Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Since I'm always traveling for College Football on Saturdays, Sunday was a rare NFL Gameday for me. I was able to score a ticket to the Dolphins/Texans game. I went tailgating with some friends and we arrived at Reliant at 7:30 AM. Cracked my first beer at 7:35.
I like the NFL just barely over College Football. However the College Football Gameday/tailgating scene kills the NFL.
First off, tailgating for an NFL game your jaw isn't constantly hanging to the ground as you look on in disbelief at 30,000 beautiful coeds shot gunning beers, doing keg stands as they're all dolled up in sundresses looking like they're going out to the club, not a football game.
College football seems to have more passionate/drunk fans with a student body. Opposing fans beware as you will be heckled and yelled out to no end. You will see fights!
One other thing that sets college football apart from the NFL is the bands and the school fight songs. There's nothing like hearing "Boomer Sooner!" and "Go Gators!", to name a couple, played throughout a game.
My tickets to the Phins/Texans game were awesome! By the fourth quarter I was sitting in the front row right behind the Dolphins bench. I gave Ronnie Brown a couple of "War Eagles!" and he turned around and saluted each time.
I also had one of those Kangaroo TV's. If you've never seen one, they're pretty sweet. It's a palm screen that gives you every NFL game. You can have a sidebar of every NFL score and you can switch to any game. Along with scoring updates, you can also check any game/player stats. Definitely great for Fantasy Football junkies and gamblers.
The game started off great as it looked like the Phins would roll to their third win of the season. After Matt Schaub's second interception in as many drives, the crowd was chanting, "We want Sage!"
Running the "WildHog" formation, this Miami team is a lot of fun to watch. The Dolphins pulled out to a 14-3 lead on a "WildHog" running back pitch to Pennington with Chad connecting with a wide open Patrick Cobbs (North Texas) for 53 yards.
The play reminded a lot of the 2001 Nebraksa/Oklahoma game where back QB Mike Stuntz hit Eric Crouch for the electrifying winning TD on the Black 41 Flash Reverse.
Moments later, Pennington hooked up with Cobbs again on a screen pass that went for 80 yards. The Dolphins put together great down field blocking as this play developed.
The turning point of the game had to be Jacoby Jones' 70 yard punt return in the second quarter that gave the Texans new life.
Houston turned the ball over 4 times to the Dolphins, but Miami's defense was unable to hold up. The Texans finished with 485 yards of offense. Schaub had 379 yards passing and Andre Johnson burned the Miami secondary for 178 yards-all three of these numbers are Texans' team records.
It's safe to say that Miami's secondary is the weakest part of the team with much improvement needed.
The Texans were able to march down the field with the winning touchdown drive with 1:45 left in the game. The 12 play, 76 yard drive was highlighted by two crazy plays. First, on fourth down, Johnson made a circus catch somehow grabbing the ball away from Yeremiah Bell. Then on 4th and 2 from the 3 yard line, Gary Kubiak called a QB draw and Schaub was able to walk in untouched for the winning touchdown.
The Texans stunned the Dolphins (and myself) 29-28.
This Miami team will definitely be one of the surprises of the year in the NFL. The Dolphins are actually giving their fans something to cheer about. And Bill Parcells has put together a solid team just one year removed from a disastrous 1-15 season.
Heck, the biggest winner from the Brett Farve drama of the summer may be the Dolphins. Miami was able to land an experience quarterback in Chad Pennington instead of having to throw Jon Beck or rookie Chad Henne in to the wolves.