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Posts Tagged ‘NFL Playoffs’

UFC 94, Super Bowl XVIII, biting through bones, the usual weekend

February 2, 2009 2 comments

This weekend brought UFC 94 – Penn/St. Pierre and the final NFL game of the 2008 season, Super Bowl XVIII pitting the Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sunday led me to a place in Maple Grove, MN called ‘Curry Up’, an Indian food establishment.  Suggested by my friend Mike, I went in there with an open mind.  With their buffet reasonably priced, I was starting to gain excitement in my taking a chance on something different.  When I think buffet, I think chinese buffets, or an Old Country Buffet type of place that has a wide selection of various foods.  This buffet had six items to choose from, along with a very weak salad bar.  Despite the small selection, I kept the positive attitude, the open mind as it were while scooping up my rice, ‘peas and cheese’, and some chicken thing.  Then things went the wrong direction.

I sit down with Mike (not eating), we look at the plate that I had created, and had that unspoken understanding that this was not going to end well.  I mixed the rice and ‘peas and cheese’ which was edible, above average.  Then came the chicken thing: red on the outside, white on the inside.  It was a bit dry, and crunchy for some reason.  Bite one was interesting.  Bite two, something else was crunchy; a bone.  Not thinking there would be bones in my chicken, I bit into it with normal force, which ended up strong enough to have me bite through the bone.  I did not know that was possible for a human to bite through a bone.  Maybe I am uneducated in bone consumption.   Regardless of that, Mike and I left immediately.  That is what you get for taking a chance on your lunch!

The rest of the day was spent at home, away from everyone except for the roommate.  I had very little interest in the acutal Super Bowl game for the first time in my adult life.  I held out hope that the commercials would satisfy me; that was dumb of me.

The game turned out to be a classic ending in what I consider a huge controversy.  No one else is picking up on this.  The game winning catch by Santonio Holmes should not have counted.  There was a question of whether or not Holmes got both feet down in bounds.  No question does he get his left foot in; no question does he NOT get his right foot in.  Despite my instant thoughts on that play, AND a review of the play, the referees managed to screw up that call, which played a huge role in the Cardinals losing.   I will gladly debate this play with anyone.  It was such a shame for the game to be partially determined by that play, along with the ‘fumble’ at the end of the game by Kurt Warner.  I felt his arm was moving forward, which would result in an incomplete pass.  Again, what was called versus what should have been called are two different things.  This may have been the most poorly refereed Super Bowl in recent memory, with the referees seeming to call in favor of the Steelers (Arizona has 11 penalties for 106 yards, Pittsburgh had 7 for 56).  Ken Wisenhunt had to challenge two plays that were called in favor of the Steelers.  Lucky for him, he won both challenges, one nullifying a touchdown.

The big difference, other than the biased officiating, was hte big turnover.  James Harrison intercepted Warner on the goal line before halftime and ran it for a record setting 100 yard touchdown, longest in Super Bowl history.  Those seven points proved pivotal in the end.

Overall, it was a very good game with the drama that Super Bowls have lacked in the past.

A quick note about UFC 94: Georges St. Pierre is amazing.  His dismantling of B.J. Penn was something to be in awe of.  to get a fighter like Penn to have his corner not let him go out for the fifth round says something about the overall dominance of St. Pierre.  One has to wonder if he may choose to move up a weightclass or two.  He is only 5’10” and 170, but ripped beyone belief.  He is definitely worth the price of admission.

A bunch of friends and myself went to Hooters in Block E to watch the event.  If the Penn/St. Pierre fight wasn’t so jam packed, the event would have sucked overall.  There was a sweet knockout in the Machida/Silva fight, the rest of the televised bouts were split decisions and lacking high octane action.  Here is a recap of the event from espn.com

That was the weekend, another success.  Here’s to the new week; oh what will you bring to me, what will I bring to you?

