Category Archives: football

A Groundhog Day Moment for the Denver Broncos as Seahawks, Commercials and Entertainment Dominate Super Bowl XLVIII

Percy Harvin

Super Bowl XLVIII is now history, and thankfully we can get can get on to better things like baseball.

Unfortunately after several years of very competitive championship games we have a throwback edition. The Seattle Seahawks, who I don’t give a whit for absolutely demolished the hapless Denver Broncos who didn’t look like they deserved to be on the field. It was bad, really bad. The Seahawks won 43-8.

When the Broncos scored their one and only touchdown and made a two point conversion I tweeted: “Broncos get 2 pt conversion but it’s like Bill Murray in Meatballs “it just doesn’t matter” because I knew that they were toast. I will leave the game commentary to others because since it was so bad, it just doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately this is not the first Super Bowl humiliation for the Broncos. Despite winning the 1998 and 1999 Super Bowls, the franchise has been the victim of some the the biggest blowouts, and this was not the biggest.

espn_gpp08_800

The worst was Super Bowl XXIV in 1990 when the San Francisco 49ers led by the legendary Joe Montana destroyed the Broncos in the biggest rout in Super Bowl history, a score of 55-10. That was also the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history. Two years earlier in 1988 the Washington Redskins dispatched the Broncos 42-10 and in 1987 the New York Giants did the deed 39-20. Back in 1978 the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl XII by a score of 27-10.

Tonight’s game joins the panoply of Super Bowl blowouts and makes me glad that baseball season is almost here.

Bruno Mars

On the bright side the pre-game show was really good as was the halftime show performed by Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLXLu-03W48 . I had never seen Mars perform before and compared to many current acts he is great, not only that his show was a throwback to some great Super Bowl halftime shows of the past. Kudos to him and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Super Bowl Football

The National anthem, sung by Grammy winning soprano Renee Fleming was awesome http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/02/02/renee-fleming-national-anthem-super-bowl-2014/  as was America the Beautiful sung by Queen Latifah and a choir from New Jersey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-rdWA1TB2Q . As a veteran and currently serving Navy officer I also appreciated the tributes to veterans embedded throughout the show and the commercials.

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

Speaking of commercials they were pretty good this year. All the nationally run ads can be seen here:

super-bowl-xlviii-ads-toyota-highlander-commercial-muppets-2

images-77

ellen-degeneres-busts-a-move-as-goldilocks-in-a-super-bowl-ad-for-beats-music

superads26n-6-web

My favorites were the Seinfeld Reunion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmg9v8U8rfw the heartwarming Budweiser Puppy Love http://screen.yahoo.com/big-game-ads/puppy-love-budweiser-223606921.html , the Chobani Yogurt Bear http://screen.yahoo.com/big-game-ads/bear-chobani-001017545.html Bud Light’s Epic Night with Arnold Schwarzenegger and a Llama http://screen.yahoo.com/big-game-ads/epic-night-part-2-bud-010053472.html , the Big Game ad featuring Terry Crews and the Muppets, specifically one of my favorite’s Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N5A3R4XqhOA the very inclusive Coke commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8uSVUiniWQ which apparently has triggered a boycott by some very bigoted people who hate the fact that the United States is so diverse, and finally Ellen Degeneres’ ad for Beats Music http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zP4ZJkGv89g. 

I understand that there some others that were really good, but unfortunately things like bathroom breaks and interactions with actual human beings kept me from seeing all of them. I guess there is nothing wrong with that. Thankfully many of these will continue to air and I can always find the ones I missed on You Tube.

Of course everyone has there preferences. I was looking at some professional media pundit’s comments and found that I liked some that they thought stunk, so screw them. I have my own opinion just like my own asshole, and sometimes they both stink, just like the pundits who generally won’t admit to theirs stinking.

I give credit to the people at Fox Sports for putting on a good show despite the horrible one sided game, which the Seahawks deserved to win. They were the better team, in fact I think had the 49ers won the NFC that they too would have destroyed the Broncos. The NFC West is the best division in football and it showed tonight.

So anyway, on that odiferous note I wish you a good night.

Peace

Padre Steve+

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under football, News and current events

Playoffs and Layoffs: Black Monday for the NFL

Eagles Cowboys Football .JPEG-0a50b

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but who gets the blame.” Blaine Nye

After 17 weeks, 256 games and 11,985 points scored the NFL regular season ended last night when Dallas Cowboys’ Quarterback Kyle Orton was intercepted by Brandon Boykin.  That pass ended the Cowboys playoff hopes and season and sent the Philadelphia Eagles to the playoffs as champions of the NFC East.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls-2

It was an exciting end to the season. The season went down to the wire for the Eagles, the Green Bay Packers who came from behind to stun the Chicago Bears to take the NFC Central and the San Diego Chargers who swiped the last AFC Wild Card when Baltimore and Miami lost.

