Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stumbling Out of the Post-Football Haze

Don't know about you, but this has been a weird, weird week.

True, mine has been made even weirder by the punctuation of delayed flights, travel, a blizzard, and over 3 straight days on snowbound house arrest.

With my wife and three daughters. Love 'em. But that's a lot of woman-girlie time.

Enough about me, let's talk about you. Mr. Sports Fan. Doesn't this week on the sports calendar just kind of fuck you all up mentally just a bit? It does to me.

See, the Super Bowl has just gone down, and it's like we are spit out of a super long, twisting waterslide tunnel otherwise known as the NFL season.

Not that we've been oblivious to every other sport going on during this time.

It's just that we didn't really give a shit.

There are definite feelings of loss, disconnectedness, despair, and malaise.

Been really hungry, too. Hmm.

So all week I've been scrambling to get some traction on the rest of the glorious buffet that is modern high definition professional (and semi-pro "college") sports.

I watched the Caps lose their 14 game win streak. (Fellas, you can't fall behind every night and scramble to win 6-5. Not gonna last like that.)

I watched Duke put down UNC. There are some out there still willing to say "IF UNC doesn't make the tournament...." What the hell are THEY smoking? If??? Right now, Carolina is on the bubble - IF THE COMMITTEE TAKES ELEVEN TEAMS FROM THE ACC!! Say goodnight, Roy. You were bound for one of these years eventually in Chapel Hill.

I watched alot of stories about Lindsay Vonn's shin. Why can't some helga-looking cross-country-ski-shooter hurt her shin? Damn.

I heard many angles on the Danica Patrick to NASCAR story. I think it's cool. I look forward to seeing her out there. But, I wonder how many casual fans realize that she's not going to be "out there" for any of the big boy races, only a dozen times on the Saturday circuit. Which makes sense, and I'm not complaining. Its just I wonder if NASCAR and the networks aren't overselling her just a bit already. Pace yourself, fellas.

I have gotten more than a few emails from people wondering where did the new Czabecasts and First Team Express segments go? No worries, kids. They will ramp up again on Monday. Since I haven't been into the studios to see Solly and Scotty in over a week, we just haven't been able to knock them out.

Lastly, you must - MUST - see the NFL Films treatment of the Super Bowl win by the Saints 5 days ago. It was the bulk of the "Inside the NFL" show on Showtime. (Don't be cheap bitches, pay the $8 a month for the channel, if for nothing else than this show alone.)

As with all things Steve Sabol and his crew touches, this is pure gold. The film work is stunning, and the mic'd up audio of Sean Peyton (Jim Caldwell either refused, or said nothing of note that was worth showing) is priceless and informative. Not only do you hear Peyton telling the refs to be aware of their on-side kick play, but there are other cool nuggets. Like...

- One of the referees (might have been crew chief Scott Greene, but I can't be sure) actually said "blue ball" on the on-side kick, before the "official" call went to the Saints. Makes me wonder: if the first call by a referee is not final, then is the second call? Or the third?

- Mike Bell's 3rd down run at the goal-line that failed, was because he was wearing the wrong cleats. You could hear Coach Peyton say that Bell had to "stick in his plant foot" and drive it up there on the play before it happens. So they run the play, and Bell slips like he hit a banana. When he comes over to the sideline, Peyton chews his ass out when he sees he's not wearing screw-in cleats, but metal baseball-style cleats. Man was Peyton pissed. Amazing this stuff happens in the Super Bowl.

- Peyton knew that Manning was going to attack replacement corner Usama Young and said as much right before - BINGO! - Pierre Garcon touchdown!

- Prior to game winning INT by Tracey Porter, he and Reggie Wayne had been battling pretty fierce. Not only had Wayne been catching consistent gainers on Porter, but they exchanged words once saying to each other "watch your hands, man!" The final battle, as we all know, went to Porter.

Speaking of that play, I don't think you can blame either Manning or Wayne on it. Porter just stone cold JUMPED the route so clean, neither guy had a chance to avert disaster. When you watch the 3-4 different angle replays on this episode, you see how Porter was at the very spot a full two beats ahead of Wayne. It was a great play, and the product of film study and pure cornerback confidence.

So now we have a pretty boffo weekend to enjoy. Daytona. NBA All-Star Game at JerryWorld. The Olympics, with some awesome NHL all-stars playing and pretty babe-tastic skiers and skaters. All that, plus a crappy non-Tiger field at Pebble Beach. Take notes, golf nerds, because we'll be back there in June for the Open.

The haze is lifting, and I think they just finally got around to plowing my street. Time to go back to work. See you Monday!


  1. Czabe, GREAT stuff from the super bowl. I wish I could toss the bones for that channel...ain't gonna happen for awhile so THANKS for giving us those nuggets! @*&K I wish you were on the XM somewhere! Go hit the bricks monday for a job!!!! LOL Doug in MT

  2. For some reason I have Showtime right now so I got to see what Czabe is talking about. But you left out one really cool nugget Czabe. I'm not sure who the official is, but on the the two point conversion that was ruled incomplete, the official comes over to Payton and says something like: "It's reviewable, I'm not trying to tell you hoe to coach but it's reviewable" and then Payton's all Yeah yeah we want to challenge. Classic!

  3. Is that ethical or legal for a ref to "hint" to a coach that he should review a play?

  4. Czabe, there's only one way to deal with no football and that is to TALK about football until there is football again. It will be an off-season chock-full of juicy storylines (both College and NFL) and I'd even rather hear someone talk about "The Day Of Favre's Lives" soap opera than go on about some meaningless sport like hockey. Screw baseball and hoops too...Football is it baby!

    And hard as it may be to be in pigskin detox, remember Czabe Spring ball is just around the corner...