Friday, January 25, 2008

let the points soar

Every year I get frustrated by the NFL's momentum-killing bye week after the playoffs. I've even suggested that they excuse the Super Bowl players from the Pro Bowl and move the Hawaiian two-hand touch game to this weekend. Or stage a consolation bowl between the Packers and Chargers.

As I wait and hope that the Giants can be giant-killers, the NFL Network is giving me something to pass the time. Several times a day they have been replaying games in their entirety. Tonight they showed the Giants vs. Packers game from last Sunday. They've also been running some Super Bowls from the past.

The other day I flipped past and got immediately hooked in by a classic Redskins victory. My wife and son watched with me. We were just in time to see Doug Williams' first touchdown pass of Super Bowl XXII. The Redskins went on to score 42 unanswered points, winning the game 42 to 10.

Seeing the old coverage made me appreciate the advances in television since then. The 20-year-old graphics and camera angles seemed truly archaic. The announcers were Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf and an unrecognizable Al Michaels. His voice has changed dramatically over the years. Is it just me or does Michaels do the overwhelming majority of the talking on the Madden NFL video game?

It was great to see my son watch that game for the first time. He's a Redskins fan who is too young to remember the last time they were in the Super Bowl. For my wife and me, it was complete nostalgia. After each extra point, we shouted "Ali Haji-Sheikh," the name of a place kicker we had long since forgotten. The ABC cameras didn't always cut away, which let us hear this sound several times.

As Ricky Sanders caught touchdown after touchdown, I was reminded of his performance at the team's victory celebration back in D.C. This young broadcaster was there to witness Sanders catch a pass from President Ronald Reagan. My good friend Bean and I described it live on WAVA.

In the time leading up to the game, we did some anti-Broncos smack talking on the morning show. Management complained when we said "Denver Sucks" on the air so I came up with an alternative catch phrase by looking in the dictionary: "The Broncos draw liquids into their mouths by creating a partial vacuum with their lips, cheeks and tongues." A listener made us some "Denver Sucks" hats, which we ungraciously wore to the White House. I have a picture taken using some antique technology. As you can see, a flaw in this "film" makes it look like I have something coming out of my nose.

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Blogger bean said...

wow, frank!!!

but how come i look twelve years old
then and you look exactly the same that day as you do today? something supernatural is going on here...

Anonymous Jere said...

Thank goodness you don't wear those glasses anymore. Talk about nerdwear! I still loved you then as I do now though.


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