The playoffs are now set. The Wild Card round will feature the AFC South Champion Indianapolis Colts (11-5) play the number 5 Wild Card seed Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) and the AFC Central Champion Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) face off against the number six seed San Diego Chargers (9-7). In the NFC the Eagles (10-6) will square off against the number six seed New Orleans Saints (11-5) while the NFC Central Champion Green Bay Packers (9-7) will face number five seed the San Francisco 49ers (12-4). The AFC West Champion Denver Broncos (13-3)  AFC East Champion New England Patriots, NFC South Champion Carolina Panthers (12-4) NFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks have first round byes.

459727235-957

Among the teams left out of the playoff picture from last season are last year’s Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons.

As good as some teams were some were very bad and with badness went pink slips. As legendary coach John McKay said of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers years ago: “We stunk. We blocked bad; we were terrible on defense and our kicking game made up for it by being absolutely horrible. I saw nothing that delighted me, we ran on the field fairly well.”

Kansas City Chiefs vs Washington Redskins

But the bigger news today are the firings of coaches. Since Sunday night five coaches had been fired. The pink slips started Sunday night with the Cleveland Browns (4-12) who fired first year head coach Rob Chudzinski, that moved surprised many observers. The firings began in earnest this morning when the Minnesota Vikings (5-10) fired Leslie Frazier, the 7-9 Detroit Lions fired 5th year coach Jim Schwartz after a late season collapse. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) fired their Head Coach Greg Schiano and General Manager Mark Dominick. Lastly the controversy ridden Washington Redskins who finished a dismal season at 3-13 fired the highly paid Mike Shanahan despite still owing him another $7 million dollars. Washington owner Daniel Snyder will be looking for his 7th Head Coach since 1999.

Some player’s like Washington’s fullback Darrel Young blamed themselves for their coach’s demise. Young said “We failed a Hall of Fame coach. It was a lack of execution by the players this year.”

011313-6-NFL-Texans-Gary-Kubiak-OB-PI_20130113233221785_660_320

Not counted among the Black Monday casualties was Houston Texan’s head coach Gary Kubiak who was fired December 6th. The Texans who had made the playoffs last year finished the season 2-14, the worst record in the league. The Texans had lost 11 games in a row after winning their first two of the season and had been pre-season favorites to get to the Super Bowl.

The Redskins and Texans were both so bad this year that John McKay’s statement on when the Buccaneers had lost their record setting 26th straight game: “Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”

jasonjerry

Other coaches could still be fired, rumors are swirling about a number of others but one who seems to be safe is Cowboy’s Head Coach Jason Garrett who still has the public backing of GM and Owner Jerry Jones. However it is expected that several assistants will be let go. Likewise Rex Ryan of the Jets has survived. Oakland Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen could be gone soon, he has not been offered any contract extensions and finished with a 4-14 record in 2013. Rumors also swirl about Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbon after a disappointing fish to the season.

So things will be interesting both on and off the field for the next month.

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under football, Loose thoughts and musings, News and current events

The Triumph of Ray Lewis: God’s Work and Glory or Typical Christian Spin?

2013-01-10-ray-lewis-lead-4_3_r536_c534

“To the family: If you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for his glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.” Ray Lewis to CBS Sports before Super Bowl

After the Baltimore Ravens won the Super bowl in 2000 Ray Lewis, their Pro-Bowl Linebacker and MVP of Super Bowl XXXV and two of his friends were involved in a fight after a post-super bowl party. The fight turned out to be an ugly affair and when it was done two men lay dead, the blood of one in Lewis’s limo. The suit Lewis was wearing during the party was never found. Lewis ended up taking a plea bargain in which Lewis plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice in exchange for his testimony against his companions and the dropping of double homicide charges.

Since that time Lewis has distinguished himself on the football field, won many accolades and done much charity and community work. He has been active in church and worked for the benefit of many people. For all of those things he should be commended. He is beloved in Baltimore, not merely because he has brought football glory to the city but because of those acts of charity and community involvement.

