I haven't lived blogged a Vikings game on here other than the pre-season debut of Favre in purple. Let's remedy this situation. Follow along with me, won't you?
7:24 - Wow, how overproduced is this? Why is Faith Hill singing an ode to football on NBC? Why are we 9 minutes past official kick-off time and still waiting? Is Sunday Night Football always like this? Thank god I haven't watched very often. This whole production makes Dick Vitale look tame.
7:25 - Plus, they've been on the air for 25 minutes now and not a single mention of the passing of Brittany Murphy? What happened to a little common decency and a little bit of respect? One of the greatest actresses of our generation, and these meatheads can't stop talking about Brett Favre's fanny long enough to recognize a tragic day. I'm expecting the Vikings to be wearing a patch today. Either "BM" or some sort of tribute to her role in 8 Mile will do. Gotta be something, right?
7:30 - Game still hasn't started. Now they're interviewing Childress, who, as usual, is really personable and friendy and just a funny, engaging guy. He's really like the Dane Cook of football coaches. Also, did you know Brittany Murphy guest starred in four episodes of Blossom? Can you imagine a Blossom, Brittany, Six sandwich? Like, whoa.
7:31 - Kickoff. Carolina ball. I'm pretty bummed we aren't getting Delhomme here. I can't even wrap my head around how many interceptions he'd throw against the Vikes defense.
7:33 - In my keeper league which I didn't even make the playoffs in, Snake and Bogart are playing in the conference finals and are going down to the wire. The Adrian Peterson vs. Deangelo Williams matchup in this game is huge for them. Carolina goes 3-and-out, Deangelo got about four yards. That's worth zero points.
7:35 - A catch by Kleinsasser? Carolina might as well pack it in, this one is pretty much over.
7:37 - Favre gets sacked on third down, and now the Vikes will have to punt. This game is boring as hell. There's a reason I try to go to the bar to watch football games.
7:39 - So I was poking around kenpom.com and looking at the stats (From the Barn did this last week as well a bit), and I came across the fact that Al Nolen is 8th in the country in steal percentage, stealing the ball on 6.11% of the opponents possessions when he is in the game, which is insane and the second best number of any major conference player behind Andy Rautins at 6.77%. And guess who is second in the Big Ten at 5.23%? Damian Johnson. Last year those two finished second and third behind Chris Kramer, and two years ago they finished 1st and 3rd. There's a reason the Gopher defense has been so good these last three years. I'm suddenly starting to worry that we're spoiled. Also while I was typing all of that the Panthers went 3-and-out again and then Favre took a sack instead of throwing the ball away. I am not a purist. I hate low-scoring games.
7:47 - Vikings punt after both Favre and AP fall down. What kind of grass we working with here, ice?
7:50 - Viking sack on that QB whose name I forget by Jared Allen which causes a fumble which the Vikings refuse to recover once again. I've never seen a team so terrible and picking up a fumble. Mark my words, this is going to cost them big at some point, probalby in the playoffs. Carolina punts once again, and this time Reynaud (Snacks' guy) takes it all the way back to the Carolina 30 so maybe we'll finally get some scoring. This game is starting to resemble marriage.
7:55 - Nevermind. They do nothing at all with it and then Longwell misses a 39-yarder. Ugh. Oof. I need a beer or a shot. Maybe both. I kind of feel like Anthony Tucker.
7:59 - Carolina finally manages a first down. Be still my heart. Check that, there's another one. Now we're rolling Matty Moore, now we're rolling.
8:01 - Wow, Muhsin Muhammed still plays. I wasn't aware of that. And it's another first down. Suddenly the Panther offensive line is opening up gaping holes and all their receivers have become uncoverable. It's like that missed field goal has destroyed the defense. Must be some kind of built-in momentum meter or something. It explains a lot about 1998.
8:05 - They just showed a graphic that Steve Smith only has a single one hundred yard receiving game this year after leading the NFL the last three years. Man, how awesome would it be if you were in a keeper league and traded him at the start of this season? Genius move.
8:08 - Touchdown Carolina on a pass to a wide open Brad Hoover in the flat, because Hoover is the kind of guy who always seems to be open in the flat. It's like when the Patriots would bring in Mike Vrabel to block on the goal line, you knew damn well he was going out for a pass, and yet he was open every time. Ridiculous. Also ridiculous is that they blocked the extra point. That's weird.
