Tag Archives: Larry Fitzgerald

Pro-Bowl 2009: the NFC crinkle fries the AFC

Last year the NFC outnumbered the AFC.  Toss a poker chip, a chocolate coin. 50-50.  Who would win this year (or season)? Broadcast on NBC, unfolding in Hawaii for the thirtieth straight year, the first quarter started with Cardinals’ Kurt Warner as quarterback for the NFC.  The Colts’ Peyton Manning QB’ed for the AFC.  Halfway through the quarter, Manning threw a touchdown catch to Tony Gonzalez (tight end for the Chiefs).  AFC 7 and NFC 0.  The Saints’ Drew Brees took to QB’ing next for the NFC.  Colts defensive end Robert Mathis got his grip around the ball three minutes later.  Manning was back out on the field as QB for the AFC…and was sacked by Panthers’ defensive end Julius Peppers three plays later.  Brees was on as QB for the NFC with under two minutes left in the quarter.

The second quarter began with the Giants kicker John Carney put a thirty-seven yard field goal through the yellow prongs.  AFC 7 and NFC 3.  Manning and Brees continued as QBs through the rest of the quarter (well, mostly; Kerry Collins of the Titans went in as QB for the AFC with fifty-two seconds left).  Texans tight end Owen Daniels made a TD catch with less than a minute left on the clock.  Before the quarter was out, though, Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald got the NFC another TD.  AFC 14 and NFC 10.

The third quarter started with the AFC on offense and Kerry Collins as QB.  Eli Manning went in for quarterbacking duties for the NFC.  Towards the bottom of the quarter, Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield intercepted Collins.  When the NFC got on the field in offense, the first play was Eli Manning throwing the ball twenty-six yards to Falcons wide receiver Roddy White.  Two plays later, though, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis made a one-handed interception in the end zone.  He caught the ball with his right hand.  Oh, but what next? No sooner did the AFC go back in offense, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen recovered Collins’s fumbled ball.  When the NFC boys took to the field again, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got the ball into the end zone.  NFC 17 and AFC 14.

The fourth quarter waddled seven minutes down and Colts fullback Le’Ron McClain scrambled into the end zone to give the AFC the lead again.  Jay Cutler of the Broncos was the QB.  AFC 21 and NFC 17.  With four minutes, thereabouts, left to play, Larry Fitzgerald made a leaping TD catch.  NFC 24 and AFC 21.  Going to two-and-a-half minutes, Julius Peppers intercepted Cutler in a move that compelled the commentators to reference his basketball skills.  John Carney spat out a forty-eight yard field goal to give the NFC three more points.  Carney went back on the field with thirty-five seconds left to seal the meal with a twenty-six yard field goal.  Final score NFC 30 and AFC 21.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Al Michaels (wearing a grayish-green, short-sleeved, button-down shirt) and Cris Collinsworth (in light blue) provided commentary.

2.  David Archuleta sang the national anthem.  Not too shabby.  Je suppose.

3.  The NFC uniforms consisted of blue pants and blue tops–save for the sleeves and the back.  The AFC uniforms consisted of red socks, white pants, and red sleeves.  The players wore their respective team helmets.

4.  Before you Race to Witch Mountain, you should Escape to Witch Mountain and then Return from Witch Mountain.

5.  Enrique Iglesias and Ciara provided halftime entertainment.  What in the ward was Enrique wearing? Dark denims and yellow short-sleeved shirt (with two white stripes on the sleeves) with the words “make it happen” on it.  Oh, and a cap.  The field was littered with dancers in multi-colored costumes.  Bright colors: greens, magentas, corals, reds.

6.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth joked during the bottom of the third quarter that the players will do anything for money; they’ll play so much harder for a cash prize.

7.  Ronde Barber’s voice is lower than his brother Tiki’s.  His face is also longer than Tiki’s.

8.  Today was the tenth time that Tony Gonzalez and Peyton Manning have been to the Pro-Bowl.

Click here for the full roster.

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Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers send the Cardinals a barrel of laughs

On a Sunday a year ago, February 3rd to be precise, the New York Giants danced on the knaves of the New England Patriots 17 to 14 to win the Super Bowl.  We all thought, assumed, presumed that the Patriots were going to march out of the University of Phoenix Stadium with the crown, didn’t we?  Many of us did.

This year, at Raymond James Stadium, would the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Arizona Cardinals be the ones dancing on knaves?

Televised by NBC, the first quarter began with the Steelers at a first and goal within minutes of game-play.  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surged the ball into the end zone himself a few plays later.   Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the TD call and won.  Roethlisberger was down by contact just before the goal line.  Steelers kicker Jeff Reed put the ball nineteen yards through the goal posts.  No TD but yes FG.  Pittsburgh 3 and Arizona 0.

