Tag Archives: Leigh Tiffin

SEC Championship 2009: the Crimson Tide flushes out the Gators

Undefeated Florida Gators and undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide popped tarts at the Georgia Dome in front of a sold-out crowd this afternoon for the 2009 SEC Championship title.   Televised by CBS, narrated by Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, and a tush in every seat, the first quarter began with the Crimson Tide on offense.  The Crimson Tide’s first drive yielded a forty-eight yard Leigh Tiffin field goal.  Alabama 3 and Florida 0.  When the Gators got the ball, quarterback Tim Tebow threw an incomplete pass and his team had to punt the ball away after a few plays.  When the Crimson Tide had the ball again, halfway through the first quarter, running back Mark Ingram might have made a touchdown (did his right knee hit the ground before his right hand breached the goal line).  After a review, the TD was deemed still a TD.  The extra point was no good, though.  The ball bounced off the right upright.  Alabama 9 and Florida 0.  Gators kicker Caleb Sturgis attempted a forty-eight field goal and nailed it.  Alabama 9 and Florida 3.

Is it my imagination or did the Gators defense improve by the middle of the second quarter?  Somewhat.  Leigh Tiffin and a thirty-four yard field goal increased his team’s lead.  Alabama 12 and Florida 3.  Nearing the bottom of the second quarter, Tim Tebow demonstrated a burst of energy with some running and a throw to wide receiver David Nelson for a TD.  Alabama 12 and Florida 10.  The Crimson Tide reacted with a sixty-nine yard run by Mark Ingram.  A play later, Ingram ran the all in for a TD.  Alabama 19 and Florida 10.  The Gators’ next go at the end zone could become known as the Drop-Swat-Drop because tight end Aaron Hernandez dropped the pass from Tebow, Crimson Tide defensive back Kareem Jackson batted the ball away, and Gators wide receiver Deonte Thompson tried but couldn’t catch the ball.  The Gators then made another field goal.  Alabama 19 and Florida 13.

The Gators started on offense in the third quarter but didn’t score.  When the Crimson Tide went on offense, quarterback Greg McElroy threw a TD pass to tight end Colin Peek.  Alabama 26 and Florida 13.  The fourth quarter sprang out with McElroy twirling eight yards to the the two-yard line.   Mark Ingram crossed the goal line again.  The TD was reviewed and was confirmed.  The Crimson Tide’s two-point conversion attempt was not good.  Alabama 32 and Florida 13.  Last year Florida won this contest. They certainly had time to get on top with twelve more minutes left in the fourth quarter.  Oh, but HUFFIN’ PUFFIN’ PENGUINS!!!  Crimson Tide defensive back Javier Arenas intercepted Tebow’s pass in the end zone.  Ouch!  The Gators didn’t give up, they kept playing and trying to get the ball down the field, but alas, poor Yorrick, the unthinkable did not happen.  Alabama 32 and Florida 13. Final score.


Watch me watching the middle of the third quarter:

Film philosopher and teacher David Thomson ponders the demise of method acting.  This observation might be about acting but it articulates perfectly why I am so drawn to some human beings and not so much to others:

Part of the power of acting is that we like being with certain people. It’s voice as much as look, and it’s the confidence that distinguishes a great teacher, an elected president or a movie star—we believe them, even if they’re uttering hogwash.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  The National Anthem was performed by the Florida marching band.  Representatives from the Navy color guard were there to present the flag.

2.  The Crimson Tide cheerleaders/drill team were decked out in sparkling outfits.

3.  Today’s game was the first that featured undefeated teams.

4.  The Crimson Tide wore red jerseys and the Gators white.

5.  Oddly, the TV in the dining room receives CBS signals again–I realized it a few days ago when I pressed channel “19” instead of “46.”

6.  Gary Danielson remarked immediately after Caleb Sturgis made his first FG in the first quarter that a field goal is a victory as well.  I then wondered if televised football is for people who like to watch TV rather than people who simply like  football?  People who love and know the sport don’t need to explanations about the importance of a field goal.  They may not agree with sending on the field goal vs. going for it on fourth-and-goal, but obviously, getting three points is better than throwing an interception of getting no points (depending on what quarter it is perhaps).  It’s possible that these ostensibly no-brainer comments are actually for the indifferent viewers.  Can’t be bothered to find out the difference between an extra point kick and a field goal but will happily watch the fourth quarter of a game if it’s “suspenseful” enough.

I like football and televised football.

