Monthly Archives: December 2008

Chick-fil-A Bowl New Years Eve 2008: LSU sends GaTech an avalanche

I had Italian food for dinner with my soulmate and my best friend earlier tonight. I could’ve finagled my way in front of someone’s hi-def wide-screen tellyvsion to watch the LSU Tigers and the GaTech Yellow Jackets grind poppy seed muffins at the Georgia Dome for the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl crown, but I chose to decline. Thus, I experienced the game-play via ESPN gamecast like I did a month ago when the Miami Hurricanes lost to GaTech.

By the time dinner ended, I got home, washed my hair, and flipped on my laptop, it was halftime and LSU was kicking GaTech’s hot cross buns 35 to 3. The Tigers had five touchdowns (one in the first quarter by running back Charles Scott, the rest in the second quarter courtesy of Charles Scott two times, quarterback Jordan Jefferson once, and running back Keiland Williams once). As for the Yellow Jackets, a field goal in the second quarter by kicker Scott Blair.

The third quarter sulked to the bottom before anyone scored. LSU kicker Colt David sent a fifty-three yard field goal sailing. Tigers 38 and Yellow Jackets 3. GaTech had gotten into the red zone in the bottom of the quarter but was unable to score before it ended. The fourth quarter began with GaTech quarterback Josh Nesbitt getting sacked by LSU defensive end Lazarius Livingston. Jordan Jefferson connected with wide receiver Brandon LaFell for eighty-frickin-some-odd yards for a touchdown…which was then retracted on account of an offensive hold penalty. GaTech got back into the red zone in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Nesbitt fumbled and the ball was recovered by LSU defensive end Kirston Pittman. Et puis il est fini. And then it ended. LSU tore the Eat Mor Chikin Noodle Bowl from GaTEch by leaps and bounds, 38 to 3. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. “Watching” via gamecast wasn’t so weird after all. The suspense factor was much stronger. The “ticker tape” had most of my undivided attention. My ears were tuned in to the first season of Soul Food.

2. One of my friends, and a GaTech alum, informed me when halftime was over. And then there was a brief chat that went a little something like this:

me: the pain one field goal? what was the halftime festivities
Friend: the only good thing about this game are the BLUE uniforms we are wearing – i love them!
me: how blue. navy?

Friend: i dunno i finished unpacking while halftime was going on. yes navy blue tops, gold pants, gold helmets.
me: why does that sound like Notre Dame?
Friend: it’s not, their gold is shinier. our gold is more of a mustard gold. Players love wearing blue. this is the first time since the acc championship game of 2006 that we have worn blue jerseys. the fans are divided on the blue. it’s our “accent” color.

me: anyone sing the national anthem?
Friend: they didn’t televise that. all the announcers are wearing tuxes.
me: dayam
Friend: yeah all black tie.

me: how did LSU get five TDs in the first half? i can read the stats & what not, but.
Friend: no defense. they also shut us down fast.
me: how has GT’s defense fared throughout the season.
Friend: we’ve been so-so, but we are coming off our WORST defensive effort of the year against UGA. we let them score 42 points on us. The preview article on AJC today–Tech’s defense had season-worst performances for points allowed (42), yards allowed (488), passing yards allowed (407), yards per play allowed (7.9) and most big plays (20 yards or more) allowed.

<~>

Behold, the navy jerseys:

Image caption: LSU’s Chad Jones (3) breaks up a pass intended for Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas (8) in the first quarter of Chick-fil-A Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008.

Picture cred here. Scroll to the fifteenth image.

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

NFL News: Pro-Bowl Before the Super Bowl? Quoi?

I was just skimming the home page of NFL.com when six words caught my eye.

2010 Pro Bowl moving to Miami

followed by

will be played before Super Bowl

Did I read that correctly?  There’s more:

The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played one week before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 31 and both games will be staged in Dolphin Stadium, the NFL announced Tuesday.

“We are looking at alternatives to strengthen the Pro Bowl,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We will continue to work with the players to make it a great event and will evaluate this concept after the 2010 Pro Bowl.”

The site and date of Pro Bowl games after 2010 will be determined at a later date and will include playing the game on a rotating basis in Honolulu, the NFL announced.

….It’s not a new notion to have the game moved up to take place between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. The NFL has discussed it multiple times in recent years, and Goodell told the Associated Press last month that having the game precede the Super Bowl would avoid a “somewhat anticlimactic” ending to the season.

