NFL General

Super Bowl XLI Live Blog – 2nd Quarter

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0:02 Lovie Smith just earned a nice bonus from the CBS marketing team for calling that timeout to freeze Adam Vinatieri. And it apparently works cause Vinatieri misses barely left. Unlucky FG try #13. And that will end a wild and wet first half. See you on the flip side.

It only took an hour and a half for Lays, Tostitos and Doritos to remind us that Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are black. Always good when corporations take advantage of “celebrating” race to promote their products.

1:18 Forget what I said about not as much action in the 2nd quarter as in the first. Now Rex Grossman fumbles it right back to the Colts. This is officially the most bizarre Super Bowl ever.

2:00 The Colts probably don’t want to go to halftime since they’re in such a good rhythm. It feels like this quarter is faster but maybe that’s because there haven’t been as much action. If the Colts pick up this first down, expect Manning to take em all the way to the endzone… unless…uh… Fletcher fumbles the ball.

Connectile dysfunction – I hate when that happens.

I’ve already immediately forgotten this heart healthy commercial and I know it’s a good cause and it’s probably a good time to remind people that they can’t gorge themselves on wings and ribs and nachos and pizza and expect their tickers to hold up… but… this is the Super Bowl and we’re all partying. Why harsh our mellow?

6:15 Where is the vaunted Bears defense? Even in these sloppy conditions, the Colts seem to be able to move at will. Rhodes crashes into the endzone and the Colts take the lead. Time to see what Rex Grossman’s got. Will Lovie Smith trust him in the rain or will there be a heavy dose of Thomas Jones now that Cedric Benson is dinged up and questionable for his return.

Careerbuilder continues their string of good commercials with everyone falling off the cliff like lemmings. Meanwhile, this Doritos commercial is horrible. No one wants to see ugly people in commercials. No one. CBS is saying screw youtube and will post all the commercials on their site after the game.

11:38 Indianapolis settles for the FG and they are now down 9-14. By the way that last sentence was typed before Adam actually kicked the ball. He’s that automatic.

The Super Bowl is so dominated by beer commercials that it’s hard to remember whether it was for Budweiser, Miller or another beer. I think that’s called noise.

15:00 After that wild first quarter, you kinda expect things to settle down a little bit. Colts are threatening quickly though.

NFL General

Super Bowl XLI Live Blog – 1st Quarter

[Newest comments will appear on top.]

0:00 Thank God the first quarter is over. Time to take a breather before we start the 2nd Quarter live blog.

3:05 Cedric Benson fumbles the ball on a Bob Sanders hit. This has to be a record of turnovers in a first quarter of a Super Bowl.

Wow… this Chevy commercial where different people sing a bunch of songs should be shot so we can be put out of our misery. Oh and Carlos Mencia, Paul Rodriguez called, he wants his jokes back.

4:34 Bears score as Sexy Rexy hits Mushin Muhammad for a TD. Well, this first quarter is certainly living up to the hype. It’s completely in an unexpected fashion but there hasn’t been a lack of action in this one.

6:43 Colts get a huge break as the Bears fumble on the kickoff…. and before I can even finish typing, Joseph Addai fumbles it right back to the Bears.

6:50 So much for that wet and windy conditions affecting the passing game. Peyton was almost sacked and still completed a 53 yard TD to wide open Reggie Wayne.

But…apparently the wet and windy conditions do affect the kicking game as the Colts botch the extra point. This might not affect the outcome of the game but gamblers are pissed.

Fedex commercial on the moon was weak. Not nearly as good as the Fedex prehistoric ad that was so great. Bud Light auction wedding was great though.

9:19 Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson are the bigger names but Joseph Addai might end up being the MVP if the Colts win this. It wouldn’t be the first time. Antowain Smith outplayed Marshall Faulk, Michael Pittman outplayed Charlie Garner… officially gets the “Biggest Waste of Money” award for that piece of crap of a commercial. That was something you could see on TV at 3am in the morning. How did they just spend over $2M on airing that?

13:13 Third time’s the charm as Peyton gets intercepted after three attempts to do so.

So far the commercials are lame. Throwing a cell phone at someone as an “anti-theft device” is funny. Throwing a rock to get a beer isn’t.

