 10. Click here for details.

College Football: GaTech uncorks UGA with pow

1893. Grover Cleveland was the President of the United States. Thomas Edison was forty-six years-old. F. Scott Fitzgerald wouldn’t be born for three years (he hadn’t even been conceived). DW Griffith was eighteen years-old. And, for our purposes today, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the UGA Bulldogs first felt the pangs of anything-you-can-do-i-can-do-better.

The stingers and the barkers doled out their best moves in Athens today. Would UGA win for the eighth time in a row? Would GaTech yank the handkerchief from the Bulldogs’ breast pocket? Televised by CBS, the first quarter started with a Bulldogs possession which led to a touchdown catch by tight end Tripp Chandler, who spent most of the season injured. UGA 7 and GaTech 0. In the bottom of the first quarter, UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception–right into the arms of GaTech safety Morgan Burnett, who then ran thirty-five yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point snap wasn’t executed well (due to the rain perhaps?). An improv two-point conversion was not successful. UGA 7 and GaTech 6.

The second quarter started with a TD for UGA thanks to wide receiver Mohammed Massaquoi. UGA 14 and GaTech 6. Running back Lucas Cox took the Yellow Jackets into the end zone on their next possession. A deliberate two-point conversion was foiled. UGA 14 and GaTech 12. It’s not my imagination. On UGA’s next go, Mohammed Massaquoi threw the ball in search of wide receiver AJ Green (the pass was incomplete). And then, Massaquoi swept himself forty-nine yards into the end zone. Bulldogs 21 and Yellow Jackets 12. The bottom of the second quarter ended with another Massaquoi TD. Going into halftime, UGA 28 and Yellow Jackets 12. Actually, it literally ended with GaTech quarterback Josh Nesbitt throwing an interception; the ball was grabbed by safety Reshad Jones.

Whatever happened in the Yellow Jackets locker room during halftime–a thundering speech by head coach Paul Johnson or just an austere stare down–worked very well. The third quarter started with GaTech running back Jonathan Dwyer running sixty yards into the end zone for a touchdown!!! He also made it into the end zone for a two-point conversion. Bulldogs 28 and Yellow Jackets 20. GaTech, capitalizing on their newfound electrifying umph, increased their points with a TD by running back Roddy Jones. Another two-point conversion was effectively attempted–the goal line broken by Nesbitt. Both teams tied with 28 points. UGA, on their next possession, had the ball for one play. Bulldogs running back Richard Samuel was ferrying the ball back, and as he was tackled, the prolate spheroid fell out from his grasp. GaTech recovered the fumbled ball; Jonathan Dwyer ran it into the end zone one play later. The extra point kick was good. The Yellow Jackets took the lead with 35 to 28 points. GaTech kicker Scott Blair sent out a field goal towards the bottom of the third quarter. Yellow Jackets 38 and Bulldogs 28. The third-quarter-ending play had UGA running back Knowshon Moreno hobbling off the field (but he was able to go back in in the fourth quarter).

The fourth quarter started with Moreno cramming the ball into the end zone. GaTech 38 and UGA 35. Jaybo Shaw had to step in for Josh Nesbitt when the game clock was about nine minutes. Two plays later, Nesbitt was back in the game. Roddy Jones increased GaTech’s lead with a forty-five yard rushing TD halfway through the fourth quarter. C’etait magnifique! Yellow Jackets 45 and Bulldogs 35. UGA was not about to let their rivalry victory reign slip from under their chins. Aided by successful connections between Stafford and Moreno, the Bulldogs got to the red zone and AJ Green put the ball into the end zone. GaTech 45 and UGA 42. Final score. FINAL SCORE. For the first time since he’s been head coach at UGA, Mark Richt and his Bulldogs lost to the Yellow Jackets.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Craig Bolerjack and Trev Albert something or another provided commentary.

2. Both teams were on the field before the game, emulating mosh pit frenzy.

3. Brief shots of the spectators revealed a lot of red.

4. The Yellow Jackets wore white jerseys, the Bulldogs red.

5. The interception that Matthew Stafford was the best thing that could’ve happened to UGA. The Bulldogs offense was on fire after that move.

6. One of the UGA fans wore a Grinch mask and some plaid.

7. Product Placement break: Matthew Stafford holding a Coke cup on the sidelines in the top of the third quarter (after the play where one of GaTech’s defensive players had to hobble slowly off the field). I guess a Gatorade cup wouldn’t have matched his uniform.

8. By the bottom of the fourth quarter, the offensive Bulldogs’ white pants had turned greenish-gray on account of contact with the turf. The defensive Yellow Jackets’ white pants, on the other hand, were still quite white.

9. Four minutes left to play in the fourth quarter, each team had only one time-out. UGA used their last time-out with ninety seconds left. GaTech took their final time-out with forty-eight seconds on the clock.

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

Pic cred: google image search

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Oh, and New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself last night. He’ll live.

Virginia Tech won against Virginia.

