Starting Signal-Caller Scenarios – Four Franchises Face Facts

First off…if you have followed the NFL for any length of time you know how the pre-season schedule is supposed to go. Week One a team’s starters play a series and then put on their baseball caps.  Week Two they play…say, a quarter…and then they break out said caps. Week Three they play at least a half if not into the third quarter…and the game in question is thereby deemed a “dress rehearsal” for the season opener.  Week Four…their helmets don’t go any farther North than under their arms for the National Anthem and those baseball caps get the full play.

My how things have changed.  In jumping back and forth watching various NFL games this past weekend it was amazing how little many stars played…if at all.

Maybe it is because coaches have finally become sooooo paranoid about losing key players in exhibitions.  Maybe they’ve accepted chemistry and rhythm is better found in the early stretches of what is a long, long regular season than in games that don’t count a lick…except of course to those players trying to secure a weekly paycheck in any manner possible. And maybe that’s part of it also..having a starter out on the field against a less experienced player who will do anything to make an impression…including leaving a lasting impression on the body of anyone in their path.  Football is a dangerous sport as is but when one player is playing to not get hurt and another is playing to not get cut…worlds collide.

Anyway…since the success of any NFL team is highly predicated on the play of the quarterback…here are four franchises who have interesting scenarios playing out at the premier position:

  1. Grantland.com just posted a column about Which Coach Has Had The Worst Quarterbacks In History?” Number 1? None other than recently relocated Rex Ryan.  Indeed, his Jets were not known for their talent at the position…Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith serving as Exhibits A and B.  That being said if you didn’t see his Bills’ signal-callers in action on a bright, sunny afternoon in Buffalo versus the Steelers this past Saturday you would swear his ranking is about to change dramatically. Now, understand this writer subscribes to the theory as far as your starting quarterback goes if you have three you have none.  I think it is critical a starting QB is named as early as possible in camp and given all the resources necessary to be successful as #1.  Right now Ryan has Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor all vying for the position. In their scrum with the Steelers they all looked more than capable. They actually all looked great.  Of course we continue to keep in mind these are practice games…but you had to see these three as they competed in what was a pressure-packed situation for them if no one else.  Heck, even Rex’s FOURTH-string signal-caller, Matt Simms, was 5-5 for 65 yards. If nothing else it looks like Ryan will have a game-manager this season no matter who is playing QB…and if the running game with LeSean McCoy takes off…that’s pressure off whomever is at the helm to force passes or consistently have to go press downfield.  The Bills’ D should be solid. Things are looking up in Buffalo…and possibly…maybe…for Rex Ryan’s ranking of worst quarterbacks.
  2. Here in Philadelphia fans are pretty much ignoring the fact games this weekend didn’t count and are instead counting up their dollars to see if they have enough to book flights for Super Bowl 50 to see the Eagles.  No NFL franchise’s season will rise or fall farther depending on the health of a player like Philadelphia will. The way Sam Bradford looked on a cloudy, cool Saturday evening in Green Bay was how the St. Louis Rams envisioned he would when they drafted him.  The Eagles’ offense was relentless and Bradford displayed a touch not seen by a Philly QB in like…um…never. I was reading some comments from Rams’ fans about Bradford leaving there for here and one stood out…to paraphrase the fan recalled holding their breath every time he went back to pass during his time in St. Louis…wondering if his frail legs would still be intact at the end of the play.  Chip Kelly and the rest of those invested in the Eagles’ fortunes for 2015 are practicing their breathing exercises.  If Bradford stays upright Philly may be able to outscore most every opponent they face.  If he goes down…well…you might recall the #2 QB here is…Mark Sanchez.
  3. And speaking of keeping people upright…Carson Palmer’s health as QB of the Arizona Cardinals may rank just behind Bradford in terms of the potential rise and fall variance in wins and losses for a franchise.  That health was under attack on a sunny early Sunday evening in the Bay Area as the Oakland Raiders spent a great deal of time in the Cards’ backfield.  After the game Bruce Arians suggested Palmer himself should take a greater interest in his own health by getting the ball out sooner. That’s common sense…so is Arians’ getting Carson some help up front.  Arizona got off to a fantastic start last year with a healthy Palmer. Yet their offensive line got their helmets handed to them in Oakland.  If they don’t get that fixed fast someone is going to be helping Carson get his helmet off…and Arizona’s prospectus will be poor.
  4. Fox analyst and former Dallas Cowboy QB great Troy Aikman commenting during Sunday’s Texans-Saints game on the QB situation in Washington – “Somebody compared the Redskins to the Kardashians. Saying they’re the Kardashians of the NFL.  I don’t think that’s fair.  I don’t think the Kardashians are nearly as dysfunctional.” Depending on whom you believe Robert Griffin III is being held off the field because he is concussed or because some in the organization want him off the team.  They apparently are set on Kirk Cousins to start in their opener regardless. I’ve felt for some time now Cousins has been the better choice. Washington has been a model of dysfunctional instability in the last decade and the RGIII debacle, from the way Mike Shanahan used him up to the way Griffin has less than manned up, has left the Redskins reeling. If they aren’t going to change their nickname to honor Native Americans they should at least do it to give their fans a fresh start from the wretched way they have operated their organization in recent times.

