Tag Archives: John Madden

NFL 2009: Giants scrunch and munch the Cowboys

The New York Giants got a first person look at the towering girth of the TV screen at Cowboys Stadium tonight.  Approximately 111,000 warm bodies filled the place to watch the game?

Televised on NBC, the first score of the game came in the form of a Giants field goal in the first quarter.  When the Cowboys went on offense, running back Marion Barber ran into the end zone for a touchdown.  Dallas 7 and New York 3.  The bottom of the quarter greeted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throwing an interception; Giants cornerback Bruce Johnson grabbed the ball in the air and flew into the end zone.  New York 10 and Dallas 7.  Cowboys running back Felix Jones went to return a kick-off but then dropped the ball at the twenty-eight yard line.  The Giants jumped on the loose prolate spheroid.  They would get another field goal soon after, giving them 13 points to the Cowboys’ 10.

The Cowboys responded with a TD catch by tight end Jason Witten in the second quarter.  Dallas 14 and New York 13.  With fewer than sixty seconds left to play in the first half, Giants QB Eli Manning threw a TD pass to wide receiver Mario Manningham, who juggled the ball in the air as he was sliding across the end zone, but he did maintain possession of the ball.  New York 20 and Dallas 14.  This TD would not have been possible had Tony Romo’s previous pass not hit Jason Witten’s left foot, causing the ball to richochet up into the hands of Giants safety Kenny Philips.  The Cowboys were able to get a field goal and narrow the score gap.  Going into halftime, New York 20 and Dallas 17.

The third quarter started with a missed twenty-nine field goal for the Giants.  It tick-tocked down to around three minutes when Tony Romo got into the end zone.  Dallas 24 and New York 20.  With fewer than thirty seconds left on the clock, Tony Romo  threw another interception right into the bosom of Kenny Philips.

The fourth quarter started with a medium shot of LeBron James, in a black t-shirt and sunglasses, in one of the VIP boxes.  Eli Manning connected with Giants wide receiver Steve Smith for a TD to take the lead again.  A field goal halfway through the quarter maintained that lead.  New York 30 and Dallas 24.  The Cowboys weren’t going to let the Giants keep that top bunk.  Felix Jones got himself into the end zone.  Dallas 31 and New York 30.  Thirteen seconds left!  What would happen?!  Giants Lawrence Tynes attempted a thirty-seven yard field goal, made it, but Dallas called a time-out at the very, very last milli-second.  Take two was good too, though.  New York 33 and Dallas 31.  Wow.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Bob Costas spoke with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before the game started.  Jones emphasized that he wanted the fans to get “an experience they don’t/wouldn’t get watching the game at home/on the TV.”

2.  John Madden was in attendance at the game.  When the camera cut to him (in a medium shot), he was checking his phone.

3.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth provided commentary.  “Gimme a noun, gimme a preposition…be it ever so humble, Jerry Jones has given a new meaning to the word ‘home’,” Michaels said of the stadium.

4.  Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem.  Was Rudy Giuliani included in the montage of faces?

5.  The former President and First Lady were there at the coin toss.

6.  Cowboys Stadium’s field looked like regurgitated spinach.

7.  A camera caught George W. Bush sitting next to John Madden during the middle of the first quarter.

8.  Al Michaels noted halfway through the second quarter that Eli Manning and his offensive line, David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie, have started thirty-four games straight.

9.  A camera caught a glimpse of Jerry Jones’s daughter, Charlotte, and wife, Jean, flanking Laura Bush.  They appeared to be having an interesting conversation.  The former First Lady nodded and smiled and Mrs. Jones used hand gestures to explain something.

10.  Marion Barber’s mouth guard is blue.

11.  The scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium is seven stories high.

12.  Halftime included more interview footage with John Madden and Bob Costas.  My goodness, Costas does age!  Madden said that he only decided to retire two months after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in last year’s Super Bowl.

13.  Wow…there are now Dallas Cowboys Cage Dancers?  The Cheerleaders are a separate piece.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.  Click here for the Cowboys roster.

NFL 08: Cowboys stuff the bellpeppers out of the Giants

New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys sitting in a tree.  F-I-S-H-I-N-G .

First comes blood.  Then comes a barrage.  Next comes Manning through a sodden parish.

The first quarter started with some crinkling bits of near-agony as the Giants came within a whisper of losing possession of the ball on Eli Manning’s first handle on it.   Not to suggest that the first quarter wasn’t filled with gasp-inducing game-plays, but the clock waddled down to the zero without any scores.

