Tag Archives: Cris Collinsworth

NFL 2009: Packers au gratin the Bears

Detour:

Paddy Chayefsky contributed to early American television and was an award-winning screen writer.  I clicked to his wikipedia page (from the wiki page of the film Altered States) and couldn’t help but linger on the first line of his entry.  He was born January 29, 1923 and died August 1, 1981.  Fifty-eight years before I felt oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon particles against my mucousy skin, he did.  About seven months after I was born, he died.

Retour:

Oh to be a ligting fixture or a steel beam at Lambeau Field as The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears ring in the 2009 NFL season.  Broadcast on NBC and narrated by Al Michaels (wearing a dark gray suit, a light gray-bluish-white button-down shirt, and a dark gray and silver diagonally striped tie) and Cris Collinsworth (wearing a dark navy suit, a white button-down shirt and a somewhat unsightly maroon tie with weird blockish patterned tie).

The first quarter included a missed field goal by Packers kicker Mason Crosby as well as Bears wide receiver Devin Hester returning a punt and doing what Al Michaels termed, “the spinorama” (Hester caught the ball and advanced five yards by twirling about his center of gravity).  Excitement bells rang out in the bottom of the first quarter when Packers safety Nick Collins intercepted Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s pass meant for tight end Greg Olsen.  The Packers couldn’t do much with that turnover, though.

The second quarter rolled to around eight minutes when Cutler threw a sixty-eight yard complete pass to wide receiver Johnny Knox.  And then the Packers took the ball.  Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly intercepted Cutler.  Bears safety Daniel Manning got his team a safety (how appropriate) when he pulled Packers QB Aaron Rodgers into the end zone.  Sweet succotash.  Cutler’s pass was picked off again byPackers cornerback Tramon Williams.  Bears head coach Lovie Smith challenged the location of where the ball was downed.   The ruling was not overturned.  Packers running back Ryan Grant got himself into the end zone on the next play and did the “Lambeau Leap,” which involves a player running and jumping atop the barrier that separates the field and the first row of seats.  Green Bay 10 and Chicago 2.

Roughly five minutes of the third quarter elapsed when Devin Hester made a TD catch.   The Bears took the lead with a field goal near the bottom of this quarter.  Chicago 12 and Greeny Bay 10.  The fourth quarter started with an offensive play by the Bears where the ball was snapped to running back Garrett Wolfe,* who then ran five or so yards before he was tackled.  Lovie Smith threw down the challenge flag because he believed that Green Bay had too many men on the field.  When the red flag went out, Al Michaels pointed it out, and Cris Collinsworth joked that maybe “he’s challenging his own call.”  Michaels then said, “That’s the line of the evening.”  The referee determined that there were not too many Packers on the field.

Mason Crosby’s thirty-nine yard field goal attempt was good.  His cheeseheads took back the lead.  Green Bay 13 and Chicago 12.  Bears kicker Robbie Gould’s twenty-one yard FG “was true” (as Al Michaels put it, but he said used the present tense) in the bottom of the quarter.  Chicago 15 and Green Bay 13.  Seemed like the Bears would’ve won, right? And then there was the one-minute-remaining mark.  Aaron Rodgers connected with wide receiver Greg Jennings, who would also make the succesful two-point conversion catch.  Packers cornerback Al Harris intercepted Cutler’s final gasp at taking the lead.  Green Bay 21 and Chicago 15.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Those Packers’ uniforms made me think of mustard and relish on a hot dog.  Or corn and collard greens.

2.  Faith Hill sang the Sunday Night football song yet again.  Oh, but she looked so much better in the 2009 promo.  She wore a long-sleeved shirt dress and black knee-high boots.  Her hair and makeup improved greatly as well.  Sprint once again sponsored.  The visual design is reminiscent of “More Money More Problems” and Kpop girl group 2NE1’s “Fire” music video (the space version) with a dash of 4 Minute’s “Hot Issue” mv.

3.  Does Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher age? He’s been a Bear for a decade, hasn’t he?  He only played half of the game, I believe on account of a wrist injury.  He looks like the kind of person that could make you feel safe no matter where you were or what terrible things were about to or might possibly happen to you.  Although, he also looks like the kind of person that you’d want to stay far away from during times of emotional duress (that walk-off the field after Chicago lost.  He didn’t have fire in his eyes and murder on his mind, but there was an unmistakable hint of, “someone needs to be punished.”