(Author’s note – since I have returned to the blogosphere I have found new followers and visitors.  Thanks to you all.  Please visit me at lifeattitudes.wordpress.com for my take on life outside of sports.  See you there…)

Posted in NFL, Sports, Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Professing Premier Passion – One American’s Journey To Football Found Round

Believe me it took a long, long time for me to get here.  Even while having played goalie for a teen club in an era where our high school didn’t have soccer as a varsity sport yet I was otherwise raised strictly on red-blooded, bloody American football through and through.  It’s what I played (as a youth), have watched (from birth) every Saturday and Sunday…and of course now…literally every day of the week between the collegiate and professional ranks.

But in the last year or so I have become over the moon for English Premier League Soccer.  My weekend mornings and early afternoons have been restructured accordingly…also making room for an occasional Monday match as well.

Actually…matches are fixtures.  The field is a pitch.  The cleats are boots.  A shutout is a clean sheet …and nil.

I have a new vocabulary.

How did an American football fanatic come to carve out time for “the beautiful game” as it is known everywhere else?

Ten observations:

  1. Only twenty clubs to digest. I find this quite refreshing compared to the bloated quantities of our sports leagues.
  2. These clubs, while featuring stars from all over the world, are based within tight-knit communities that have a relentless passion for their squads rivaling anyone, anywhere. The environment in which these teams compete is absolutely electric.
  3. Speaking of weekly…for the most part the Premier League schedule of fixtures confines itself to the weekend. This is one of the things I most liked about the NFL before it put money before all else and created Thursday Night Football.  (Rant for another day…)
  4. Speaking of that weekend schedule…the television windows for the Premier League are quite friendly. Americans being able to wake up to live, big-time sports programming has caught on quite nicely.  As new viewers arise…so do the ratings.
  5. Speaking of those television windows and ratings…NBC Sports went all in on the Premier League from the first whistle it covered and it was a no-brainer the two entities recently agreed to continue their relationship for another six years.
  6. Speaking of relationships…the personnel NBC hired to bring the Premier League into American households is as energized as the crowds are. Rebecca Lowe expertly manages the top-notch studio analysts and the flow of each day’s coverage as one fixture leads into the next…and then the studio crew wraps up the entire day’s competition perfectly.
  7. The concept of Premier League relegation is fascinating. For the uninitiated teams that finish in the bottom three positions each season have to drop down to the next level of English football the following year.  In turn, three teams are promoted up/into the Premier League.  Imagine an NFL franchise having to avoid finishing in the bottom three positions of the standings so they can continue to compete for a Super Bowl the next year.  Trying to finish at the bottom to get the top pick in a draft…hey, in the Premier League you’re trying to STAY in the bloody League.
  8. The concept of ties is refreshing. In the US we’ve pretty much relegated ties to funerals and weddings.  Perhaps the hardest hurdle I had to hop over to get all in on Premier League soccer as I have…the nil-nil ties.  I never had a problem with any ties in American football and hockey.  It was the 0-0 draws that pained me most when watching soccer.  However the more I have watched the sport I have come to appreciate ninety some minutes with no scoring.  It doesn’t hurt these matches are being played before those afore-mentioned fanatic fans.
  9. The way analytics has crept into soccer has been very interesting. They track the speed the players operate at, how much ground they cover, etc.  There is nowhere to hide regardless of the size of the pitch.  If you aren’t performing everyone knows.  Metrics in the sport are fun to follow.
  10. There are no playoffs. I recently came across an article discussing the “what-ifs” of Premier League history had there been a playoff in effect as opposed to its season serving as judge and jury.  Playoffs in American basketball and hockey are absurdly long…and football and baseball are starting to creep in that direction.  The meaning of the season is quite clear in the Premier League.  That’s all there is.