At the same time his silence about the murders, in which he is one of three men living to know the truth about what happened on that night is troubling. Even more so when I saw his interview before the Super Bowl as well as other comments made back in 2006 to Sports Illustrated in The Gospel According to Ray http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1108943/1/index.htm as his image rehabilitation efforts had propelled him back into the favor of fans and the league.

Do I believe that people can change? Yes. Do I believe that God loves and forgives sinners? By all means. Do I value Ray Lewis as a football legend, man of great civic charity and even faith? Yes. Do I have questions that are unanswered about the unsolved murders and Lewis’s involvement in them? Yes.

In assessing Lewis and his legacy I agree with Boomer Esiason who at the end of the interview this Sunday commended to Sterling Sharpe, the man who conducted the interview: “It’s a complex legacy that we’re talking about here…Because he was involved in a double murder.  And I’m not so sure that he gave us all the answer that we were looking for.  He knows what went on there.  And he can obviously just come out and say it.  He doesn’t want to say it.  He paid off the families.  I get all that.  That’s fine.  But that doesn’t take away from who he is as a football player.  And I appreciate you going down there and asking him that direct question.  I’m not so sure I buy the answer.”

However, for me the questions are even deeper than Lewis’s individual guilt, innocence and involvement in the murders. That is a big issue of its own but I see a bigger issue and that deals with Christians who are willing to bury the murders because Lewis has found God, been successful on the field and done many wonderful things for his community and the disenfranchised in it.

The problem that I see is not new. It is a problem that has been the bane of American Evangelical Christianity for at least a generation. That problem is the “Prosperity Gospel” which puts a premium on earthly success as a measure of the blessing of God on an individual, business, church or organization. In fact, that message basically has been used and abused by a multitude of preachers who have committed crimes against God and man, adultery, murder, greed, avarice, lies. You name it a prosperity preacher has done it and found a way to excuse their sin based on God’s “blessing” of their ministry and earthly success.

The sad thing it is not just preachers, nor is it limited to the “prosperity” crowd. The banal covering up of crimes in order to protect legacies of preachers, churches or popular “Christian leaders” is epidemic in the life of American churches. The incidents are so many that they have become numbing. One only has to look across the denominational spectrum to see the terrible effects ranging from the Roman Catholic sexual abuse scandals to unseemly behaviors by church leaders in other denominations to see the rot that has been covered with a veneer of righteousness and deception which cloaks their misdeeds under the vail of temporal power, opulence, political influence and material success.

In his interview Lewis made the comment that “if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for his glory.” Actually Lewis is wrong on this. According to scripture God used many unseemly men for his glory, but the key for those that are honored in scripture is that they acknowledged their sins and sought forgiveness.

I think that the most notable of these was King David, a man who killed the husband of a woman that he was conducting an adulterous affair to cover up her pregnancy. David tried to cover it up but was uncovered by the a prophet named Nathan. David repented and Psalm 51 documents that repentance. However endured an awful price from his sin. The baby died and his son led a rebellion against him. He was forbidden from building the Temple, despite scripture’s proclamation that David was “a man after God’s own heart.”

My issue with what has gone on with Ray Lewis is the fact that the records for his court settlements and pleas are sealed as are the records of his out of court cash settlement with the family of one of the dead men. The truth is known by Lewis and is being covered up by him even while he proclaims his own victimhood, in the 2006 Sports Illustrated article that being booed and criticized was like being “crucified.”

But that is par for the course in modern American Christianity. If Ray Lewis’s actions  were an anomaly it might be more remarkable, but they have become all too common, even the now disgraced former Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles Roger Mahoney is spinning his cover ups of the sexual abuse scandals and claiming victimhood for himself following his suspension from public ministry. No wonder people are fleeing the Church in droves and that the fastest growing segment of the religious belief are “the nones” or those with no religious preference.

The involvement in and cover up of what happened do not take away from Ray Lewis’s remarkable on field accomplishments. He is one of the most gifted and accomplished football players who ever played the game. However, when it is all said and done is that all life is about and is that all that Lewis or any of us want as our legacy?

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under christian life, faith, football, News and current events, Religion

Padre Steve’s Thoughts on Super Bowl XLVII

watch-2013-super-bowl-online

Well the NFL Season is now over and the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 34-31. It was a very competitive game with many twists and surprises.

I have always been a 49ers fan, well before the days of Joe Montana. I have nothing against the Ravens and had they been playing almost anyone in the NFC I would have been cheering them on.

I like both of the Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim. I love their competitive spirit and the way that they have brought their teams to such a level of excellence. I like the way that both adjusted during the season, with John replacing his offensive coordinator and Jim replacing his starting quarterback. I think both were proved right.

