Sunday, September 10, 2006

NFL Kickoff Sunday Running Diary

11:05 - Had gotten up for an 8:00 church service, which limited this blog's sleep. Got back in time to nap until now, so unfortunately missed the x-treme opening of each pre-game show. As usual, had the live scoring on my PC, then able to peer over to see two TVs with each pre-game show on. After some tweaking of each remote, got it set where this blog was able to hit one mute button to put volume on 1 tube and off on the other.

11:06 - Whoa. JB's with CBS now? This blog thought he went to HBO or something and Pun City would never hear from him again. He's actually really good with them. This site is thinking perhaps JB was carrying Fox's show all along and no one noticed.

11:07 - Weird to see Joe Buck trying to rein it in with the 3 overpowering personalities on Fox's set. He's not doing a great job of it. Strangely enough, they've got Jack Del Rio on set since their live in Jacksonville.

11:32 - Sweet, CBS has NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on set. He does a solid job answering questions about New Orleans and Los Angeles, then is asked to sign the new football to "see if the signature is a good replica." He says, "This is a switch, Dan Marino asking for my autograph?" The CBS crew agrees the signature is well-replicated on the ball. This proves the NFL is not being controlled by a robot, at least this blog thinks.

11:50 - Joe Buck absolutely gushes about Jack Del Rio having joined them onset, openly campaigning for other coaches to do this in other cities. That would be cool, but enough with the pandering, Joe. This is like Koren Robinson begging for his job back after the 3rd DUI. "I know you don't have to do it, but come on, we're money, come onnnn."

11:52 - The Fox guys go through their Super Bowl picks, just picking one team to make it. The standard Carolina, Seattle, and Pittsburgh picks for the analysts, then Buck asks to make a pick, choosing Jacksonville's opponent, Dallas.

11:55 - Curt Menefee (who?) is introduced as the halftime host since Joe's gotta do play-by-play for the games. When asked his pick, Menefee says he wanted to pick Carolina but that's already taken. So he gets everyone thrilled by picking Jacksonville. Jags' mascot Jackson De Ville goes nuts, instead of the shadow boxing he was doing when Buck picked Dallas.

12:05 - CBS has Rams - Broncos, Fox has Seahawks - Lions. Neither game promises to be particularly great. Fox has a trend of giving the doggiest possible game to Packer fans, primarily a result of the NFC Central being horrible. For this reason, Broncos-Rams is somehow looking fantastic right now.

12:07 - Mike Shanahan has decided Mike and Tatum Bell will alternate series, and they'll go with the "hot hand." This is not ideal news for Pun City's fantasy league team, the Louisiana Kournikovas. Mike Bell is in the starting lineup, and does not look to be a huge producer. Frank Gore may need to be the Kournikova's starter for a while unless Shanahan suddenly decides that it's Tatum for whom the bell tolls.

12:08 - From the Lions game, they show Dick Stockton from the press box as he previews the game. Due to his bizarre receeding fro whisping off to the sides, plus the background looking too far away, he looks very reminiscent of Yoda in front of a green screen. Kitna to Williams, hhummm?

12:20 - Frequent Pun City contributor Wells calls to see how many TV's this blog has up and running. Come on, you know this blog better than that! This blog will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was mainly just calling to confirm it for another friend that was curious.

12:25 - Marc Bulger is looking good, leading the Rams on a 7-minute drive. Unfortunately, he's not getting it to Torry Holt enough. Kournikovas gotta work together, man! Bulger's going to need to explain this to Anna herself if he's not careful.

12:27 - CBS shows the Dick Vermeil press conference commercial. Mildly comical, but it reminds Pun City of a larger point. When this blog heard that Greg Kinnear was going to play Vermeil in "Invincible," this blog was thinking, no chance, he's going to be terrible, Kinnear just can't separate from that weird dude in Mystery Men and somehow convince me he's Vermeil. This blog saw Invincible on Friday though, and it was stunning. Kinnear is Vermeil. The hair was pure '80s Vermeil, they got the white belts the Eagles staff used to wear, the big collared polos, and he somehow got his jaw to jut out like Vermeil's. Then he also mastered the talk-only-out-of-your-mouth-without-moving-any-other-part-of-your-face Vermeil speak. Unreal. The movie, while not altogether amazing, is probably worth seeing just to marvel at this shocking Kinnear-as-convincing-Vermeil turn of events.

12:37 - Denver loses a challenge where Jake Plummer fumbled and the Rams recovered on the 4. Problematically, the missed block that led to the fumble was Mike Bell's bad. Despite a promising 8-yard run, Bell's chances of being "the hot hand" just plummeted.

12:39 - Bulger to Holt in the end zone!.....incomplete.

12:40 - Matt Hasselbeck appears to get jacked up helmet to helmet. It was 3rd down, so he doesn't have to get back in there immediately, but he seemed to be a little dazed afterwards. Should be interesting to see how his stats change after this.

12:41 - On the ensuing 4th down, Josh Brown has his second FG attempt blocked in 2 tries. Somewhere, Fantasy Owners are pissed. (Not this blog though).

12:44 - Tatum Bell fumbles! The hot hand definitely doesn't "hot potato" it. Say what you will about missed blocks causing a fumble, at least Mike Bell didn't fumble it on his own. Put Cutler and Mike Bell in!

12:48 - Kournikovas the closest they've been today to arch-rival "The Majik Man." He came in with a 22-0 lead, it's now 30.4-29.46. So that's kinda awesome. Some nice work by Chad Johnson to get it there.

12:51 - 30.92-30.4! First lead of the season. Time to get Anna her first major title!

12:58 - Josh Brown finally makes a field goal. Perhaps more importantly, Hasselbeck seemed fine on the drive, even though he had a couple Favre moments, throwing the ball underhanded to Shaun Alexander, and directing traffic while being taken down on another play. This blog also realized Majik Man has 3 players Monday night and 2 tonight, so the Kournikovas darn well better have a good lead after these games. Otherwise, major probalo.

1:30 - Mike Bell scores a TD. For most of the drive, he showed a good deal of hot-handedness, including a first down rush on 4th-and-1. Not enjoying a huge lead though, only up about 13, which isn't going to get it done with the remaining Majik Men out there.

1:35 - Very cool, the US Open is coming up on CBS when the Broncos-Rams game ends. This blog loves the first NFL week because of this. Instead of having Vikings-Lions on one network, and Scott Hamilton's Stars On Ice on the other, we get Packers-Bears and Roddick-Federer on the other. This blog is really liking Jimmy Connors as a coach, so hopefully Roddick can score the major upset.

1:51 - Some commercial talk. This blog doesn't usually see network TV, so it ends up missing a few mainstream commercials here and there except during football season. This blog does enjoy finding commercial actors that are in multiple commercials, since there seems to be a ton that overlap. Most recent finding is that the dude that gets a sword thrown at his tire in the Western Union commercial also is part of Hungry Bruno's training team in the Taco Bell commercial. Also, the yes-man in the Southwest "fare ding" commercial has been in a ton, most recently a Domino's commercial.

1:59 - Javon Walker drops what would have been a tough catch in coverage. Dan Dierdorf's comment: "You will not see that again."

2:00 - On the next play, Javon Walker drops another pass. Great work, Dan. This blog has seen commentators' stupid comments get burned before, but never so quickly.

2:33 - Tatum Bell has inexplicably taken over as Denver's back of choice. Not surprisingly, after Mike Bell led them to a touchdown, Tatum's turn only produced a field goal.

2:34 - Just checked out this blog's free, no-prize league, and Kournikovas II are getting their butts kicked. This isn't particularly great considering this blog is one of only 2 experienced fantasy league players in the league, and the most experienced of those 2. Oh well, this blog figures blaming it on a salary cap is probably the best way to play this. This blog hates salary caps. Market inefficiencies only create problems.

2:59 - Fantastic commercial out is the TGI Fridays add with the ditzes on the vowel diet. They can only eat asparagus because it starts with a U. They love Usparagus. This blog now also loves Usparagus.

3:01 - Oh yeah, Seattle just beat Detroit on a last-second field goal by Josh Brown. After the first 2 blocks, that was probably some sweet redemption to get the next 3 in a 9-6 game. Fox switched to Browns-Saints. This Reggie Bush stuff is really hyped a lot. Last year, there would be no chance a Browns-Saints games would go national, even if it were a last-second field goal attempt. This year, they switch to it, and immediately go to the Reggie Bush montage. This blog is going to predict Reggie Bush shatters the all-time Rookie Record for montages, breaking the previous record of Nate Robinson from the slam dunk contest alone.

3:04 - Montage #2. Couldn't even finish the last post before they broke it out. This blog has been tuned in to Bush's game for 5 minutes. Bush hasn't even played a down in that time span, but still 2 montages.

