Monday, September 25, 2006

Wrap It Up

Tying up some loose ends from Sunday's action...

What was with that shouting match between Joey Porter and Chad Johnson before the Bengals/Steelers game? There was a definite orchestrated, WWE vibe going on there. All that was missing was for Vince McMahon to announce that in place of football, the game would be decided by a no holds barred, steel cage match with special guest referee Ricky Williams. I just don't think anyone was buying that tete-a-tete was legit. What do they think we are...Fatheads?

The Houston Texans need to change their nickname. I don't think all Texans want to be identified with a team that makes horrible, dim-witted decisions and has very little reason for hope. More fitting would be the Houston Samaritans. Any time a team is having troubles, all they need to do is play Houston, and they'll be made well. Heck, the Samaritans might even be so generous, they'll allow an aging quarterback to set an all-time passing record!...

The Philadelphia Eagles have been involved in back-to-back games where the inability of a team to effectively run the ball had devastating consequences. Last week against the Giants, the Eagles were unable to run out the clock and protect their 17 point lead. The game ended up going into overtime, during which they lost Jevon Kearse for the season. Yesterday it was the Eagles' opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, who were affected by troubles in the running game. In the 3rd quarter, the Niners had 1st and goal at the Eagles one yard line. First play- handoff to Gore for no gain. 2nd down- hand off to Gore for no gain. Then on 3rd down, they stubbornly handed the ball to Gore again, where he was once again stoned and made matters worse by coughing up the ball. The Eagles Mike Patterson picked up the ball, stood up from the pile, and ran 98 yards for the touchdown. On the play, Gore strained his abdominal muscles and Vernon Davis' fibula went "crick-crack" and now he's out for four weeks. That was a very painful goal line stand for the Niners.

Davis was injured while trying to chase down Patterson on his fumble return. But it's questionable if Patterson should have been allowed to return the ball at all. The fumble occurred in a pileup on the goal line and when Patterson grabbed the ball, it appeared to everyone (other than the officials) that Patterson was down by contact and the play was over. The Niners challenged the return, and replays seemed to confirm that Patterson did have a knee on the ground and was in contact with opposing players when he grabbed the ball. However, for some reason, the replay booth refused to overturn the play. My only guess is that to save money, the league is using Pac-10 officials in the replay booth...

Once again, I must beg for NBC to end the Andrea Kramer experiment on the sidelines. It would be one thing if her years (and years and years) of experience gave Kramer the wherewithal to get fresh, unique information for the viewers. But all she provides is the same bland quotes and generic injury reports that any warm body could deliver. NBC needs to return to the time honored tradition established by Melissa Stark and Erin Andrews whereby the sideline reporter is basically a nookie girl with a microphone. (Although as Lisa Guerrero revealed, the ability to speak two sentences without the aid of notecards is also a must.) Aside from the fact that the viewing audience is predominantly male, there is a practical use to having a hot sideline reporter. When there's an injury during the game, and teams are trying to reveal as little information as possible, the network can send their hot reporter out to sweet-talk the geeky trainer's assistant into giving up the goods. Now rather than only complain, I'll be solutions oriented- I think I have the answer to NBC's problems. Replacing Andrea Kramer should be...Stacy Keibler. She has a large male following from WWE and women recognize her from Dancing With Stars. She's cute, but not so gorgeous that women will hate her. While she's never been a news reporter, she does have enough television experience from wrestling and ABC to be comfortable in front of the camera. The only adjustment NBC would have to make is adopting the direction ESPN employs when Erin Andrews is working, and utilize more wide, full body shots that showcase Keibler's legs rather than the tight, neck-up shots that they have been using. Trust me on this one NBC. We already have to look at Jerome Bettis and Peter King during Football Night in America....throw us a bone here...

ESPN on ESPN's coverage of MNF will begin in a few hours. The Superdome will be amped up, but I expect the Falcons to come out running the wishbone offense and interrupt the Saints fairy-tale season, at least for a week, covering the four point spread.
Atlanta 24, New Orleans 10.

2 Comments:

At Tue Sep 26, 10:46:00 AM PDT , Anonymous NFL Adam said...

Niac, that game was an easy call for the Saints. But I love the idea of having Miss Hancock, eerr, Stacy Keibler on the sidelines. I'm kind of pissed that I didn't think of this first.

 
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