On the purely football side of the equation I was disappointed in the result of the game. I felt, and still feel that the 49ers are the better team and will be a factor longer in the NFL than the current rendition of the Ravens.  That being said the Raven’s deserved to win, they made the plays that needed to be made, Joe Flacco was outstanding and the 49ers underperformed. Now I expect that within the next couple of years that the 49ers will win the Super Bowl and Jim Harbaugh, his team and their young quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be vindicated with a Super Bowl ring.

0120S5_Flacco_50p1

But Sunday was a day for the Ravens. Joe Flacco was simply amazing and continued a remarkable playoff run without an interception while facing three of the best defenses in the NFL during the post season. He ran his offense well and they responded. He made the big plays when he needed to and The Raven’s defense also found ways to hold, sometimes with what I thought was help from the officials in their non-calls in critical situations. That aside, Flacco was amazing.

Likewise the 49ers had plenty of chances to win the game, despite the officiating and have only themselves to blame for the loss. They had several chances to score touchdowns, tow of which ended in field goals and one which died with under two minutes left in the game. The Ravens made better adjustments to the 49ers offense than the 49ers did to the Ravens.

Had any of another plays gone differently the 49ers might be a six time Super Bowl Champion today. But that did not happen and the Ravens are the Super Bowl Champions. Joe Flacco deserved the MVP award. The game was competitive and the final score was in the balance until the very end of the game. Since so many Super Bowls have ended up in blowouts this was a good thing. I may not have liked the final score but it was a good game.

However at the beginning of the third quarter it didn’t look like it. The Ravens took 21-6 lead into the half after the 49ers secondary blew coverage on a Flacco pass to Jacoby Jones and Jones made the 49ers secondary look bad. The Ravens then took 28-6 lead on a 108 yard kickoff runback by Jones to open the 3rd quarter. I looked at my friend John at Gordon Biersch and said, “the game is over.”

Then the lights went out and after a 34 minute delay it seemed that the 49ers were a different team. They dominated the second half and had a chance to win the game with 2 minutes left, but couldn’t pull it off despite having a first and goal and the Ravens won.

A few thoughts on the game, some personalities and the festivities.

NFL: Super Bowl XLVII-CBS Sports Press Conference

The CBS Broadcasting Team: Not good, wish that Fox Sports had the deal. Much better announcing and commentary. To me it felt like the CBS crew was the home team play by play group for the Ravens. They ignored blatant bad calls and gave the officials the benefit of the doubt even when it was obvious that calls were bad, even when Jim Harbaugh challenged a Ravens first down which was obviously short, and won. I was disappointed in the coverage and expected far better.

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers

Opening Ceremony: The Rendition of America the Beautiful by the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and Jennifer Hudson followed by the National Anthem by Alicia Keyes brought tears to my eyes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZt749TIW-4

destinys-child-super-bowl

Halftime Show: Better than the typical Super Bowl halftime show but something that I would not tune in to watch as a stand alone event. Beyonce Knowles has very athletic and attractive thighs which were worth the look and did not to be lip synced to.

images-19

The Lights Go Out: When the lights went out I wondered what was going on. I wondered about a terrorist attack for a moment but figured that it was probably the spirits of people that died in the Super Dome during Katrina trying to get attention. That makes more sense than the power going out 10 minutes after the halftime show.

Commercials:

bar-refaeli-super-bowl-commercial-go-daddy-makeout

The most memorable one was the one that made my stomach churn. That was the Godaddy.com commercial called The Perfect Match http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-1oixpSShs.

12201933-large

The Budweiser Clydesdales commercial called Brotherhood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs was excellent as were the M&Ms Love Ballad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs 

Naya-Rivera

 

the Gildan Getaway http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMcMgPGpspY . 

gildan02-401x348

Doritos Goat 4 Sale http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d8ZDSyFS2g

timthumb-1.php

and Wonderful Pistachios Crackin’ Style http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE6iiiDdTNY 

raylewisSI

Ray Lewis: I have tired of the show of Lewis hiding behind the Bible and God while two men lie dead following a murder in which he was involved. I admire him as one of the greatest Linebackers to ever play the game and on-field leaders. Since the NFL  elects players to the Hall of Fame purely on their on-field performance I am sure in a few years there will be a tearful induction ceremony for Lewis.  But between the murders, for which Lewis took a plea deal in exchange for testimony against his companions, who were acquitted as well as allegations of PEDs which have sunk the careers and reputations of Major League Baseball players are answered I cannot join in the tears of joy shed for Lewis at winning the Super Bowl in his last game. I am just glad that he won’t play again. Yes God loves, God forgives and God redeems, but there is the little thing called murder and God’s justice. To hear my Christian friends fawn on Lewis and excuse him from any responsibility in the murders that he was connected to while condemning women who have had an abortion is abhorrent.

