11:27: I scramble to start my laundry in the basement of my building before TC arrives and questions my commitment to watching this game and starting this blog, both of which we thought of and agreed to not more than an hour earlier.
11:31: I get back to my apartment, no word from TC. The intro video is playing; it seems ESPN wants us to know we are in for some intense heavy-hitting action, otherwise they wouldn’t have set the guitars to “Axle Rose”.
11:32: Ron Jaworski is really friggin’ excited that this game is about to start, like he had a cafe latte enema that Ed Norton talked about in Fight Club. Didn’t catch who the other commentator is. According to Ron, there’s gonna be cameras everywhere! It’s all access! Cameras in the locker rooms! Cameras in the huddles! Cameras inside the players’ bodies (if they’re getting a colonoscopy)!
11:33: First snap of the game. Wait, it’s legal for that WR to be sprinting towards the line before the snap? This is madness!
11:34: Other Commentator (I think?) is using a “hip voice” – this must be a hip sport! Or he’s advertising for a MONSTER TRUCK RALLY.
11:35: It occurs to me that I should be taping this game if I’m going to be analyzing it. Really, though, the ability to review the game tape defeats the purpose of live-blogging, even though I know it’ll be at least a day before I post this. In all reality, I’m really just lazy and don’t want to bother setting up the cable to run through the VCR and be bothered with finding an open outlet. VHS is a dead technology, anyway.
11:37: Oops. While messing around with my VCR, I missed the Rush getting the first TD of the game. They miss the extra point, but I feel like it’s a little harder to be upset about this given the goal posts are about as wide as a Yugo, only the goal posts are slightly less industrial.
11:40: Hardly ten minutes into the game, and this is the sixth time they’ve mentioned this game is brought to us by the Marines. I think I remember reading that somewhere around $20k is spent recruiting every single soldier that volunteers. Might be a little more fiscally responsible to just re-start the draft.
11:41: Hmm. Those first down markers are just kind of leaning against the wall.
11:42: Brigade QB Raymond Philyaw makes a scrappy scramble into the endzone, and this extra point is good – KC 7, Chicago 6.
11:43: I haven’t been counting, but it feels like there’s been two TD’s in less than twelve total plays.
11:47: Sprint downstairs to check on laundry. Where the hell is TC?
11:48: We get to go “RIGHT INSIDE THE HUDDLE!” Chicago QB Matt D’Orazio calls some kind of hook, but so far, it looks like in this game you could just run the standard snow-football “go out and get open” play.
11:50: D’Orazio gets sacked and fumbles, KC recovers. Maybe this guy could sub for Rex Grossman in the big leagues.
11:53: KC’s Philyaw tries to force a pass down field, it gets picked by DeJuan Alfonzo and goes back for six. One of the refs gets knocked on his ass during the run back, which isn’t too surprising, but his hat gets knocked off his head as he falls, which makes me giggle.
11:55: Why are there so many ads for “Desperate Housewives”? Does ABC really think there’s going to be crossover viewers in this demo?
11:57: An ‘illegal defense’ is called. Jaws or maybe the other guy try to explain the inside LB rules but fail.
11:58: Wait a minute – why is the Brigade’s logo a stealth bomber? If that’s their logo, why not call them the Kansas City Bombers? Okay, that actually just sounds frightening. Stick with the ‘Brigade’.
12:00: End of the first quarter. We’re taken to the commercial break with a guitar riff worthy of “Full House”. Time to check on the laundry.
12:06: This girl has been drying her underwear for over an hour while my work khakis just sit in the washer mildewing. When I get back to my apartment, KC puts up an extra point, going up 14-13.
12:07: The broadcasts’ second ad for EA Games’ “Arena Football: Road to Glory” where a guy gets thrown over the wall on a kick return. Some goober (and probably a virgin) makes a crack about “Ooh, that’s like the Great Wall of China!” and it amuses me that the “sub par” of the league trickles down to the trash talk of video gamers.
12:09: I’m not sure what to make of my note for this time: “Candles? This is arena football! This is hard-nosed!” Oh yeah, some player apparently likes scented candles. What a pussy. Jaws or Other Guy agrees.
12:10: D’Orazio gets pressured in his own endzone and makes a wild throw – intentional grounding. KC gets the safety and goes up 16-13. …Yup, nothing snide to write about that.
12:14: Kansas City has a 4th and 7 almost inside their own endzone, and we’re reminded that there’s no punting in arena football, which is a good rule because the field is about the same size as a kiddie swimming pool. From their own endzone, it isn’t out of the question for KC to attempt a field goal.
12:15: Holy shit, they’re going for the field goal. Who is this calling the game with Ron? “They’re going for the loooooooooooooong field goal!” No shit, it’s 60 yards. Who are you? I hate you and the way you’re calling this game.
12:17: TC calls but it’s horribly garbled. He may be in the midst of being mugged but I can’t tell. KC gets an offsides on the field goal attempt, so now it’s 4th and 11. They go for it and complete a big pass play – does the play die if the ball carrier hits the wall by himself? If it doesn’t, then I don’t know why that play died.
12:21: TC calls again from his room mate’s cell. Turns out he forgot his phone, which isn’t working anyway, and was at my apartment building and tried yelling at my window, but instead turned around and drove back home (about 12 minute drive). Now I feel like a real dick for questioning his commitment. While we’re on the phone, KC scores again, pulling ahead 23-13.
