Tag Archives: Tom Coughlin

NFL 2009: Saints take the Giants aback

The New York Giants hopped southwards to go at it against the New Orleans Saints.  Narrated by Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman, and televised by Fox, half of the first quarter elapsed before anyone scored.  Saints running back Mike Bell leaped over a goal-line pile into the end zone, punctuating a fifteen play drive.  New Orleans 7 and New York 0.  On their next possesion, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw to wide receiver Marques Colston, who caught the ball in the air, landed on one of the Giants defenders and then rolled into the end zone.  Slow-motion instant replay revealed, however, that Colston’s elbow had hit the turf after he came down.  So, no TD.  Tom Coughlin, the NY head coach, challenged the TD call and won.  Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey made a TD anyway shortly thereafter.  The first quarter ended with a Giants field goal.  New Orleans 14 and New York 3.

The second quarter opened with another Drew Brees TD pass, this time to wide receiver Robert Meachem.  New Orleans 20 and New York 3.  Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw closed the score gap ever so slightly with a touchdown.  Lance Moore, wide receiver for the Saints, widened that gap again with a TD catch in the second half of the second quarter (and then he did the most adorable celebratory dance–somewhat reminiscent of the Roger Rabbit dance).  Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham narrowed the difference once more with a TD.  New Orleans 27 and New York 17.  With fewer than seventy seconds left in the second quarter, the Giants defense prevented the Saints from making another TD (on 4th and goal).  The first half ended with a TD by Saints running back Reggie Bush.  New Orleans 34 and New York 17.

The third quarter started with Giants QB Eli Manning throwing an interception to Saints cornerback Jabari Greer.  Nine plays later, Marques Colston makes his second TD of the day.  New Orleans 41 and New York 17.  The fourth quarter could’ve started with a brilliant TD catch by Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon but a holding penalty meant that they went for a field goal instead of attempt a TD on 4th and goal.  New Orleans 41 and New York 20.  Halfway through the quarter, Saints fullback Heath Evans ran the ball into the end zone.  Mark Brunell went in as QB for Drew Brees in the bottom portion of the fourth quarter.  Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks made a smooth TD catch with about three minutes left to play.  New Orleans 48 and New York 27.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Has Eli Manning lost weight?  Did he get his eyebrows plucked? He looked different today.

2.  A camera cut to Saints linebacker Scott Fujita sitting on the sidelines as Pam Oliver provided voice-over in the top half of the second quarter.  He wouldn’t be coming back in the game on account of a leg issue (I think–I wasn’t paying as much attention to what she was saying compared to what the camera was doing.  It began in a high-angle, medium close-up of Fujita’s right side and zoomed out to a long shot when Fujita started making eye contact with the lens.  It was pretty amazing–he looked right into the camera in that initial medium close-up for two to three seconds before the camera zoomed out).

3.  Lance Moore’s TD dance was filmed by a camera stationed in front of him and most likely at the back corner of the end zone.  Moore was holding the ball in his right hand; his arms were bent about 90 degrees at the elbow.  His lft hand was open, plam facing the camera.  An official was standing behind him at the tame.

4.  New Orleans linebacker Scott Shanle has an interesting cranium.

5.  After Heath Evans made a TD for New Orleans in the middle of the fourth quarter, one of the cameras cut to a high- angle shot of the sidelines where one of the cheer team’s guys ran down (from screen right to left) holding a gigantic Saints flag.  I’m curious; when one auditions for that position, or for the chance to have that duty, is one judged on both technical skills and artistic merit?

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NFL 08: Cowboys stuff the bellpeppers out of the Giants

New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys sitting in a tree.  F-I-S-H-I-N-G .

First comes blood.  Then comes a barrage.  Next comes Manning through a sodden parish.

The first quarter started with some crinkling bits of near-agony as the Giants came within a whisper of losing possession of the ball on Eli Manning’s first handle on it.   Not to suggest that the first quarter wasn’t filled with gasp-inducing game-plays, but the clock waddled down to the zero without any scores.