nfl_a_harbaughs_gb2_600

John and Jim Harbaugh: Possibly the best pair of NFL coaches ever. They both could end up winning multiple Super Bowls and both be in the Hall of Fame. Having them compete against each other and seeing the fire with which both teams played the game was an experience in energy, emotion and exceptional coaching talent that should make the NFL better for at least the next decade.

The Future of the NFL: As any reader of this site knows I am a no-holds barred Baseball fan for whom that sport is a religious experience. Football to me is just a game, even when my favorite team is playing. That being said, the NFL has managed to package its product better than any sport. Even with the latest controversies regarding PEDs and concussive head injuries and the crippling effects of them and other injuries on former players I believe, unlike some that the NFL is in no danger of going away anytime soon. Americans enjoy the NFL and comparisons of the NFL to the demise of Professional Boxing as one of America’s favorite sports are ill founded at best.

A Final Thought about the Game: I didn’t like John Harbaugh running the safety to run down the clock at the end of the game. The reason is that that kind of play is simply another means of running out the clock and ensuring that the opponent doesn’t get a last chance to win. Call me old fashioned but I find this particular facet of football quite unmanly. The late Earl Weaver put it well: “You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.”

Just saying.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under football, News and current events, sports and life

Brady and Patriots Dominate Texans 41-28

2013-01-13T220417Z_1947265235_GM1E91E0GTT01_RTRMADP_3_NFL-PLAYOFFS-PATRIOTS

Tom Brady leads his New England Patriots to a 41-28 in the AFC Divisional Playoff (Photo: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Tom Brady secured his 17th career playoff win as the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional playoff. Methodical and unrelenting the Patriots played a nearly perfect game with Brady completing 25 of 40 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals last week could not stop the Patriots offense and though Quarterback Matt Schaub was nearly as good as Brady completing 34 of 51 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns, but giving up a critical interception. The interception by Linebacker Rob Ninkovitch stopped a Houston drive and resulted in a New England Touchdown.

The Texans who were demolished by New England last year held the game close in the first half, coming back from a 17-3 deficit to end the half behind just 17-13. However in the second half the Patriots took control and despite the loss of Tight End Rob Gronkowski to an injury early Brady was able to make use of his favorite receiver, Wes Welker for 130 yards and third string Running Back Shane Vereen for two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

The Texans trailing 38-13 at the beginning of the 4th quarter did attempt a comeback and scored two touchdowns but the effort was too little too late.

The Patriots will host the resurgent Baltimore Ravens next week. The Ravens coming off their upset win against the Broncos in Denver will face a rematch against an old foe. The AFC championship game has the distinct possibility of becoming a classic.

Peace

Padre Steve+

2 Comments

Filed under football

Falcons Win the Battle of the Birds: Defeat Seahawks 30-28

2013-01-13T213248Z_472405247_TB3E91D1NUH5A_RTRMADP_3_NFL-PLAYOFFS-FALCONS

Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant kicks the winning field goal to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL NFC Divisional playoff. (Photo: REUTERS/Chris Keane)

It has been a long time coming and it looked for a moment that it wouldn’t happen yet again. The Atlanta Falcons finally broke their playoff drought and defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 30-28 to advance to the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

It looked early on that the Falcons would run away with the game. Ahead 20-0 at the half and taking a 27-7 lead into the 4th quarter it seemed that they could do little wrong. But the Seahawks, an explosive offense with rookie Quarterback Russell Wilson at the helm stormed back and went ahead with just 31 seconds left on the clock. The Seahawks led by Wilson who set a team record 385 passing yards passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for another.

The Atlanta 4th quarter meltdown was of epic proportions. It seemed the the Seahawks who appeared to be on the verge of certain defeat were on their way to the biggest 4th quarter comeback in NFL history. Fox Sports commentator Brian Billick seemed to think so even after the game that they had won stating: “This win legitimizes the Seattle Seahawks as the #1 seed and the team to beat.” It was a great quote and misstatement as Billick obviously meant the Falcons who are the number one seed in the NFC but who was outspoken in his belief that Seattle would win the game. One thing is sure is that Pete Carroll and Seattle will be undefeated next week especially since they will be watching the 49ers and Falcons play. It is hard to lose when you don’t play. Come to think of it it is hard to win as well, but I digress.