The second quarter sparked off with a TD by Steelers running back Gary Russell.  Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick made a TD catch nearly halfway through the second quarter.  Pittsburgh 10 and Arizona 7.   Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby intercepted Ben Roethlisberger in the bottom of the quarter.   HOLY HORSEY SAUCE AND A COWBOY HAT!!!! With under twenty seconds left on the clock, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner meant to throw the ball to wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the end zone but Steelers linebacker James Harrison snatched the prolate spheroid and ran back all the way to the other side of the field (forward rolling to the front, right corner of the end zone and sandwiched by two Cardinals).  A 100 yard interception return for a TD–the longest play in super Bowl history.  Pittsburgh 17 and Cardinals 7.

The third quarter done ticked five minutes and James Harrison nearly turned the corner again by scooping up what was first ruled a live ball but then was overturned and deemed a dead ball.  Kurt Warner threw an incomplete pass and not an interception.  Eight minutes later, the Steelers increased their lead with a field goal…for about a nanosecond.  It was retracted on account of a penalty on Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson.  Three plays later, the Steelers tried the field goal again.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 7.

The fourth quarter beat its drum halfway and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made a TD catch in the back right corner of the end zone.  The ball made contact with his helmet before he got his hands around it.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 14.  When the clock got to under four minutes, I was thinking it’d be pretty neat if the Cardinals won.  Would they be able to do it, though?  Cheese Louise the Pyrenees.  The Steelers incurred an offensive holding call in the end zone, which gave the Cardinals a safety.  Pittsburgh 20 and Arizona 16.  TANGY TOMATO SAUCE AND TORTELLINI!!!! With fewer than three minutes in the quarter, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald got their syncopation on for sixty-four yards and a TD.  Arizona 23 and Pittsburgh 20.  A minute left and Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes got to the five yard line.  Roethlisberger threw to Holmes again (no catch), and then again.  Catch.  Thirty-five seconds left on the clock.  Was it a confirmed TD?  Indeed.  Pittsburgh 27 and Arizona 23.  Well, the Cardinals came and saw but did not supercede.  THE STEELERS HAVE WON SUPER BOWL XLIII, “the first franchise in Super Bowl history to win six Super Bowls,” Al Michaels noted.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Al Michaels and John Madden provided the commentary.

2.  Faith Hill (and a gospel choir) sang “America the Beautiful.”

3.  The national anthem was performed by Jennifer Hudson.

4. GI Joe movie trailer! Holy hovan rolls.

5. Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, John Elway, and General David H. Petraeus were a part of the coin toss (well he actually tossed the coin).  Terry McAulay was the referee.  Arizona won the toss and chose to let the Steelers take to offense first.

6.  The Steelers wore yellow pants and white jerseys.  The Cardinals wore white pants and red jerseys.

7.  John Madden commented on Ben Roethlisberger’s bottom-first-quarter scrambling as evidence that he’s like “Superman…he’s just so big and strong.”

8.  Creepy.  SoBe commercial with NFL ballers doing Swan Lake.

9.  Cuba Gooding Jr. was in attendance, sitting in the shadows of the stands.  He wore glasses, a dark hat, and a trench coat-esque jacket.  Al Michaels made a reference to Jerry Maguire.

10.  After coming back from the commercial break which proceeded Larry Fitzgerald’s fourth quarter TD catch, one of the cameras cut to an extreme close-up of Fitzgerald taking a sip of red liquid from a bottle sans label.  Was he drinking Powerade or Gatorade? Hmmm.  Correction.  The label was transparent.  A subsequent shot revealed that he was drinking Gatordade.  G2 fruit punch.

11.  According to Al Michaels, the imagery on the Jumbotron is five seconds behind what happens in real-time.  Thus, when Larry Fitzgerald was watching himself run towards the end zone in the bottom of the fourth quarter, he had passed the ten yard line but he was seeing himself at the fifteen yard line. Wow, watching the past.

12.  Slow-motion instant replay footage after Santonio Holmes made the game-changing TD in the fourth quarter included his using the ball like a bottle of some kind, shaking imaginary things onto his hand.  He then threw the ball into the air (probably backwards).  After the TD was confirmed, there was footage of Larry Fitzgerald, in extreme close-up, mouth “oh no.”

13.  It was heart-scraping to see the juxtaposed images of Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes.

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Kurt Warner on Larry Fitzgerald

“He’s so big and strong…”

Don’t get your adult knickers in a tryst–the above comment was made in regards to Larry Fitzgerald’s athletic talent and abilities.  Click here to watch Kurt Warner elaborate.

