Tag Archives: Kenny Albert

NFC Divisional 2009: Cardinals put a cheese grater to the Panthers

The Arizona Cardinals rushed eastward to arm-wrestle the Carolina Panthers for the NFC Divisional title.   Televised by Fox, the first quarter blazed off with a Panthers touchdown courtesy of running back Jonathan Stewart.  Carolina 7 and Arizona 0.  Towards the bottom of the quarter, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner threw fifty yards to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald–an awesome, gravity-defying catch as he was betwixt two Panthers.  A couple of plays later, Cardinals running back Tim Hightower made a TD.   Both teams tied 7.   Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme was sacked when his team went on offense again.  The ball was momentarily master-less.  Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith claimed the ball.  Shortly thereafter, running back Edgerrin James broke the tie with a TD.  Arizona 14 and Carolina 7.

The second quarter started with Jake Delhomme throwing an interception–Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie took that pigskin baby away from its destination.  The result? A forty-nine field goal by Neil Rackers.  Another field goal around five minutes gave Arizona another numerical boost.  Arizona 20 and Carolina 7.  The Pantherse gave the ball back to the Cardinals much sooner than intended on account of another interception (made by linebacker Gerald Hayes).   Not long afterwards, Larry Fitzgerald got his left hand across the front, right corner of the end zone.  It was ruled a TD.  Cardinals 27 and Panthers 7.  Seconds before the first half ended, Neil Rackers missed a fifty-three yard field goal.

The third quarter gurgled forth about seven minutes with Panthers linebacker Jon Beason intercepting a Kurt Warner pass meant for Larry Fitzgerald.  Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle flipped the switch back by recovering Delhomme’s pass aimed towards wide receiver Steve Smith.   And then there was another Cardinals field goal.  Arizona 30 and Carolina 7.  Well Holly Lou Yah.  Steve Smith made his first reception of the game with roughly forty-five seconds left on the clock.

The fourth quarter beat out what was surely supposed to be a Panthers TD.  Instead, it was Jake Delhomme’s fourth interception of the evening.  Cardinals cornerback Ralph Brown got his torso to the ball in the end zone.  Minutes later…cornerback Roderick Hood intercepted Delhomme a fifth time.   The Cardinals hopped up three more points when Neil Rackers kicked in a twenty-yard field goal on the three minute mark.  Arizona 33 and Carolina 7.   Final score? Not yet.  Steve Smith made it into the end zone with under ninety seconds left.  Arizona 33 and Carolina 14.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston provided commentary.  Johnston was not enthusiastic about the second field goal for Arizona in the second quarter.  “I do not like this,” he remarked more than once.  He would’ve wanted the Cardinals to go for another touchdown (from the Carolina 13).

2.  After throwing his second interception in the second quarter, replay footage showed Jake Delhomme grunting “spammit” and “phuck.”

3.  One of the cameras cut to a medium shot of Jake Delhomme sitting on the bench.  He was in the middle of the screen, looking towards screen-right.  He looked dazed, befuddled, and as though he would let the tear ducts go into gear if he were by himself.  O, mon pauvre hommeC’est aujourd’hui son anniversaire.   My poor man.   Today is his birthday.  Aish.

4.  During some sidelines footage near the halfway mark of the fourth quarter (before Tim Hightower got to the Carolina 31), in a medium shot, Larry Fitzgerald went up to an elderly gentleman (assigned to hold the down marker) and asked if he was all right.  The old man nodded.  I wonder if it was because he was nearly taken to the ground on the previous play.  It was so precious.

5.  After returning to the game from the two-minute warning commercial break, one of the cameras showed Mark Dalton, the Cardinals’ Director of Media Relations, with Kurt Warner on the sidelines.  Dalton was chewing gum.  I wonder what brand and flavor.  Is he a Stride kind of man? Orbit? Trident? Big Red? Juicy Fruit?

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Pro-Bowl 2008: NFC whips AFC to a slushy

The best of the AFC and the NFC congregated at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii today for one final test-on-the-turf for several months (until next season).

Televised on Fox, the AFC–clad in white jerseys and red pants–was on offense first and quarterbacked by Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, they made the first touchdown (thanks to San Diego Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal) in the top of the first quarter. The NFC–wearing blue tops and white bottoms–responded to that score by a touchdown in the middle of the first quarter (courtesy of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald). The AFC made another TD on their next possession (end zone catch made by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh). The AFC would increase their lead to 17-7 with a field goal in the bottom of the quarter.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took over for the AFC in the second quarter. TJ Houshmandzadeh made another TD for the AFC. 24 to 7. Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo, who led the NFC offense in the first quarter, was still in the game in the second. Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens put a TD on the NFC board in the second quarter. The AFC made another field goal nearing the bottom of the quarter. AFC 27 and NFC 14. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck stepped in after Romo during the bottom of the second quarter. Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley made a TD for the NFC with less than a minute left. AFC 27 and NFC 21 going into halftime.

The third quarter started with an NFC touchdown by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson went into the game for the AFC. They took back their lead with a field goal. 30 to 28. The NFC then sent in Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jeff Garcia as quarterback.

The fourth quarter spelled a touchdown for the NFC, thanks to Terrell Owens, giving them the top bunk with 35 points. An Adrian Peterson TD in the bottom of the fourth quarter increased the NFC points to 42 to win the Pro-Bowl. NFC 42 and AFC 30.