The only problem was that Seattle hadn’t won. Somehow the Falcons managed to come back. Jacquizz Rodgers returned the kickoff 34 yards and then Matt Ryan struck. Hit hit Harry Douglas for 29 yards and completed a 19 yard pass to Tony Gonzalez. Calling their final timeout the Falcons set up for a 49 yard field goal by Matt Bryant. Just before the snap Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called timeout to freeze Bryant. It was a critical call. Bryant’s kick went wide and would have given the Seahawks the win. However on the second attempt his kick went straight through the uprights to put the Falcons up 30-28 with 8 seconds left in the game. Despite an onside kick by the Falcons that gave the Seahawks great field position Wilson could not rally rally Seattle his last pass, a Hail Mary being intercepted with no time left on the clock.

For the Falcons it was a vindication and for their fans a relief. Over the past 5 years they have won more games in the regular season than any time other that the New England Patriots. Until today they had never won a playoff game and Ryan was 0-3 in previous playoff appearances.

The Falcons now move on to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game next week.

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under football

Run Away By the Bay: 49ers Thrash Packers 45-31 in NFC Division Matchup

201301122149785506865-p2

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs for a 56-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC divisional playoff NFL football game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The San Francisco 49ers ran all over the Green Bay Packers in the first NFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday night. Second year Quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 45-31 win over the Packers, going through the Packer defense like a knife through hot Brie. The 49ers offense pounded the Packers defense gaining 579 yards against a defense that had only allowed 324 against the Vikings a week ago and forced 3 turnovers.

Kaepernick passed for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Michael Crabtree was Kaepernick’s primary target catching 9 passes for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and an addition two touchdowns. Running Back Frank Gore ran for 119 yards and a touchdown. Kaepernick recovered from a pick six interception during the 49ers first possession on his way to a record setting playoff performance.

The 49ers led at the half by a core of 24-21 and never looked back dominating the second half. Although the Packers and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had decent offensive numbers they never really got completely in sync while the Packers defense was no match for Kaepernick and the 49ers machine. The 49ers also capitalized on Packers turnovers including a fumble on a punt near the Green Bay goal line.

The win demonstrated why 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh stayed with Kaepernick even after starter Alex Smith recovered from an injury sustained in week nine. Kaepernick’s passing was deadly and his running ability was impossible for the Packers to counter.

San Francisco will now advance to play the winner of the Seahawks and Falcons game on Sunday.  It will be the first back to back appearance in the NFC Championship for the 49ers since 1993-1994. Should the 49ers and the Ravens both win next weekend it would set up the first matchup between brothers serving as head coaches of Super Bowl teams.

Well until tomorrow.

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under football

Mile High Sudden Death Shootout: Underdog Ravens Upset Broncos 38-35 to Go to AFC Championship Game

Divisional Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos

Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens throws a 32-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game. He also had touchdown throws of 59 and 70 yards the last to Jacoby Jones (below) with 31 seconds left in regulation. (Photo: Doug Pensinger , Getty Images)

It took 76 minutes and 42 seconds in in freezing weather conditions. The game went into the second overtime period, but Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis led the elderly Baltimore Ravens to an upset win in Denver Saturday evening in the 1st AFC Divisional playoff game. The 13-3 Broncos led by future Hall of Fame Quarterback and his high octane offense as well as one of the best defensive units in the league were prohibitive favorites having won their last 11 games before the playoffs.

Temperatures hovered around 10 degrees most of the game and as darkness fell snow began to fall. In the thin air and cold weather conditions it seemed that the Ravens had little chance. However the Ravens had more in them than most people or experts gave them credit.

Joe Flacco had an outstanding day throwing for 331 yards and had touchdown passes of 59, 32 and 70 yards, the last coming with only 31 seconds left in the game. The Ravens cut through the Broncos defense for 479 net offensive yards.  The Ravens defense gave up almost 400 yards against the Bronco offense but held when they needed and provided the first Ravens score when Corey Graham intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and ran it back for a touchdown.

The Broncos appeared to dominate most of the game holding an edge in time of possession and number of plays going into overtime. However, every time they went ahead the plucky Ravens found a way to come back.

