- UNC at #17 Virginia Tech (12:00 ET, R/LF Sports): As with all UNC games, I’ll be live blogging this on Tar Heel Mania. UNC has to play well on defense from the beginning (so as not to play from behind), and not turn the ball over if they want any real chance in their ACC road opener.
- #6 Cal at #11 Oregon (3:30 ET, ABC): Both of these teams average over 40 points per game. It’ll be an exciting game to watch, and the winner of this game will likely be the team to challenge USC for the Pac-10 title.
- #13 Clemson at Georgia Tech (3:30 ET, ABC): Georgia Tech has two tough conference losses facing the undefeated Tigers. But this is exactly the kind of situation where Tommy Bowden teams begin to lose winnable games.
- #22 Alabama at Florida State (5:00 ET, CBS): Wow that was fast. Deity Nick Saban loses one overtime game, and already the Bammer faithful want him fired.
- #1 USC at Washington (8:00 ET, ABC): Both of USC’s losses last year were on the road against Pac-10 opponents. But unless freshman QB Jake Locker has the game of his life, Washington has little chance.
- Auburn at #4 Florida (8:00 ET, ESPN): Florida is likely looking for revenge after Auburn handed them their only loss of 2006 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. With Auburn’s offense struggling, the Gators will likely blowout the Tigers.
Archive for the ‘football’ Category
Posted by Mike on September 29, 2007
Posted by Mike on September 12, 2007
By now, you have probably seen the infamous Kansas State pregame video. (In case you haven’t, take a gander below).
But do you know the story behind it? The background of this video, as well as its star, Willie Wildcat, is far more diabolical than you can possibly imagine.
Once upon a time in Manhattan, Kansas, a Kansas State Delta Kappa Epsilon member and chemistry major named William got a little too buzzed at a party one night. He had spent all night trying to seduce some Chi Omega girls, but with absolutely no success. He had no clue what he was doing wrong. “I’m a smart guy, I’m pretty handsome, and I’ve managed a decent social life,” William thought to himself and his growing frustration. “What’s my problem?” In reality, he had anxiety towards women. His mother did not always treat him the best, and his sisters teased him mrecilessly, without remorse. Those chilhood memories re-entered the young man’s mind whenever a girl so much as spoke in his direction. William knew exactly what was wrong. He was simply powerless to stop it.
William then stumbled upon his solution in the form of a feline. One of the brothers kept his mother’s cat in the house on occasion, and that night he escaped into the party in the living room. No sooner sooner did he put a paw on the giant couch than every girl at the party flocked to his side. It didn;t take long for even a very sloshed William to notice what was going on. As his drunken stupor began to open the floodgates of his mind, he had his epiphany. “Wait a minute…cats are the coolest animals on earth. They don’t give a crap about what you think, and the ladies can’t get enough of them for that. So how do I truly think like a cat?” he though to himself. “Of course! I need the mind of a cat!”
And so his mission was clear: delve into the higher elevations of western Kansas, catch a wild cougar, head back to his research laboratory in Manhattan, obtain genetic code from the cougar, think like a cat, and score until the end of time. The theory itself was simple enough. Now he needed to act.
In his inebriated state William managed to drive in his truck for 100 miles out of the little college town. How he managed not to crash is a miracle; fortunately for him, almost no one is on the road at 3 am in Kansas backcountry. He found a perfect place to stop, 30 miles east of the Colorado border, where there had been reported many a cougar sighting. His chemistry knowledge at hand, he had created a tranquilizer potent enough to sedate an entire state’s worth of house pets. One cougar would be almost too easy. After 90 minutes William spotted two mountain lions on the prowl. He only needed one shot.
The cougar sedated, he dragged the huge cat into the back of his truck and began driving back to Manhattan. He arrived to his campus laboratory at the crack of dawn, before anyone was around to ask him what he was doing. And then the real work began. The extraction, the separation, and the splicing tested his alcohol-deprived patience, but after 12 hours the got what he needed. William brought the big cat back into his truck, still sedated and once again in the guise of night, and drove off to bring him back to his natural habitat. However, he had one more trick up his sleeve. He decided to drive into Lawrence, and allow the cougar to wake up and wreak havoc on his rival school. It would prove to be his last act as the William we once knew.
Upon returning to his lab his DNA sample was ready. He then proceeded to inject the genetic code into his encephalic membrane, the process of which is so dangerous and complex that I am not allowed to repeat it. Al that William could do now was wait, so he headed to his fraternity house for the night. It would be the worst night of his life.