If you asked me for drawbacks found since becoming a card-carrying cheerleader for the Premier League I would issue a yellow card for in-season competitions clubs participate in while conducting their regular season.  The risk of injury to players and the competitive advantage from week to week can be compromised by these events.  I do understand they are a part of the larger soccer universe and aren’t going away anytime soon.  Another yellow card for the continued flopping in the sport…which I believe turns off many Americans.  There needs to be a remedy.  I would give a red card to the transfer (trading) window the League allows into the early weeks of the season.  Managers are diligently trying to put together a cohesive side to take into League play but chemistry can easily be disturbed when a player is sent away or arrives after the season starts.  The transfer window should be shut tight before the curtain goes up.

Another knock some have on the Premier League is the same teams generally settle in at the top of the standings while others continue to perpetually stave off relegation.  As more money comes into the League more squads should be able to better compete against clubs who in the past have commanded the spotlight as “deep-pocket” organizations.  Time will tell.

Clubs I fancy…Norwich City because I like their history, colors (green and yellow…a tip to the Oakland A’s I suppose) and their nickname (Canaries)…and AFC Bournemouth, who not so many years ago was on the verge of losing their club…since then fighting and scratching their way up through the English football league structure to compete in the Premier League this year for the very first time.  If you read anything about the history of their organization you’ll be rooting for them as well.

The Premier League gets my weekends off to a great start.  America, if you approach it with an open mind…and heart…perhaps it will for you as well.

Turns out there is room for more football in my life…this one just happens to be round.

Posted in Barclays Premier League, Premier League, Soccer, Sports, The Premier League | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Pope And Chip Kelly Have Philadelphia In Lockdown Mode

The Pope is coming to Philadelphia September 26th and 27th.  Plans for the way the city is handling his visit (and I use the word “handling” loosely here) were recently unveiled. The Mayor is blaming the Secret Service for what appears to be complete overkill in locking down a large chunk of the city. The Secret Service (of course) doesn’t comment on such matters aside to say “they’ve got this.” (Insert shudder here)  My takeaways are many city residents will be scared out of town, many potential visitors will cancel their plans to come into town…and individuals who do make the trek to town to catch a glimpse of him (and I use “trek” and “glimpse” most accurately here) likely will shorten their life expectancy.

Chip Kelly is already in Philadelphia.  Plans for the way he is handling the 2015 edition of the Eagles (again…”handling” used loosely) have yet to be unveiled.  He blames the local media (which he amazingly continues to be amazed at the number of reporters even after a couple of years here) for creating false expectations of player statuses, reminding them his sole responsibility is to only get them ready for the season opener.  My takeaways are his lack of consulting with others led him to coach in the wrong NFL city…and now giving him the keys to run this franchise will ultimately shorten a Philadelphia fan’s life expectancy.

The Huffington Post noted at the beginning of the month Philadelphia was in a state of panic over the Pope’s trip here.

But as of yesterday we now have a “Papal Visit Playbook.” So…there’s that.  (I guess the football jargon was used to try to placate frustrated Philly football fans)

At least someone is trying to share some information where people will and will not be able to stay, move, locate to, etc. while His Holiness (not Chip, the Pope) is in town. Finally. The news is not pretty and I suspect the Pope’s visit will generate some bad press for us.

That’s OK.  We’re used to it.