8:11 - I don't know if you saw this a few weeks ago, but Wofford came to East Lansing to play Michigan State. The reason that is a big deal is that Noah Dahlman (formerly of Braham High School here in the great state of Minnesota) attends Wofford, while his brother Isaiah (also of Braham) spurned the Gophers to play for Sparty. Isaiah, you might remember, was ranked the 112th best player in the class of 2005 and was kind of a big deal, but he never gave the Gophers serious consideration. Noah was a year younger, wasn't ranked or thought of as a national prospect at all, received no interest from the Gophers and ended up at Wofford. Well, in their big head-to-head battle, Noah scored 19 points and grabbed four rebounds, while Isaiah, usually a bench warmer but given the start by Izzo for the whole brothers thing, scored a whole two points in twelve minutes. The Spartans won, but I think we know which brother really won this thing.
8:16 - Vikes respond to the challenge in Gopher-like fashion by going three and out.
8:19 - Vikings nearly get a safety, but due to a display of tackling that can only be described as "not tackling" J. Stewart picks up about 8 yards instead. No matter. They still have to punt. There have been a lot of punts this game. It's like the opposite of playing Madden.
8:20 - Deangelo out with an ankle injury, his return is questionable. Ouch Snake. I'd feel bad for you, but last year his five TD performance stole the championship from me, so you can go F yourself.
8:21 - There's some Bud Light commerical what that I just saw where some dude is all tuxedoed out for a wedding and to put the boutaineer on the chick uses a nail gun. It's not really that funny or anything, but while she's doing that there is a little message at the bottom of the screen that says "Do Not Attempt." Now that's funny.
8:27 - AP scores from about the 3 despite being stood up and almost completely stoped by two different Panthers. This guy is just unreal. Vikings take a 7-6 lead with the extra point. Seriously, Peterson is like playing Tecmo Bowl with Christian Okoye when he's in excellent condition - he's just looking for guys to run into and bounce at this point.
8:30 - If I had to pick my final four right now, I'd say Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, and West Virginia, but I am pretty sure that will change. I still like Cincy, Duke, Michigan State, Villanova, Purdue, Mississippi State, UCONN, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, and Ohio State (when Turner gets back if he's the same player) to all have a chance as well. I am also really liking this New Mexico team, but they haven't and won't play any elite level talent, so it's tough to get a true read. Wins over Cal and Texas A&M are nice, and they still play Texas Tech and Dayton, but it's tough to predict how good they actually are.
8:38 - Oh crap. One of the Vikings' d-backs just tossed Steve Smith to the ground a little after the whistle. No penalty or anything, but Smith got up talking at the guy, who made the world's biggest mistake and talked back. I am now expecting Smith to have a monster second half. Also can anybody explain to me why Childress wouldn't use a timeout with 45 seconds left or so on Carolina's fourth down so the Vikings would get the ball back with a little time remaining? I'm pretty sure football's Pete Rose can drive them down into field goal range with that kind of time. Especially now that Carolina picked up a penalty to take them out of field goal range and are now going to run a hail mary rather than punt? And what if they missed? Vikings would have gotten the ball at their own 40 with 40 seconds to get twenty-five yards. It turned out not to matter (the hail mary failed) but once agian Childress fails to understand simple strategy. Between him and Brewster the football coaching IQ in this town is like seventy-four.
8:58 - Sorry I'm a bit late getting back, Mrs. W was watching some christmas crap movie about some broad who was going to lose her house because she was behind on the payments or something because she was probably either dumb or lazy, and then the whole town bands together to buy her house for her or whatever - essentially a ripoff of that one Christmas movie everybody loves but I've never actually seen. The one about Clarence the angel or something. I don't really know, like I said, I haven't seen it. It has the guy from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in it. That one. I am back in time to see I missed another Viking three-and-out. Doesn't this team score 30 points every game? Lame.
9:05 - You're never going to believe this, but Carolina is punting. God, the one boring game the Vikings have played this year, the only game where playing offense is merely a rumor, and it's the one I pick to live blog. And it's not like I can just quit. I also can't just say forget it and not publish this post because I've already put too much work into it. Damn Vikings.
9:10 - They just flashed up a graphic telling us that Sid Rice is now the first Viking receiver since 2003 to have at least 70 catches in a season. 70 catches? Since 2003? That is just sad. That's just over 4 catches per game, and the Vikings haven't had anybody who could manage it? That's embarrassing. Although I suppose the level of QB play might have a little something to do with it, speaking of embarrassing. Also embarrassing - yet another Viking punt.
