By David Schoenfield
Page 2

Day 12 ...

When I turned on the tube to watch Monday night's game, my first thought was, "Boy, with that physique, Mike Tice really shouldn't be wearing that kind of shirt."

My next thought was of Howard Cosell. I'm old enough to have watched Cosell on "Monday Night Football," and I realize that kids in college now never saw him call a game. The show remains one of the most popular on television, but I wonder if it lacks the status it used to have. Sure, Monday night is still special, but I don't anticipate the games like I did when I was 15. I think part of the reason is Cosell.

That isn't a knock on Al Michaels and John Madden. And maybe, as much as anything, this is really just a product of my own aging process. The games don't matter as much as they did when I was 15.

But Cosell loomed large. His presence made the game seem more important. What's interesting is that Michaels and Madden are two of the greatest sports broadcasters ever and have been around for 25 years now, and I'm still thinking about Cosell.

And that's interesting because most of the big national broadcasters have been around a long time. Besides Michaels and Madden, you still have Keith Jackson and Brent Musberger and Bob Costas and Billy Packer doing games. I heard Dick Stockton doing an NFL game on Sunday. I was watching a broadcast of the 1988 Notre Dame-Miami game this morning on the YES Network, and it was being called by Musberger and Pat Haden. These are the guys I grew up with, and they're still going strong.

But who's leading the next generation? Outside of Joe Buck on baseball -- and, considering his age, he may be doing World Series games for the next 35 years -- who are the younger broadcasters who stand out? I'm not talking about ESPN anchors like Stu Scott, but about the play-by-play guys and the analysts. Are there are any budding Musbergers or Maddens out there? Any Cosells?

Maybe it just doesn't happen anymore. Maybe it's impossible to obtain that kind of status.

*****

Anyway, it was an exciting game on Monday night. Ten random thoughts about it:

1. Wished Randy Moss would have played.

Weekend Scorecard
Food consumed: Wheat Thins, several large handfuls; scone with apple butter.

Diet sodas: 3

Salsa: Umm, the fridge is a little full right now with half-empty salsa jars.

Time spent playing with leaves: Zero minutes.

It must be getting cold to still be raking leaves, right? Yes.

Weight gained: Holding at two pounds. Must keep raking leaves.

Mental state of mind: One week left. I can make it. Feelin' good. Just so the games stay close ...

Cheerleader shots: Several. Rumor is the Colts are known for their talented cheerleaders.

2. I know Peyton Manning hasn't won the Big One; but are you saying if he switched places with Tom Brady, the Patriots would be worse?

3. Reggie Wayne continues to be a great waiver wire pickup from Week 1 for my fantasy team. (Shuddup, Schoenfield. Nobody cares about your fantasy team.)

4. Marcus Pollard, baby!!

5. Mike Tice will probably never be labeled a genius. Maybe that's unfair. It's pretty easy to be labeled a coaching genius these days. But not with that shirt.

6. Great stat: Edgerrin James has averaged 129.3 yards from scrimmage per game in his career. That's tops all-time, ahead of Jim Brown's 125.5. Granted, James hasn't been as dominating or as durable as he was during his first two years in the league (before his injury in 2001), but the numbers show what a terrific two-way threat he's been.

7. I gave in. I couldn't do chips and salsa for a 12th straight day. Call me weak. I'm sure Parcells would be yelling at me right now -- yelling that I'm not man enough to watch 19 consecutive days of football. But I did eat a bunch of Wheat Thins. Of course, Parcells would be yelling at me because they were low-fat.

8. After Vikings kicker Aaron Elling wrenched his knee making a tackle on a kickoff, a great line from Madden: "Kickers don't practice the football part of football."

9. Man, kickers get a raw deal, don't they?

10. That little left-handed shovel pass Manning made on the game-winning drive? Just sweet is all, just sweet.

Final game score: Four potatoes



E-mail of the Day

FOOTBALL IN AMERICA
  • Football In America Index
  • Pasquarelli: Day 12: Dwight dominates
  • Postcard
  • Schoenfield: Livin' La Vida Sofa
  • Forde: Why we love football
  • I know you said in your article that you didn't watch the game, and unfortunately the Cajuns lost to North Texas again. (I was wondering if this was on your watching schedule; I was looking forward to your comments since I actually attended the game.) But you have to get the mascot spelling correct: It's RAGIN' Cajuns, not RAGUN' Cajuns. I know it's a small point, but we UL alums have to get our information correct the few times that we go national, you know? Thanks for the entertaining articles.
      -- Greg Daigle

    My apologies. I actually do know how to spell it -- just a typo on my part. In fact, my buddy Matt's brother is a coach for the baseball team there. Go Cajuns!

    David Schoenfield is an editor for Page 2 in his day job. He can be reached at davidschoenfield@yahoo.com.




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