4.  I miss John Madden’s ostensibly random comments about pop-culture and NFL history.

5.  I wonder who’ll end up with the greater viewership: NFL Sunday Packers vs. Bears or the VMAs 2009.

6.  One of the NBC cameras cut to a medium shot of Virginia McCaskey, the owner of the Bears, during the middle of the second quarter.  What happens when she is no longer able to own the Bears literally and legally?

7.  Cialis.  Why must a man wait to contact his doctor if he’s been saluting for more than four hours straight?  Why would anyone want to be pointing skywards for more than fourteen minutes?  It has a clinical term too: priapism.

8.  Bears head coach challenged the ruling after Cutler threw his second interception in the second quarter.  I believe someone yelled “I love Lovie.”

9.  Al Michaels remarked in the bottom of the first half that the Chicago and Green Bay matchup began in 1921?  1929?

10.  My, my, the sidelines of football games are populated not only by the teams’ players and personnel, but also by young males (of the Abercrombie catalogue aesthetic) likely between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five.  Interns? Volunteers?  Don’t see the young ladies as often–unless they’re part of the medical team or audio equipment crew (for the network televising the game).

11.  This game felt extremely long, which may tend to happen when both teams’ defensive capabilities out-shine their offensive skills.

12.  In the bottom of the third quarter, Al Michaels quoted John Madden: “When you have multiple injuries, you only feel one of them.”

13.  Cris Collinsworth spoke in the top of the fourth quarter on the Bears offense and mentioned something about the Patriots coming to Soldier Field in the near future, and that the Bears would just have to “get deep penetration into the backfield…but that’s probably the most obvious thing I’ve said tonight” (with a chuckled).  He then commented on Jay Cutler as “now he’s scrambling with a purpose.”

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

*And yet I can’t find Wolfe’s name in the play-by-play, which says it was Matt Forte.  I might’ve hallucinated “Wolfe.”

NFL 2009: Steelers vampire the Titans’ diaries

But first: Georgia Tech buffy-slayed Clemson 30 to 27.

~!~

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans blessed the opening of the 2009 NFL season Thursday night.  Broadcast on NBC, and narrated by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the scoreboard remained empty for most of the first half.  The CW was also premiering its new undead-teen-fiction-turned-undead-teen-TV-show.  I watched it (Nina Dobrev, who plays the female lead, is lovely).  When the pilot was over, I flipped back to NBC and the score was still 0 – 0.

By the end of the first quarter, each team’s quarterback, the stealing Ben Roethlisberger and the tightening Kerry Collins, had thrown an interception.  The Steelers eventually beat the Titans 13 (a Santonio Holmes touchdown and two field goals), to 10 (a Justin Gage TD and a field goal) in overtime.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Goodness Graceland, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels.  What were they wearing?  Collinsworth had on a white, long-sleeve button-down shirt, black pants, and a light blue tie with dark blue diagonally arranged squares on it.  Michaels wore a yellow long-sleeve button-down shirt, grey pants, and a gold and dark blue/black diagonally striped tie.   Tres moche.

2.  After returning to the game from a commercial break in the first quarter, one of the cameras cut to a medium shot of Faith Hill (sans makeup) sitting next to Tim McGraw (who had performed in pre-game festivities).   Faith looked great without the makeup, and she appeared to be eating a cookie.

3.  Pepsi is the official soft drink of the NFL?  Vraiment?  There was a then-and-now-in-the-NFL commercial.

4.  I saw two Old Spice Swagger ads (with karate and with arm wrestling) and one Old Spice different scents commercials.  Unsavory.  Disconcerting.

5.  What exactly did Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke do with his helmet in the third quarter?  He yanked it off and then plopped it back on?

6.  Steelers safety Troy Polamalu took a nasty left knee injury in the second quarter as a result of colliding with Titans tight end Alge Crumpler’s lower body.

7.  Steelers owner Daniel M. Rooney is now also the US Ambassador to Ireland.

8.  Why did Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch jump across the line of scrimmage in the  fourth quarter?  He was charged with encroachment.  It was quite a sight.  I was looking on the Steelers side of the field when suddenly, there Vanden Bosch was…surrounded by black and yellow.  I think time actually slowed down there for a bit.

9.  Hines Ward?! Hines Ward!  Don’t be mad.  Don’t be sad.  Don’t cry a puddle, not even a puddle.   What did he do or didn’t do?  He made a reception in the bottom of the fourth quarter but was bumped from behind by one of the Titans’ players and dropped the ball.  Ward was roughly twelve yards away from the end zone.

10.  A tender moment occurred in overtime.  Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace caught a pass and was cradled down to the field by Titans safety Vincent Fuller.  They remained in that “embrace” for some ten seconds longer than was probably necessary.