7.  Verne Lundquist, that was no “Baryshnikov” that Greg McElroy did in the second quarter when he got out of bounds.  Hopping on one foot is just hopping on one foot.

8.  Aigo.  I told my sister the other day that Tim Tebow is an awesome quarterback and Florida would win.  Haha. Hmm.

9.  Each of these teams had a player up for Heisman consideration; Mark Ingram will probably take it to the bank.

10.  As Alabama’s offense took a knee twice in the bottom of the fourth quarter, a camera went to a medium close-up of Tim Tebow (sans helmet) on the sidelines.  He was facing screen right.  His face was contorted with disappointment and sadness.  The tears were welling and one of his teammates was sitting next to him (on his left) stroking/petting Tebow’s head.  That is why I love football…these affectionate and tender moments between heterosexual, adult males that would almost never happen in any other situation.  One would only see something similar when other kinds of uniforms are involved.

Don’t forget to watch the Army-Navy game next Saturday, Dec. 12 on CBS.  The game begins at 2:30 pm east coast time.

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

College Football 2009: Crimson Tide coconut shrimps the Mean Green

The North Texas Mean Green jumped state lines to go against the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Televised by Peachtree TV (yeah, who knew?).  Halfway through the first quarter, Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy stepped through the front, right corner of the end zone.  McElroy threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquise Maze on the near the bottom of the quarter.  Alabama 14 and N. Texas 0.

The Crimson Tide continued that offensive might with a touchdown in the top of the second quarter, thanks to running back Trent Richardson.  One more TD for the books with four minutes left in the first half, thanks to running back Mark IngramStar Jackson went in as QB for Alabama in the bottom of the quarter.  Kicker Leigh Tiffin nailed a thirty-five yard field goal with a second let to play.  Alabama 30 and N. Texas 0.

Mark Ingram plowed his way into the end zone in the top of the third quarter.  Running back Terry Grant added more punches to the bag by shoving his upper body over the goal line.  Alabama 44 and N. Texas 0.  Just when it appeared as though the Mean Green had zonked out for good, running back Lance Dunbar made a thirty-five yard TD run.   Alabama 44 and N. Texas 7.

The fourth quarter put Crimson Tide farther away from the Mean Green.  Yeah, field goal.  Alabama 47 and N. Texas 7.  Hmm, maybe the Mean Green did zonk out.  Crimson Tide’s Terry Grant forward rolled into the end zone with just over five minutes left on the clock (the extra point was no good, second time of the game).  Alabama 53 and N. Texas 7.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Whenever a camera would go to a medium shot of the players, I started thinking of Dentyne and spearmint gum.

2.  Andre Ware and Dave Neal provided narration.

3.  Do you suppose that football players, college or professional, have nightmares about games of epic failure? Even if they were not personally responsible for a botched pass, catch, or field goal attempt?  Out of the following: who do you think would experience a higher frequency of work-related nightmares? Law enforcement personnel, athletes, surgeons, taxi drivers, undercover agents, film producers, stockbrokers, or florists.

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

College Football 09: Crimson Tide flips over the Hokies

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Virginia Tech Hokies players and fans amass in the GA Dome on the same date as the first day of Dragon Con.  Downtown Atlanta must’ve been one frothy cauldron of red, maroon/plum, and all the other colors of ROY G BIV.  How lovely the Dome looked from an aerial view (provided by the Metlife blimp).

Televised by ABC, commentary was supplied by Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger.   The Crimson Tide scored first and second with two field goals (thanks to kicker Leigh Tiffin).  Alabama 6 and Virginia Tech 0.  The Hokies would give the Crimson a shocker with ninety-eight yard kickoff return for a TD by wide receiver Dyrell Roberts (he ran with such momentum that after he reached the end zone, he tumbled into a padded, triangular object of sponsorship promotion).  Virginia Tech 7 and Alabama 6.  The Crimson Tide got a luck-ball-change when Hokies tailback Ryan Williams let the ball slip out of his reach during a kickoff-return attempt.  Tiffin went out for another field goal after his teammates couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.  Alabama 9 and Virginia Tech 7.

Five minutes into the second quarter Hokies defensive end Jason Worilds intercepted Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy.  Tries for the end zone were unsuccessful.  Hokies kicker Matt Waldron then sent a twenty-eight yarder through the uprights.  Virginia Tech 10 and Alabama 9.  As the clock whittled down to three minutes, Crimson Tide running back Roy Upchurch got his upper body across the goal line.  Alabama 16 and Virginia Tech 10.   By the time there was just a minute left in the second quarter, the Hokies managed to scoot their bottoms down to the red zone and Ryan Williams, who had dropped a not-properly-gripped ball in the first quarter, planted his body into the end zone.  Going into halftime, Virginia Tech 17 and Alabama 16 (Tiffin would not make a thirty-six yard field goal with seconds left on the clock).

