Sunday, January 20, 2008

Championship Sunday, Part 1

The start of Championship Sunday, aka The Greatest Sports Day of the Year.

First up, Pats v Bolts, and I'm where I've been every week (save the second Dolphins game): sick to my stomach.

So, okay.

Update: 0-0, first quarter. So far:

1. The high winds have eliminated any downfield passing.
2. The San Diego defense is controlling the line; I think the Pats have run for negative yardage thus far.
4. Tom Brady has more incompletions (three) than all of last week.
5. Phil Simms, a usually smart guy, is first out of the gate with the idiocy of the day: "All week long, the San Diego Chargers have been told they don't have a chance . . ." Oh? By whom? No, really, who said such a thing?

Brady interception. A weird silence settles over Gillette.

Third and goal . . . Rivers' pass . . . caught out of bounds. 3-0 Bolts.

Call it a moral victory for the Pats.

The point of the Ford Liberty commercial seems to be this: buy a Ford SUV, and a horde of woodland animals will enter through the sky roof to sing Neil Diamond songs. Works for me.

That McDonald's commercial, the one starring the spoiled little brat who teaches his family to release their inner black . . .

Moss on a reverse. 14 yards, looking like Kareem leading a Showtime fast break.

Two good passes to Faulk, and the end of the first. Now, on behalf of the Patriots, the timber wolf will sing Bob Segers' "Against the Wind."

Update: Three plays, Maroney touchdown.

Bolts' ball . . . completion to Vincent Jackson, who only gets one foot in. Didn't anyone see this? Won't anyone say anything?

First and goal at the nine: Turner for a yard.
Second and goal: Rivers flushed out, throws to Gates, knocked down by Bru (Bruuuu!, or as the University of Arizona-hating Desert Rose refers to this former Wildcat, Fat Teddy Bruschi.)
Time out.
Third and goal: complete in the flat to Chambers, who is undercut by Harrison seven yards from the end zone.
Kaeding field goal. 7-6 Pats.

Third-and-short, pass to Moss batted down. Hanson punt, downed inside the five.

Third-and-short, Rivers complete to Sproles.

With Mike Vrabel wrapped around his ankle like a terrier, Rivers throws an off-balance flutter that Asante Samuel simply snatches from Chris Chambers' grasp. Two plays later, Brady TD to Gaffney. 14-6.

Three minutes to go, Rivers throws an interception to Ellis Hobbs as if playing catch with his brother in the backyard.

Two-minute warning.

Third-and-two. Brady over-muscles a ball to an open Welker. Punt.

Sproles runs for 25 yards, ball comes out. Ruled down. Review.

Verdict: not even close to a fumble. The upshot is a free timeout for San Diego. (Would it have been possible for New England to decline the review? A green hanky, perhaps?)

13 seconds to go. Rivers overthrows; Kaeding out for the field goal attempt. Time out, Patriots.

Jim Nantz: "Belichick's trying to ice the kicker."
Astro-Girl: "Ice him? Belichick's gonna throw ice on him?"
Me: "No."
Astro-Girl: "Well, I wouldn't put it past him."

Kick is just good. 14-9, Pats.

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