~J

twitter: @jasondouglas

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Sports weekend, part three: Vikings game

January 5, 2009 1 comment

Sunday afternoon brought me Downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles Wild-Card playoff game.  This was the first football playoff game in Minnesota in eight years, and the first for me as a season ticket holder.

I met Bury and Iggy at Sneaky Pete’s much later than originally planned, but knowing I wasn’t drinking, there wasn’t a lot of motivation to arrive at 11am to be around a ton of drunk people; I had three hours of that to look forward to at the dome.  Both myself and Brian were lucky enough to find parking on the street for free, saving a minimum of $20 each.  We left SP early with hopes of beating the masses to the dome.  One comment: as useful as the Metro Transit Light Rail is, during peak times (ex: sporting events), entering and exiting the rail is a complete mess.  Any small kid or small adult has little chance against people my size or larger.  However, it is worth the $1 you spend to get a 6-hour ticket which covers you round trip.

My analysis of the game: the Vikings offensive minds, Coach Brad Childress and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell, did not use quarterback Tavaris Jackson how they should have.  He is not a pocket passer; he’s mobile and has the ability to keep defenses on their heels with a combination of his legs and arm.  He misfired on 18 of his first 29 passes, most of which came within the hash marks.  The Vikings offensive minds also showed very little amount of ‘new’ in their scheme.  Other than one breakout run by Adrian Peterson, and one drive of substance, the Vikings offense was unimpressive.   Another odd moment occurred at the end of the first half; the Vikings had just intercepted Donovan McNabb, and with 1:08 left, the ball on the Vikings 10 yard line, there wasn’t much to do there other than kill the clock and go into halftime with a two-point deficit.  They chose to run the ball on first down for a 2 yard gain, then inexplicably pass the ball incomplete to stop the clock, then ran the ball on 3rd down for no gain allowing the Eagles to call time out before the punt to give themselves an opportunity to move the ball in field goal range.  Fortunately, the Vikings stopped the Eagles from scoring before halftime.

The Vikings defense was ‘bendy’ for a lot of the game, but did have a nice interception by Cedric Griffin, a sack and caused fumble by Jared Allen.  The Vikings line sorely missed DE Ray Edwards and DT Pat Williams, rarely getting any pressure on McNabb; he was able to slice and dice the Vikings defense throughout the game, converting on at least three 3rd down plays longer than 8 yards.

The big difference in this game were the big plays and capitalizing on them.  The Eagles had the 44 yard interception for a touchdown by Asante Samuel; the 71 yard touchdown pass by McNabb to Brian Westbrook, a 62 yard punt return which led to a field goal and a 34 yard reception on another key 3rd down which led to a field goal, both by DeSean Jackson.  The Vikings had the 40 yard run by Peterson, the interception by Griffin (which they did not capitalize on), and the fumble recovery by Fred Evans (which they did not capitalize on).

Overall, the game was entertaining, and not in doubt until the middle stages of the 4th quarter.  I’m glad I’m not the type of fan that requires facepaint, or my body painted (which Bury saw a guy getting painted in one of the bathrooms… weird) to feel like a real fan.  Sure, I’m a little bummed about the outcome, but this won’t effect my mood.  Remember, it’s just a game and entertainment.

It was a different experience for me for a couple reasons: it was a playoff game; the intensity was there, the crowd was as loud as I’ve ever heard it, and I was sober throughout the whole game.  The 09 resolution to attempt sobriety has been somewhat easy to do, and this weekend was a huge test to see if I could actually do this sobriety thing.  So far, so good.

This caps the sports weekend extravaganza.  There won’t be another opportunity to see three different professional sporting events in three nights in Minnesota for a long while.  To be in the position to have the opportunity to do something like this is quite remarkable; I’m a very lucky person.

I go back to reality tomorrow, working for the first time since December 24th, and that was a half-day with a two-hour lunch.  I’m very interested to see what will happen in the next couple weeks in the office.

~Jason Douglas

twitter: @jasondouglas