Tag Archives: Junior Seau

Super Bowl XLII: Avant & Apres

Before & After. What a difference a week makes.

The February 4, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine was on the newsstands the previous week, before the Super Bowl.  The cover story (written by Peter King) asked, “Can the Giants Get to Brady?

As the nation and NFL fans the world over witnessed on February third, indeed, they can.  They did.

The February 11, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated hit the stands this week, after the Super Bowl.  The text on the cover was no longer a question.  Instead, it became a statement (made by Tim Layden): “What a Catch, What an Upset.”

Also of note in the Feb. 11 issue is a photograph taken by Bob Rosato that appears in the first few pages (after the ads and table of contents) and is probably one that Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress would like framed.

Rosato must’ve been standing just outside the end zone on the Patriots’ side of the field (click here for a bigger version).  Not only is this photo a record of an irreplaceable experience about to happen, but everything about, in, and of the image is quite moving.  It inspires awe, joy, and even sadness–for me at any rate.  When I first saw it at the bookstore, I stood there for several seconds, my eyes unable to turn away.  Specifically, I couldn’t get over New England cornerback Ellis Hobbs’s expression.  It cries shock, horror, and grief all mixed.

You can’t really tell from here, but if you pick up a copy of the actual magazine and examine his face, you’ll see what I mean.

I was also intrigued by the stances of the other players (twelve of which are fully visible, two are obscured).   Only two of them (on the far left) are unquestionably standing still.  The rest of the Giants and Patriots (not counting New England linebacker Junior Seau on the ground) the  in the photo still approaching the end zone with complete “surprise” etched across their auras.

And look, the skycam makes it inside the camera’s lens.

For all of you who, like me, do not have cable (and thus, can’t watch ESPN or NFL Network in the off-season for pigskin fixes), don’t miss the last hurrah for the time being.  2008 Pro-Bowl tomorrow on Fox (4:30pm east coast time).

pix creds: Sports Illustrated

‘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.

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