Daily Archives: January 10, 2010

NFL 2010 wildcard: Ravens swarm the Patriots

If  the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens had a million dollars (right this second), would they buy you a house or a K-car?  Probably not.  Instead, they would meet on a patch of grass, squat down, crouch in stealth, chase each other, and pull one another to the ground in order to go to the playoffs.  Broadcast on CBS, the Ravens went on offense first and running back Ray Rice bolted eighty-three yards down the field for a  touchdown on the first play–seventeen seconds into the game.  Two plays into the Patriots’ possession, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs initiated a turnover.  The end of that drive produced a touchdown by linebacker Jameel McClain.  Baltimore 14 and New England 0.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception into the hands of Ravens cornerback Chris Carr in the middle of the first quarter.  Rice soon made his second TD of the day.  SWEET AND SPICY JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS!!!! Brady threw yet another interception when the Patriots got back on offense.  Ravens safety Ed Reed made the turnover catch and tossed the ball to safety Dawan Landry before getting tackled at New England’s thirty-four yard line.  The Ravens went with a field goal at the end of that excitement.  Baltimore 24 and New England 0.

The second quarter started with the Patriots punting the ball away but none of the Ravens caught the ball.  New England cornerback Kyle Arrington recovered the ball in Baltimore’s red zone.  The commentators thought the Ravens should’ve challenged the call but also pointed out that Baltimore’s coaches were not close enough to see anything to warrant throwing a red flag.  A few plays later, wide receiver Julian Edelman caught a pass for a TD.  Baltimore 24 and New England 7.  Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was picked off six minutes into the quarter.

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The third quarter appeared to demonstrate more New England solidness, that is until Dawan Landry intercepted Brady six minutes into the quarter.  The Ravens increased their score with a field goal  Baltimore 27 and New England 7.  Several minutes later, Julian Edelman made a second TD.  Baltimore 27 and New England 14.  The fourth quarter began with the Ravens winning a challenge to get a first-and-goal and a couple plays later, running back Willis McGahee got himself into the end zone.  A two-point conversion attempt did not work.  Baltimore challenged the unsuccessful try but lost.  Halfway through the quarter, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski’s kick was no good.  Baltimore 33 and New England 14.  Final score.  The last time the Patriots lost at home was to the Jets in 2006.  The Ravens are going to play the Indianapolis Colts next week.

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Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were the commentators.  Both men wore dark suits, but Nantz had a purple tie, a lavender shirt, and a dark gray sweater vest.  Simms was decked in blue of varying shades for vest, tie, and shirt.

2.  Phil Simms noted during the Ravens’ kickoff to the Patriots upon returning from the commercial break that followed Ray Rice’s game-opening TD run that in an interview from the previous night, Rice said that, “I run deceptively quick with speed.”  I had no idea what that meant until an extreme high-angle (essentially an overhead view) of the field where the Patriots end zone was at the bottom of the screen.  The replay began at the line of scrimmage and as Rice broke through the New England defense and was headed down the field, the “deceptively quick with speed” became apparent in comparing the running of two Patriots that were trying to catch up to Rice.  These Patriots’ feet move more rapidly, whereas Rice’s strides were bigger.

3.  Jameel McClain did a little step-dance after he stood up in the end zone.

4.  Did I just see Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake speaking really, really bad Mandarin in a Sony TV commercial?  Yes, I did.  Manning sounded like he was speaking a bizarre smoothie of bad Cantonese and Mandarin.  Timberlake sounded like he was only speaking bad Mandarin.  It was pretty funny, though.  They have inflections in their voices.  I think I could teach both of them how to pronounce Mandarin properly.

5.  Ravens tight end Todd Heap sustained some kind of injury in the bottom of the fourth quarter.  He’s one year and two months older than I.

6.  New England head coach Bill Belichick was wearing a beanie.  The red and white yarn ball atop of it reminded me of a peppermint candy.  Tom Brady also needs to cut his hair.

