Category Archives: Football

Apologies, Incomplete Pass

He rubbed his chin with the fingertips of his right hand, then he bit his lip.  I looked at the blue laces of my black ankle boots and exhaled loudly enough for her to tell me to answer the question he’d asked a moment ago.

“Well,” I began. “You don’t just make your way up and down the line of scrimmage, make one complete pass, and run straight for the end zone.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because you have three more opportunities to move the ball down the field to be in a better position to run it in or make a complete pass in the end zone.”

“I just really wanted to get into that end zone, I mean, you said you wanted to see what I could do with the ball.”

“I did…by making a field goal, by making several complete passes before going for a touchdown,” I elaborated, trying not to sound exasperated or condescending.

“I just, uh, wanted to get straight to it, though,” he said as he glanced at her.  “There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?”

She parted her mouth but instead of answering him, she looked at me and cleared her throat.

“Don’t look at her,” I said. “She’s just here to be a witness to my thought process.”

“Are you saying you didn’t want to play?”

“I permitted you entrance onto the field of play, didn’t I?  But, just because you’re granted access, just because you started and I didn’t whip out the playbook to make sure we were using the same one, doesn’t mean you can fast-forward to the two-minute warning.  I mean, good lourdes, I didn’t want a haiku.”

He may have chuckled right then.

“I don’t play haikus with other people; there are only Three-Act Plays, and if you can’t begin Act 1 satisfactorily enough to make it to Act 2, why would you think you can jump right to Act 3?”

He may have laughed and then shaken his head.

She looked at him and then at me and asked, “Wait, are you really talking about football… or poetry or theatre?”

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Et puis.  Bon anniversaire à moi.  Je ne crois pas que j’ai quarante-et-un.  Je suis allée au café au’jourd-hui et le barista m’a donné deux traches de gâteau.  C‘était très gentil.

Stetson Bennett’s Teammates Love Him

I didn’t exist yet the last time the UGA Bulldogs won a college football national title.  Cortez Hankton, pass game coordinator and wide receiver coach for UGA, didn’t exist either.  Well, they did it tonight against the Alabama Crimson Tide, winning 33 to 18.

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Here’s the google chat log I had with a friend during the final couple minutes of the game:

Me: UGA’s QB’s teammates love him. They’ll cry happy tears with him.
Friend: you’re watching?!

Me: I started watching at the bottom of the 2nd quarter.  I was watching movies before then.  I’ve had the game mostly on mute, though, cause I’ve been listening to music on YT.  I know, it’s been a while since I watched a college game.
Friend:  you picked the right game to watch.  you’re watching history. first UGA national title since 1980

Me: But, I did watch the failed 2pt conversions of both teams in the 4th and then UGA putting two back-to-back TDs up. Of course, I was going to watch at least the second half of the game..,i know how big a deal it is.  the rivalry. I used to watch quite a bit of college football in the yrs after I got my MA. I know a lot of people don’t see the big deal with competitive sports, participating or watching.  But, it really is important… where else does society get to see young men get to experience and express supreme joy and disappointment? Where else does society get to see young men convey so many emotions so publicly? nowhere.  And…in some very subtle way, football hasn’t been commodified to quite the same degree as basketball.  Basketball players in the spotlight, with endorsement deals and commercial value, are depicted much more like musicians than football players.  Football players, even household names, multiple conference or league winners, are more like… Miss America winners? Same with baseball players.

Friend: how happy must a braves and UGA fan be in these last 3 months?
Me: And how awesome the World Series happened before Omnicorn was a thing. This was very good vicarious joy.

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

The Football sequences should be stellar

Or at least consistent with the televised game aesthetic since the directors have much experience operating cameras for televised sports.  I didn’t know about this film until I came across this Military.com article.

American Underdog (Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin, 2021) chronicles how Kurt Warner became a football star in his late twenties.  Based solely on appearances, Zachary Levi is a good choice.  Oui?

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Will I be watching this film?  Je ne pense pas.  The trailer watches like it’s the whole film.