3:07 - Saints win 19-14. Zzzzz. This is the first of Sean Payton's 13 career coaching wins in 3 seasons. Good thing we have Curt Menefee to recap.

3:13 - Rams win 18-10. When Marc Bulger is kneeling the ball, this blog notices its point total going down because of negative rushing yards. This blog had set up the league that way. Doh!

3:14 - Fox changes from the postgame show to Packers-Bears. Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan (maybe not Tim Ryan, some scrub, this blog doesn't know, doesn't care) are doing the game. These guys must have had 10 Packer games last year. Watching the Packers lose is bad. Watching the Packers lose with Sam Rosen describing the action is infinitely worse.

3:20 - A big thumbs up to the new graphics for the telestrator. Instead of the 5-year-old's scribble they normally have, Fox has gotten the drawings to come to a point and look like a stylized graphic. Very cool.

3:21 - Packers go down 7-0 as some unknown burns one of the Packers' unknown DBs. Packers are now officially eliminated from the post-season. Mike McCarthy appears to be deciding which menu item to select from the McDonald's breakfast menu. Too bad they don't serve defense all day.

3:25 - CBS shows a Reggie Bush montage disguised as Saints-Browns highlights.

3:26 - Packers just punted. Did they even run a play? Maybe McCarthy just figured, "best to be safe on this, let's just punt it before we lose 10 yards."

3:29 - After all early games have gone final, this blog is up 72.28-45.80. This lead will last through the late games, because no Kournikovas or Majik Men are in the late games, but Sunday and Monday night games will probably chip into this. Pun City's dubious of its likelihood of winning.

3:31 - Roddick vs. Federer montage is on CBS to preview the US Open Final. This blog is going to watch it for a while here until Federer decides, "Screw it, I'm going to stop toying with this guy, I've got a plane to catch." Projected final: 7-6, 6-1, 6-0. Federer.

3:33 - Have the Bears even run the ball yet? They sure haven't needed to. Packers pass defense is a cross between a sieve and a matador.

3:34 - Bears hand off to Thomas Jones. Runs for -4.

3:35 - Nick Barnett intercepts Rex Grossman's lame duck to the end zone. Even the Packers defense can look good against Rex Grossman. Why isn't Brian Griese starting?

3:38 - A little revival for Kournikovas II here. Moved up from 10th to 7th. Still not ahead of 5 of the 6 teams this blog knows. Maybe He Hate Me and Philip Rivers will come out swinging tomorrow and make up for Chris Simms' unbelieveable -20 performance.

3:50 - Tiger Woods showed up to support Roger Federer. That's kinda cool, kinda bizarre. This blog likes that two giants of their respective sports have an appreciation for each other. This blog isn't too thrilled that Woods isn't rooting for the American in this match. Federer holds serve, 1-0.

3:52 - Bears kick a field goal to go up 10-0. Packer possessions are like J.D. Walsh in a commercial: Blink and you might miss them.

3:55 - Federer breaks to go up 2-0. Ouch. Roddick seems insistent on out-bashing Federer every point. This despite the fact that Federer has won every bash contest so far. If Roddick doesn't start up some serve-and-volleying or some major drop shots, he's not going to win a game.

4:00 - Federer holds to go up 3-0. Favre is 3 inches short on 4th-and-inches. A bad sequence for this blog's preferred competitors. Packers could challenge the spot, Pun City supposes. McCarthy probably too busy enjoying his Egg McMuffin though.

4:05 - Federer breaks, 4-0. This is a massacre. This blog thinks that Roger is putting on a show because Tiger's in the house. Jimmy Connors is re-thinking this whole "I want to coach" idea. Maybe if Federer was looking though....

4:07 - Federer up 5-0.

4:08 - Roddick with a dominant, out-of-nowhere service game after some questionable leaning gestures from Connors. Coaching's technically not allowed, but Jimmy just leaned one way and that motion in itself seems to have sparked Roddick. Still 1-5 though.

4:12 - Roddick somehow breaks at 15. 2-5 and Roddick has some momentum here. Connors may have had the greatest lean in tennis history there.

4:18 - And Federer breaks back. 6-2. McCarthy wastes a challenge on an obvious fumble. On a positive note, the Bears are stuffed for a 4-yard loss on a ridiculous-looking halfback option.

4:20 - This blog heads to its parents' place for some home cooking and the 2nd half of the Packer game. Roddick's showing some life now though, so hopefully this blog can catch some of that match as well. Federer apparently is 102-4 when winning the first set.

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