Get summary, stats, and play-by-play here.   Have you noticed NFL.com’s new Game Center interface?  You like it? I’m undecided at present.

NFC Wildcard 2009: Cardinals cork up the worm from the Falcons

Before I get to the wildcard game between the Atlanta Falcons at the Arizona Cardinals, held at the University of Phoenix Stadium, read this:

The 2008 US Army All-American Bowl ended in an East win.  When I got myself to TV, the fourth quarter still had a minute left.  I believe the East won it again this year.  Click here, here, and here for more info.

Back to the playoffs.   An interview between Tiki Barber and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan aired in the pregame segment.  Between the two of them, I don’t think more than five to seven words per second leave their mouths.  The. way. that. they. speak. is. n’t. punct. uated. per. se, but…every. single. word…receives a very deliberate escorting.

Televised by NBC, the first quarter plunked out an interception…Matt Ryan’s third pass (?) and into the hands of Cardinals cornerback Ralph Brown.  The result of that turnover? Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner throwing forty-two yards to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown.  Arizona 7 and Atlanta 0.  Agh. Groar.

The second quarter got the Falcons on the board with a thirty-yard Jason Elam field goal.  The Cardinals leaped away numerically with a seventy-one yard touchdown run by wide receiver Anquan Boldin.  Arizona 14 and Atlanta 3.  Fast-forward to the bottom of the quarter, after Matt Ryan successfully connected with wide receivers Michael Jenkins, Roddy White, and Brian Finneran, and running back Michael Turner sauntered into the end zone.  Arizona 14 and Atlanta 10.  During the Cardinals’ next possession, one of Kurt Warner’s passes bobbled off of its target receiver’s hands and into the grasp of Falcons cornerback Chevis Jackson.  As the quarter came to an end, Falcons tight end Justin Peelle and Matt Ryan linked arms for a TD.  Atlanta 17 and Arizona 14.

The third quarter spat out a turnover and Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle ran twenty-seven yards for a TD.  Arizona 21 and Atlanta 17. The Cardinals Neil Rackers missed a fifty-one yard field goal shortly thereafter.  Would the Falcons do with another offensive go in the top of the quarter?  Niet.   The quarter trimmed down with a Cardinals touchdown by running back Tim Hightower.  Arizona 28 and Atlanta 17.  How do the Falcons react?  Matt Ryan threw another interception…into the cradle of cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The fourth quarter started with a safety for the Cardinals.  Alors, Arizona 30 and Atlanta 17.  The Cardinals were awarded an excessive celebration penalty.  With under five minutes left to tango, Roddy White got his body into the end zone.  Arizona 30 and Atlanta 24.  Alas.  final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond were the commentators.

2.  Anquan Boldin put a hand to his left hamstring after making the second quarter TD.

3.  Towards the bottom of the second quarter, after Matt Ryan had completed a series of passes, Cris Collinsworth remarked that Ryan does better when he throws to his left.

4.  The camera took a few shots of Matt Ryan after Michael Turner and Justin Peelle made TDs in the second quarter.  His hair has grown out quite a bit.  When did that happen?  Obviously it happened over the course of sixteen weeks, but compared to last week?  It’s as if two inches came out of nowhere.

5.  Matt Ryan’s older brother Mike received some screen-time during the middle of the fourth quarter.  They definitely look related.

6.  One of the cameras got a medium shot of Falcons linebacker John Abraham after Kurt Warner took a knee.  Methinks I saw tears about to well up in Abraham’s eyes?

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


NFL 08: the Buccaneers frizz up the Seahawks

O Champs-Elysees, O Peyton Manning, O Packers jumped the Colts 34 to 14.

The Raiders confiscated the Jets in overtime 16 to 13.

The Rams shoe-horned the Cowboys (sans Tony Romo) 34 to 14.

Now on to Sunday Night Football starring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks. Seneca Wallace stepped in as Seattle quarterback because Matt Hasselbeck was out with an injury. Jeff Garcia was performing the equivalent role for Tampa Bay (Brian Griese wasn’t playing due to an injury). The first quarter started with a touchdown by Tampa Bay wide receiver Antonio Bryant. The second quarter progressed into eight minutes or so and Buccaneers running back Ernest Graham made a TD. Tampa Bay 14 and Seattle 0. The second quarter drew down to three minutes with more Buccaneers numbers in the form of a field goal. 17 to 0. The third quarter gave the Seahawks a field goal at ten minutes. Tampa Bay 17 and Seattle 3. The fourth quarter sailed down towards the bottom with a Buccaneers field goal. 20 to 3. Final score? Not yet. With two minutes left in the game, Seahawks tight end John Carlson caught the ball in the end zone. Tampa Bay 20 and Seattle 10. That would be the final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth provided commentary tonight. John Madden was at home resting.

2. Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren will not return to the helm at the end of the season.

3. Bud Light and Drinkability. I like the Pool Party one but not the Tailgaters one. A beer isn’t filling because a beer is empty calories. Unless a Bud Light isn’t filling because it won’t go down into the digestive system and sit there with carbonation building until one must belch or else.

4. Does Brian Griese have an underbite?

5. Fullback Mike Alstott’s number 40 was retired by Tampa Bay during halftime.

6. Seattle kicker Olindo Mare’s field goal attempt in the third quarter was no good–it was filmed from behind him. There may have been skycam action. Very odd, visually.

7. With some three minutes left in the third quarter, I do believe Al Michaels said, “pulling a George Clooney and getting the first down” in reference to Buccaneers wide receiver Michael Clayton catching Garcia’s pass. Ah and indeed–“Michael Clayton” is also a film starring George Clooney.

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

‘Tis the Season: Patriots bypass the Giants; 16-0

So that nearly the entire country would have the opportunity to watch the New England Patriots make history by having a 16-0 season, the NFL Network-televised game against the New York Giants was also broadcast on NBC and CBS.  I elected to watch the game on my local CBS station.

 

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs made the first touchdown of the evening, five minutes into the first quarter.  The Patriots ended their first possession with a field goal.  In the top of the second quarter, Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss made a TD, did a little dance, slammed the ball down onto the turf, and got a penalty for excessive celebration.   The Giants answered that TD with a 74-yard kickoff-return TD by wide receiver Domenik Hixon.  New York 14. New England 10.  Seconds before halftime, Giants tight end Kevin Boss made a TD.   Giants 21. Patriots 16.  New England has been behind six times this season and they’ve always managed to win.  I wonder if it’ll happen tonight.  Probably?

Nearly halfway into the third quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress caught a pass for a TD.  The Patriots weren’t going to accept that kind of skill; their running back Laurence Maroney put six more points onto the board close to the bottom of the third quarter.  With the one-point conversion, the Patriots were up to 23 points, still five points under the Giants’ 28.    At the top of the fourth quarter, Randy Moss caught a 65-yard pass for a TD.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raised his right arm and made a peace sign with his fingers: New England would go for a two-point conversion.  And it worked.  Patriots 31. Giants 28.  Towards the bottom of the fourth quarter, Laurence Maroney made another TD.  With one minute left on the clock, Plaxico Burress made a TD.   So close and still yet so far.  Final score: Patriots 38.  Giants 35.  New England made their history.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Idina Menzel sang the National Anthem.  The audio was a little odd–sounded like someone just stuck a microphone to a speaker (echo and all).

2. I’m still not keen on the NFL Network score bar (middle top of the screen), but the field graphics (down and yardage) is exceptionally crisp.  It reminds me of a hot dog and a Slim Jim.  I’ve expressed the same thing before.

3. Commentator Cris Collinsworth uttered during second quarter (regarding a particular play where the Patriots were on defense) the following words:  “the penetration on the front side is forcing those on the back side to go in a little deeper.”  Easily misinterpreted.

4. In the very bottom of the second quarter, Patriots linebacker Junior Seau and Giants Brandon Jacobs got into a little scuffle.   Shortly thereafter, Patriots defensive lineman Vince Willfork stuck his right index finger into Jacobs’s face mask.  The referee charged Seau with a penalty.

5. After returning to the game from commercial break at the top of the fourth quarter, the camera went to a medium shot of Patriots guard Logan Mankins, offensive lineman Matt Light, and center Dan Koppen  sitting on the bench.  They all reminded me of filmic representations of vikings–as in the Nordics not Minnesota’s team.

6. Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs intercepted one of Eli Manning’s passes meant for Plaxico Burress nearing the middle of the fourth quarter.   After this moment, the Giants lost their umph.   Laurence Maroney made a TD at the end of that possession run.

7. In addition to the magic that happens between Tom Brady and his offensive teammates that enables them to score, they also have this effect on their opponents.  If the other team is playing pretty well (even leading in points), as soon as their spirits are dampened by an interception, an avoidable fumble or incomplete pass, or significant and ostensibly debatable penalties, the roll they were on suddenly slows to a crawl.

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