The 2015 training camp of the Philadelphia Eagles has featured the following:

  1. Kent Babb of the Washington Post wrote a fascinating piece on Kelly.  Among the highlights…Chip was previously married for seven years (news to most everyone)…several years of his life are hard to fully document…and his boss and fellow coaches at Oregon admit they didn’t know much about him even after working year after year in the crucible of big-time college football.  Bottom line is he’s the most mysterious figure in the NFL.  Even more so than the hooded guy up in New England.
  2. Chip has been peppered with questions about how he handles players off the field, the overall culture of his team and even a charge or two of racism.  A few former employees have been quoted on such subjects as the door hit them on the way out of Philadelphia.
  3. And speaking of former employees…starting quarterback Nick Foles and franchise running back LeSean McCoy were traded away while top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin walked away over money (and let us not forget the dropping of WR DeSean Jackson while Kelly technically was not running the whole show). Two starting offensive linemen and a top d-liner and starting nickel DB were also allowed to exit. To heighten the logical apprehension about the 2015 Eagles…Kelly has been extremely reluctant to let his top two key newcomers QB Sam Bradford and RB DeMarco Murray even practice. Their status “updates” started out being about “getting stronger” and “low electrolytes” – more of his famous sports science than sports.  Now, Chip’s press conferences are chippy at best when it even comes to committing if these guys will play in exhibition games (they didn’t last weekend).
  4. The local media, not getting anywhere with their questions, has started to report more on the alleged cohesiveness and togetherness the composition of the squad now has rather than the outlook.  Young, fast, familiar (I think at last count there were seven or eight former Oregon Ducks on the roster) and collegiate of mind (i.e. willing to be lab rats monitored repeatedly regarding their bodily fluids, where they are at any given time, etc.).  The phrase most often used on sports talk radio here is “Chip Bots.” To reduce the apprehension about so many starters and stars being sent away, Chip Kelly speaks more about his system being in place and keeps talking about Opening Day as all that matters. The code of the double speak and non-speak is “trust me.”

I am playing amateur shrink here but I suspect those people Chip Kelly does have in whatever inner circle he possesses did not properly assist in the preparation for him to operate as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles…let alone being in charge of their personnel as well. Good heavens, we all used to take to the Internet to blast Andy Reid for not letting us have a peek behind the curtain of team strategies, performance evaluations, injuries, etc

This is a classic case of if you think it can’t get worse…you are wrong.

Oh sure, teams always have a certain cloak of secrecy they try to maintain.  The Chicago Bears just announced rookie wideout Kevin White can’t even play yet and may miss the whole season. They didn’t even let their fans in on the possibility. ESPN.com’s Jon Greenberg buries the team, going on to claim reporters know not to believe 90 percent of what they hear in press conferences.  OK…then why have them? Because the ones in Philly are looking more and more ridiculous.

Chip Kelly is also looking more and more uncomfortable.  He still tries to let us all know he’s the smartest, most clever guy in the room but there is a tinge of meanness now setting in. Fans in this town want to follow their team. Throw us a few crumbs, Chip. We aren’t getting them and the face of the franchise is a scowl.

And the season hasn’t even started yet.

I suspect Bradford was a Plan B after not being able to move up in the draft and get (Oregon’s) Marcus Mariota.  I suspect Murray was a Plan B after not being able to get Frank Gore. Bradford is another acronym injury waiting to happen. Murray…what does he realistically have in the tank for this season while running behind a line not the caliber of the Cowboys?  Why so careful with both in a new system for each…and a reworked line?

Again playing shrink here…even being highly competitive and wanting to win…does Chip have to win more so with “his guys” and “his system?” Having gutted the roster as he has…it makes you wonder.  It may actually not be enough for Kelly to win football games. He might not be satisfied unless he also looks like some kind of Holy genius in the process.

Say a prayer.

Better yet…get the Pope to come in early.

If he can get through security…

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Play At The Plate…Heeeeee’s…Under Further Review

I like seeking out opinions and viewpoints radically different from mine.  Consider it personal growth.  Reading and hearing them in some cases makes me feel my stance has been strengthened.  In some cases, I consider altering…or even changing my stance.

Which brings us to the catcher’s stance at home plate as a runner is bearing down upon him.  And why Major League Baseball’s stance on the play at the plate is bad posture indeed.