NFL Thanksgiving 08: Cowboys crush-with-eyeliner the Seahawks

The Dallas Cowboys.  The Seattle Seahawks.   The Lone Star State.  Candied Yams Day 2008 part deux.   Televised by Fox, the first quarter began with a touchdown catch by Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett.   On their next possession, running back Marion Barber got into the end zone.  The Seahawks got on the board with a field goal in the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 14 and Seattle 3.  The second quarter started with a TD catch by tight end Jason Witten, who was playing with a broken rib.  Dallas 21 and Seattle 3.  The Cowboys increased their lead with a field goal as the clock headed towards the half of the second quarter.  Dallas 24 and Seattle 3.  The Seahawks field goaled again in the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 24 and Seattle 6.

The third quarter started with a Seattle field goal.  Cowboys 24 and Seahawks 9.   Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant intercepted an end zone pass from Dallas quarterback Tony Romo that was meant for wide receiver Terrell Owens.  That turnover yielded nothing.  After making an impeccable left-handed twirling catch, Owens made a TD catch in the bottom of the third quarter.  Dallas 31 and Seahawks 9.  The fourth quarter progressed about halfway and the Cowboys landed another field goal.  34 to 9.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were commentators.

2.  Demi Lovato sang the national anthem.   I was eleven years old when she was born.   Kurt Cobain was still alive when she was born.  The camera caught a shot of a helmet-less Tony Romo and Terrell Owens among others.   Demi’s voice is nice and throaty but she sounded a pinch nervous.

3.  Troy Buck and Joe Aikman talked about the Jonas Brothers in the minute or so in the bottom of the second quarter.  Apparently the trio is popular with first-grade girls and middle-aged women.  Two of the brothers look alike enough to be assumed to be related (maybe it’s the eyebrows); the other one does not.  They performed three songs: “Tonight,” “Love Bug,” and “Burnin Up.”  They were quite out of breath by the end of the second song.

4.  Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was sacked seven times today.

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

NFL Thanksgiving 08: Titans leave the Lions in the muck

Or as some like to call it, Pilgrims Trespass on Native Lands DayCandied Yams Day.  Sweet Potato Pie Day.

Donc.  The Tennessee Titans, who were given a good talking to last week by the New York Jets, galavant north to play horseshoes with the Detroit Lions.  Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter began with Detroit fumbling the ball and Tennessee recovering it.  Titans running back Chris Johnson then made a touchdown.  The Lions’ next possession ended in a field goal.  Chris Johnson TD’d again on the next drive.  Tennessee 14 and Detroit 3.  Titans defensive end Dave Ball intercepted Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper and ran seventeen yards into the end zone–or rather, he ran to the one or half yard line and jump-spun into the end zone, as though he were an ice skater doing a single axel or a dancer doing an inside pirouette.  Tennessee 21 and Detroit 3.

The second quarter brought a fourth increase in Titans score with a TD by running back Lendale White.  He did it again in the bottom of the quarter.  Tennessee 35 and Detroit 3.  Defensive end Cliff Avril of the Lions made an incredible ball-snatch with a minute left on the clock.  Tight end Michael Gaines made a TD catch two plays later.  Going into halftime, Titans 35 and Lions 10.

The third quarter started with a forty-nine yard field goal for the Titans.  The bottom of the quarter increased Tennessee’s score by three more points.  41 to 10.  Kicker Rob Bironas sent out a field goal at the top of the fourth quarter for the Titans.  44 to 10.  Dayam green breans.  Another field goal for the Titans in the bottom of the quarter.  47 to 10.  Final score.   The worst Thanksgiving loss for Detroit.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Michelle Williams sang the national anthem.  She was sporting uber short hair.  She only got the words, “by the dawn’s early light” out of her mouth and the telecast cut to commercial for a few seconds.  Good performance.

2.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were the commentators.

3.  Chris Johnson is quick.

4.  Jesse McCartney sang during halftime.   He reminded me of Frankie Muniz (probably on account of the short hair).  Good fjord, those backup dancers had smiles plastered on their faces.  He sang two songs: “How Do You Sleep” and “Leavin.”

5.  By the bottom of the fourth quarter, shots of the Lions sitting on the sidelines conveyed a daze from some and detachment from others.  They still had a game to play.

6.  Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has such a stunning body line.  His legs are gorgeously crafted.

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

Off Topic: Today’s Verse 19

I was thinking about football when I wrote it.

Recede w/ your alluring glow
A prism of eventualities
Scrawling over a beach-front bench.
I deny the captors
their glory
I deride their ever-tallying
remarks.
This time w/ your echoes
burning bright
I will stand against the fortress
you brew in the dark.
And by then, all of your broiled majesties
will condone a splintering,
irreverent heart,
such is the one lodged
in this beach-front park.
Proceed, the tender traps
are the cloudless confined
w/ your enduring tropes
A chasm of perpetuality fawning
over a freedom-falling star.
I deny the captors’ vengeance
I deny they are my splintered heart
Bellowing below deck
brutality undermines every start
.

–yiqi 25 nov 08 5:37pm