The third quarter bleeped all the way to five minutes before anything eye-popping happened.  Roy Upchurch was on the run and was bumped from behind by Hokies linebacker Cody Grimm.   The ball tumbled out of Upchurch’s hands and Virginia Tech recovered it.  No points resulted from the turnover.

The fourth quarter reached a high point just three minutes in when Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram made a TD (and then subsequently did a little celebrating in the end zone, but not excessively).  The two-point conversion was good–tight end Colin Peek caught McElory’s pass in the back of the end zone.  The Hokies barely had a turn on offense when the Tide caused and took control of a fumbled ball.  A field goal came out of that snatch-up.  Alabama 27 and Virginia Tech 17.  Ryan Williams gave his Hokies fans something to smile with his dash to break the plane.  A booth review had confirmed that he had crossed the goal line.  Alabama 27 and Virginia Tech 24.  Mark Ingram straightened out that smile ever so concretely when he made a TD a few minutes later.  Alabama 34 and Virginia Tech 24.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Crimson Tide wore white jerseys; the Hokies wore maroon.

2.  Why is Alabama’s mascot an elephant?   If the reason were more arbitrary, I’d like to see the Crimson Tide represented by a barge or a a periscope or trout.

3.  Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick was wounded in a robbery attempt a week ago.  So, how was he able to suit up in today’s game?  In the first quarter, the Herbstreit and Musburger explained that the bullet entered Deaderick’s left arm, exited, and then went into a hip (and out again).  The bullet didn’t touch any bones or blood vessels.  Medical opinion apparently didn’t object after Deaderick was treated.

4.  The second quarter of the UGA @ OSU game felt exceptionally long.  The entire first half of tonight’s game seems interminable.

5.  Immediately after the Colin Peek two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a medium close-up of three Hokies fans.  Two young men in the middle of the frame and another in the foreground, slight left side of the screen.  This redhead male was visibly upset as he bent his upper body forward thrice (almost thrashing).  It looked like he was assaulting the chair below him with a white towel or shirt.

6.  According to Brent Musburger, 74, 954 (?) people were at the GA Dome for this game.  A venue record.  The Dome’s web site indicates a seating capacity of 71, 250.

7.  Do commentators really have to plug “in-house” network shows?  Can’t it be enough for there to be on-screen graphics of such shows?

8.  Where did the fourth quarter surge in energy and ferocity start?  I mean I know when it began, but from what stockpile did the umph emanate?

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

Sugar Bowl 2009: Utah sugarcubes Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide and Utah Utes parading with key rings. Soon comes powder, then comes sweets, then there’s boasting the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in Louisiana carriage. A first time for Utah. Alabama, a returning patron.
Televised by Fox, the seventy-fifth annual Sugar Bowl blasted off with mucho impressive defensive work by the Utes.

Crimson Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson was sacked by linebacker Stevenson Sylvester ninety seconds into the first quarter. Utes quarterback Brian Johnson connected well with his offensive teammates on their first possession: five plays + sixty-five yards + wide receiver Brent Casteel = touchdown. Utah 7 and Alabama 0. The Crimson Tide didn’t see that coming did they? Would the AL bring their athletic legacy to the show? Would the UT be able to keep up with the surprises? Apparently option B. John Parker Wilson threw an interception; the ball nabbed by Utes defensive back Robert Johnson. A few snaps later, nearly halfway through the quarter, the Utes reeled in another touchdown, thanks to running back Matt Asiata. Utah 14 and Alabama 0.

Perhaps a back-to-back-to-back parlor trick by the Utes shook the Crimson Tide offense back to their senses? Not exactly. They had the ball for a couple minutes before punting it away to the Utes. The Crimson Tide defense did, however, get its act together…to a certain extent. Utes wide receiver Bradon Godfrey increased his team’s lead by another six points. Kicker Louie Sakoda put the extra point through. Utah 21 and Alabama 0. Rocking to the bottom of the first quarter, the Crimson Tide offense demonstrated its waking up as John Parker Wilson completed passes to running back Glen Coffee. Oooo, but just as Parker Wilson was about to let one rip, Utes defensive tackle Kenape Eliapo knocked him down.