7.  After the game, Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh ran around the field high-fiving Baltimore fans.

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

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NFL 2010: Donovan McNabb dazed and Michael Vick chews gum

A week ago the Dallas Cowboys clobbered the Philadelphia Eagles 34 to 0 in the last regular season game.  Tonight, the Cowboys rinsed and repeated the victory, only the Eagles managed to score two touchdowns (courtesy of wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson).  It was televised on NBC with commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.  Michaels wore an off-white button-down shirt and a burgundy and rose striped tie.  Collinsworth had on a light bluish-gray button-down shirt and a dark navy and blue-striped tie.  I didn’t watch the game until the bottom of the third quarter, at which time the Eagles only had one TD.  DeSean Jackson’s catch happened in the top of the fourth quarter.  Philadelphia did put up some numbers in this wildcard game, nevertheless, Dallas beat them by twenty points.

Observations and Miscellania:

1. When Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb connected with Jeremy Maclin for twenty-five yards in the bottom of the third quarter, the telecast went with the camera on the Dallas side of the field.  Maclin ran, facing the camera, into their sidelines and stiff-armed safety Ken Hamlin.  When the fourth quarter began, upon returning from a commercial break, the telecast switched to the other side of the field as DeSean Jackson’s touchdown was recorded with him running from screen-right to screen-left.  In filmmaking, if you were to edit a sequence such that Character A is moving from screen-left to screen-right in one shot and then from screen-right to screen-left in the next shot, you’ll confuse the viewer (continuity error).  When something similar occurs in televised football, it just means that the team running with the play is still on offense.

2.  The Who is performing at Super Bowl XLIV!

3.  I love watching people that are in a state of jubilation.  I know it doesn’t apply to everyone, but seeing someone who is sad compels others to turn down the lights, so to speak, to dim the pep.  Even if you don’t get to or decide not to do anything to comfort that someone, your inclination to sympathize and be considerate ostensibly comes naturally.  The sight of other people being happy, though, can more often than not incite envy or disdain.  In contrast, looking at people (usually strangers) experiencing and expressing joy is such a delight for me.  For example, football players in the middle or bottom of the fourth quarter when they know that they’re going to win a wildcard, playoff, or championship game.  A few of the Cowboys were featured in such shots during the second half of tonight’s game.  Defensive linebacker Keith Brooking and wide receiver Miles Austin were filmed in medium close-up as they gazed up.  I later realized that they were probably looking up at the jumbotron suspended from the ceiling.

4.  Regarding the title of this post, there was a close-up of Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick on the sidelines.  Both were looking off-screen right.  McNabb appeared tired and dazed; Vick was chewing gum.  As my eyes moved from the former to the latter, I had barely formed the thought, “I bet Vick’s very grateful for where he is now,” when I suddenly started thinking, “How can Vick be playing football again, how can he have this second chance when something like this takes a person’s life away?”  Or something like this, or this, or this.  Although I use these examples in place of something a breath closer to heart, the comparison is still the same.  Where is the thematic justice?  But it’s not that simple, is it?  It really doesn’t work that way; the unfairness transcends overgeneralizations that bad people outlive good people and that good people are punished for their kindness and bad people aren’t always held accountable for their massively poor judgment.

Michael Vick did a bad thing, and he’s had to atone for behavior.  He still is atoning.  He has to wake up every day reminded of how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to right his wrong philosophically.  In the mean time, someone like the victims in those above links, who’s surely brightened many people’s daytime hours, whom I’ve seen without eye contact or friendly greeting, has to depart so that those who survive can reflect upon–even reassess–their own mortality.  I’ve only known four good people who’ve had their earthbound lives cut short due to unforeseen elements: car accident, airplane accident, and staph infection.  I knew them.  They had known my name and face.  I may only know of this someone here, yet I’m saddened and have thought about the situation longer than I think makes sense.

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Apparently, only one commercial comes on TV in Japan during time-outs in NFL games.  Say hello to Japanese girls in bikinis intercut with NFL gear.