Thanks to the NFL Network I’m able to watch something like 54 preseason games, many of which I couldn’t get before.
But the best part is catching the regional broadcasts with the local announcers.
After two minutes I had to breakout the laptop and crank this out. With apologies to Bill Simmons…
Let me set the stage…Fade up on:
A training camp montage of your 2008 Pittsburg Steelers! Narrated by a neutral voice which peaks with:
Jobs are on the line, positions can be won, or lost.
(Image of a receiver watching a ball clank off his hands)
Cut to Heinz field, and the voice of Bob Pompeani!
Bob Pompeani- FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE EVERYONE, AS WE WELCOME YOU LIVE, TO HEINZ FIELD FOR PRESEASON FOOTBALL, GAME NUMBER ONE OF FOUR DURING THIS PRESEASON, AS IT’S AN INSTATE RIVAL PITTSBURGH STEELERS AGAINST THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, AND WELCOME TO THE BROADCAST, BOB POMPEANI ALONG WITH EDMUND NELSON AS WE LOOK FORWARD TO AN OUTSTANDING SEASON STEELERS COMING OFF A DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP, OUSTED IN THE PLAYOFFS TO JACKSONVILLE THEIR TRYING TO MAKE, AN ATONEMENT, FOR THAT AND THEY’LL DO IT BEHIND ONE OF THE BEST QUARTERBACKS IN THE GAME BEN ROETHLISBERGER! COMING OFF AN OUTSTANDING SEASON WITH 32 TOUCHDOWNS, JUST INTRODUCED NOW, BOY HE CAME THROUGH BIG DESPITE ALLOT OF SACKS LAST YEAR EDMUND.
Edmund Nelson- And he is the unquestioned leader of this team. He and Santonio Holmes are on another wavelength, this year folks, you’re going to see something exciting and possibly early on in this game, but he is certainly the leader, you ask who is the guy that’s going to lead this team it’s gonna be Ben Roethlisberger, lets see what he does to lead this team, how deep in the season can they go, how good can they be, how far in the playoffs can they get?
Before we go on, a couple things. Pompeani said his intro in just under 34 seconds and he delivered it without taking a noticeable breath although he looked like he was about to keel over when he said “ousted in the playoffs to Jacksonville” before he somehow was able to say “atonement” while breathing in and finished without a beat. Fantastic.
Nelson said his in just over 19 seconds, and I don’t even know where to began to punctuate his piece, how well will I punctuate his intro? How long before an intern cleans it up? How far before I break spellcheck will I get?
(All times Pacific)
4:32-The sideline reporter makes sure to mention the field. Perhaps the best he’s ever seen.
4:33-Kinda cool commercial which likens football players to migrating birds. Little do I realize I’m about to see this commercial 782 times in the next four weeks.
4:34-Edmund on Tomlin: “How well does he have these guys ready to go for this season and that’s what’s going to happen at the end of this pre-season.”
4:36-Pompeani just called Roethlisberger the team leader. I’m glad he cleared that up.
4:37-Parker takes his third carry in a row and sprints for 11. Three carries for twenty yards and he’s done. He looked good.
4:38-Mendenhall takes it off tackle and fights off a linebacker for seven until getting youtubed by Eagle strong safety Quintin Mikell. Pomp exclaims that Mendenhall is “a man”, and Endmund chips in “Obviously he does not know who he’s dealing with!” before belittling Mikell for getting injured on the play. Canton’s clearing a space for his bust as we speak.
4:42-Mendenhall tries to break it outside and loses two.
4:43-Holmes just made Brian Dawkins look silly by taking a short pass by him and walking into the endzone.
4:44-During the replay Pompeani refers to Brian Dawkins as one of “the best safeties in the game” before mentioning that he’s a 13 year veteran and realizing that Dawkins is showing that “13 year slow”. Edmund, Pompeani and I all have a good chuckle over that one.
4:50-Westbrook, Hampton and Polamalu are all out.
4:53-Edmund points out that Correll Buckhalter just turned a potential 30 yard gain into seven yard one because he outran his blockers on a screen.
4:59-After a questionable pass interference penalty wipes out a third down stop in the red zone Edmund laments “That’s allot of hard work on the defensive end-part, signifying nothing with a first down right there.”
5:00-Buckhalter catches a pass in the flat and is ridden out of bounds after a three yard gain. Edmund calls it a well designed play, and then states that Buckhalter is “one of the best in the league in getting people off of him in space.”
