Mark vs Cancer

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Football Weather

The blaze of autumn leaves. Crisp, frosty mornings. The scent of apple cider on the stove. And football, baby. Football.

These are the signature flavors of autumn, my favorite season of the year.

On the heels of wins by both BYU and the Broncos this weekend, I thought I'd jot down my thoughts about this autumnal, violent, and thrilling American game of football.

First of all, I had a wave of nostalgia on Saturday while watching BYU beat the snot out of San Diego State. The calico pattern of the autumn scrub oaks on the snow-capped Wasatch mountains, set against a brilliant Cougar blue sky, brought back the excitement of Cougar football. In fact, my very first Cougar game, back in the fall of 1992, was against SDSU. (I believe that was the game where Marshall Faulk ran for 299 yards and 6 touchdowns against us. Ouch!) After several down years, BYU seems to have found the winning touch again, led chiefly by the cool excellence and precision of their quarterback, John Beck. Fui Vakapuna has not only a great name, but moreso a ferocious aggression and a nasty habit running over people: the man simply cannot be stopped by mere mortals. Add to that mix a stout defense, and the Cougars are set to run the table in the Mountain West Conference and get themselves into a quality bowl game. It's disappointing that they lost 2 of their first 3 games on the last play, due largely to their own implosions. But now they're gelling, and all I can say is, "Rise and shout, the Cougars are out!!!" (Unless they lose their next game. Then they stink.) :)

The Broncos similarly stunk it up in their first game of the year, but have now strung together a number of good wins. Tonight's win against Baltimore wasn't pretty, but it was impressive. The defense is setting records every week (tied for fewest touchdowns ever allowed in the first 4 games of the season). The much-maligned Jake Plummer--who will never get a fair shake in his fickle city inebriated with a false memory of John Elway's invincibility--put together a few great drives when he had to. In the rain. Against arguably the league's best defense. On national TV. To stage another 4th quarter comeback.

To the city of Denver, I say this: get over John Elway, and stand by your man. For now, that's Jake Plummer, who had a career year last season, leading you to the brink of a Super Bowl. He's not always been pretty this year, but he's winning games. In fact, his Bronco's winning percentage is better than John Elway's ever was. Cut the man some slack.

But back to the season at hand: warm some apple cider on the stove; go rake a big pile of leaves and jump in them; breathe in deep the brisk, frosty mornings; cheer on your favorite football team--as long as they're the Cougs or the Broncs.

Savor autumn--the best season of the year.

2 comments:

Tankfos said...

Mark
I have to agree about the Cougs. They are fun team to watch this year. Last year it was a love hate relationship because our defense was struggling(especially our secondary, it was hard to watch sometimes) However, everything seems to be falling into place(granted two of our big victories were against the two worst teams I've seen in a while, especially Utah State, I honestly felt very sorry for any player on the team, there is no hope for them). The offense is classic BYU attacking through the air. I was looking at quarterback stats for the season and Beck was twelth for total yards and that is because he missed the Utah State game and really only played the first half of the SDSU game. He is very good at sitting in the pocket and getting the ball to the right man. Another thing I like about the Cougs offense is that there is no go to man. Beck will consistently throw to 8 or 9 different players in a game. Fui Vakapuna is just fun to watch, he is hard to take down. The Cougs are going to take the MWC.

Matthew said...

Your choice of photo of fallen leaves was lovely. Nothing like a nip of windchill and tang of smoke to make life feel -- lived in? Wistul?

Don't follow football myself, but I do enjoy watching a good game now and them. I am somewhat hampered by the fact I don't watch TV. Therefore the antenna I am having implanted next month in my medulla oblangata to pick up hi-def digital satellite should help.

I can't wax as purple as you about football. Your best line was about Denver's fickleosity, and the Cult Of Elway is just plain boring. I happen to agree -- but tell me homey, what team comes from Worland? The Mad Mares?

In the words of the Man You Foolishly Voted For, "bring it on."