The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Saints’

Of the Saints, 49ers, and Joe Carter.

Posted by keithosaunders on January 16, 2012

It’s been a great playoff season.  Who could have predicted that when the smoke cleared there would be two coaches named Harbaugh in the Championship game, as well as a Giants team who on December 4th had lost four in a row, and at 6-6 looked like an afterthought.  The Patriots success could have been predicted, but on the other hand, they have one of the more porous defenses in NFL history to have advanced this deep into the playoffs.

On Saturday I settled into my living room to watch the 49ers/Saints game.  Living in the Bay Area and being a sports talk-radio devotee, I had spent the previous week being hyped into a frenzy, and by midday Saturday I was frothing at the mouth awaiting the game.

The radio hosts and the callers had confounded me with their near unanimous confidence in the 49ers ability to take down the scoring machine that is the Saints offense.  To me it seemed like homer-ism run amok.  Their team has a mediocre quarterback and had played a soft schedule.

In New York, even when the Giants have great teams, this kind of blanket cockiness never exists.  There is always a healthy dose of skepticism and people more or less expect the worst to happen.

I have a theory about this.  New York has largest Jewish population of any metropolitan area in the world.  Nobody knows suffering like the Jews do, and the feeling of facing insurmountable hardships seeps into the collective psyche of the city.  Every gentile in New York knows a little Yiddish.

The Hebraically challenged Bay Area does not know from such suffering, ergo they are blithely spared such bouts of negative thinking.  They can’t imagine anything bad happening.

Contrarian that I am, I was quietly savoring watching the ‘Friscans being served a generous helping of humble pie.  The game began and you could see immediately that the 49ers defense was all that it was advertised.  Still the Saints defense held their own, shutting down the Niners offense for most of the second and third quarter.

By the fourth quarter two things were painfully apparent:  First, it was going to be a great ending, and second, because of my Saturday night gig, I would have to leave sometime during the fourth quarter.

I left with the 49ers ahead with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter.  By the time I had reached the Bay Bridge the Saints had taken their first lead of the game.  Midway across the bridge the 49ers grabbed the lead back with a brilliant Harbaugh call of an Alex Smith bootleg.

By now I was beginning to do the slow burn, grinding my teeth and muttering the name, Joe Carter under my breath.  (In 1993 I missed the one of the greatest World Series ending of all time — a Joe Carter walk-off home run)

I was over the bridge and driving south on Folsom when the Saints retook the lead on a 66 yard Drew Brees pass to tight end, Jimmy Graham.

“Shit!”

By now I was desperately searching for a bar where I could pull over and watch the final minute and a half of the game.  The sports gods rewarded me with a bar and a parking spot, and I ran in to see the winning 49er drive.  At least I can say I saw the end of what will surely be remembered as one of the greatest playoff games of all time.

I was unprepared for what would happen next.  It was more of a delayed reaction, really, as if the city was on seven second delay.  It was as if the city took a collective deep breath and held it for five minutes.

Then bedlam.  People began streaming out of bars shouting with delight, cars were honking and drunk girls were screaming like banshees.  This went on for two hours.  It was like V-J day.  I realize it was a game for the ages, but come on,  San Francisco, act like you’ve been there before.  It’s not even the championship game!

The thing is, they have been there — THEY’VE WON FIVE SUPER BOWLS!

Now the 49ers will face my team, the Giants.  I have no doubt that every Bay Area resident is rubbing his or her palms together in glee, thinking, “Oh baby, it’s in the bag!”  But unless I miss my guess, I think they’re in for a rude awakening come Sunday.  Talmud, after all, is a dish best served cold.

 

 

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Seahawks give it!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 10, 2011

On Saturday the Seattle Seahawks pulled off the upset of the year beating the defending champion New Orleans Saints 41-36.  In the wake of the upset I hope I hope the NFL doesn’t mess with their playoff rules, preventing under .500 teams from qualifying.  True, the seedings are now skewed, but this is what makes sports worth watching — the unpredictable and the wacky.  This is the first time in over 80 years that a sub-.500 team has made the playoffs and I wouldn’t expect it to happen with any regularity. 

The Seahawks actually beat the Bears in week 6 of the regular season.  I’ll be rooting for them to knock off an inconsistent, yet consistently boring Bears team , thus putting the fear of God into the NFL (and myself)  of a Patriots-Seahawks Superbowl.  How about Jets-Seahawks?  We can dream, can’t we?

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Let’s talk turkey

Posted by keithosaunders on November 26, 2010

I spent Thanksgiving with my father in Las Vegas.   We had our “dinner” at 1 in the afternoon, which I initially thought to be way too early of a starting time.  In effect, however, it dovetailed perfectly with the NFL schedule allowing us to see most, if not all of the three games. 

The Lions were blown out in the early game but they did us the favour of jumping out to a big lead.  True, they gave us false hope of an improbable upset over Bill Belichick and the hated Patriots, but hey, they kept it close until the 4th quarter thereby giving us more joy than we had a right to expect from this ill begotten team.

We were finished with “dinner” by 2:30 which allowed us to repair to the living room for the  Dallas-New Orleans contest.  By the time we got to it the score was 17-0 Saints leading us to believe we were in for a long afternoon.  Not that either of us are Dallas fans — far from it — we just craved a competitive matchup while we digested our food.

Lo and behold the game turned around and Dallas actually went in front 27-23 late in the 4th and had the ball to boot.   When Roy Williams caught a breakaway pass late in the period it looked as if they would ice the game, but all of a sudden a defender, Malcolm Jenkins, snatched the ball away from for the turnover.  The Saints then drove 89 yards for the go-ahead score.  The game was not over, though, and Dallas actually got into position for a tieing 59 yard field goal.  The kick had the distance but went wide left.  Ballgame. 

The announcers couldn’t get over the brilliance of Jenkin’s takeaway.  To these amateur eyes, however, it looked like Williams could have covered the ball up more than he did. He has to know that even if he doesn’t score, as long as he keeps possetion, the game is probably over.   At worst it would have ended up tied going into overtime, allowing for more Thanksgiving day football!

Full disclosure:  We didn’t watch most of the Jets game.  The Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster film, Seven Days in May came on TCM and once we flipped to it during a break in the Jets game we couldn’t turn away.  It’s a tense, political thriller that seems just as relevant to today as it did in the cold war ’60s.

So there you have it.  I heartedly recommend the early Thanksgiving dinner.  It is the sports fan’s best friend.

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