Tag Archives: Faith Hill

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.

NFL 08: Bears blockade the Colts

The Chicago Bears march over to the Lucas Oil Stadium to match gazes with the Indianapolis Colts for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Brand new athletic stage for the Colts but the Colts don’t win.

The occasion was scoreless until Adam Vinatieri kicked a thirty-nine yard field goal for the Colts towards the latter portion of the first quarter. The Bears met that field goal with a fifty-yard touchdown run made by rookie running back Matt Forte. Chicago 7. Indianapolis 3. The second quarter closed the Bears lead with a Colts field goal. The gap was widened once more with a Robbie Gould field goal towards the end of quarter. Bears 10. Colts 6. Chicago then benefited from a safety when Colts running back Joseph Addai couldn’t get out of his own end zone. Colts head coach Tony Dungy unsuccessfully challenged the ruling. Chicago 12. Indianapolis 6. By the end of the first half, the Bears put up another field goal for 15 points total. Colts still 6.

Wide receiver Colts Reggie Wayne made a TD near the halfway point of the third quarter. Indianapolis only two points below Chicago. At the bottom of the third quarter, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman caused Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison to drop the ball. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs then swooped the ball up and ran twenty-one yards into the end zone. Tony Dungy once again unsuccessfully challenged the ruling of touchdown. Chicago 22. Indianapolis 13. The fourth quarter gave Chicago seven more points with a TD by fullback Jason McKie. Bears 29. Colts 13. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Faith Hill sings the theme song again, improved from last year’s I think. None of that blatant red carpet muck. Sprint product placement.

2. Al Michaels and John Madden provide commentary. The first shot is not an extreme close-up as it was with last season. John Madden’s hand still looks enormous; the microphone looks tiny in his hand.

3. There’s an NFL Sunday Night cookbook?

4. The Bears donned white shirts for this game; made me think of white cupcakes.

5. Lucas Oil Stadium’s retractable roof opens sideline to sideline, as Al Michaels pointed out a commercial break after Colts put the first points on the board. It takes ten minutes for the roof to open. The field has no drainage system.

6. Was Colts quarterback Peyton Manning playing through a mental fog? Was he distracted? Experiencing more physical discomfort in his knee than he was anticipating? When he’s calling plays at the line of scrimmage, he still reminds me of an auctioneer. Or fast-talking John Moschitta. When the Lions were playing the Falcons earlier today, and not playing very well, Detroit’s quarterback Jon Kitna was seething with irritation on the sidelines. Peyton Manning, as I’ve observed in the last three seasons, certainly lets his state of mind show through his body language and expressions…but, he’s more prone to appearing distressed or sad or simply frustrated as opposed to annoyed or irate.

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