I already had formed a completely negative opinion on trying to regulate one of the most exciting plays in the sport with possible ejections, fines, suspensions…and God help us all,…replays.  And then I read one counter to my position.

Which started off with…“I can hear the old-timers grumbling from their graves.”

Cue this old-timer.

I don’t want to see athletes get unnecessarily hurt.  Consider my take on Josh Hamilton’s head-first dash to the DL in 2011.

But I don’t want to see the game fundamentally change because someone might.  Quite frankly…if I hear one more report about concussions we should take everyone off every field in every endeavor and call it a day.  Sports of any kind carries risk.  So does getting up in the morning.

This old-timer was on both sides of collisions when I played baseball.  I once was catching a pop-up straddling the first-base line when a runner blew me up.  I retained the ball, got the out…and a few smelling salts later retained my senses…albeit feeling stupid for not making the play easier on myself.  I also slid into a third-baseman once with the expressed intent of separating him from the baseball, which he already had.  I did.  He got hurt.  He made a decision to take a stance.  I – successfully – took issue with his.

Major League Baseball features the best-of-the-best, the cream-of-the-crop.  Should we not allow them the courtesy to formulate their own stances on how to address these bang-bang plays on the base paths, especially when on the verge of scoring a run?

“Old-time” Catcher A.J. Pierzynski courtesy of USA Today…”I disagree with it.  I understand why they’re doing it but next they’re going to tell us that you can’t slide into the guy at second base.  There are going to be plays at the plate, late in games, where you need to block the plate, saving a run that ultimately gets your team into the playoffs.  And not given that opportunity is unfair.  I understand why the rule is made but I wish there was a better way to go about it.”

As if umpires also don’t have enough to concern themselves with.  Replay?  Yeah, that always sets things right…do not get me running towards that target right now.

The dumbest thing about all this over-regulation is if you slide you apparently still pretty much get a free pass to make contact at the plate the way baseball should be played…with the two combatants deciding the outcome.  But what if the slide is aggressive?  Or late?  Bottom line on this is we should get to see the pros play it out…not watch it play out afterwards on a monitor somewhere before a final, flawed verdict is rendered.

Home (plate) is where the heart is.  The heart of baseball.

Oh, the last word on that 180 degree-from-me opinion I read…“If you want brute collisions go watch the NFL.”

I would…but they’re in the process of making that sport unrecognizable also.

Posted in Baseball, MLB, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Fox To Opt Out Of Super Bowl Rotation, Sticking With Cartoons On Sunday Nights

2:00 PM – Fox Pre-Game show begins with performers from various hit Broadway shows singing musical tribute to Super Bowl.  A question…if New York City is indeed “the greatest city in the world” why can’t someone figure out how to operate a football stadium there?  Fifty years from now, will the NFL finally be able to fool everyone into thinking this game was played in New York City?

2:15 PM – Fox’s Pam Oliver makes her first appearance.  Her hair will not blow up Twitter as it did two weeks ago.  Then again, her hair probably has its own Twitter account by now.

2:25 PM – NFL rolls out its first “Play 60” commercial as it continues its not-so-subtle PR campaign to keep their feeder program rolling…that is to say, so mothers don’t shut down football.   Some time ago Bennet Omalu, the first doctor to find CTE in a football player’s brain. was advised by an NFL doctor, “If 10 percent of mothers in this country would begin to perceive football as a dangerous sport that is the end of football.”

2:27 PM – Met Life commercial airs with Peanuts gang playing National Anthem.  Mothers will likely never perceive Charles Schultz’s characters as dangerous…except for Lucy of course…who keeps moving the damn ball when Charlie Brown always runs up to kick it.

2:39 PM – Geico’s “Caleb The Camel” of “HUMP DAY” fame announces it is “GAME DAY.”  Terry Bradshaw is in the spot also – apparently he and Caleb are both supposed to be reporters in these spots.  This is an epic fail because it was announced earlier due to his father’s death Bradshaw is not at the Super Bowl.  Clearly this is an all-afternoon ad campaign they decided to run regardless.  Clearly the wrong move.

2:42 PM – Someone named Katie Nolan announces she will represent Fox in keeping all of us up to date on what is happening in social media.  If I wanted to know I would BE on social media.