The second quarter ascended with Crimson Tide kicker Leigh Tiffin made a fifty-two yard field goal. Utah 21 and Alabama 3. The field goal inspired a noticeable surge of confidence for the AL as Crimson Tide linebacker Bobby Greenwood sacked the Utes QB, who then threw incomplete, complete to wide receiver Jereme Brooks, but the Utes still had to punt the ball away. When Crimson Tide got their hands back on the ball, they displayed marked improvement in the form of running back Mark Ingram. A forty-seven yard field goal attempt was made but didn’t stick. The Utes had to punt the ball back to the AL, and defensive back Javier Arenas ran that ball seventy-three yards (a Sugar Bowl record) into the end zone for a TD. Crimson Tide back in for the kill? Utah 21 and Alabama 10. As the clock ticked to two minutes left in the second quarter, a false start penalty on the Utes forced them to punt the ball. The AL couldn’t take advantage of that offensive opportunity but certainly reshaped their productivity by the end of the second quarter.

The third quarter spurt out crisply for the Crimson Tide. Defensive lineman Dont’a Hightower compelled the Utes QB to lose the ball, which was then recovered by Bobby Greenwood. Shortly thereafter, Glen Coffee sprinted into the end zone. Utah 21 and Alabama 17. The first quarter may have indicated the opposite, but the third quarter suggested that the Crimson Tide was minding the score gap and then some. And yet, even though Brian Johnson threw a few incomplete passes and there was a delay of game penalty, the Utes QB synced up with wide receiver David Reed, who then ran into the end zone for a TD. Utah 28 and Alabama 17. The next Crimson Tide possession produced an unsuccessful forty-nine yard field goal attempt.

The fourth quarter doodled down beyond the halfway mark when Crimson Tide’s QB was sacked and Stevenson Sylvester recovered the football. He was then slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. On the next play, the Utes put forth a trick play where Brian Johnson tossed the ball to Jereme Brooks who then tossed the ball to Brent Casteel. The Utes then elevated their lead with a field goal with fewer then three minutes left to play. When there was just under two minutes left, Robert Johnson intercepted a pass that was meant for Crimson Tide wide receiver Julio Jones. Utah 31 and Alabama 17. Final score. In the end the Utes got to boast about that Sugar oh-honey-honey Bowl. Who’s your candy girl?

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Alabama’s Million Dollar marching band got their brass on before kickoff.

2. New Orleans Shades of Praise gospel choir sang the national anthem.

3. Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston were the commentators.

4. The Utes wore white jerseys and white pants accented with red. Their helmets were red. The Crimson Tide’s uniforms were red on top and white on the bottom. It was like ketchup and more ketchup. Or, ketchup and peppermints. Or, Big Red and candy canes.

5. All surviving former coaches and players of a Sugar Bowl game were invited to the game (did I hear that correctly?). Frank Broyles tossed the coin. Utah won it but decided to defer.

6. Four firsts for Utah tonight. First appearance at the Sugar Bowl, first sack, first touchdown, first interception. The Utes were playing like there was no tomorrow in the first quarter. They blocked and ran and maneuvered like they would never play football again (for some, it probably wasn’t too far from the truth).

7. The slow-mo instant replay (extreme high angle courtesy of the DirecTV cam) of Javier Arenas’s punt-return TD revealed what I guess should be called the marvels of physics. One object moving at X speed in Y direction, nearly getting, surely getting stopped at one moment (surrounded by players, mostly his own teammates), but he isn’t stopped.

8. Utah enjoyed an undefeated 2008 season. They beat Air Force in November by one touchdown.

9. Before the second half began, Chris Myers mentioned that Alabama head coach Nick Saban took his players to see Valkyrie (Bryan Singer, 200eight) last night.

10. Steve Smith, wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, was on the sidelines supporting his alum Utes.

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

SEC Championship 2008: Florida Gators poprocks Alabama Crimson Tide

Navy beat Army 34 to 0.

Virginia Tech ground Boston College to the sandstones 30 to 12 for the ACC Championship crown.