12:23: On the kick off, KC threads it between the net and the back wall of the endzone, and is rewarded by the ball coming out only to the 5 yard line. Really, though, this doesn’t help them that much because it seems like the average play in this game has gone for 15 to 20 yards.
12:24: Whereas the first quarter was brought to us by the Marines, I think the second is being brought to us by Coors. Cold, refreshing Coors.
12:25: KC almost gets another safety – instant replay shows that D’Orazio was down, but there’s no review in the AFL. The fans are pissed, like if the Royals got 12 hits and the fans didn’t get their Krispy Kream donuts.
12:26: An illegal defense call gives Chicago a first down, and Other Guy proclaims “They dodged a bullet right there!” At this point, I’d rather listen to this game called by the EA Sports Radio Guy from Madden ’07.
12:27: ABC must be censoring a lot of swears on the field, because I keep thinking I’m sitting on the remote and hitting mute. Then I remember my TV is not new enough to be compatible with a remote.
12:28: There’s 2:51 left in the half, and with the 1 minute warning, it’s not at all out of the question there could be three more scores before the half, which in the NFL generally only happens when it’s on an XBox on Rookie. Woah, some fan behind the sideline has a HUGE forehead.
12:30: Shit, I could be an inside LB. What the hell do they do?
12:31: D’Orazio passes for a TD in the corner of the endzone – they miss their second PAT. KC 23, Chicago 19. There’s a ‘hands to the face’ penalty, but I forget what it did to the game because apparently it wasn’t interesting enough to write down.
12:33: Another “Road to Glory” ad. If I owned a PS2, I’d buy the game to learn the strategy. I owe all my regular football knowledge and strategy to Madden. Then I remember, as previously noted, that this is more or less snow football strategy – ‘run and get open’.
12:35: Chicago tries and fails an onside kick, KC recovers at the 8. I’m guessing this won’t go well for the Rush.
12:36: Merril Hoge is the other commentator. Now I have a name to link with my rage.
12:37: My friend from down the street calls – apparently TC tried to go to their building and call them to call me. Obviously, this didn’t work as my other friend wasn’t home.
12:41: “Tonight at 8 eastern – great stuff coming your way! Extreme Makeover Home Edition!”Dammit, Hoge.
12:42: Rush guy James Sadler tries to pull a Hester with a missed field goal, but only makes it about 10 yards. Which is in part why he’s on the Chicago Rush and not the Chicago Bears. At the half, KC leads 23-19.
12:51: For half-time entertainment, Chris Berman counts down the top 10 most exciting plays in AFL history, but oddly enough, nothing before 1993 is used.
12:55: Another “Road to Glory” ad and I start gnashing my teeth before I even hear the ‘Great Wall” crack.
12:57: The second half is about to start, and there is still no sign of TC. The locker rooms have the same particle board ceilings that are in every business park in America – it looks like my conference room at work with some lockers haphazardly thrown up in lieu of sales charts.
1:01: TC arrives as KC scores, 29-19.
1:06: Chicago recovers a fumble. This is the point where my notes grow very sparse because TC and I catch up and frankly I am getting tired.
1:07: I search Merril Hoge on Wikipedia. TC and I have the following conversation: J Fizzle: “I can’t make fun of a cancer survivor.” TC: “Sure you can. He survived, didn’t he?”
1:09: Chicago closes the gap to 29-26. They can pull ahead by 1 if only they pull off the ‘drop kick field goal’ (4 points).
1:11: TC wonders if the AFL cheerleaders are also NFL rejects, or if they’re just ESL.
1:15: I pitch some bad blog titles to TC. I try to make one that’s a joke about a lesser Jackson sibling and another that’s a joke about Dan Quayle. The only reason I pitch them is because it’s all I have so far, and I hope it makes TC raise the bar.
1:16: Yawn. KC 35 Chicago 26.
1:17: Another AFL:RTG ad. I need to lay down.
1:31: That was a nice nap – KC scores again, and tries to run it in for a 2-point conversion, fumbles, and the Rush run it back for 2.
1:38: Wait, what is Deadspin.com? This is brilliant!
1:39: TC suggests a few titles, including “Quasi Football” and “League of Slightly Extraordinary Gentlemen”. I blinked, and now KC is up 41-28.
1:43: D’Orazio flipped a little shuttle pass for a TD, the extra point is good – the Rush close the gap to 41-35.
1:45: Hoge says that D’Orazio is a very mobile QB – I think he’s about as mobile as TC would be (he is Hobbit-sized) if he were to QB with me on his back (I am normal human size).
1:47: Wait. I think for the entire game I’ve been confusing Ron and Merril. Now I don’t know what to think or who to judge.
1:56: Wow, these are all really second-rate sponsors: Spalding, Russel, Aarons, Discover… it seems like Pauly Shore should own a team. Does he?
1:58: Philyaw gets another TD, and the guy operating the spotlight learned how to operate the iris from the AV guy I went to middle school with.
1:59: Ron says we can’t leave! 48-35 with 1:33 left is still a close game! Even Ron doesn’t believe Ron.
2:05: D’Orazio throws a game-ending INT – the guy in the booth misses bleeping an on-field “OH SHIT!”
2:15ish: Game coverage wraps up, final score KC 54, Chicago 41 (Ron wasn’t wrong!). Me and TC fire up some Madden ’07 to cleanse the pallet.
3:25: Shit, I still have laundry downstairs.