You remember the movie Remember the Titans, don’t you? The movie had a social message with meaning—and oh yeah, it had a little football mixed in.
When I walked out after seeing the movie in the theater, all I could think of was Denzel Washington’s character clenching his fist and thinking to myself, “Solid!” It was a solid effort, a movie people have rallied around, especially at high school football programs throughout the country.
A few weeks after seeing the movie, I discovered a friend of mine actually played at one of the high schools that played against the real Titans back in the day. He showed me his yearbook and the photos, which were very cool to see.
This weekend in sports was a similar experience, a solid weekend of action if you’re a fan. It was a monumental weekend for remembering titans, legends, and amazing and noteworthy efforts, as well as astronomical disappointments and returns to greatness.
Is there anything else? My head is still spinning.
I’ll start with baseball since the regular season (for the most part) has drawn to a close. Congratulations to the Milwaukee Brewers for finally reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1982’s version of Harvey’s Wall Bangers. You may as well break out the old barb pinstriped “BREWERS” crested jerseys in that old font you used back then.
Without a doubt, on a day when outsiders thought the game of the day might just be the Packers playing Brett Favre’s Buccaneers in the biggest game that never was courtesy of the trade that never happened. Brett Favre is on the Jets, Brett’s successor Aaron Rodgers is on the bench, and the Brewers are on to the bubbly.
If Harry Caray were still alive he’d say “HOOLLLLLLLY CCCCCCOOOOOOOWW!” There is joy in Mudville, and Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay, and possibly Minnesota (if the White Sox lose to the Tigers on Monday).
While Colorado is out of the playoffs, they are looking at this postseason with a memorable smile they brought to baseball this time last year, knowing the feeling the Brewers and the Rays are now experiencing. This has to be the best time on the sports calendar—we love these games!
To college football, where there were a number of major upsets. When was the last time a number one, three, and four all lost on the same weekend? I’m not sure, but I’m fairly certain half of the union wasn’t absorbed or recognized yet.
Throw a bunch of logs into the pit, numbering them nine, 16, 20, and 22 through 24 and we’ve got a fire we haven’t seen since the old Eddie Murphy skit and a Pow-Wow that hasn’t happened since...well, the Pow-Wow’s.
Did I mention if Harry Caray were still alive he’d say “HOOLLLLLLLY CCCCCCOOOOOOOWW!”?
Here is a list of the games that sent the pollsters scrambling more than Capitol Hill over the bailout.
(No. 1) Southern Cal lost to Oregon State 27-21
(No. 3) Georgia lost to (No. 8) Alabama 41-30
(No. 4) Florida lost to Mississippi 31-30
(No. 9) Wisconsin lost to Michigan 27-25
(No. 16) Wake Forest lost to Navy 24-17
(No. 20) Clemson lost to Maryland 20-17
(No. 22) Illinois lost to (No. 12) Penn State 38-24
(No. 23) East Carolina lost to Houston 41-24
(No. 24) Texas Christian lost to (No. 2) Oklahoma 35-10
Given the results, here are the new top five teams in the country.
No. 1 Oklahoma
No. 2 Alabama
No. 3 LSU
No. 4 Missouri
No. 5 Texas
Last on the list, but certainly least, here is the NFL wrap-up from Sunday.
The Denver Broncos walked into Kansas City knowing what to expect, yet it looked like somebody forgot to tell the orange and blue defense. Running back Larry Johnson had (another) career day against Denver’s run defense, totaling 198 yards in the 33-19 Chiefs win. Talk about a Titan effort.
How about Brett Favre, who was traded to the Jets, (formerly known as the New York Titans), on a throwback jersey day that saw Favre throw six TDs for the Jets—or was it Titans? Who cares—the Bretts are now 2-2 with a solid offensive assault against the Arizona Cardinals. Final score 56-35.
Brett Favre’s replacement in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers, was knocked out of the Packers' game against the Buccaneers—more on that game later.
Speaking of Titan-esque efforts, Drew Brees went 23-35, three TDs, one INT, and 363 yards in the Saints' home victory over San Francisco 31-17.
How about Jim Zorn’s Washington team going into Dallas and winning where even the best coaches in team history haven’t won on their first go-round? Washington got down early then stayed methodical and put it back on the Cowboys, 26-24, in a game where we may have just seen Jason Campbell coming of age, going 20-31, two TDs, no INTs, and 231 yards.
The Tennessee Titans are not to be out-Titaned by the Vikings or all the others mentioned thus far. They improved to 4-0 along with Buffalo to remain as the only undefeated teams in the AFC—the Giants had a bye and remain 3-0. Not really any major individual efforts, but certainly total team efforts to advance into the realm of the undefeated.
The Bears beat down the Eagles in a physical sparring matchup on Sunday night. The game was highlighted by the late goal-line stand by the Bears late in the game when the Eagles were looking to punch in the go-ahead score. The last play for the Eagles was a run from the one that fell just inches short of getting into the end zone.
Monday night features another bruise match between Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Finally, on a sad and most somber of notes, it’s possible the greatest effort of all came from Tampa Bay Buccaneer kicker Matt Bryant. He decided to play for his team just a day after burying his three-month-old son, who died earlier in the week. Matt said later at the team press conference that he decided to play on Sunday to honor his son in his passing.
With an emotional effort, Bryant kicked three field goals to help propel the Buccaneers past the Packers.
Remember the Titans.