2:52 PM – The Band Perry performs, clearly auditioning for next year’s halftime spot.  Rocked out pretty good for what I thought was a country band.

2:56 PM – A third Geico “Camel” spot appears with Bradshaw, as well as a promo for an upcoming interview with Bradshaw and Joe Namath.  As much as I don’t care for Terry it is becoming increasingly weird he’s intertwined through Fox’s Pre-Game coverage as well as a recurring ad campaign with a major sponsor…and he’s not around.

3:14 PM – Bradshaw’s interview with Joe Namath airs.  The Jets’ win in SB III really did lift the game to another level.  The first two Super Bowls were almost looked at as exhibitions with the AFL being such an unknown commodity.  Once New York (and they played in New York back then!) defeated Baltimore, things were never quite the same.  Unfortunately, the interview ended with Terry asking Joe if he really wouldn’t have rather had Fox’s Erin Andrews speak with him…an awkward and unnecessary reference to a drunken Namath trying to kiss ESPN’s Suzy Kolber during a live interview years ago.  Somewhere Suzy Kolber was cringing…as were many others.

3:22 PM – Charissa Thompson and Chris Myers continue to interview people (including a large number of Fox Network performers) on their recurring gimmick known as the “Fox Red Carpet.”  Wishing they would roll the damn Fox Red Carpet up with Thompson and Myers in it.

3:27 PM – Curt Menefee and friends on the Pre-Game crew announce they now have to relocate from Times Square to the Meadowlands.  I wonder if there is a prop bet in Vegas as to how long it will be before they return to the air.  The NFL cannot be pleased at this blatant announcement the game is not actually being played in New York City.

3:28 PM – Thompson calls play-by-play announcer Joe Buck…Joe Bluck.

3:31 PM – Joe Bluck…um, Buck…appears with game analyst Troy Aikman from Met Life (AKA Snoopy) Stadium.  Things are starting to normalize now.  It appears at some point a football game may actually break out.

3:57 PM – Another recurring ad campaign reappears…brief spots of Cleatus, Fox’s animated Robot, wearing Dr. Dre’s Beats noise-cancelling headphones while Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” plays in the background, just like their regular ad spots.  Clever.

4:00 PM – Menefee and friends have now transferred from their original location in Times Square to Snoopy Stadium.  They made good time.  Sure they had help.

4:12 PM – A fairly long, artsy segment showing Pre-Game analysts speaking towards how great a sport football is and pointing out how awesome it is to also start at a young age because of the life lessons learned.  I wonder if anyone caught the less flashy, life lessons dished out before the segment when it was discussed how a recent survey said most players would play in a Super Bowl even while being concussed…but gosh, the NFL reported concussions are down this year.  Yes, there are life lessons to be learned…all the way around.

4:27 PM – Charissa Thompson returns with another Red Carpet interview.  I quietly vow to make sure I have noise-cancelling headphones for future Thompson appearances.

4:34 PM – Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly starts a war – disguised as an interview – with President Obama.  As aggressive as any game I’ve seen all year.  Maybe this will convince future Presidents to just say no.  No-win situations are usually not things you want played out in front of millions of people.  Obama tells O’Reilly he enjoyed it.  For those of you who think our Prez lies…well now there’s indisputable evidence.

4:46 PM – Commercial for “Hunger Games – Catching Fire” airs.  Philip Seymour Hoffman in it.  He died earlier in the day, apparently of a hunger for heroin.  Sad.

5:18 PM – Feature on Seahawks’ defensive backs.  Everyone focuses on Richard Sherman but he may not even be best of their bunch.  Every time Earl Thomas appears Philadelphia Eagles fans sigh.  Our Birds passed over Thomas on Draft Day.  A big, big mistake.  Thomas is a tremendous player in his own right and he’d look much better to me in an Eagles uni.

5:23 PM – Airing of Peyton Manning interview with Terry Bradshaw.  I wrote at length a couple of years ago about how Manning would never be able to reclaim his talent and would be silly putting himself in danger playing the game after his numerous neck surgeries.  His comeback and performance since that time has been one of the more amazing, courageous things I’ve seen in my lifetime.

