Tag Archives: Laurence Maroney

Super Bowl XLII 2008: Giants Sautee the Patriots!

The New England Patriots and the the New York Giants ascended to the top of their respective AFC and NFC conferences at the close of the 2007 season. Today in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium, they touched helmets in a test of ultimate gridiron skill and talent.

Televised on Fox, the forty-second Super Bowl game started with the Giants receiving the kick-off. New York ended their first drive with a field goal. The first quarter ended with only two possessions (a Super Bowl record for fewest number), one per team. The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. New England 7 and New York 3.

On the Giants’ next drive, their quarterback Eli Manning threw a brilliant thirty-eight-yard pass to wide receiver Amani Toomer at the nineteen yard line. A touchdown didn’t seem too out of reach (despite a five yard penalty for a delay of game). Unfortunately, Giants wide receiver Steve Smith couldn’t keep onto the ball and Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs snatched it. Going into halftime, Patriots still 7 and Giants still 3.

The third quarter included a sack of Tom Brady by Michael Strahan at about the seven-minute mark. There was no scoring. Sweet Fancy Moses!! The fourth quarter began with a touchdown by Giants wide receiver David Tyree. It was so pretty and culminated a drive that partly consisted of an awesome forty-five yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss. New York 10 and New England 7. Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss put another TD on the board in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Patriots 14 and Giants 10. And that’s how the game ended. Yes? NO!!!!

With just about forty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress made a touchdown. New York 17 and New England 14. And that would be the final score. The subterranean dog has won Super Bowl XLII.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin must be one of the happiest persons in the world tonight.

Tom Brady will not be the third quarterback to have gone to and won four Super Bowls. The other two are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. I didn’t watch the majority of the pre-game montage, vignettes, and Ryan Seacrested “red carpet” banter.

2. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman provided commentary.

3. Tom Brady wasn’t wearing his helmet when he and his Patriots were walking out from the tunnel, but it was on his head by the time they ran on the field.

4. Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem. Holy Mary in a Manger. Jordin’s father was an NFL player, Phillippi Sparks. She did a pretty good job. She didn’t sound nervous and didn’t try to impress anyone with high notes or long-held notes, nor was her performance underwhelming. Is it my imagination or does the “Star Spangled Banner” seem shorter and shorter every time it’s sung?

5. Mike Carey was the referee today. He’s been officiating in the NFL for eighteen years but hasn’t been to the Super Bowl prior to this one.

6. Nearly halfway through the first quarter, after returning from a commercial break, the camera cut to a glimpse of Peyton Manning in one of the VIP boxes. He looked amazing, very polished, tres beau.

7. After returning from commercial break (featuring a Tide stain remover), the camera caught glimpses of Giselle Bundchen (wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, a greenish (?) scarf, and gold hoop earrings), Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and Pamela Anderson in various VIP booths. Jenny and Jim were sitting next to each other.

8. Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell and defensive end Michael Strahan brought down Tom Brady, which was followed by another collective hit by defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck just past the halfway point in the second quarter.

9. At the very bottom of the second quarter, the camera cut to Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Patriots, sitting in his box. Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson were sitting behind him.

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the halftime show. Hmm. It started off all dark except for a lit guitar-shapped arrow going into a lit heart (on which Tom Petty and his band were performing). They performed “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Falling,” and a third song that was mostly instrumental. I was satisfied with this year’s halftime show because I rather like Tom Petty’s music.

11. Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, was wearing a red hoodie today instead of the usual grey.

12. At the top of the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a shot of LL Cool J at the stadium. Jeremy Shockey, Giants tight end, also received a medium close-up. He broke left leg during a game against the Washington Redskins near the end of the season.

13. Giants rookie defensive tackle Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady with fewer than twenty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, helping to ensure that the Patriots wouldn’t score again.

14. No offense to any Patriots fans who might be reading this post, but I don’t think I’ve been as happy in months as I was when Plaxico Burress made that TD and Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady in the bottom of the fourth quarter. My mouth hurt from smiling so much.

Memorable commercials for me:

Audi R8 (reference to the first Godfather film)

Diet Pepsi Max (reference to the Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell SNL skit–you won’t get it unless you’ve seen the SNL skit)

Budweiser (featuring Clydesdale horses and a Dalmation dog and incorporating the sports inspirational narrative)

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Be sure to tune in to Fox next Sunday for the 2008 Pro-Bowl game.