The second quarter started with Cowboys Tony Romo quarterback connected with wide receiver Patrick Crayton for a touchdown.   The Giants challenged the touchdown call because they believed Romo’s body was completely beyond the line of scrimmage.  Giants head coach Tom Coughlin lost the challenge.   The Giants got themselves on the board with a field goal, courtesy of John Carney towards the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 7 and New York 3.

The third quarter barked off with Eli Manning throwing an interception (his third of 2008).  Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman snatched the ball from the intended target, Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon.   The quarter ended with no added points for either team.

The fourth quarter bolted forth with some very impressive Cowboys action, including some running and catching by former GaTech Yellow Jacket running back Tashard Choice and catching by tight end Jason Witten.   Fullback Deon Anderson made a roomy TD catch shortly thereafter.   I’m telling you, time seemed to slow down as the ball crossed the goal line and was traveling towards Anderson’s grasp.  Dallas 14 and New York 3.  Giants defensive ends Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka sacked Tony Romo and got on top of the ball in the end zone for a safety.   Dallas 14 and New York 5.  John Carney threw up a field goal not long afterwards.  Dallas 14 and New York 8.  HOLY BOOTCUT  JEANS MADE IN AMERICA.  Or as Al Michaels said, “It’s the good ship lollipop.”  Tashard Choice made a thirty-eight yard rushing TD for the Cowboys in the bottom of the quarter.  They went for a two-point conversion, but it didn’t happen.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Terence Newman intercepted Eli Manning in the moshpit bottom of the fourth quarter.  Dallas 20 and New York 8.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  I like the Cowboys’ uniforms with the white jerseys.  I’m not keen on their navy blue look.    The juxtaposition between the Cowboys and the Giants’ garb was striking to me.  It was like the light vs. the dark.

2.  Awesome Budweiser commercial.  I love those horses.

3.  Not an awesome commercial.  Actually, it’s disturbing.

4.  Halftime included a discussion on the controversial Steelers TD that gave them the win against the Ravens.

5.  Tonight’s Line of Scrimmage segment featured The Boys Ranch run by Carl Farley.  I’d embed a link but mozilla keeps stalling when I tried to load the page.

6.  According to Al Michaels, John Madden’s favorite food is the Stub Sandwich, consists of  “two eggs, bacon, sausage, cheddar and potatoes, smack in the middle of two pieces of toast” as this web page corroborates.

7.  After returning from commercial break near the middle of the fourth quarter, the camera went to a high angle medium shot of Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Terrell Owens gabbing on the sidelines.  Romo and Owens were smiling.  Witten’s back was facing the camera–who knows what expression his face wore.  The hair on the top of his head, however, appeared to be, dare I say it, thinning.

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NFL 08: the Giants gobstop the Eagles

The New York Giants stomped and stammered with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.  The first quarter started with Giants quarterback Eli Manning throwing the ball towards wide receiver Steve Smith only for Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson to make an interception , which soon thereafter resulted in a touchdown by wide receiver DeSean Jackson.  Philadelphia 7 and New York 0.  The Giants answered it with a TD as well, courtesy of wide receiver Plaxico Burress.  Not long after that move, the Giants increased their score with a field goal (Eagles erred on receiving the ball from the Giants).  New York 10 and Philadelphia 7.

The second quarter lit up the score board with a touchdown catch by Giants tight end Kevin Boss.  New York 17 and Philadelphia 7.  The Eagles picked up their numerical pace when wide receiver Jason Avant broke the plane for a TD.  New York 17 and Philadelphia 14.  Donovan McNabb, Eagles quarterback, threw an interception in the bottom of the second quarter.  Giants cornerback Sam Madison leaped into the air and enveloped the ball.  His team put a field goal on the board before halftime.  The Eagles did too.  Giants 20 and Eagles 17.

