Clocks Back And The Wait For Kickoff
In the midst of one of the best sports weekends of the year, clocks get turned back an hour.
While the vast majority is welcoming the extra hour of sleep this fall morning, the extra hour has me clamoring just that much more for this tremendous slate of games to get underway.
Let’s start with Saturday first. The entire week of headlines revolved around the much hyped and anticipated Alabama-LSU game, with the winner all but punching their ticket to the BCS Championship Game. LSU made some timely plays in the second half defensively, and won a 9-6 (yes 9-6) smash-mouth, defensively driven overtime game.
Depending on what type of games you are a fan of, this game lived up to much of the hype, and showcased the two SEC teams’ vaunted defenses. The game also overshadowed a pretty solid slate of games that saw Oklahoma State, Boise State, Stanford stay in the National Championship discussion.
Locally, Rutgers erased a 10 point second half deficit to top South Florida in overtime, 20-17.
You mix in the Breeders Cup under the lights in Louisville, and it was an awesome day for sports fans, but it merely set the stage for a huge two days of football for NFL fans in the area.
While my personal allegiances are with the New York Giants (which I will get to in a minute), today offers one of the better game schedules in recent memory. It all starts at 1PM in Buffalo as the Jets (4-3) travel north to take on the 5-2 Bills in a game with huge implications on the AFC East race, as well as the entire playoff picture. Add in to the mix that Buffalo has had a rough few years, with their fans set to have a white-out game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The atmosphere should be raucous to say the least.
Having this viable 1PM game immensely helps my wait till 4:15 PM for the Giants game against the New England Patriots. Considering that I work during morning news at New Jersey 101.5, one would think that I should welcome the extra hour of sleep more than anybody, but sadly this morning, that is not the case. I have always been of the belief that there is nothing better than football Sunday, especially with a huge game on tap. Most Sundays during football still result in me waking up like a kid on Christmas morning.
Giants (5-2) versus the Pats (5-2) has no doubt stirred up nostalgia from the Giants fans today, thinking back to the Super Bowl victory four years ago. While that was the apex of being a sports fan, those memories need to be put aside today. Both teams have the same coaches and quarterbacks in place, but most of the rosters are different.
This week, the Giants were dealt some very tough injury news, as WR Hakeem Nicks and RB Ahmad Bradshaw will both not make the trip, taking out two huge playmakers for New York. The Patriots are coming off a brutal loss to the Steelers. Combine that with how successful the Pats are at Gillette Stadium, it will make for some stiff hurdles for New York this afternoon.
The two New York games filter into a tremendous Sunday night game as the Ravens meet the Steelers in primetime. The Ravens owned the game between the two teams earlier in the season, but these games are always classic, knock-down, drag-out games, with no love lost between the two.
And finally, the sports “weekend” comes to a fever pitch on Monday night as the Eagles (3-4) host the Bears (4-3) at Lincoln Financial Field. Philly, after a very slow start, has won two in a row, and looks to continue the run against Chicago.
It might only be Week 9, but this is one of those weeks for the local teams that will go a long way in determining the playoff picture, and ultimately, what each team’s identity will look like moving forward.
Hopefully, everybody enjoys the extra hour of sleep, and hopefully, all the sports fans enjoy the tremendous day(s) of football.
Now....what to do until kickoff?