The transformation began in his room, at about 1:30 am. His head was throbbing. All blood was rushing away from his limbs. his eyes felt like they were about to pop out of their sockets. The indescribable pain drove him to run into walls, hump treadmills, and turn the upstairs TV into his right shoe. It eventually became too much to bear, his body began to shut down, and he passed out on his bedroom floor.
No one knows what happened to him in the following 72 hours. Willie’s new form, however, would be one for all to fear.
Stay tuned for the Legend of Willie Wildcat: Part Two.
Posted by Mike on September 6, 2007
The NFL season is finally back, and tonight it starts with the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts will try to defend their NFL Championship in 2007, but they’re missing a lot of key players on defense (Nick Harper, Cato June, Corey Simon, Anthony McFarland). As the playoffs proved, however, is that their key to their defense is safety Bob Sanders. Will he be able to keep his defense, and in turn, the Colts afloat this season?
Meanwhile, the Saints had a magical year in 2006, reaching the NFC Championship for the first time in franchise history behind the conference’s best offense. This year they need to prove that they can maintain that level of success.
It should be a lot of fun tonight…except for the NBC coverage. And Roger Goodell.
8:38 pm: Ahhh, nothing says “NFL” quite like forced humor between Peyton Manning and the star running back of the moment.
8:39 pm: AND THE NFL SEASON IS UNDERWAY! kickoff, and the Colts get the ball to start the game.
8:40 pm: One play into the season, and we already have a decleater. Just as he takes in the pass from Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai is just run over by Saints corner Mike McKenzie. He stays on the ground for a few minutes, but he’s gotten up and it looks like he’ll be okay. The Colts cannot afford to lose him.
8:44 pm: Indy is forced into a three and out as Peyton’s pas on third and 8 is just out of Marvin Harrison’s reach.
Left tackle Tony Ugoh is going to have a very busy night.
8:46 pm: The Saints convert on their third down, as Drew Brees find an open Marques Colston in the middle. Looks like the linebackers weren’t staying at home.
8:48 pm: Reggie Bush SO had a first down on that screen play, but he was dancing a little too much.
8:49 pm: Bush gets the ball again on the end-around. This time he gets the first and more.
8:51 pm: Wow. New Orleans is 3/3 so far on third down. This doesn’t bode well for the Colts defense, who could get tired early in this game. Some very good playcalling by the Saints to start this game.
8:53 pm: The Saints run a HB delay on third and long, and it backfires. Bush is tackled in the backfield for a loss, which puts them back to the 35 yard line, setting up a very long field goal. Olindo mare’s kick is long, but it’s wide left. The game is still scoreless. After 9 or 10 good calls for the Saints offense, it only took one bad call to ruin their scoring chances.
8:57 pm: The Colts begin with very good field position. They finally get a first down on a pass in the flat to Dallas Clark, and suddenly Indy is close to scoring position.
8:59 pm, (2:53 left in the first quarter): Marvin Harrison makes a nice catch to bring up 3rd and 1, adn Joseph Addai gets some nice blocking, runs to the 30, and brings the Colts into field goal range.
9:00 pm, 1:36 left: TOUCHDOWN! Marvin Harrison burns Jason David on the slant, and he catches a Manning pass in the back of the endzone. The Colts now lead 7-0 off the great catch, and suddenly that botched draw play by New Orleans is looking a lot more costly.
9:08 pm: Great awareness by Raheem Brock to knock down the pass on third and long. Brees manages to catch his own pass, but he can’t get the first down and the Saints have to punt.
9:10 pm: And the first quarter ends, with the Colts leading 7-0.
9:14 pm, 13:40 left in the 2nd quarter: Joseph Addai is running the ball well so far in this drive. That’s 3 straight long runs up the middle, and the Saints have not adjusted to it. Nice to see Addai back in the game after that huge hit.
9:15 pm, 12:15 in the 2nd: Peyton Manning knows that there are 40 seconds on the play clock. And he will use every last one.
9:16 pm, 11:32 in the 2nd: TOUCHDOWN! Reggie Waynes catches the ball, but it;s stripped clean out of his hands by Jason David. He teaks the fumble and return 55 yards back for the touchdowns, redeeming himself after getting burned on the Harrison touchdown. The game is tied, 7-7.
