Tag Archives: Tim Hightower

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.

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

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?

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