The second quarter started with Cowboys Tony Romo quarterback connected with wide receiver Patrick Crayton for a touchdown.   The Giants challenged the touchdown call because they believed Romo’s body was completely beyond the line of scrimmage.  Giants head coach Tom Coughlin lost the challenge.   The Giants got themselves on the board with a field goal, courtesy of John Carney towards the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 7 and New York 3.

The third quarter barked off with Eli Manning throwing an interception (his third of 2008).  Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman snatched the ball from the intended target, Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon.   The quarter ended with no added points for either team.

The fourth quarter bolted forth with some very impressive Cowboys action, including some running and catching by former GaTech Yellow Jacket running back Tashard Choice and catching by tight end Jason Witten.   Fullback Deon Anderson made a roomy TD catch shortly thereafter.   I’m telling you, time seemed to slow down as the ball crossed the goal line and was traveling towards Anderson’s grasp.  Dallas 14 and New York 3.  Giants defensive ends Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka sacked Tony Romo and got on top of the ball in the end zone for a safety.   Dallas 14 and New York 5.  John Carney threw up a field goal not long afterwards.  Dallas 14 and New York 8.  HOLY BOOTCUT  JEANS MADE IN AMERICA.  Or as Al Michaels said, “It’s the good ship lollipop.”  Tashard Choice made a thirty-eight yard rushing TD for the Cowboys in the bottom of the quarter.  They went for a two-point conversion, but it didn’t happen.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Terence Newman intercepted Eli Manning in the moshpit bottom of the fourth quarter.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  I like the Cowboys’ uniforms with the white jerseys.  I’m not keen on their navy blue look.    The juxtaposition between the Cowboys and the Giants’ garb was striking to me.  It was like the light vs. the dark.

2.  Awesome Budweiser commercial.  I love those horses.

3.  Not an awesome commercial.  Actually, it’s disturbing.

4.  Halftime included a discussion on the controversial Steelers TD that gave them the win against the Ravens.

5.  Tonight’s Line of Scrimmage segment featured The Boys Ranch run by Carl Farley.  I’d embed a link but mozilla keeps stalling when I tried to load the page.

6.  According to Al Michaels, John Madden’s favorite food is the Stub Sandwich, consists of  “two eggs, bacon, sausage, cheddar and potatoes, smack in the middle of two pieces of toast” as this web page corroborates.

7.  After returning from commercial break near the middle of the fourth quarter, the camera went to a high angle medium shot of Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Terrell Owens gabbing on the sidelines.  Romo and Owens were smiling.  Witten’s back was facing the camera–who knows what expression his face wore.  The hair on the top of his head, however, appeared to be, dare I say it, thinning.

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

NFL 08: the Cowboys California roll the Redskins

A brief detour:

The Tennessee Titans hold on to their winning streak. They gnarled the Jacksonville Jaguars 24 to 14.

The Indianapolis Colts outdid the Houston Texans 33 to 27.

The Pittsburgh Steelers rose above the San Diego Chargers by a dollop of 11 to 10.

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals tied 13 to 13. Click here for the Yahoo Sports article about it–I especially enjoyed this sentence: It was the first tied game in the NFL since Nov. 10, 2002, when the Falcons and Steelers finished 34-34 with Michael Vick and Tommy Maddox matching each other pass for pass. In this one, the teams matched each other gaffe for gaffe.


Around this time last year, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins partied like it was 1999–and the Cowboys won the dance-off. Tonight, both teams got their techno-remix grooves back on in Redskins country for the ninety-sixth time in regular season. The first quarter rolled down halfway before anybody scored–Washington fullback Mike Sellers with a touchdown catch. Redskins 7 and Cowboys 0. Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, once of the Falcons and most recently of the Raiders, intercepted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo at the bottom of the quarter.

The second quarter marched to about eight minutes with Romo throwing another interception–Washington linebacker Rocky McIntosh grabbed the loose ball after Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens was hit. With fewer than a minute-and-a-half on the game clock, Cowboys running back Marion Barber got to the goal line and broke the plane. Washington and Dallas tied seven a piece. The touchdown ruling received an upstairs review–it stood. The Redskins then managed to break that tie with a field goal. Going into halftime, Washington 10 and Dallas 7.