5:01-The drive stalls and the Eagles kick a field goal 7-3 Steelers. 3:08 to go in the first.
5:03- I want to remind you about a comedic drama called the “ex-list” which is about a thirty something woman who searches through her past relationships in order to find her future husband. Pomp promises you’ll love it.
5:06-Edmund explains that Charlie Batch “isn’t that big of a falloff” in place of Roethlisberger. Mendenhall runs into the line for two.
5:08-Batch tries to end Holmes’s season by serving him up on a platter to Mikell who makes his second big hit of the game. Three and out.
5:11-End of the first, 7-3. Roethlisberger, Holmes, Parker and Hines looked good. Mendenhall, not so much. McNabb played well, and the Steeler D didn’t, but missing your two best players (Hampton, Polamalu) will do that.
5:18-McNabb to Davis. 10-7 Eagles. Pompeani reminds us that this was the Eagle’s first team defense against the Steeler’s second team.
Don’t worry Steeler fans, that one didn’t really count.
5:23-After a three yard Mendenhall run Edmund states that the line opened up “a nice little hole”, then justifies Mendenhall’s lack of yardage by saying “there’s not a whole lot there.”
5:26-When your quarterback of the future looks like Lt. Dan is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
5:28-DON’T CALL HIM STUPID! DON’T YOU EVER CALL HIM STUPID!
5:29-Lt. Dan drops back 17 yards and passes to Booker five yards behind the line of scrimmage. He’s immeadiately gang-tackled by eight Steelers. Third and 13.
5:33-Some drunk fans in the stands…a shot of Charlie Batch…Mendenhall through a huge hole, stutters, and gets plugged by a backer. Edmund says it better then I can: “Accelerate! Don’t look for somebody that’s gonna come and hit ya!”
5:33-Pompeani goes into a long monologue about how Jerome McDougal has been a disappointment, fighting through all kinds of injuries and adversity including being shot in the stomach during a robbery attempt. He neglects to tell us whether McDougal was a participant or a victim.
5:34-Mendenhall breaks off a fifteen yard run.
5:34-Edmund on the Eagles D during that play: “everything opens up, the red sea parts”
5:34-Is the Eagle’s defense on its’ period? Would it like some cranberry juice?
(And can Edmund take over Madden’s spot on Sunday Night Football? Can’t somebody sign this guy? Fox, I’m talking to you.)
5:39–After Charlie Batch gets knocked out during a broken play the drive stalls and Jeff Reed comes in for a field goal. 10-10 with 3:34 left in the half.
5:40-Via email Greg in Baldwin wants to know how the field looks. That a sore subject Pittsburg?
5:48-Tall wide receiver dividends are up.
5:52- DeSean Jackson is on the radar.
(I really haven’t gotten into preseason for years, so here’s a quick rundown of what I remember: Team performance means nothing, but individual performance might. Last year I watched the Pat’s offense for five minutes, and I watched the Niners for a half. In the Pat’s game Brady missed a wide open Welker running a slant, and I thought, that’ll be working all season long once they get the timing down, and I was right. With the Niners, the offense looked good, which was to put it mildly, wrong, and Patrick Willis was all over the field, and that’s how he played the season. There you go.)
5:53-From the Jets-Browns game that kept interrupting my Bret Favre updates Martin Rucker and David Clowney caught my eye. Wright looked good too.
5:54-Pompeani just transitioned from a rib festival to Casey Hampton by remarking “Speaking of slabs…”
(And by the way, rib festivals? PA 1, CA 0)
5:55-While asking Edmund about his playing weight back when he was a nose tackle the camera cuts to Casey Hampton. I would not mess with Casey Hampton.
5:56-Edmund uses the telestrator to draw a line down the middle of Hampton’s back and states “Now that’s enough man for most people.”
5:57-Halftime. I just realized that the hoody I just put on was at the beach two days ago and could be partly responsible for the party of bug bites that circle my armpits.
6:00-Am I the only one who thinks the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce should sue Viagra for ruining Viva Las Vegas?
6:07-Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Is this the Eagles broadcast?
6:08-I like the fact that Andy Reid has an assistant to help him put his coaching belt on.
6:11-Inexcusable, the NFL Network moves to the Philly feed. I don’t think I can take this.
6:13-I can’t do this. One of the Eagle broadcasters just said that “sometimes a two yard run is a good football play.” But the thrill is gone.
Until next time.