Pic cred: IMDB

Suspense Pastoral

I’ve been watching the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros swing it out in the World Series and noticed an element of baseball game play that I’d never before contemplated.  Compared to other team sports, the rhythm and suspense of baseball game play in relation to scoring is that no matter which team you root for, you can be more hopeful that your team can keep the lead or shrink the score gap.  There are nine innings after all.  Ninety-five minutes into a baseball game and you’re not even at the fifth inning yet.  There’s a more fluid stop-and-go of “plays” that lessens the sense of fiendish urgency to score points (in contrast to football, which consists of a much more blatant stop-and-go of plays and feeds into the o-m-g-we-are-losing energy).

Moreover, unlike the rapidly changing points in basketball, baseball’s scoring fluctuates in moderation (nevermind that the Astros took quite the lead against the Braves in Game 5 of the World Series and in a short period of time).  Though the game play is slower than that of futbol and hockey, the players have an easier time hitting balls, running bases, and making homeruns.  In other words, watch a baseball game for forty-five minutes and both teams would likely have at least one or two runs.  Watch a futbol or hockey game for the same amount of time and you’re lucky if one team made one point.

It’s easier to passively watch baseball too.  One can mute the game and knit a pair of gloves without feeling as though one is missing anything that cannot be seen on the screen.  Although I have muted Falcons’ games in the past (and other football games), there’s inevitably a part of me that wonders if something illuminating is being imparted by the commentators in relation to a play or a penalty.  Speaking of the Atlanta Falcons, they did not beat the Carolina Panthers on Halloween.  They lost 19 to 13, aka, three field goals or one touch down.  After skimming the scoring summary, it turns out that the Falcons missed a field goal in the bottom of the third quarter.  Even if they’d made that field goal, they would still be down by three points going into the end of the fourth quarter.  So, unless someone pulled a TD out of their elbow before the two-minute warning, they wouldn’t have won anyway.

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

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Pic cred: Lesly Juarez, unsplash

Would You Wear the Green Sash?

Envision yourself on a quest where you must arrive at a specific location by Christmas and follow through with a promise you made the previous year.  If you keep your word, you will lose your head…literally.  A woman offers you a green sash (or is it more of a large ribbon? belt?) that as long as you keep it tied around your body, you will never die (or at least never be mortally wounded).  Do you accept?

Of course you accept…and to wonder anything more would be to venture into spoiler territory, which I shan’t do.

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Since the start of the year, I’ve only vaguely kept up with what movies would be playing in theatres in my city.  I still have not been to a movie theatre since I watched Tenet a year ago.  Among other films, I skipped The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021) when it came to town.  As the months went by, I was no longer sure I would see it at all…and then it came out on DVD.

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Passively waiting until it was available on DVD was the right choice in the end.  I got to enjoy the subtitles and a few making-of featurettes, which really contributed to my positive regard for the film.  In one evening, I viewed the film nearly twice from start to to finish with a few repeat-watches of specific segments.  I wasn’t expecting to see a fox companion…that eventually talked [somewhat like the one from Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist (2007) but minus the ridiculous delivery].

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Not long after Gawain (Dev Patel) encounters the fox, he sees giant entities traversing across the landscape before him.  On the one hand, it shifts abruptly the viewer’s perception of the time-and-place and even genre of the film, but on the other hand, Gawain did just unknowingly eat some fungus that isn’t meant for dietary consumption.

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I really like The Green Knight and I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is due to the film’s fairy-tale tone and story.

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In sports headlines, the Atlanta Braves may bring competitive glory to this here city once again (in general but also for themselves and longtime Braves fans).  I remember the 90s Braves and watching them win the World Series in 1995 against Cleveland on TV.

This moment…the pile-up at the end:

Now that I think back on the last decade before the turn of the 21st century, there was a period of time when I watched a lot of televised baseball and so many of the games were of the Braves.  Why?  Now that decades have passed, I realize fully that it was because of Fred McGriff (who played first base) and Javier Lopez (the catcher).

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While we’re at this juncture in the corner of reminiscence, check out these videos:

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Et plus, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Miami Dolphins 30 to 28 (via 3 touchdowns and 3 field goals).  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Pic creds: IMDB