Read the rest here.

And a reminder about the Bowl Games for college football 2008-2009.  Click here for full shed-duel.

NFL News: Do you see the grass?

I’m talking about the grass in the photograph that accompanies NFL.com writer Steve Wyche’s article on the NFL playoffs.

Upon first glance, it seems that Eagles cornerback Joselio Hanson is crouching within inches, if not on the same horizontal plane, as Cowboys running back Marion Barber and Eagles safety Brian Dawkins.  If, however, you then notice the grass/turf/green powder/verdant chalk uprooted, tossed up like parmesan cheese, as I did, you’ll realize that Hanson is at least a two feet away, two feet closer to the camera lens.  If one knows exactly how wide the the white is (and how long Dawkins’s forearm is), one might be able to get an approximate distance within inches of a more accurate reading.

NFL 08: Falcons Chester copper pot the Rams

The St. Louis Rams clomped eastward and southward to potato-sack-race with the Falcons under the gray sky, drizzle, and bad-hair-day moistness of Atlanta, GA. Would the Falcons be able to put up the higher numbers and get the win to secure a somewhat more accommodating playoffs situation? Moreover, would the New Orleans Saints be able to serve up the coleslaw to the Carolina Panthers to solidify a home playoff scenario for Atlanta? The Falcons have already accomplished twice more than what they did last season. How far will their redemption narrative extend?

Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter sprinkled up a thirty-nine yard Jason Elam field goal. During the Rams’ second possession, running back Steven Jackson stormed his way into the end zone for a touchdown. St. Louis 7 and Atlanta 3. The bottom of the first quarter came and went without much for smiles, save for a nice tackle by Falcons cornerback Domonique Foxworth under two minutes (Rams quarterback Marc Bulger threw to wide receiver Donnie Avery, whom Foxworth immediately brought down).

The second quarter stunned out with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throwing an interception. Rams cornerback Jason Craft got his hands on the ball that was meant for Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas. Luckily, that turnover yielded no fruit for St. Louis. Or not so luckily…when the Falcons got the ball back, wide receiver Brian Finneran made a super catch and got a first down, but Matt Ryan’s launch to wide receiver Roddy White didn’t stick, which was then followed by Ryan getting sacked. When the Falcons got the ball back, Matt Ryan did some compensating through an impeccable forty-one yard catch by wide receiver Michael Jenkins at the four yard line. A false start penalty on Falcons tight end Jason Rader might’ve pushed the birds back five yards, but running back Michael Turner got himself in the end zone for a TD. The Rams got on top with a touchdown by Donnie Avery with two minutes left on the game clock. St. Louis 14 and Atlanta 10. But, what’s that? SWEET SOFT LIGHT BREAKING THROUGH YONDER WINDOW! Falcons running back Jerious Norwood returned the ball for ninety-two yards. Two plays later, Norwood ran the ball eight yards into the end zone. Falcons regained the lead going into halftime 17 to 14.

The third quarter vaulted off with a Falcons touchdown catch by Roddy White. He and Matt Ryan met up near the goal on (on the inside of the end zone) for a body high-five (two individuals run, jump up and smack their bodies against the other’s). The Rams spat up a field goal in the bottom of the third quarter. Atlanta 24 and St. Louis 17.

The fourth quarter began with Rams Steven Jackson tying the score with a TD. Both teams 24. The Falcons came back with a seventy-two yard run by Michael Turner. The longest run per commentators? But alas, Rams cornerback Ron Bartell forced a fumble and took the ball to the end zone for a touchback. Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the fumble call. Walt Anderson, the referee, did not overturn the call. Not long afterwards, Matt Ryan threw another interception, this time to the bosom of Rams cornerback Jonathan Wade. The Rams munched a three-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter with a field goal. St. Louis 27 and Atlanta 24. Bollocks to brandy wine.

Oh, but again, what’s this? SUCCULENT PAN-FRIED STRING BEANS!!!! Jerious Norwood ran forty-five yards for a touchdown!!! Atlanta 31 and St. Louis 27 with under four minutes left on the clock. Would the Falcons’ defense hold their ground? Falcons defensive end Chauncey Davis sacked Marc Bulger with fewer than two minutes left to play. A huge save. A gigantic save. Atlanta 31 and St. Louis 27. Final score.