The MVP Award was given to Adrian Peterson.

As sad as I am to see football season end (again, I don’t have cable so there’s no ESPN or NFL Network option), it’ll be nice to have a full weekend’s worth of time to run errands, go to the cinema, and veg out amongst bound volumes.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Kenny Albert and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston (who’s been to two pro-bowls himself and had to borrow a helmet from Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre in one of those appearances) provided commentary.

2. Kelly Rowland, dressed in white pants, a black and white striped long-sleeve top and sporting longish, curly locks, sang the National Anthem–not a very haunting rendition she delivered.

3. Forty-one of the eighty-six players made their first Pro-Bowl appearance today.

4. Peyton Manning has been to seven Pro-Bowls prior to today.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor brought thirty-eight guests with him to Hawaii.

6. The three Washington Redskins in today’s game, tight end Chris Cooley, tackle Chris Samuels, and long snapper Ethan Albright had their late teammate Sean Taylor’s number 21 on their jerseys.

7. The quarterbacks wore microphones so that their play-calling could be heard.

8. Bill Carollo was the referee today. Kenny Albert mentioned that none of the officials today had presided over a Pro-Bowl game before.

9. Each participating team’s mascot was also present.

10. Daryl Johnston remarked near the two-minute warning in the second quarter, “If you ever get a chance to meet Adrian Peterson, be prepared for a firm handshake.”

11. Lifehouse performed during halftime. They performed “Hanging By a Moment” and “First Time.” Dear gawd, there’s accompanying choreographed dancing–c’est absurd.

12. The coaching staff for both teams wore khaki shorts, white socks, white sneakers, and off-white/beige, minimal foliage Hawaiian shirts.

13. “It’s your growing problem; it’s our job to shrink it.” — the tagline for Avodart.

14. Heineken’s got a newly advertised offering: draught keg (I don’t recall seeing this commercial before today).

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Click here for the 2008 Pro-Bowl roster.

NFC Divisional 2008: Packers seal up the Seahawks

Lambeau Field. Thirty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Snow.

The Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks strut their stuff before each other to be another step closer to the Super Bowl. Televised on Fox, the first quarter was nothing short of adrenaline-escalating beauty. Two fumbles by Packers running back Ryan Grant led to two touchdowns by Seattle (thanks to running back Shaun Alexander and wide receiver Bobby Engram). As the frozen precipitation continued to fall and the turf became whiter and whiter, Green Bay got themselves back on track and by the end of the first quarter, the Packers tied the game 14 to 14 (courtesy of wide receiver Greg Jennings and Grant).

Green Bay took over the reigns in the second quarter, putting fourteen more points on the board with touchdowns by Jennings and Grant. Going into halftime, the Seahawks had 17 points (a field goal provided three points in the second quarter) to the Packers’ 28.

The third quarter began with a touchdown by Packers running back Brandon Jackson. As the quarter was nearing its end, Seattle got another field goal for 20 total points (how did kicker Josh Brown see through all that falling snow?). The fourth quarter started with a third TD by Ryan Grant. Packers 42 and Seahawks 20. And that would be the final score. Green Bay is going to the NFC Championship game next Sunday at 6:30pm on Fox.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. When the camera took the high angle, long shot point-of-view, the snow didn’t appear as plentiful as it did when the camera switched to an on-field POV. The snow-powdered field reminded me of a green tea pastry. By the middle of the third quarter, though, the snowfall increased significantly and even from a high angle, long shot POV, it was quite visible. In fact, the snow actually resembled plummeting clumps of brownies than snow. Cutting to an on-field POV, the snow nearly reached curtain consistency/texture. The yard lines had to be brushed (and later shoveled) from time to time. By the bottom of the third quarter, the turf had basically turned into a white powdered sugar pastry–a beignet. The view from the DLP Skycam was much clearer than that of other cameras. The snow lost a bit of momentum in the top of the fourth quarter. Visibility was better (from a televised aesthetic standpoint). A small tractor took to clearing the snow around the end zones. Lambeau Field turf was back to looking like a green tea pastry (only less green more gray) towards the bottom of the fourth quarter.

2. After Greg Jennings made his first touchdown of the evening, he leaped into the stands behind the end zone for a hug by Green Bay fans. Brandon Jackson would do something similar after making a TD in the top of the third quarter.

3. Ryan Grant’s second touchdown in the second quarter followed an incredibly executed, improvised play. Avoiding a sack, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre managed to stay on his feet (while stumbling forward) and tossed the ball to tight end Donald Lee, who ran eleven yards before being tackled by Seahawks strong safety Brian Russell.

4. Commentator Kenny Albert said “running backs should always follow fullbacks” in the bottom of the first quarter.

5. Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins “helped” in the sacking of Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the bottom of the fourth quarter. The camera went to an on-field, medium close-up of the scene, immediately post-sack. Jenkins, who was facing the camera, did a little dance that received a slow-motion instant replay. I don’t know what Jenkins’s legs were doing, but there was side-to-side movement and his hands ran from his helmet to his waist, mimicking the falling of tears or rain. I say Jenkins “helped” because I’m not sure if his hands made contact with Hasselbeck’s body. His dance could’ve been performed out of general happiness, but I remember seeing more than one Packer swarm the Seahawk QB.

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