9:15 - So is this Avatar thing any good then or what? I'm kind of a dork, but not dorky enough to give a bad movie a pass just because it's Sci-Fi/Fantasy (other than Phantom Menace) and I really don't want to waste like three hours of my time if it's going to suck. Better or worse than watching Jumper twice? Speaking of things that are less entertaining than Jumper, Carolina is punting again.
9:20 - I might be in a death pool this year. That's where you pick 13 people who you think might die in 2010, then if they do die you get points equal to (100-their age), so like if I had picked Brittany Murphy in 2009 (*makes sign of cross*, rest in peace) she would have been worth 78 points. Anybody have any good ideas? Speaking of death, the Vikings finally start moving the ball and then Sid Rice fumbles and Carolina recovers. Oof.
9:25 - Dear god, another punt. I'm starting to wish that homo-riffic christmas movie was back on.
9:26 - Vikings average yardage per game this season = 379. So far tonight = 137. This is like if you went to a Globetrotters game and showed up at the one time the Generals decided to say "screw it" and tried to win. Do you remember when the Trotters played the Gophers several years ago and a 400-pound Oliver Miller destroyed them? That was interesting. Not interesting: another Vikings punt, which just happened. No, I'm not kidding.
9:32 - Touchdown Steve Smith. Told you. Oh nevermind, coming back because of a holding penalty. That one actually had a direct affect on the play (dude grabbed Kevin Williams, buying the QB just enough time to get the throw off). Probably just means Smith will score from further out.
9:37 - Al Michaels doesn't believe that was holding. In related news, Al Michaels is an idiot. And Steve Smith just caught the TD from about fifty yards on a play that could possibly have been offensive interference, but the ref was probably afraid that if he called it Smith would pop him. See people, I told you. You just can't talk trash at him. He feeds off of it the way Freddy Krueger feeds off of fear. Just be polite, leave him alone, and be meek and mild and he'll just fade away.
9:41 - They just cut to a shot of Smith before the second half started and he's yelling and ranting and carrying on like a crazy person and just generally acting like the guy you see walking down the street downtown who makes you cross over to the other side because you're terrified to get within ten feet of him. I love that crazy son of a bitch.
9:43 - Collinsworth, "Favre doesn't just throw it in the first hole, he waits and throws it in the second hole." I'm giggling.
9:48 - The DirectTV box was just kind enough to tell me that although our TV is a 1080p level of HD, we had our box set only to 480p and we should switch it - so we did. Whoa. That explains why I was kind of thinking that HD was overrated. I no longer have those feelings. Thank you DirectTV box, I don't even want to imagine how long it would have taken me to figure that out on my own. By the way, the Vikings just punted.
9:51 - Steve Smith with about a forty yard gain down inside the five after catching a shorty and deaking Winfield out of his shorts. He's fired up. J-Stewart folows that up with a TD run where he broke fifteen tackles and gained just three yards. Nice job, overrated defense. Vikes now down 19-7 and continue to refuse to gain any yardage. On an unrelated note, The Devil Wears Prada was a decent movie.
9:59 - The Vikings come up huge, answering the Panthers' back-to-back scores with a punt.
10:00 - By the way, the Mariners are just killing it this offseason. Did you see they just picked up Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva? Getting anything for Silva has got to be considered a steal, and Bradley is usually a hell of a player when he keeps his head on straight and doesn't go all Carl Everett-y. So they've picked up Bradley, Cliff Lee, and Chone Figgins without giving up anything. Wow.
10:07 - Smith with another big catch, this one is being reviewed to see if his feet were in. They were. That gives him 157 yards for the game, mostly in the second half. Thanks a lot, guy who talked back at him. I wish I had paid attention to who it was.
10:10 - Winfield misses a tackle on some dumb white receiver who ends up rambling all the way down to the five. This is not a good night to be Antoine Winfield. Or any member of the offense. Or a blogger who picked tonight's game to live blog.
10:12 - Jonathan Stewart with the receiving touchdown this time. Too bad it's not Deangelo, huh Snake? You still suck.
10:13 - Crap, I just read Garrett Atkins got picked up by the Orioles for $4 million for one year (plus incentives) with an option for a second year (and a $500K buyout). Why the hell wouldn't the Twins do that? That would have been a perfect deal for him and for them. One move for J.J. Hardy is not enough. You have to do more.
10:17 - Favre picked off. That mercifully ends any reason for me to continue watching this. Week in Review will be slightly delayed since I did this stupid crap, but I'll have it up today at some point.