Manning was 28-43 for 290 yards with 3 touchdowns, but also had two interceptions, including the pick six by Graham. The Broncos defense which gave up an average 290.8 yards a game in the season bas battered by a relentless Ravens running game and gave up the deep ball for touchdowns too many times and gave up almost 14 points more than their average of 18.1 during the regular season. The Broncos scoring was helped by Trindon Holloway who returned a punt for 90 yards and a kick off 104 yards for touchdowns.

2013-01-13T024809Z_1_CBRE90C07SK00_RTROPTP_2_NFL-PLAYOFFS

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (L) catches a pass behind Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore and then scores a touchdown with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter in their NFL AFC Divisional playoff football game in Denver, Colorado January 12, 2013. (REUTERS Photo Rick Wilking)

The game went to overtime in a late game offensive flurry. Manning threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas with 1:09 remaining. Not to be deterred Flacco threw a 70 yard bomb to an open Jacoby Jones to tie the game 35-35 with 31 seconds left in the game. Flacco’s throw to Jones, which some are now calling the “Flacco Fling” ranks up with Roger Staubach’s “Hail Mary” in the 1975 NFC Championship, the “Immaculate Reception” thrown by Terry Bradshaw against the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 AFC Title Game and “the Catch” thrown by Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship between the 49ers and the Cowboys.

After a scoreless first overtime period the Broncos appeared to be driving again. However Manning was intercepted again by Graham. The Ravens were able to move the ball into field goal range and Justin Tucker kicked a 47 yard field goal to give the Ravens the victory.

The game was one of the longest playoff games in NFL history and was a devastating defeat for the favored number one seeded Broncos who were Super Bowl favorites. Manning and the Broncos will now go home while the Ravens will go on to play the winner of the Patriots and Texans game.

2013-01-13T024809Z_1_CBRE90C07SH00_RTROPTP_2_NFL-PLAYOFFS

Future Hall of Famers Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (R) speaks with Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis after the Ravens defeated the Broncos in their NFL AFC Divisional playoff football game in Denver, Colorado January 12, 2013. (REUTERS Photo, Jeff Haynes)

For the Ravens it was an emotional win in what is not an ordinary post-season. A 9 1/2 point underdog going into the game they played with pride and determination. With the oldest roster in the NFL it is doubtful how many players will return for another year. Future Hall of Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis has already announced his retirement and for many of these players this season could well be their last chance at NFL Super Bowl glory.

Despite the loss I expect that the relatively young and healthy Broncos will be back next year as Peyton Manning has demonstrated his ability to recover from what many thought would be career ending neck surgery. Expect John Elway to strengthen the Broncos roster and again dominate the otherwise weak AFC West.

After the dismal games of the Wild Card weekend it was good to see an exciting and competitive game. We’ll see how the rest of the weekend goes, but this game marked a good start to the rest of the NFL post-season.

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under football

Overmatched and Overwhelmed: Notre Dame Crushed by Alabama in BCS Championship 42-14

20130107_jla_sx1_189-c41d5cccff988e81aefb0ff2dd8521fa

Alabama Quarterback A.J. McCarron throws in the 1st Quarter of their BCS Championship Win (Photo By John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

“There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.“ Woody Hayes

It wasn’t much of a game and it looks like if the late Woody Hayes is right that there is an awful lot of soul cleansing going on in South Bend tonight. For the second straight year the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama crushed its opponent in the BCS Championship Game. This year the victim was the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. It was the third BCS Championship for the Crimson Tide in four years.

The fact that Notre Dame was in the Championship game surprised many people, including the “experts.” Ranked 22 in the nation in the final pre-season poll the Irish climbed the rankings and were aided to their number one ranking by Texas A&M who upset the Tide in Alabama.

Notre Dame went into the game ranked number one in the nation and no opponent had scored more that 26 points against them and gave up an average of 288 yards while allowing 9 touchdowns the entire season. The Tide had four offensive drives of over 80 yards tearing through the Irish defense like knife through a Shepherd’s Pie while their defense was nearly as tight as a cask of Irish Whiskey until the final quarter.

While Fighting Irish faithful were fired up the Crimson tide was favored by 9 or more points depending on the line. Alabama more than covered the points tonight making the Irish look bad in the process.

20130107_rvr_usa_070-e632177f4eec33ef667d2ded878611ac

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly on the Sidelines (USA Today Photo Eileen Blass)

It is too bad that there could not have been a re-match between A&M and Alabama. Despite their lower ranking in the polls I think that they were possibly the best match up against Alabama.

So the college football season is over. One more hurdle cleared until baseball can return.

