Tag Archives: NFL

NFL Highlights: Gerbil vs Frog

The NFL is notoriously protective of its broadcasts. Based upon the disclaimer you hear while watching a game it is illegal to rebroadcast any footage, talk about the game, or even think about it in to much detail. In response to this the folks at Deadspin have begun creating Gerbil vs Frog videos set to 2009 NFL audio clips (see all Deadspin posts tagged Gerbil vs Frog).

Sure it’s absurd. And the quality is not good. But I still find these very funny. Here are screen shots from two of the videos:

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A despondent 49er frog after the dramatic Favre-to-Lewis TD last Sunday.

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Gerbil Stokley catches a deflected pass and takes it to the endzone.

I’m rooting for the frog. He has been on the losing end of the first three videos. It’s not easy being green.

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Referee Freedom of Expression

In MLB umpires often have unique strike and strikeout hand signals. In the NFL referees have less freedom of expression. One area in which they get to make a choice is the touchdown/good field goal/2 point conversion sign (it is interesting that the same sign gets used for three different things). The rulebook states that the official should extend both arms above his head. I suspect the officials get a more detailed description of what this should look like, but three variations are common.

refI’m partial to the arms straight up version on the left. The middle one reminds me of someone being held at gunpoint. The angled arms on the right seem to be gaining popularity, which is a development I do not approve of.

So which sign is best?

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Kornheiser Leaves MNF

I’ve mentioned in the past that I have a mix of love and hate for ESPN. Things became a bit brighter with the announcement of Stephen a Smith’s  departure (my least favorite ESPN personality). And then I got to hear Skip Bayless (my second least favorite ESPN personality) get chastised by Mike Missanelli last week. Recently I heard the news that Tony Kornheiser will be leaving the Monday Night Football broadcast team, which is wonderful news.

Tony Kornheiser encapsulates my conflict with ESPN. I love hearing hm on PTI, but can’t stand him as a color commentator on MNF. So the move was welcomed by me. Let Tony debate Wilbon, that is where he belongs.

To sweeten the deal ESPN is bringing Jon Gruden to the MNF booth. He will certainly be back in coaching next season, so this is a temporary fill, but I still like it. I always liked Gruden when he was the offensive coordinator in Philly. I hoped the Eagles would offer him the head coaching job. As a head coach he seems to be a bit overbearing, and in hindsight I’m glad the Eagles ended up with Andy Reid (at times Andy drives me crazy with his play calling because he tends to go pass happy pretty often, but he’s a good coach). But I will always feel some degree of fondness for Gruden.

So ESPN improved their football broadcast team. Of course, this coming season the NFL will be under a cloud following John Madden’s retirement. I’ll miss hearing him call games.

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The NFL 2008 Regular Season Draws to a Close

Lady Luck was cruel to the Eagles for months. She gave them the cold shoulder. The Eagles complicated the relationship by playing poor football at inopportune times. Lady Luck hates losers.

The Eagles squandered a chance to pave their path to the postseason last week against Washington. So today they showed up at Lady Luck’s door with roses and chocolate and a promise to play better.

At first she seemed petulant. The Bears jumped out to a quick lead over Houston. Oakland trailed  Tampa Bay. Then things changed. Houston rallied to defeat the Bears. The Raiders rallied to beat the Bucs. Evidently Lady Luck got tired of writing scripts, for both games ended with a 31-24 score (which is evidently a template on Lady Luck’s computer). The scripts might not have been original, but the message was clear: Philadelphia Eagles I love you.

Encouraged by Lady Luck’s sudden change in demeanor, the Eagles played their best. A thorough dismantling of the dallas cowboys occurred at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are play-off bound. What a season.

If Andy Reid remains committed to run the ball the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with. If he goes pass happy the story changes. Run, Andy, run!

The 2008 NFL season has been interesting:

  • The Lions were perfect. They pulled off the first 0-16 record. I thought things were supposed to get better when Matt Millen left? At least the folks in Detroit have the Tigers . . . (sorry, that was mean).
  • The Browns finished the season with six consecutive games without an offensive touchdown. Losing your #1 and #2 quarterback will lead to things like that. Of course, next season we will be able to say” “Romeo,  Romeo, where art thou?”
  • The Chargers won the AFC West with an 8-8 record. What is it with the west? The Cardinals won the NFC West with a 9-7 record. The west = where mediocrity lives.
  • Plaxico Burress shot himself. Enough said.

Here’s a random closing thought on the NFL. Brian Baldinger played offensive line for the cowboys, Colts, and Eagles from 1982-1993. Brian sustained a nasty injury years ago when he got his right pinky caught in a facemask. Now Brian is a color commentator for Fox. He is paired with Dick Stockton. Every time I see him during a broadcast I am fascinated by his right pinky. Check it out:

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Brian Baldinger's right pinky

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Sunday Evening

A new development. Last night at 11:47pm my neighbor began playing the recorder. It’s the first time I have ever heard recorder music coming from that apartment, and it was of exceptionally poor quality, so I assume it is the first time he/she played. This afternoon a belated encore followed. I am hoping this is a short-lived hobby.

The Eagles do not deserve to make the play-offs. For a moment things looked really good. Dallas lost last night, and then Tampa Bay lost this afternoon. But all the good feelings ended when the Eagles forgot to show up for their game. Credit is due to the Redskins, they shut down the Eagles’ offense and played mistake-free football. While the possibility of a play-off berth is still in play, the odds are not good.

I’m happy to see Rafael Furcal remain in Dodger blue. For a moment last week it looked like Furcal was going to end up in Atlanta (again). Thankfully Furcal’s agent is unethical shrewd  and got him a better deal. I view the Mets as the Phils most serious competitor, but with a few additions the Braves still scare me.

A good poker game. I bet it would be really fun to play a casual poker game with Ron White, Gus Johnson, Owen Wilson, Charles Barkley, and Joe Paterno. Just think of the conversations that could happen. It makes me happy just imagining it.

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