Archive for the ‘football’ Tag
Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is done.
It pains me to say that as he has been such a great player for the Eagles over the last several years. This video shows one of his best (h/t Phinally Philly).
He’s a smart player too. I’d forgotten about how he passed up a touchdown with two minutes left in a 2007 game to ensure the Dallas Cowboys, down 10-6 without any timeouts remaining, would not get the ball back.
But Westbrook has lost his burst.
This was apparent to me the last few games of the 2008 season. Remember the expression “three yards and a cloud of dust”? With Westbrook anymore it’s a yard-and-a-half and a mob of tacklers.
This one falls in the realm of what my sons refer to as “Dad’s stupid stuff”. In the ’60s (mostly) there was this NBA player — an all-star — named Adrian Smith. His nickname is Odie.
So in the playground in my mind every athlete named Adrian becomes Odie.
I alternate between finding this irritating — and amusing.
The most prominent case currently is Adrian Peterson. I should say two cases because, as unlikely as it may seem, there are two Adrian — uh, Odie — Petersons in the NFL:
- Odie Peterson #1 is a star running back on the Minnesota Vikings
- The other Odie Peterson plays for the Chicago Bears and is also a running back.
While I was recently reading the excellent book Looking Back 75 Years of Eagles History: Special Edition by Eli Kowalski, which I received as a birthday gift from Mrs. QC, I was reminded that my favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, once had a quarterback — back in the ’50s before I was born — named Adrian Burk. He shares the league record for most touchdown passes in a regular season game, 7, with four other quarterbacks. I’ve rewritten his tombstone, so to speak, to read “Odie Burk.”
“On any given Sunday …” the promotion arm of the National Football League used to trumpet. Pro football has become so popular the NFL put away the trumpet — heck, they probably sold it. Sure — on any given Sunday — or Monday or Thursday — a favorite can fall to a heavy underdog. Indeed, many weeks there are one or more significant upsets.
In recent years, though, there is less and less parity between NFL teams. Recall New England’s undefeated regular season in 2007 and Detroit’s winless season last year — both firsts for the league since the 16-game schedule started in 1978.
Well, the trend toward less parity is accelerating, alarmingly so, this season.
Exhibit A is this past Sunday when there were six — count ’em, six — games with winning margins of four or more touchdowns!
- New England (5-2) 35, Tampa Bay (0-7) 7
- Green Bay (4-2) 31, Cleveland (1-6) 3
- San Diego (3-3) 37, Kansas City (1-6) 7
- Indianapolis (6-0) 42, St. Louis (0-7) 6
- NY Jets (4-3) 38, Oakland (2-5) 0
- Cincinnati (5-2) 45, Chicago (3-3) 10
Ouch — times six! A rout, a smearing, a burial, a rollover, a demolition, and a drubbing! These scores resemble early season college football — when top-ranked teams host cupcake opponents, yielding pay days for the visitors sufficient to fund their athletic programs for entire seasons.
I’d say now on any given NFL Sunday — or Monday or Thursday — there is a pretty good chance your crappy team will get blown out by my playoff-contending team.
It’s fun when watching a football game to see a quick, dramatic change in momentum, especially when a team’s offense immediately capitalizes on a momentum change initiated by its defense (or vice-versa). Throw in a record-breaking or record-equaling play and it’s a sequence worth a post here.
Last night I watched on TV as the Minnesota Vikings defense made a goal-line stand to prevent the visiting Chicago Bears from expanding a four-point second quarter lead to 11 points. The Vikings offense then took the field with the ball on their own 1-yard line, and on the next play, 99 37-year old Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte (#12) hooked up with wide receiver Bernard Berrian (#87) on a 99-yard bomb.
99 yards! Successful plays from scrimmage don’t get any longer than that — because they can’t. The touchdown gave the Vikings the lead for the first time in the game, 10–7, and they would not relinquish it, winning 34–14.
Unless kickball counts, soccer was the only sport I was ever any good at it. Translation: I was not much for catching, throwing, or manipulating objects with clubs, rackets, bats, and the like.
In my soccer career, though, I routinely scored goals like this one by Lebanese player Roda Antar. And if you believe that one, I’ve got a well established, high traffic blog I’d like to sell you. (Stay tuned after the team’s initial celebration of the goal to see replays from additional angles; the entire video is less than a minute long.)