5:52 PM – Martin Sheen introduces the reading of the Declaration of Independence, a Fox Network tradition when they do the Super Bowl.  Fox simply can’t put on a sporting event without infusing it with military overtones.  These are the same people who normally show America a full slate of animated cartoons on Sunday nights.

6:10 PM – Queen Latifah sings “America The Beautiful.”  I decide to take a gander at the national weather radar.  If this game was played about eighteen hours from now…

6:20 PM – Joe Buck in the booth with…wait, that’s not Troy Aikman. That’s Mike Pereira, former NFL VP of Officiating.  Odd.  They discuss how the game might be called and specifically call out the tendencies of a couple of refs in general.  Almost as if they expect it to be an issue.  I bet it is now.

6:28 PM – Joe Namath makes the coin toss…unfortunately the selection of “heads” or “tails” wasn’t made yet.  Bad day for Joe.

6:32 PM – Kickoff.

6:33 PM – Safety.  Seahawks, 2-0.  If you wagered on that you just quit your job.  Crowd seems awfully pro-Seattle.

6:47 PM – Field goal.  Seahawks, 5-0.  Fox keeps showing the New York skyline.  Crowd keeps cheering for Seattle.

7:07 PM – Field goal.  Seahawks, 8-0.  Commercials playing about as well as Broncos.

7:12 PM – Manning throws bad pick.  However, not unusual event in Snoopy Stadium.  Remember… Giants play here.

7:13 PM- Radio Shack’s commercial about needing to upgrade their stores featuring 80’s icons caught my fancy.  Showing my age.

7:24 PM – Touchdown, Marshawn Lynch.  Seahawks, 15-0.  Tim Tebow, T-Mobile commercial that followed was excellent.  Jacksonville, shame on you for not signing TT.  You had if nothing else a built-in can’t-miss-with-the-fans ambassador that could have aided your fractured franchise.

7:39 PM – Another Manning pick.  Seattle returns this one for touchdown.  Seahawks, 22-0.  Fox must now be considering pulling out of game early and running those Sunday night cartoons.  Animation Domination > Seattle Domination.

7:55 PM – Toyota commercial featuring the Muppets – “Let’s Go Places.”  Right now, I can think of many places I’d rather be.  So can the Denver Broncos.

7:58 PM – Mercifully, halftime comes.

8:11 PM – I am actually enjoying Bruno Mars.  Special effects are pretty cool and the guy is owning the grand stage.  Great old-school R & B vibe and his band is working it as hard as he is.  More fireworks than the first half.

8:17 PM – The Red Hot Chili Peppers appear.  These two acts look as mismatched as two teams in first half.  Mercifully, Peppers disappear quickly and Mars cleans up after them fairly well.

8:31 PM – Second half kickoff.  Broncos kick it short to avoid a big play by Percy Harvin.  Harvin doesn’t get the memo.  Touchdown.  Seahawks, 29-0.

8:44 PM – Now obvious Denver had no plan to throw North-South in this game.  They thought they could proceed with the same East-West, side-to-side passing game and do well against Seattle.  They were wrong.

8:56 PM – Denver throws North-South.  Demaryius Thomas fumbles away a long completion. Maybe on this day it doesn’t matter what the Broncos do.

9:03 PM – Jermaine Kearse catches TD pass.  Seahawks, 36-0.  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman now have admitted defeat, commenting on the Broncos’ indifference towards tackling Kearse.  They appear clearly frustrated Fox has not switched over to “The Simpsons” and spared them covering the rest of this game.  America is now covering its eyes.

9:24 PM – Doug Baldwin catches TD pass.  Seahawks, 43-8.  Wait…Denver must have scored.  When did that happen?

9:46 PM – Manning fumbles the ball away.  Seattle doesn’t show interest in putting up fifty.

9:55 PM – Seahawks, 43-8.  The confetti flies…which always makes for great high def television once it sticks to everyone’s head and face.  I have been fighting a losing battle with the confetti issue for years now.

10:07 PM – The Vince Lombardi Trophy is presented.  More confetti on everyone.  It’s a mess…which sums up this Super Bowl perfectly.

A mess.

Posted in Football, NFL, Sports, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments