I’ll be honest with you all… I may or may not be able to make any cogent points today (which is probably fitting since this is my 150th blog post and many have lacked any cogent points!) and I really don’t care. Hypothetically it’s possible that there was a football game yesterday that took me through the full range of emotions, reduced what little hair I have to chaff, and led to my lovely bride laughing at my physical exultation. There may be fallout. With that being said, let’s look back at the weekend (in a slightly different format)
The Nothing but Fun League
If you like drama, excitement, offense and men who sold their souls to the devil (I’ll make you figure who fits the bill on this one), then this weekend was clearly for you. The NFL weekend was fantastic!
Baltimore v. Denver – Yes, the 36 year old QB coming off 4 neck surgeries did have some struggles in the sub-freezing weather against a quality opponent. But he had the game won. (More on that in a minute). Joe Flacco was routinely panned during the season for not wowing the world week in and week out. There are those who have said he isn’t an upper echelon Quarterback and others who have questioned his arm strength. Well, the man has 7 postseason victories in 5 seasons in the NFL and put on a deep ball clinic on Sunday. And when it mattered he got the job done. Again. Which brings us to what changed the game… when I looked at “playing deep safety” in Defense for dummies, it clearly said that the safety is to not allow any player or the ball behind him. Well, if that had taken place Jacoby Jones wouldn’t have caught the easiest TD he’s had in a long time and there would not have been a need for 1 or 2 overtimes. This loss lands squarely on the shoulders of the Denver Defense. On the excitement scale, this was a 9.
Green Bay v. San Francisco – This game was back and forth and thrilling into the second half. Then Jim Harbaugh got to emphatically show the world why he chose Colin Kaepernick as his starting Quarterback. Kaepernick had more rushing yards than any Quarterback in the modern era in the regular season or the playoffs. And that doesn’t even address how well he threw the ball. The Packers easily could have answered with Aaron Rodgers if his offensive line had blocked worth anything. But alas, they did not. And the world got to see another example of the next generation of NFL QB shine.
Houston v. New England – There’s not much to say here. Tom Brady looked like he was Jeff Dunham and the Texans were Achmed the Dead Terrorist (or if you aren’t familiar, Brady looked like a puppet master). And when they went to the no-huddle, they looked unstoppable.
Seattle v. Atlanta – We call this “A Heart-Attack on a Bun”. Everything was breaking the Falcons’ way all game long until the 4th quarter. Michael Turner invoked visions of when he was “The Burner” and Tony Gonzalez looked nothing like a man who is on the brink of retirement. The defense made Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Mode” look more like “Molasses Mode”. And then we got to the 4th. Russell Wilson put on a performance that has given him instant credibility and cache in the league and put the Seahawks on the cusp of one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history. But alas, there were 31 seconds left on the clock and a very determined Matt Ryan on the other sideline. In the blink of an eye, the Falcons were in field goal range and things got wacky. Let’s break it down:
- Mike Smith sprints down to call timeout right after Gonzalez was tackled – Thought: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! EITHER HAVE RYAN SPIKE IT OR RUN MORE TIME OFF THE CLOCK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO KICK OFF!!
- Pete Carroll called a timeout to ice Matt Bryant. Bryant missed that kick. Carroll went into “acting mode” and seemed incredulous that the refs called a timeout. Bryant nailed the second attempt to give the Falcons the lead. There was much rejoicing in the land.
- The Falcons then lined up to kick a squib kick and hold Seattle to one desperation play. Only it turned into an onside kick and gave Seattle the ball close to the 50 yard line – Thought: HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW TO KICK A SQUIB KICK?!?!
- The Seahawks ran 1 play and got out of bounds. Not sure what good that 10 yards was supposed to do, but whatever.
- The Seahawks throw a Hail Mary. We’ve seen this before. It led to Green Bay not getting a first round bye and the Seahawks to having a higher playoff seed. Would it happen again? Well, the Falcons inserted Julio Jones into the defensive lineup to assist and told the big fella to go pick off anything up in the air. And he did. Game over. Probably his easiest catch of the year (ok, maybe not once you look at the picture). And Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan could finally feel relief from the pressure of having never won a playoff game.
- Jamie exhaled and went on a massive fist pumping exhibition. His blood pressure finally fell an hour later and his pulse finally slowed down after a half hour. – Thought: HOLY BUCKETS WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS AGAIN NEXT WEEK?!
Yeah…it was quite a weekend!
What Might have Been
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did an article starting to look back at NFL players and how the recruiting services ranked them out of High School. They started with Matt Ryan. He was a 3 star recruit and was ranked #25 in that class of quarterbacks. There were only 2 NFL QB’s above him, Brady Quinn and Matt Flynn (both top 20), and one below him, Joe Flacco (#39). I found this interesting (and amusing for the QB’s above Ryan and Flacco), but there was an additional paragraph that made me begin daydreaming.
That high school class was the one where Reggie Ball signed with Georgia Tech. And Matt Ryan was actually offered a scholarship by Georgia Tech. Which led to the realization that if Ryan makes a different choice, we could have had three years of Matt Ryan to Calvin Johnson instead of Reggie Ball!!! Oh, what the record books would look like if THAT had happened!!!
It’s clear that the NFL season must be coming to a close and the conference schedules have kicked in on campus because we had our first week (of what will likely be many) of upsets at the top of the polls to reshape the college basketball landscape. Any time 3 of the top 5 and 5 of the top 12 fall it makes for quite a week! And when two of the upsets are rivals (NC State taking down Duke and Ohio State taking down Michigan) we get the Madness started a little bit early! In case you missed it…
- #1 Duke Lost to NC State
- #2 Michigan Lost to Ohio State
- #4 Arizona Lost to Oregon
- #10 Missouri Lost to Ole Miss
- #12 Illinois Lost to Minnesota & Wisconsin
Hitting the Links
I will be absolutely SHOCKED if this doesn’t catch on around the country (upgrading your seats while at a sporting event) – http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/college/tech-offering-seat-upgrading-technology/nTtM6/
Pretty neat look at “Black & Decker” – http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8828270/thomas-decker-manning-make-broncos-go
A stunning look at Jason Taylor’s career in pain – http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/13/v-fullstory/3179926/dan-le-batard-jason-taylors-pain.html
If you need some light reading, you can read the first published article by the Guru in the Oklahoma Bar Journal (Select – Vol. 84, No. 2 (Jan. 12) and go to page number 132) – http://www.okbar.org/obj/2013/
@FrankCaliendo – “TOUCHDOWN! Seattle wins” – replacement ref at home watching TV. #SeaVsATL
@TornCartledge – Denver secondary has been atrocious! How do you take THAT approach on the deep ball?! #Inexcusable
(for Firefly fans) @NathanFillion – Whenever I miss Inara, I just call @missmorenab and make her say, “Get out of my shuttle.”
@jimmyfallon – This weekend, the Ravens beat the Broncos in 2 OT. Not saying it went too long, but even Jodie Foster was like “Wrap it up!” #fallonmono
@FrankCaliendo – “Why didnt Russell Wilson just call another time out?”- Chris Webber #TooSoon? #SeaVsATL #NFL
@RGIII – Happy for Tony Gonzalez
@TornCartledge – “MicroCenter is the Hobby Lobby for nerds” – @AMONEY_Win #QuoteOfTheDay
@sbell1973 – #gymrules 1. do not bring your shake weight to the gym; #gymrules 2.do not use the shake weight from rule number one in the shower #can’tmakethisup
@amypoehler – “Oh my God! That was Hillary Clinton’s husband!”