15:00 Here we go folks… and in 12 seconds the Bears take the lead on a Hester kickoff return for a TD. Wow.

NFL General

Sarah Spain picks her lucky date

By now you’ve probably heard about Sarah Spain, the girl who tried to sell herself on eBay for Super Bowl tickets because she’s a huge Bears fan. (We never got around to blogging this story because, well, we couldn’t get past the picture part of it, but for you dear readers, we fought through…) Anyway, instead of having to actually do anything for Super Bowl tickets, she wound up with 4 tickets to the game courtesy of Axe Body Spray (what tons of high school guys will look back on as their generation’s version of Drakkar Noir) and had an extra ticket so she decided to run a contest to take one lucky guy. Well that lucky guy is some medical student named Alan Shahtaji.

You can check out Sarah’s posting on her myspace page about why she picked the guy but we think it was probably the photo of him as a kid pretending to be a Bear. Chicks love that stuff. Anyway, we think the guy over at With Leather should have won even if he isn’t a Bears fan — mainly because of his application essay. We suspect that if Matt from With Leather had his way, any googling of “Alan Shahtaji” would come up with “has herpes”.

By the way, we could have posted a photo of this Alan guy but… why?

[LAist]: Interview with Sarah Spain

Texas Rangers

Dec 12 in Sports History: A-Rod’s big payday

Broke the bank

In 2000: Free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez cashed in big time, with a 10-year, $252 million dollar contract from the Texas Rangers. Of course, it broke every conceivable record for amount of money paid to any athlete in any sport. In 2004, he was traded to the Yankees, and A-Rod is still waiting for his first World Series ring. According to our sources, the money never bought him a hug, either.

In 1981: Wayne Gretzky set another of his untouchable records, this one the fastest to reach 50 goals. The Great One’s goal going into the year was to score 50 in 50 games, but he was way off. It only took him 39, and he accomplished it at the old Auditorium in Buffalo. Gretzky went on to smash Phil Esposito’s mark of 76 goals in a season and ended up with a mind-boggling 92.

In 1965: While everyone is talking about Bears’ rookie Devin Hester’s performance last night against the Rams with two kick returns for touchdowns, his performance doesn’t quite match the great Gale Sayers. The Kansas rookie set a record with six touchdowns in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Played on a muddy Wrigley Field surface, Sayers’ scores included an 80 yard reception, a 50 yard run and an 65 yard punt return. His 22 touchdowns in 1965 are an NFL rookie record.

Chicago Bears

Dec 11 in Sports History: The Super Bowl Shuffle

In 1985: On the very same day in the very same city, the awesomeness of “The Super Bowl Shuffle” was unleashed by the Chicago Bears “Shufflin’ Crew” upon an unsuspecting football public. The horrible-but-so-hilariously-uncomfortable video was recorded by the 12-1 Bears the day after they lost their only game of the season, 38-24 in Miami. For those too young to remember, you missed solid gold raps like “My name is Sweetness, and I like to dance, runnin’ the ball is like makin’ romance” by the late/great Walter Payton, hall of famer and classy guy (I swear). Don’t forget William “The Refrigerator” Perry’s “You’re lookin’ at the Fridge (duh, we thought it was Matt Suey), I’m the rookie, I may be large but I’m no dumb cookie.” It went on like this. For almost six “thank God that wasn’t my dad” minutes.

Two questions, though. One, where was Ditka? And two, why didn’t Ditka stop this? Actually, it was made for charity, as they worked in “feed the needy.” Good thing they like, actually won the Super Bowl two months later. They might have looked dumb.

Also in 1985: The “New NHL,” you call it? That faint sound you hear is the 1980s Edmonton Oilers laughing their asses off. They could score more goals in one game than today’s teams can score in a week. They proved it on this day in 1985, when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 12-9 at old Chicago Stadium. The game tied a record for goals in a game with 21 and set a record for most points scored in a game with 63. Wayne Gretzky also tied his own record with 7 assists in the game. The Oilers scored double-digit goals six times that season Gretzky had more assists (163) than the next closest player had total points (Mario Lemieux with 141). His 215 points remain an NHL record.