This afternoon, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the University of Florida Gators and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide overlapped shadows to determine who would have the honor of being SEC Champions in 2008. Televised by CBS, the first quarter began with an amazing touchdown pass from the hands of Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s hands to those of wide receiver Carl Moore. Tebow threw the ball at a downward angle into Moore’s grasp (Moore was flat on the ground and had just rolled onto his back when the ball came to his bosom). Florida 7 and Alabama 0. The Crimson Tide quickly spat back with a TD as well, courtesy of running back Glen Coffee (he broke the goal line and made sure to keep his knees in the air as he tripped on his own treads and dove towards the end zone). Both teams tied with 7 a piece by the middle of the first quarter. The Crimson Tide took the lead with a field goal with about three minutes on the clock. Alabama 10 and Florida 7. The second quarter commenced with the Gators tying the game with a field goal. Both teams 10 points a piece. By the bottom of the quarter, Gators wide receiver David Nelson made a TD catch. Florida 17 and Alabama 10.

The third quarter ticked to about eight-and-a-half minutes on the clock and the Crimson Tide could’ve gotten another touchdown but quarterback John Parker Wilson’s pass went over the head of wide receiver Julio Jones. Running back Mark Ingram was able to get into the end zone a few plays later, tying Alabama with Florida, 17 points a piece. Alabama was able to maintain the tie when Gators kicker Jonathan Phillips missed a forty-two yard field goal attempt in the bottomish of the third quarter. The Crimson Tide’s kicker Leigh Tiffin made a twenty-seven yard field goal at the close of the quarter. Alabama 20 and Florida 17.

The fourth quarter sparked off with a mad dash and hurdle-leap into th end zone by Gators running back Jeffrey Demps. Florida back on top with 24 and Alabama 20. Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez jumped up swiftly and caught a high throw from Tim Tebow as the clock was approaching the four minute mark. And then, Florida coaches got too far onto the field and incurred a sidelines interference penalty, setting the Gator’s offense back five yards (according to the commentators, last year, the coaches would’ve gotten a warning. This year, however, they just get a penalty). Two plays later, Tim Tebow connected with his wide receiver Riley Cooper for a touchdown. Florida 31 and Alabama 20. Under two minutes left on the game clock, Gators defensive back Joe Haden intercepted John Parker Wilson’s pass. Did Florida basically have the game in the bag? Yes indeedy. Florida 31 and Alabama 20 final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. I wasn’t going to watch the SEC Championship game today…I was planning on going to see The Punisher: War Zone, but when I found out that my city was hosting the game,* well, how could I not watch it? I have no doubt that I’ve spent my afternoon in a much more fulfilling manner. On the topic of The Punisher, check out FilmThreat’s Scott Mendelson and his thoughts on all three existing films on the comic franchise.

2. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson were narrating today.

3. Gators running back/wide receiver Percy Harvin would not be playing today (he was injured last week against Florida State); head coach Urban Meyer wouldn’t let him get on the field.

4. The Gators were blue from neck to knee. The Crimson Tide was white from neck to knee.

5. The Crimson Tide defense was stupendously “on” after their offense made their first touchdown. If defense wins championships, it is also a significant generative mechanism for wonderful spectacle and drama.

6. Upon returning from the first commercial break in the top of the second quarter, Verne Lundquist informed Gary Danielson that Urban Meyer’s daughter, Nicki, will be going to Georgia Tech on scholarship and will be playing volleyball. Click here to read more about it.

7. Halftime featured a Dr. Pepper $100,000 scholarship football toss. Tina Hamshar and Erica Davis were the contestants. They probably had eight balls each in total. Neither of them got the first two balls into this giant Dr. Pepper can/barrel contraption. But Tina ended up throwing five in and Erica got six.

8. Tim Tebow’s touchdown pass to Riley Cooper in the bottom of the fourth quarter was quite amazing. Like his throw to Carl Moore in the first quarter, Tebow sent the ball through the air in a downward trajectory. He had surveyed his receiving options and Cooper was the only one who was in a position to be able to catch it. Cooper was quite low to the ground when he caught the ball and then took a couple of steps into the end zone.

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

*A bit of typing and clicking revealed that my city has hosted the SEC Championship game since 1994, and, maybe, as a football fan, I should know this information. But I’m not quite that kind of fan. I haven’t memorized players’ or teams’ stats, I don’t know franchises’ histories like I know the back of my knees. As I explained to a friend a few weeks ago, I started watching televised football about three years ago but didn’t consider myself a fan until two years ago. Reducing it to the nitty gritty, I like football because it involves grown men in spandex and coveting a ball. The players display affection in ways that is seldom seen amongst straight males off-field, outside of a sports context. There is also a very nice mixture of athletic prowess (or strength), precision, and elegance of movement. Furthermore, cameras routinely pick up on these very tender moments between snaps–a running back might put the shoulder pad back under the jersey of the quarterback.


Here’s a well-written, touching article about Falcons head coach Mike Smith.