Sunday, January 20, 2008

Championship Sunday, Part 2

I almost never watch halftime, but I'm glad (for all the wrong reasons) that I watched today.

First, as Bill Simmons had harped on over and over, with any studio analyst past the fourth, the laws of diminishing returns starts to kick in. The situation has gotten so bad that on certain shows (most conscpicuously, "Football Night in America") that analysts are now breaking off in smaller bunches, like freshman comp students doing group work in preparation for a class presentation.

Second, what the use of more analysts if all that happens is the stupidity is multiplied? The consensus at the CBS table (Cowher, Sharpe, and Marino) was that Rivers either had to sit now or had to sit the next time he made a mistake. Boomer, who almost fell out of his chair, could only come up with: Umm, what?

The third was Dan Marino's cell phone, which erupted not once but three times. My own theory is that, after the first time, one or two other persons who know his number started calling, to see if they could get Marino yelled at--or perhaps stared down by an apoplectic producer the same way Marino used to glare at receivers who had dared drop one of his passes.

Second half:

Good return by Maroney. The theme of the last few games has been that Welker gets right what Brady-to-Moss can't accomplish.

Brady sacked, followed by . . .

Third and long . . . interception.

Rivers leads the Chargers down inside the ten. Another stop: Seau lays out Turner. Keading. 14-12, Pats.

Brady (well, Maroney) leads the Patriots smartly down the field and . . . . ugh . . . intercepted in the end zone.

Turner with the first down. Pats switch from bend-but-don't-break to pressure. Rivers, two incompletetions. Punt.

Brady to Heath Evans, first down.

End of third quarter.

Student Maroney right, student Maroney left: first and goal. TD pass to Welker.

Pats 21, Bolts 12.

San Diego, first down.

A few plays later, 3rd and 10 at the thirty--Rivers complete for the first.

Seymour and Rivers into it; Seymour gives Rivers an elbow shiver, and Rivers (clearly a graduate of the Dennis Rodman School of Acting) flails on the ground as if shot.

Fourth-and-10. Nine minutes to go, two scores down. Will the Chargers go for it? No. Punt.

Now, following a Brady sack, third-and-11. Crucial pass to Faulk, who rolls to the yellow stripe. First down.

A few plays later, Brady throw behind Faulk, who hauls it in. First down.

Almost there.

Maroney, Maroney . . . two-minute warning.

Maroney for the first down. This should do it.

Kneel, kneel . . . Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 AFC Champions.

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