NFL General

Dec 8 in Sports History: Bears beat Redskins 73-0 in Championship game

In 1940: If you thought the Buffalo Bills were pathetic in Super Bowls, how about the Washington Redskins’ showing in the 1940 NFL Championship game against the Chicago Bears? Having defeated the Bears 7-3 a few weeks ago in a rough, physical game, the Redskins called the Bears “crybabies.” Uh, big mistake to piss off George Halas, the Bears legendary coach. The Bears completely redesigned their offense, having a college coach come in and teach them the T formation. It worked pretty well, as the Bears scored 28 points in the first quarter, and ran up the score to a whopping 73-0. It still remains as the most lopsided game in NFL history. Also, to add to the humiliation for the Redskins, sports fans across the country followed the Bears 11 touchdowns (including three interception returns in the third quarter) in the first national broadcast of an NFL game on radio. We’re not sure if Halas’ tombstone reads, “Who’s Crying Now, Bitches!” (The 2006 ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia).

In 1987: Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers became the first goaltender to shoot and score a goal in an NHL game. Billy Smith of the Islanders received credit for a goal as the last player to have possession of the puck when an opponent accidentally put it into his own net and Bob Froese of the Flyers was originally thought to have scored, but the goal was later changed. At the end of a game against Boston, Hextall got possession of the puck at the goal line and flipped it the length of the ice into the empty net. Hextall would score again a few years later in a playoff game against the Washington Capitals. Since then, Martin Brodeur, Chris Osgood and Jose Theodore have scored empty-netters. (

(Oh, and don’t believe anybody who tells you that I once let up a goal on a shot by the other goalie in gym class in sixth grade)

NFL General

Around the NFL: Week 13 Recap

1. Rex Grossman stinks: The Bears clinched the division title even though Rex Grossman went 6 for 19 for 34 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs. At one point in the game, Rex’s passer rating was 0.0 and he had as many INTs as he had completions. The fans in Chicago must seriously be worried about their QB situation. The defense and Devin Hester can only bail you out so many times. And Brad Johnson won’t be giftwrapping 4 INTs in the playoffs. From the Chicago Tribune: “I’ve hit a little slump,” Grossman offered, which is kind of what the Titanic said to the iceberg.”

2. “Nobody celebrates like a Grammatica“: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman can make fun of Bill Grammatica all they want but Martin came up clutch against the Giants and the Cowboys now have a stranglehold on the NFC East, where they were previously 1-3. The Giants meanwhile are looking like the Raiders with their personal fouls and false starts at home. By the way, why does Tom Coughlin stare in disbelief after every single play. Yeah, Tom, it happened. Stop acting like some act of God went against your team and just focus on coaching up the next play.

3. Bush’s breakout game: Reggie Bush certainly was impressive in the Saints’ win over the Niners yesterday. He had 3 rushing and 1 receiving TD but let’s not go overboard and give him the rookie of the year award yet. He isn’t even the Rookie of the Saints. That distinction (and offensive ROY) belongs to Marques Colston with 54 catches, 869 yards and 7 TDs. While Bush’s 4 TDs in one game is impressive, Colston has been more of a consitent scoring threat this season and has been very important in Drew Brees’ stellar year and the Saints run to the playoffs.

4. So much for the Dolphins: Remember Joey Harrington’s “Why can’t we win 9 in a row?” statement? Well, Joey, because you threw an interception at the Jaguars’ 8 yard line and then you threw another interception at your own 23 yard line. Any talk of the Dolphins making a run to the playoffs with was squashed in a 24-10 loss to the Jaguars. Instead of being 6-6 and within a game of the wildcard, the Dolphins are 2 games out and behind 5 teams for the 2 wildcard slots. What if Nick Saban had gone with Drew Brees or even Joey Harrington from the get go?

5. We want Jake!: While most people agree that Jay Cutler will be a fine QB eventually, the move by Shanny to bench Plummer isn’t looking as good as Parcell’s decision to bench Bledsoe. Other than the 71 yard TD pass towards the end of the game, Cutler was completely underwhelming in his debut. The only lengthy drive that he steered was in the second quarter but that TD drive was mostly a result of a Tatum Bell 31 yard run and a 15 yard personal foul on the Seahawks. (Cutler did throw a nice ball to Stephan Alexander for the TD.) The road doesn’t get any easier as the Broncos head to San Diego next week. However, the rest of the season does include two games against JV secondaries (Arizona and SF) where Cutler can get tuned up for the playoffs.