9:23 pm, 10:37 in the 2nd: Manning overthrows the pass for a three-and-out, as now Saints DE Will Smith shows that he’s the most versatile man in show business.
The Saints get a great punt return and very good field position.
9:25 pm: Oh yes…what would the NFL be without a Peyton Manning commercial every 2 minutes? It just wouldn’t be the NFL, would it?
9:27 pm, 9:45 in the 2nd: OH! Bob Sanders nearly gets the interception, as Bress got completely fooled on that play. If Sanders is two inches taller, it’s 14-7 Colts right now.
9:28 pm, 9:15 in the 2nd: A huge run by Aaron Stecker, and he gets inside the Colts 35 yard line. Hard to believe that he’s getting a lot of touches behind Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister.
9:31 pm, 6:30 in the 2nd: 3rd down in the redzone…and Bush drops the pass. Just a lack of concentration, and the Saints have settle for a field goal. Mare makes the kick, and the Saints take a 10-7 lead.
9:37 pm, 5:47 in the 2nd: I knew there was something missing! The one thing that the NFL delivers more than anything else…insane levels of hyperbole. Don’t get me wrong; Tony Dungy winning the Super Bowl is a tremendous achievement. But comparable to the civil rights movement?
9:40 pm: Now THAT was a good commercial. Football fans know Jerry Jones is a control freak; it’s actually pretty cool to see him embrace that side of his personality.
9:41 pm, 4:31 in the 2nd: That’s the second straight possession that ends quickly for Indy. The Saints D-line has been doing a good job of keeping Peyton under pressure in the 2nd quarter.
9:44 pm, 3:05 in the 2nd: How did Eric Johnson manage to recover tha fumble and maintain possession for the saints? He had to battle 5 Colts defenders in that scrum.
9:46 pm, 2:24 in the 2nd: What a play by Kieaho. He was being blocked by n offensive lineman at least 70 pounds heavier than him, and he just plowed through the guy to get to Reggie Bush behind the line and force a punt. As we approach halftime, two of the NFL’s best offenses have combined for one touchdown.
9:49 pm: Bob Costas: “In case you haven’t heard, Sunday night is football night.” Really? No s— Sherlock!
9:50 pm, 1:46 in the 2nd: Dallas Clark is wide open in the middle of the field, and Peyton hits him in stride. Clark runs for a 30+ yard gain inside the Saints 35 yard line.
9:52 pm, :49 in the 2nd: Joseph Addai gets a few nice carries to take the Cols into the Red Zone.
Wait a minute…why is New Orleans calling a timeout?
9:54 pm, :45 in the 2nd: Take a good look at that 3rd down play, you won’t see it often. What you just witnessed was a complete miscommunication between Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, and it leads to a 4th down.
Adam Vinatieri’s kick goes right down the middle to tie the game, 10-10.
9:57 pm, :24 in the 2nd: Just as it looks like the Saints might drive up the field and get a scoring chance before halftime, Dwight Freeney completely beats the offensive line and nearly sacks Brees, who’s forced to shovel pass behind his back to an offensive lineman.
10:00 pm: We’re at halftime, and the Colts and Saints are tied, 10-10. Everyone thought that this game would be an offensive shootout, but both defenses have been impressive tonight.
10:19 pm, 13:07 left in the 3rd quarter: The Saints get the ball to start the second half and almost immediately relinquish it on a 3 and out.
10:21 pm, 12:11 in the 3rd: Dallas Clark takes the end-around for the first down. The Colts offense line did a great job of pulling and blocking on the outside to spring the run on 3rd and long.
10:23 pm, 10:00 in the 3rd: Marvin Harrison absolute burns Mike McKenzie, and he’s open for a near perfect pass from Peyton Manning, and he takes it down to the 2.
10:25 pm, 9:45 in the 3rd: TOUCHDOWN! Jpseph Addai finishes the drive with a run on the right side into the end zone. The Colts lead 17-10 after the extra point. Hunter Smith does a great job of controlling the snap for the extra point. Never underestimate the importance of the kick holder.
10:30 pm, 9:39 in the 3rd: How is that not an interception? Bress forces a pass, ans it nearly gets picked off–twice! Bryan Bethea should have had that one.
10:32 pm, 8:05 in 3rd: Another 3-and-out for the Saints. Brees is having a rough night.