AFC Championship 2008: Patriots easy-bake the Chargers

The New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers congregated today at Gillette Stadium for a friendly game (broadcast on CBS) of Let’s See Who Gets to Go to the Super Bowl.

The game-play in the first quarter was mostly uneventful until the bottom of the quarter when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s pass meant for wide receiver Dante Stallworth was picked off by Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer.   That turnover would’ve resulted in a touchdown for San Diego, but wide receiver Chris Chambers caught Philip Rivers’s pass outside of out bounds in the rear of the end zone.  The Chargers ended with a field goal instead, leading 3 to 0.

The top of the second quarter brought the Patriots into the lead with a touchdown by running back Laurence Maroney.   The Chargers increased their points to six with another field goal.  New England 7 and San Diego 6.  Nearing the bottom of the second quarter, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel  intercepted Rivers pass intended for Chambers.  Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a TD quickly after the turnover.  New England 14 and San Diego 6. Rivers was intercepted again, this time by cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who then dropped the ball but safety James Sanders recovered it for the Patriots.  The Chargers narrowed the score gap with a field goal in the very bottom of the second quarter.  Going into halftime, New England 14 and San Diego 9.

The third quarter opened with Tom Brady getting sacked by Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo and outside linebacker Shawne Merriman.  On the next play, Brady’s throw was intercepted by San Diego cornerback Drayton Florence.   The Chargers collected another field goal.  As the bottom of the third quarter drew closer, Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie intercepted Brady’s pass-to-the-end-zone.

The fourth quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.  New England 21 and San Diego 12.  Final score.  The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. The pre-game music montage was comprised of orchestral accompaniment to some song called “Unstoppable.”  I didn’t catch by whom.

2. Jeff Triplette was the referee today.
3.  Laurence Maroney’s TD in the top of the second quarter was quite characteristic of the Patriots scoring pattern from the 2007 season.  If they don’t put on the ritz in the first quarter, they’ll do it in the second (and usually quite early).

4. Although San Diego’s points all came from field goals, their defense was able to keep New England down to fourteen points through the end of the third quarter.  The 2007 norm was that by the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Patriots would have scored at least four touchdowns.

5. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was in the game for only three plays.

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AFC Divisional 2008: Patriots corner the Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots huff and puff in a test of speed, agility, and survival of the fittest at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Televised by CBS, the first quarter began with a touchdown by Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones (on their first possession to boot; Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard threw the ball to the end zone as he was being pulled down to the ground by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel–from the instant replays, it appeared that the ball left Garrard’s hand at the same time or a couple of nano-seconds before his knee hit the turf). Of course, the Patriots weren’t going to take that kind of showmanship; they put their own TD (thanks to tight end Benjamin Watson) on the score board just after the middle of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. The Jaguars retaliated with another TD by wide receiver Ernest Wilford in the middle of the second quarter. Jacksonville and New England both 14. The tie would hold through the end of the second quarter.

Come the third quarter, it took roughly seven minutes for the tie to be broken….by the Patriots with a TD by wide receiver Wes Welker. Jacksonville narrowed the point gap with a field goal towards the end of the third quarter. New England 21 and Jacksonville 17. With less than two minutes on the clock in the third quarter, the Patriots scored another TD (thanks to Benjamin Watson).

The fourth quarter ran six minutes and the Jaguars got a field goal. The Patriots made one as well on their next drive. New England 31 and Jacksonville 20. And that would be the final score. Was there any real doubt that New England would be victorious tonight and go onto the AFC Championship Game?

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on New England’s first snap of the game.

2. Thinking back on two other games the Patriots played where they didn’t completely dominate their opponent in the first half–specifically

Against the Indianapolis Colts on November 4.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 25–

tonight’s game against the Jaguars was probably the most unwieldy..in the sense that going into halftime, both teams were tied 14 to 14. Two touchdowns each.

3. No matter if the Jaguars made a mistake or executed a play well, whenever the camera cut to a close-up of Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio appeared anxious and a bit sad. Bill Belichick, th Patriots head coach, wore one expression too–something that signified skepticism and determination. His shots included more high angle medium shots, though.

4. Upon returning to the game from commercial break after New England’s field goal gave them 31 points, footage (possibly taken during the commercial) of Tom Brady petting Wes Welker’s head on the sidelines was aired. Brady must be letting that facial hair grow because of winter weather.

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