Peace

Padre Steve+

3 Comments

Filed under football, News and current events

Craving a Hamburger: Pulp Fiction and a Less than Inglourious Wild Card Weekend

552990_10150978117182059_671902058_12031616_3934404_n

Vincent: All right, well you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don’t mean just like in no paper cup, I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy beer at MacDonald’s. You know what they call a…a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: They got the metric system, they wouldn’t know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What’d they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with Cheese.
Jules: [repeating] Royale with Cheese. What’d they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
Jules: Le Big Mac. What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn’t go into a Burger King. But you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
Jules: What?
Vincent: Mayonnaise.

I don’t know about you but there are times when I am susceptible to cravings for certain kinds of food or drink.  Sometimes it is the smell, sometimes a visual clue and often it doesn’t matter if I am hungry or thirsty when a craving begins. It so happens that this craving coincided with the NLF first round playoff weekend, commonly referred to as the Wild Card Weekend.

Vikings Packers Football.JPEG-0e13d

After returning from a poker game with my buddies from the local bar that I eat at I returned home to dinner with my little dog Molly and the Wild Card games.  Well, compared to past seasons where the Wild Card games were wild and exciting, this weekend was not the best NFL playoff football that I have ever seen. The games were not that exciting. In fact the game between the Packers and Vikings was so boring that I fell asleep watching it. I woke up at the end of the 3rd quarter and seeing the score decided to put a movie on my DVD player.

I decided on the Quentin Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction. This is one of my favorite films and I always find it quite entertaining. In the early part of the movie the characters played by Samuel L Jackson (Jules Winnfield) and John Travolta (Vincent Vega) bust in on some guys who ripped off their boss Marcellus Wallace.

374515-bigkahuna_super

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIvUGUzR9N0

During the interaction Jules notices that the men are eating breakfast and this is where the craving part comes in. The young men are having hamburgers. I love hamburgers. In my continuing effort to eat right I don’t have them often but once in a while I want a hamburger. A good hamburger.

Jules: Looks like me and Vincent caught you boys at breakfast, sorry ’bout that. What’cha havin’?

Brett: Hamburgers.

Jules: Hamburgers. The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.

[Jules grabs Brett's burger and take a bite of it.]

Jules: Uuummmm, this is a tasty burger. Vincent, you ever try a Big Kahuna Burger?

Vincent: No.

Jules: Wanna bite, they’re real tasty.

Vincent: I ain’t hungry.

Jules: Well, if you like burgers give ‘em a try sometime. Me, I can’t usually get ‘em myself because my girlfriend’s a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mmm. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?

Brett: No.

Jules: Tell ‘em, Vincent.

Vincent: Royale with cheese.

Jules: Royale with cheese! You know why they call it that?

Brett: Because of the metric system?

Jules: Check out the big brain on Brett! You’re a smart motherfucker. That’s right. The metric system. What’s in this? [pointing to the cup of drink in front of Brett]

Brett: Sprite.

Jules: Sprite, good. You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?

Brett: Go right ahead.

[takes a long sip of the drink]

Jules: Aaah, that hit the spot. 

When I saw the hamburger on Brett’s plate and Jules taking a bite of it I got a craving. A wanted a hamburger and I wanted one now. However, it was late and the only place to get one at that hour was the McDonalds Drive through about 5 miles away. I resisted the craving, at least for the moment and got through the night without one.

We fast forward to today. Another day of not so great football. So after the first game between the Colts and Ravens I went to my hang out here on the island, Rucker Johns for a burger and a couple of beers while watching the next game between the Redskins and the Seahawks.

The game didn’t hit the spot but the burger and the beer did. Hopefully the games next week will be more exciting and competitive. But come Sunday I just may have another beer or two and another burger over at Rucker Johns. Until then it will be back to my salads coupled with decent physical fitness activity.

7

However, the comments in the film about the McDonalds “Royale” brought back memories. It is not just in France that the McDonalds burger known in this country as the Quarter Pounder is known as the Royale. It is also known as that in Germany, where I first encountered it in 1984. Yes it is known as the Royal in Germany because there too, like France they use the Metric system. Despite that the Hamburger Royal is a treat when the delicacies of Europe grow old and one desires something from America. The cool thing is that in Germany you can get a beer with your Hamburger Royal Value Meal. Were we so forward thinking in the country, but as the French say c’est la vie.

tumblr_ln24glOgwa1qbq46co1_500

Speaking of Germany tonight I am watching another Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. Until tomorrow “Oooh, that’s a bingo!”

Peace

Padre Steve+

4 Comments

Filed under beer, film, football, movies