10:36 pm, 6:41 in 3rd: Addai gets a huge run up the middle, taking the Colts again within striking distance.
10:37 pm, 6:11 in 3rd: TOUCHDOWN! Jason David gets burned again, as Reggie Wayne slants at just the right moment for Manning to hit him wide open in the end zone. It’s 24-10 Colts, as the Saints may have a big problem at cornerback this season. Where were the safeties?
10:41 pm, 5:56 in 3rd: Deuce Mcallister gets a big run up the middle for New Orleans’ first 1st down of the second half.
The Colts have done a good job on defense tonight. It’s becoming pretty clear that Bob Sanders is the piece that holds the Colts’ defensive unit together.
10:46 pm, 2:02 in 3rd: The Saints offense seems to be back on track, committing almost entirely on the running game. It’s working against Indy’s deep safeties, and it take the pressure off of Brees to force passes.
10:48, :30 in 3rd: Yeah, it’s definitely Brees who has been the weak spot for the Saints in this game. Once again he forces a pass, and he finally pays dearly for it, as Keiaho picks the ball off at the Indy 45.
10:49, end of 3rd: Manning hits on a deep pass to Reggie Wayne, beating Jason David AGAIN! and the Colts will be back inside the red zone to start the 4th quarter. With the Colts leading 24-10 and the New Orleans offense struggling mightily, this game could be over very soon.
10:54 pm, 14:12 left in the 4th quarter: The Colts have to settle for a field goal. Indy leads 27-10. It’s now a three score game, and keep in mind that the Saints have yet to score an offensive touchdown.
10:57 pm, 13:49 in 4th: Just great. The one time that Brees’ pass is on target, and his receiver drops it. Has to be disheartening.
10:58 pm, 13:00 in 4th: It’s 4th and 1, and the Saints, down 17, are punting.
11:04 pm, 10:05 in 4th: Another play action fake, and Reggie Wayne burns David again, and the Colts get the touchdown to take a 34-10 lead. This game, for all intents and purposes, is over. Jason David is having the worst night of his football life.
11:06 pm: What do you know? Another Peyton Manning commercial.
11:12 pm, 8:05 in 4th: Drew Brees is stripped of the ball, and the Colts recover. It’s pretty much insult to injury at this point. I don’t think anyone expected this kind of a blowout.
11:30 pm: A microcosm of the night: Brees forces a pass, the ball is intercepted by Matt Giordano, and he returns it almost 90 yards back for a touchdown, as he outunrs everyone, and the Saints aren’t there to make the tackle. Colts 41, Saints 10.
11:35 pm: The Colts win 41-10, as the game mercifully comes to an end. The Colts dominated every aspect of the game tonight. Brees could not get anything done, and the Saints defense had no answer for Peyton Manning and his receivers in the second half.
Posted by Mike on August 28, 2007
The college football season is finally upon us. The long sports winter has finally come to an end! The mere prospect of real, meaningful football has gotten me excited for the past week. This past Tuesday, the first day of school at UNC, I had not taken twenty steps onto campus before saying “hey” to Joe Dailey (what I should have said was “interception!”). I then headed straight for Kenan Stadium, one of the best college stadiums in America (to watch a football game? not so much lately…but that will change soon enough).
Looking onto the field began the synapses in my head, and my mind began racing with anticipation of this Saturday. Still, I think we all need a real adrenaline rush to get us pumped up before the college football season. So this post is dedicated to the single greatest play in all of football: the decleater. A hit so hard that it knocks your opponent clean off his feet.
Why is it this game’s greatest play? Because it works on so many levels. The mere hit acts as a simple but effective means of physical intimidation on your opponent for the rest of the game. When a receiver gets knocked to the turf by a safety, he’s going to think twice about running a route in the middle of the field. When a defender is decleated on a huge block, he knows to keep his head on a swivel for the rest of the game. When a running back runs you over, it could ruin you psychologically for an entire season. And when the home team delivers a big decleater, everyone watching the game notices, jumps out of their seats, and cheers their lungs out. It can be the ultimate home field advantage.
Not a single play in football, not even a touchdown, is more motivating than a bone-crushing hit. Before we begin the season anew, we must pay homage. And what better way to do that than a huge supply of YouTube decleaters?
We’ll start with some big defensive hits:
What’s better that a decleating hit on defense? A bone-crushing block on offense!
