Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Before we get ourselves revved up for Week 3, a quick note about Props.

While the blog covers all aspects of sports from its action to its culture to its business, the idea of Props was to highlight some of the finer things specifically in a game or its broadcast. Yet, this hasn't been an ordinary week considering all that has gone on in the past seven days: Hurricane Ike, Wall Street, etc. So, in regards to Week 2, let's spread the love a bit, shall we?

Kickoff - FOX: For as many issues some of us (myself included) have with FOX's NFL coverage, they are daring in their graphics innovation. With a defensive player now equipped with a headset to speak with his defensive coordinator, fans want to know which player has the green dotted helmet. In the scrolling starting lineup graphic, there's a green box and radio label that surrounds the picture of player who adorns the helmet.
During the first Giants offensive/Rams defensive series, Joe Buck pointed out that is was Corey Chavous, the Rams' free safety who wore the helmet as his team was torched by the Philadelphia Eagles for over 500 yards in Week 1. Now, maybe it just gives fans and media a scapegoat when their defense looks sloppy, yet, FOX did this to help satiate one of the league's great curiosities.

1st Quarter - Darren Rovell: Before all hell broke loose on Wall Street, the last seemingly positive financial news this week centered around the valuation of NFL franchises. Forbes releases the worth of each franchise annually and delves into what makes the league's proverbial cash registers go 'ching!' every second of the day. Forbes said that the average worth of a team has reached over $1 billion, with nineteen teams clearing that mark. These days, the NFL seems to be like The Juggernaut, only getting stronger as it moves without anyone truly questioning its power. So we're supposed to believe that every team is really worth its stated value, right?
Rovell questions how the venerable magazine came up with the numbers and in some way, puts them in perspective with the economic realities here in the U.S. This is not to say that a lie is being told so much as Rovell is telling folks to not take everything as gospel.

2nd Quarter - Matt Forte: The Chicago Bears needed something to be happy about and there's no doubt that Forte has provided a reason to smile a bit more. Their quarterback situation has been in shambles for decades, no one can name one wide receiver in the franchise's history outside of Chicagoland and Cedric Benson burned them baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. He's been impressive for a guy that they did not plan on playing much and was relatively unknown coming out of Tulane. Granted, it's been two weeks, but 215 yards in two games for a rookie RB against a stout Carolina front seven and an Indianapolis team hyped to open a new stadium isn't a bad start.

Halftime - Gene Deckerhoff. Just the coolest voice in the game.

3rd Quarter - Ed Hochuli: If you haven't heard by now, the most famous referee in American sports became its most infamous because of a blown call that cost the San Diego Chargers a potential win against the rival Denver Broncos. Yet, respect should be due to the man for not only admitting to his error - no matter how great it is in the overall scheme of a 16-game season - but for not hiding behind the overall body of officials or stubbornly telling the public (and himself) that he believed he made the right call at the time and stands by it. The referee's job is difficult enough as is and Hochuli had every ample opportunity to partake in a little CYA. It doesn't change the outcome nor will it make any member of the Chargers organization any less upset, but at least everyone can move forward.
With that positive slant given, two things need to be understood. First, for those folks who are getting into a tizzy about the call, aren't there a few other pressing concerns in society than this? Secondly, when a team's fortunes seem to be predicated on a botched call or play, the reality is that it should never come down to that in the first place! If the final score of a football game is 39-38, as exciting as it may be to watch, it should be an alarm for such porous defense played on both sides. (Thanks to Shutdown Corner for the reference).

4th Quarter - Keary Colbert and Koren Robinson: They were the winners of the "Seattle needs healthy bodies at wide receiver" sweepstakes. "Because we all know" - in the words of Stephen A. Smith - that right now, the Seahawks have more trainers and paramedics than flankers at the moment.
In all seriousness, this could be one of the good stories in the NFL this year. Robinson been sober for 25 months and returns to the franchise that drafted him six years ago. For anyone that has ever watched how a person's alcoholism can disrupt and devastate life, you wish for more redemptive stories as his.

No comments: