Saturday, October 23, 2010

UFL Update: Week 6, I Actually Watched a Game

Up until now, I've been writing purely from internet research. I read the coverage, look at the stats, but that really is no way to appreciate a football league. This week, Versus streamed the live feed from their UFL broadcast. As I'm writing this, it's the beginning of the fourth quarter. By the time I finish writing, I will know the outcome of the game. Right now, it's 14-13, Locos. More on that later.

I watched an Arena Football game once, and being able to hear the coaches and the quarterbacks sort of bothered me. Going in, I was unsure how I'd feel about it here, and I have to say, the UFL broadcasts handle it a hell of a lot better. We only hear the coaches feed after the plays, and we get nice little touches like Locos coach Jim Fassel covering up his mouth while he calls the play. So adorable, he thinks we can't hear him. It's also pretty cool to hear coaches yell at players and find out a QB called a time out because he had no clue what play he was supposed to run.

Having cameras in the locker room provided some great color as well. Colonials' Josh McCown told his team before the game, "Don't wait. Don't wait for somebody else to do it. Don't wait for somebody else to make the play. Step up and be the reason we win." Meanwhile, in the Locomotives' locker room, a player would prefer the team chant, "Swaggerlicious," than their normal, "1, 2, 3, Locos!"

My favorite thing they do is sideline interviews during the game. There's nothing like being able to talk to a player right after he scores or makes a big play.

The internet stream was pretty hilarious. During commercial breaks, they stayed on the field. I got to hear the announcer team prep their coverage and see camera guys prep their shots. It was a fascinating, behind-the-curtain experience. That part was probably accidental, but I think it's in the UFL spirit.

Game 1: Sacramento Swallows Florida Whole 21-17

I don't think the Mountain Lions have a chance to make it to the Championship, but a showing like this gives me just a little more confidence the UFL has 5 solid teams. During half time of the game I'm watching, I got to see a highlight of Daunte Culpepper basically walking the ball into the end zone for the game winning touchdown. I won't say much more, so I can save room for the game I actually watched. I just want to make sure to say, Fuck the Tuskers and Brooks Bollinger can suck it.

Game 2: Locos Side-swipe Colonials 24-21

That game was fucking exciting. With wind, aging turf, and oppressive Vegas heat all factors, the game came down to a field goal in the last minute of overtime. I basically live blogged the game. Here are my top 5 moments from the game, in no particular order. For a comprehensive list of cool shit, click here:

1) During the commercial break, they blasted Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA."

2) Colonials go for it on 4th & Inches. Locos defense motions for the crowd to make some noise. The crowd is so small, it makes no difference.

3) After the Colonials successfully pull off an on-side kick, a loud fan screams out, "Put in the cheerleaders already."

4) Just 44 seconds left in the half, Locos deep in the red zone, Colonials get a huge hit on Locos QB Drew Willy. The ball comes loose. Colonials' Derek Walker runs the ball back 85 yards for a touchdown. The announcers call it the "longest" fumble return in pro football history, refer not to the yardage, but to the time it took Walker's fat Defensive End ass to run 85 yards. Kudos to Colonials defense to getting him all the way there. When they interview him on the sidelines, Walker's so winded, he doesn't think he can return to the game.

5) 21-13 with 1 minute to go, Colonials score a touchdown and nail the 2 point conversion to take us into the first ever UFL regular season overtime.

So there you have it. Mountain Lions have a chance, and Hartford's down 1-4. Think the Colonials can stage a 3-game winning streak and join a 5-way tie for first? 

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