Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, greasy Sunday

Over the course of about 11 hours yesterday, I saw all or parts of twelve football games, thanks to NFL Sunday Ticket. This was my first time partaking in the awesome power of television, and I was disappointed. Before I'd had time to adjust my eyes to the unholy glow of the screen, pretty much everyone was off to a two or three-touchdown lead. With the exception of the Steelers-Vikings, Bills-Panthers and Cowboys-Falcons, all of the 11 games on in the afternoon were routs at one point or another. There were seven games on at 1 pm yesterday, but they were all blowouts except for the Steelers-Vikings, until the 49ers made a game of it in Houston.

I was disappointed with the results, but not so disappointed as to not watch just as compulsively next weekend. This is, after all, my just reward for watching football games last year in the most uncomfortable part of the night (Mondays, 2-5 am), on my laptop, in my choice of either Chinese or Danish.

Watching so many football games at once is an overwhelming responsibility. At one point, I just gave up and started watching the Bills-Panthers, until my brother pointed out that to do this would defeat the purpose of the all-games service. Still, if nothing else, it was a instructive exercise in why they only show one or two (sometimes three) NFL games at a time: the rest are really too bad. Who, aside from Bills fans (and even this is debatable), wants to watch the Bills and Panthers play? Or, how about next week's Epic Fail Bowl, the Lions hosting the Rams? I really want someone to look it up and let me know if two worse teams (these two are 1-5 and 0-6) have ever met. It's not just that they combine for a 1-11 record, it's also that the Lions have lost 22 of their 23 games, and the Rams have lost 24 of their last 26. So, we're going to see two teams on a combined 3-46 run.

Of course, there were lots of good plays too. There was a Lamar Woodley fumble recovery and touchdown where the ball sat on the ground for a seeming eternity, and then Woodley ran downfield for what seemed like an eternity, with none of the Vikings able or willing to bring him down. On the ensuing kickoff, the Vikings returned it for a touchdown, thanks to Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, who forced the returner toward the sideline where there were no tacklers, instead of the middle of the field, where there were many tacklers. There were also Eli Manning's fantastic deep passes, which somehow always seem to find their targets in the most improbable of settings.

There was also this freakish run by Reggie Bush in the most entertaining game of the week. The Saints were down 24-3, but came back to win 46-34 over the Dolphins. Proving that the NFL is run by some of the strangest men around, possibly androids, this game came to an end when the Dolphins drove to the Saints goal line and spiked the ball with a second to go. The ensuing play was irrelevant and would have ended the game. Still, the officials conferred for a few minutes. They finally ruled that on the spike, one of the Dolphins receivers "was not in a set position". This necessitated either a 10-second run-off or the loss of a timeout. Since the Dolphins had neither, the game was over PHP exception

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