This one is special because it’s a quarterback who make the huge block, and he drills two guys:
The best decleaters, however, have to be the ones delivered by running backs on unsuspecting defensive backs. And in college, few were better at it than Florida State’s Greg Jones.
This final hit I was (un?)fortunate enough to see live, in Kenan Stadium. It was the first game of the 2003 season, August 30th. The last time my Tar Heels met the Seminoles in Chapel Hill, we destroyed them 41-9 for Bunting’s first career win en route to a six-game winning streak and an 8-5 record in 2001, including a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn. After that the last of Mack’s recruits left, and the bottom fell out in 2002. Still, we had UNC’s best-ever QB in Darian Durant, who had been hurt for most of the previous year. So I was somewhat optimistic that Coach Bunting could turn things around in 2003. (By the way: to those of you cursing out UNC’s QB situation from last year, I have one name for you: C.J. Stephens. Just the thought of him under center will keep me awake tonight.)
Any hope I had for that season was destroyed on this play.
Ugh. Not very good memories. I need to cleanse my palate a bit:
That’s better. Okay, NOW I’m ready to greet this season the right way, and I hope that this helpd you to get ready as well.
Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Big blocks, College Football, Florida State, football, Get Pumped!, NCAA, North Carolina, Patriotism at its finest, Tar Heels, The Decleater, This is why the Internet was invented, Videos, what is this hyperbole of which you speak? | 10 Comments »
Posted by Mike on June 22, 2007
(There are only two players from the University of North Carolina currently in NFL Europa: Bobby Blizzard and Cedrick Holt. They both play for the Cologne Centurions. Being the unabashed Tar Heel that I am, the Centurions thus command my attention.)
Tar Heels Centurions came into the final week of the NFL Europa regular season with a chance to make their first trip to the World Bowl. However, they would first have to overcome perhaps their toughest challenge of the season: going on the road to play the NFLE powerhouse Frankfurt Galaxy. It turned out to be too difficult a challenge, as they lost 31-14 and were eliminated from World Bowl XV contention.
The offense seemed to play well from a basic statistical perspective. Once again the NFLE’s premier rushing attack was effective, gaining 126 yards on the ground as Derrick Ross had another 100 yard game. Erik Meyer didn’t have a bad game either, completing 25 of his 33 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. However, nearly all of those stats were amassed in the second half, after Frankfurt had already gained a 24-0 lead. In the first half, the Frankfurt defense dominated, allowing no points. In five possession, Cologne punted four times, including 3 three-and-out possessions, and one missed 40 yard field goal. UNC alum Bobby Blizzard only had 35 receiving yards, but scored Cologne’s only passing touchdown.
Cologne’s offense sputtered in the first half; however, it was the collapse of the Centurions’ top-ranked defense that doomed them. Frankfurt had a field day on offense, led by quarterbacks J.T. O’Sullivan and Kevin Eakin. They combined for 286 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a combined QB rating of 142.9. The Galaxy never had to punt, and they had a chance to score on every possession (except when they took a knee to end the first half). In total, Frankfurt amassed 379 yards of offense, 297 of which were during the Galaxy’s 24 unanswered points to start the game.
The Cologne Centurions finish 6-4 on the season, just short of a World Bowl Berth. However, the team did sweep the NFLE player of the year awards in 2007. Running back Derrick Ross was named Co-offensive POY (along with Frankfurt’s J.T. O’Sullivan), and defensive end Jason Hall was named defensive POY.
World Bowl XV
With this win, the Frankfurt Galaxy will play in World Bowl XV on Saturday. Their opponent will be the Hamburg Sea Devils, who earned a berth with a season-ending win over the Rhein Fire. This year’s World Bowl should be very exciting. With Frankfurt and NFLE’s best fanbase hosting the game, the World Bowl is expecting a sellout crowd, which would be the largest crowd to see an American Football game in continental Europe since World Bowl X in 2002.
Attendance numbers are up this season. For the first time in NFL Europe history, average attendance for the season will exceed 20,000 per game. To put that in perspective, that gives the NFLE the world’s tenth largest per game attendance for a domestic league, ahead of the Italian Serie A and just behind French Ligue 1. Frankfurt’s average home attendance was 33, 043, which is approximately the average attendance at an English Premier League game.
Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to be able to watch World Bowl XV, as it will only be broadcast on the NFL Network in America, and very few Americans have NFLN. While this the the last meaningful football game until September, at least you’ll be spared the pregame entertainment.