What does it all mean?  Atlanta will go to Arizona next week to play the Cardinals because the New Orleans Saints couldn’t quite pull it out from under the Carolina Panthers. Click here for details on that game.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan provided commentary. Hm, I’ve never seen these faces before.

2. Is it my imagination or is Rams running back Steven Jackson an enormous person?

3. Tim Ryan remarked just before the start of the third quarter that he was “inspired” by what the Rams were doing–“they have nothing to play for”…. Hmm, what about for pleasure? Without the pressure of winning-or-else (on the macro level), the Rams could just play the game for fun? Mistakes made wouldn’t be quite so “gawd hammit” ? Or is this thinking too idealistic.

4. There are times, like in the top of the third quarter, when Michael Turner is charging his way down the field, through the opponent’s defense, and his movements seem to be in slow-motion. His running ostensibly slows down.

5. One of the cameras cut to Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and Falcons owner Arthur Blank after returning from commercial following the Rams field goal in the bottom of the third quarter. Dimitroff took a sip from a bottle of Dasani. He wore a white button-down shirt and possibly a red tie. Blank wore a blue, probably thin, striped button-down shirt and a dark red sweater vest. There might have been a red tie as well.

6. According to the commentators, referees tend to go under the black hood and re-watch a particular play in real-time rather than slow-motion. Implications? The viewer of the televised game is privy to the slow-motion instant replays that may support or question a call on the field. In the case of the Michael Turner fumble/down by contact incident in the fourth quarter, slow-motion footage from in front of and behind Bartell and Turner revealed that Turner’s right shin had hit the turf a nanosecond or two before the ball got out of his hands. Are we to assume that the referee did not go under the black drapes watching slow-motion footage? Is it dramatic irony? And to think that Irony is usually a literary device.

7. One of the sideline shots of Mike Smith before Matt Ryan connected with Michael Jenkins in the bottom of the fourth quarter included a brief glimpse of 11alive’s sports guy Fred Kalil.

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

Off Topic: With an F-R-E-D Fred!

Only because it came to me. This entry has nothing to do with Once Upon a Mattress. Though, the whole princess and castle bit still applies. I reviewed The Tale of Despereaux (Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen, 200eight) for FilmThreat.

The review is now up. Here is an excerpt:

Trailers for “Despereaux” focus heavily, if not exclusively, on the title character. Knowing virtually nothing about the film’s story other than the inclusion of a mouse that doesn’t behave as a scaredy-mouse should, I wasn’t exactly ready for an entire secondary storyline involving a rat. One might as well re-name the animated work from “The Tale of Despereaux” to “A Tale of Two Rodents: When Despereaux Met Roscuro.” Being comprised of parallel plots is all well and dandy, but Roscuro’s circumstances and the wrongs he wishes to right are more captivating (and even more heartfelt) than Despereaux’s. The mouse might be assigned the ‘Hero’s Journey’ a la Joseph Campbell in speech and mannerisms, but Roscuro gets an equal slice of that fairy tale pie.

If the “Tale of Two Rodents” angle isn’t enough for I-didn’t-see-that-in-the-previews effect, there’s also a servant girl and a dungeon’s guard that figure prominently in the narrative fabric. From the viewer’s vantage point, Despereaux and Roscuro’s adventures—along with those of the humans—sufficiently convey the lessons of how being afraid is crippling and being kind is ultimately rewarding. There’s no need for a narrator to stick the moral value to us, right? Not quite. Voiced by Sigourney Weaver, the narrator’s tone alternates between being self-aware and facetious to being stern and critical (of the sincerity behind the words she’s speaking). The idea that not all fear is instinctual, and that being different—even to the point of abnormal—is fine…on the condition that one’s differences make one successfully brave and generous would have gotten across without a voice-over. At twenty-seven years of age, I certainly could not ignore the blatant selling of “don’t hate or be afraid of people you don’t like”—I don’t think I would’ve missed the point if I were seven years-old either.

Read the rest of the review here.

And the refrain in my head after I left the movie theatre:

I say, Despereaux, why can’t you come to your senses? So persistent that chivalry still exists now?

Sinister rat and Roscuro.

Princess Pea and Despereaux.

Newborn Despereaux, how cute is he? Yeah, and only for fifteen seconds. He grows up in the next shot.

Click here for more pictures.