The third quarter commenced with Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman intercepted Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell.  The ball had already reached its intended target, wide receiver Santana Moss, but Newman somehow got his hands between the Redskin and the ball.  A Washington field goal towards the bottom of the third quarter was tried but it wasn’t true.

The top of the fourth quarter sparkled with a series of receptions by Marion Barber.  There was also a “push-pass,” as John Madden dubbed it, that Tony Romo executed to wide receiver Miles Austin, which set up a TD made by tight end Martellus Bennett.  Dallas 14 and Washington 10.  Marion Barber lathered, rinsed, and repeated his running and dodging cherry-on-top magic in the bottom stretch of the fourth quarter.  In this quarter alone, Barber had his hand on the ball sixteen times (I believe).  The Cowboys have “saved their season,” as Al Michaels remarked.  14 to 10 final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Al Michaels wore a black tie with gray/silver diagonal stripes–back slash direction. John Madden’s tie was gray/silver. It never ceases to amaze me how big are Madden’s hands.

2. I’m two years older than DeAngelo Hall. During one of the slow-motion replays of his interception, his body line was foregrounded. He’s not a big feller at 5’10 and 195. Proportionately, though, I’m sure his legs are much shapelier than mine. His. Mine.

3. Al Michaels uttered the word “flummoxed” concerning a timeout or two that the Redskins had to take nearing the bottom of the second quarter.

4. Tonight’s Line of Scrimmage segment featured EE Smith High School in Fayetteville, NC, which is the school most of the children of Fort Bragg’s service men and women attend.

5. Bruce Springsteen’s song “Working On a Dream” also premiered during halftime (roughly sixty seconds of the studio version). Je ne l’adore pas. Je pense que c’est trop simple; cette chanson est come des autres pop et roche. Melodically speaking. It would, however, be ideal for a truck commercial. Big shocker. The NFL and trucks go together than left-and-right.  Springsteen apparently performed it during a Barack Obama event just before election day.

6.  Tony Romo’s “push-pass” essentially consisted of a maneuver that reminded Al Michaels of a basketball move.  The ball was more or less “flung” towards a receiver.

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

NFL 08: Cowboys fish and chips the Packers

Dallas Cowboys. Green Bay Packers. Lambeau Field.

The first quarter started with a Cowboys field goal. It progressed with a Packers field goal. It continued with Dallas quarterback  Tony Romo throwing a pass intended for tight end Jason Witten but that was intercepted in the end zone by Green Bay safety Nick Collins, who then ran to the forty-three yard line on the Cowboys side. Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens raced after and then brought him down.

The second quarter began with a Green Bay field goal. 6 to 3. It then unfolded a stupendous play where Tony Romo avoided a sack by sending the ball to running back Marion Barber, who then tossed the ball to wide receiver Isaiah Stanback. The Cowboys elevated their efficacy with a sixty-yard TD dash by running back Felix Jones (a “scissors play” according to John Madden). The Cowboys end the quarter with a field goal. Dallas 13 and Green Bay 6.

The third quarter marched on with an eye-popping fifty-eight yard run by Packers wide receiver Donald Driver towards the end zone–he abruptly leaped towards his left out of the path of a Cowboy. That drive ended in a field goal. The Cowboys then climbed higher with a Marion Barber TD in the bottom of the quarter. Dallas 20 and Green Bay 9.

The fourth quarter commenced with a touchdown by Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (fifty-two yard pass from Tony Romo). Dallas 27. Green Bay 9. Nearing the bottom of the quarter, Packers own quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a short scoot into the end zone for a TD. Cowboys 27. Packers 16. Final score.

The Cowboys have played at Lambeau Field five times in the past and always lost to the home team. But not tonight.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. A minor improvement. The telecast after the opening theme song did not begin with an extreme close-up of Al Michaels’s face. He and John Madden were both wearing dark gray suits and gray ties. Al’s tie was diagonally striped, I believe. Gray background with white-on-black stripes, spaced an inch or so, apart down.

2. Green Bay Packers uniforms = mustard and relish. I prefer the Cowboys’ white jersey uniform to their dark blue jersey uniform.

3. It was alumni weekend in Green Bay. Clad in khakis (most likely) and an off-white, v-necked sweater, Bart Starr was enjoying the view of the game from the sidelines.

4. At the top of the fourth quarter, Al Michaels informed John Madden that Don Rickles finally won an Emmy tonight.

5. Halfway through the fourth quarter, John Madden complimented Jason Witten, “he’s a very, very special guy/player.” Witten is versatile.

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

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.