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Friday, September 11, 2009

Season Opener

The 2009 NFL Season kicked off with a defensive thriller at Heinz field between the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennesse Titans. The Titans had the best regular season record of last year at 13-3. The game aired nationwide on NBC and drew in the best ratings in 7 years for a season opener.

If you were tuning in to the game hoping for an offensive shootout, you were sorely disappointed. The game went scoreless until near the end of the 2nd quarter when Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit wide receiver Santonio Holmes for a 34 yard touchdown. The Titans answered right back with 14 yard pass to wideout Gage to tie the game.

Field goals made the difference in this game. Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas rarely misses a kick, but he only managed to nail 1 out of 3 field goal attempts in this game. One kick sailed wide, while the other was blocked. On that play, Steeler strong safety Troy Polamalu suffered a sprained knee that sent him to the locker room for the evening. It was a severe blow to the Steeler defense since Polamalu was playing like a man possessed and had already intercepted Titans quarterback Kerry Collins once in the game. Polamalu will be out of play for 3-6 weeks.

At the end of regulation, the Steelers had a viable drive for a game winning field goal. However, wide receiver Hines Ward fumbled the ball at the Titans 4 yard line to put the game into overtime. In the extra period, Roethlisberger drove the Steelers downfield to put them right back into field goal range by hitting his receivers (Ward, included) down field. Steeler kicker Jeff Reed hit the 33 yard field goal to put the Steelers 1-0 for the season. The Titans start off the year 0-1.

photo credit: (AP/Photo Keith Srakocic)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'Twas the night before the start of the season

Never fear From the fan readers, I am still here. Life gets busy at times, but make no mistake... NFL football is still in the forefront of my mind. I have my fantasy teams ready to go, I have beer in the fridge, and I am giddy like a 5 year-old on Christmas Eve. In the spirit of that giddiness, I have prepared a Season Eve poem for all of you NFL fans out there. If anyone can appreciate this, you can.

'Twas the night before the start of the season

'Twas the night before the start of the season, and all through the league
the players were fighting off training camp fatigue.
The socks were all hung in the lockers with care
in hopes that tough actin' Tinactin soon would be there.

The cheerleaders went home to practice their moves,
and the rookies all knew they had something to prove
The Manning boys in their commercials and I in my chair
had just settled in for a long season's air.

Soon out on that lawn will arise such a hit
that the fans and players will yell out "oh s**t!"
away to the television fans fly like a flash
to see if Vick is back or will he fade away like Slash

Favre is back as a Viking and Cutler a Bear
Madden is gone and Michael Crabtree is where?
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Chad Ochocinco scoring TDs up in here!

Fantasy running backs abound, so lively and quick
and breaking down games on the Network is coach Billick.
Not just Ravens, but Eagles and Cardinals games
and coach Mariucci is doing the same.

Now Dawkins, now Willis, now Ray Lew, and Dixon
will bring on the pain when they all come a blitzin'
to the QB one! to the ground he must fall!
Now sack away! Sack away! Sack away all!

And then, in a twinkling I heard to a beat
the running and rushing of each little cleat
the cheering and roaring of each home crowd
as we sit back, grab a beer, and turn it up loud!

We're all dressed in our gear and we've painted our faces
We've put on our jerseys and tied up our laces.
A ticket, a package, some witness to bear
that T.O. is a Bengal and he's willing to share!

My eyes how they'll twinkle when it is time for the game
The Saints are lookin' for more of the same
Drew Brees and his team look to win one at home
on their journey to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Then on Sunday, they will all play. Some go 0-1,
some go 1-0 and play one-on-one
or play man-to-man or drop back in zone
But no one, I promise you, will play the game alone

Not Boldin, nor Marshall, Revis, or Moss
can solely accomplish a win or a loss
Well actually, maybe Tom Brady can
after all, he is the Stetson man.

The season is finally here, we've waited so long
but it's always too short, it soon will be gone
But tonight is before the very beginning
and I for one can't seem to stop grinning.

It's the eve of the season, NFL football is here!
It's the time Baseball sponsors have all come to fear.
From The Fan wishes you all a season of great fun!
Happy Season to all! And to all a great run!

photo credit: (AP/Photo Sean Gardner)