“Probability and tendency” and play-calling.  Check out the screen graphics and brief crowd shots.

PS.

Anatomy of a Murder.

Anatomy of a Scene.

Anatomy of a Play.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. Even so, why not choose another noun, and thusly, a verb.  Couldn’t we deconstruct a play as opposed to dissect it?  Can’t we have “Play Apart” ?

NFC Championship 2009: Cardinals over, sideways, and under the Eagles

Flock of seagulls? No.  A wheel-barrow of pigeons? Nope.  What we had today were the Philadelphia Eagles in the Arizona Cardinals territory playing the rodeo, horse-shoe toss with all the strength and energy they could muster to win the NFC Championship and then go to Super Bowl XLIII.

Televised by Fox, the first quarter began with the Cardinals on offense and a twirling touchdown by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  Arizona 7 and Philadelphia 0.  The Eagles entered in a forty-five yard field goal with the leg power of kicker David AkersSWEET PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY!! In the bottom of the quarter, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb threw an interception–Cardinals safety Aaron Franciso had wound his grasp around the projectile.   After running back ten or so yards, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson knocked the ball out and teammate tackle Jon Runyan recovered possession.

The second quarter began with an unsuccessful forty-seven yard field goal for the Eagles.  How did the Cardinals react? quarterback Kurt Warner threw a sixty-two yard TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald.   Would David Akers be able to replicate a forty-three yard field goal somewhat later?  Absolutely.  Oh, but hold the Crayola Crayons for a minute.  In the bottom of the second quarter, when the Cardinals got to the red zone again, Larry Fitzgerald put the baby in the end zone.  Arizona 21 and Philadelphia 6.  Wake up and inhale the reality of the situation, Eagles? Mhm.  I suppose so.  Eagles defensive end Trent Cole dragged Kurt Warner to the turf with forty-eight seconds on the clock.  The Cardinals did not spit up seven more points–just three more with a forty-nine yard field goal by Neil Rackers.  Going into halftime, Arizona 24 and Philadelphia 6.

The third quarter started with the Eagles on  half a dozen offensive plays when Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson sacked Donovan McNabb, the ball was up for grabs, and defensive end Bertrand Berry maximized on the opportunity.  Double-time down to six minutes or so on the clock and Donovan McNabb and wide receiver Kevin Curtis made a crucial fifty-yard connection.  A couple plays later, Eagles tight-end Brent Celek made a TD catch.   Double-time again down to under a minute and Brent Celek got into the end zone again.  David Akers’s extra point was no good.  Arizona 24 and Philadelphia 19.

The fourth quarter burst out with a SUPER SOY PORCELAIN TULIP VASE!!!!! Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson caught then juggled a sixty-two yard pass then got his body into the end zone.  They tried for two points but didn’t make it.  Philadelphia 25 and Arizona 24.  The Cardinals were not deterred.  They were unsettled but dove right back into the offensive game and got into the red zone.  Would they reclaim the lead with a TD or a field goal?  It was a TD, courtesy of running back Tim Hightower.  They went for a two-point conversion and succeeded.  Kurt Warner threw directly into the embrace of tight-end Ben Patrick.  Arizona 32 and Philadelphia 25.  Final score.  The Cardinals are going to Super Bowl XLIII.

And then the red and white paper rectangles swirled into the sky and made everything pink.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were the commentators.

2.  Jordin Sparks performed the national anthem.  She sang amazingly well and looked like she was enjoying herself too.

3.  From the high-angle, long shot POV, the Eagles and Cardinals made me think of a green and red bell pepper omelette.

4.  Joe Buck remarked that seats were added to accommodate 70,000 + spectators.  It took six minutes to sell out the game.

5.  Collective Soul performed during halftime (not televised).

6.  Did Joe Buck say about ten minutes in the fourth quarter that Donovan McNabb threw “three touchdowns and no interceptions” ?

7.  After the Cardinals made the two-point conversion in the bottom of the fourth quarter, instant replay footage revealed a Larry Fitzgerald skipping up hte field with a child-like exuberance only matched by the party children in The Nutcracker.

8.  On fourth-and-one in the bottom of the fourth quarter, when the Eagles had pretty much their last chance to score, Kevin Curtis couldn’t catch Donovan McNabb’s throw (due to possible pass interference by Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood).   One of the cameras then cut to a high-angle, medium close-up of Larry Fitzgerald.  His helmet was off, he was kneeled down (one shin parallel and on the ground, the other knee propping up an elbow); I think I saw some tear sparkles in his eyes.

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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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