The third quarter began with an Eagles touchdown, thanks to wide receiver Hank Baskett.  Philadelphia took the lead, 24 to 20.  Giants running back Brandon Jacobs broke the plane and put his team back in the lead.  New York 27 and Philadelphia 24.  The fourth quarter gave the Giants a field goal.  30 to 24.  Jacobs did it again a few minutes later.  Or did he? Eagles challenged it but lost (after losing another challenge).  The Giants were not successful in a two-point conversion.  New York 36 and Philadelphia 24.  After a helluva Philadelphia drive, wide receiver Kevin Curtis made a remarkable TD catch.  Giants 36 and Eagles 31.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Rebel xsi by Cannon. Pretty neat commercial.

2. After Eli Manning had to throw the ball into the turf near the bottom of the second quarter, the camera went to a medium shot of VP-elect Joe Biden, who was at the game.  He was smiling and wearing a storm blue heather sweater.

3. Al Michaels informed John Madden after Brandon Jacobs of the Giants broke the plane in the third quarter that New York head coach Tom Coughlin has the best record with successfully challenging calls.

4. Fred Robbins, defensive tackle for the Giants, played with broken hands.

5. John Madden remarked that he believes the Giants are currently the best team in the NFC south and in the NFL overall.  Al Michaels commented that the Titans and Carolina would or might “argue with that.”  John Madden replied, “Well, I’ll argue with them.”

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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.

NFC Championship 2008: Giants lope past the Packers

The Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants swarmed the zero degrees Fahrenheit environs of Lambeau Fields for not only the NFC 2008 title but also for the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. Fox televised the game–the third coldest in NFL history.

The first quarter was scoreless until about five minutes were left on the clock–the Giants got three points from a field goal. The second quarter granted the Giants three more points from a field goal. New York 6 and Green Bay 0. The Packers quickly answered those points with a ninety-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Donald Driver. In the bottom of the second quarter, Green Bay earned a slightly higher lead with a field goal. Going into halftime, Packers 10 and Giants 6.

The third quarter gave the Giants the upper bunk with a TD by running back Brandon Jacobs. Packers tight end Donald Lee switched orientations, putting his team on top with a TD. Green Bay 17 and New York 13. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw snatched the bunk right back with a TD in the bottom of the third quarter.

Oh man. The top of the fourth quarter was pure excitement as Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw a pass that was intercepted by Giants cornerback R.W. McQuarters, who then fumbled the ball, which was then recovered by Packers tackle Mark Tauscher. That drive ended with a field goal for the Packers. Both teams tied with 20 points. The tie lasted through the bottom of the fourth quarter. Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a forty-three yard field goal earlier in the quarter was no good. His attempt at a thirty-six yard field goal in the remaining seconds of the fourth was unsuccessful too.

Onward to overtime. Green Bay won the coin toss for first possession, but Brett Favre was intercepted by Giants cornerback Corey Webster. So Tynes missed couldn’t stick the landing on those two field goals in the fourth quarter, but three times a lady, oui? He nailed it in overtime (forty-seven yards).

Final score New York 23 and Green Bay 20. The Giants are going to the Super Bowl. The Patriots must be doing cartwheels of joy.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Jimmy Johnson was so adorable during the pre-game segment. He was bundled up in his winter gear and made me think of a honeycomb (not because he looked like one). He took a bottle of room temperature water, poured some into a glass, and announced that by the end of the game, the water should be frozen. He didn’t say it quite in that way, but the implication was there. As it turned out, it only took thirty minutes for the water to freeze.

2. The Green Bay Packers were born in 1919 and are the oldest NFL franchise still playing in its birth city.

3. The wind chill in the bottom of the first quarter was -24 degrees. The temperature -2.

4. New England must have been cheering for the Giants.

5. After returning from commercial break (after Donald Lee made the TD in the third quarter), the camera caught a glimpse of three women clad in neon yellow bikinis–Packers fans. Joe Buck–I believe–remarked, “you’ve got to be kidding me. Makes me feel like a sissy…”

6. One of the shots included in the replay of Lawrence Tynes’s second missed field goal was of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin slumped forward and down, as if he were trying to touch his toes but knew he couldn’t so he just hung there.

7. When I was watching the local news, there was a clip of the post-game press talk where Tynes talked about being really happy he made the field goal.  He licked his lips–that gesture was ridiculously hot.

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