6. BORRRRRRRRRING!: Finally, ESPN gets hosed again with another Monday Night matchup that shouldn’t be interesting to anyone not in Carolina or Philly. While NBC has been getting great games on the Sunday night broadcast, we’ve had to sit through such coma inducing games on MNF like Chargers @ Raiders, Packers @ Eagles, Patriots @ Vikings, Raiders (again?) @ Seattle, Bucs @ Panthers, and Seahawks @ Packers (again?). Why exactly were the Packers on MNF twice this season? Oh right, Theisman and Kornheiser made sure their contracts included ample opportunity to knob Brett Favre.

General Sports

Nov 30 in Sports History: Brian’s Song

In 1971: ABC-TV aired “Brian’s Song,“ one of the most famous sports movies ever. The movie was a tearjerker about Brian Piccolo (played by James Caan) and Gayle Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), two Chicago Bears teammates who, despite their differences, became best friends, blah, blah, blah. Piccolo ends up dying of cancer, and we didn’t cry, there was just a lot of dust everywhere that day. (

In 1996: In a win over the Spurs, Michael Jordan of the Bulls scored 35 points and recorded his 25,000th career point. Jordan finished his 15-year career with over 32,000 points and a 30.1 average. Jordan was only the tenth player in NBA history to hit the quarter-century mark in points scored. (

In 2005: The Boston Bruins made one of the worst trades in sports history, as they jettisoned captain, former top draft pick and franchise player Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau (not Keith, the better of the two brothers) and Brad Stuart. The Bruins immediately went into the tank, missed the playoffs and GM Mike O’Connell was fired, while Thornton flourished with the Sharks. He teamed up with Jonathan Cheechoo to lead the league in scoring and also won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. (

Chicago Bears

Nov 20 in Sports History: Sweetness breaks the killer’s single game rushing record

In 1977: Walter Payton broke O.J. Simpson’s single-game NFL rushing record with 275 yards on 40 carries in a 10-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Simpson had set the record a year earlier with 273. “Sweetness’” performance sparked a run to the playoffs for the struggling Bears, who made the postseason for the first time in 14 years. Payton’s record stood for 23 years, until it was broken by Corey Dillon of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2000 and again by Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. Payton also set a record for most rushing attempts that season with 339 (which he broke a few years later). (The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia)

In 1962: Mickey Mantle tied an American League record by winning his third AL MVP award. Mantle shares the record with fellow Yankee greats Joe Dimaggio and Yogi Berra. Mantle won the award despite playing in only 123 games due to nagging injuries, hitting .321 with 30 homers and 89 RBI. Along with the three Yankees, only three other players have won three MVP awards (Roy Campanella, Stan Musial and Mike Schmidt). Barry Bonds (unfortunately) has won the award seven times. (baseball

College Football

Odds and Ends: The OTHER college football brawl

In the all the hullaballoo over the Miami-FIU brawl last week, overlooked was the brawl that broke out after the Holy Cross v. Dartmouth game. After winning the game on an 18 yard field goal, Holy Cross players started dancing on the D at midfield. Understandably, the Dartmouth players were displeased and a melee developed. The two schools proved that they might be Div I-AA in football but they could brawl as well as the D1 schools. While no one brandished a helmet like a battle axe, there were crutches waved about. Police are reviewing the videotape and arrests could be made. Unfortunately we don’t have pics or video of the fight but we do have a photo of Keggy the Keg, greatest unofficial mascot outside of the F&M Fightin’ Amish.

In other news…

[Yahoo]: Fassel fired. Somewhere in New Orleans, Sean Payton is laughing his ass off

[Inside Bay Area]: Macha’s relationship with players and not ALCS loss lead to firing

[Foul Balls]: Mike Tyson Could Be Beating Women in a Town Near You

[]: Dominican Republic police issue warrant for Juan Uribe

[Can’t Stop the Bleeding]: Keep your kids away from this mascot

[There’s Your Karma Ripe as Peaches]: Leinart and Urlacher might share the same STD! (How could Tony Kornheiser not mention this?)