Live-blogging Monday Night's Trivia Contest

I should be clear: this isn't some kind of trivia contest in the sense that it's a contest to see who can answer the most trivia questions. I love that kind of contest, and I'm pretty good at it--someday maybe I'll tell you the story of coming up with the name "Sun Ra" during the musical segment of the contest at Penny Lane in Richmond some months ago--but tonight is something else altogether.

(Special Leslie Nielsen Memorial Airplane Quote: "Tonight is something else.")

No, tonight is a contest that is trivial in the other sense, meaning that the outcome of this contest--the Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets--is utterly insignificant.

Naturally, I'm completely obsessed about it.

Let me set the scene: tonight is the final week of the regular season for both my fantasy football leagues. In one, the Number Crushers, my team is all but eliminated from playoff contention, but in the Fantasy League of Gentlemen/Gentlewomen, there is still glory left to be won. Not only has the playoff picture for the Get Off My Lawn Division (composed of the five oldest owners in FLOGG) yet to be settled, but my own beloved Fighting Coelacanths still have a dog in this fight. The squad has already lost its game this week, but it has clinched a playoff spot and is still clinging to the lead in the You Just Don't Understand Division (the five youngest owners in FLOGG).   At stake now is the top seed in the playoffs, not to mention some small quantity of bragging rights.

And contesting me for that top seed? My friend Greg, at whose house I'm currently watching the game, thanks to his enormous HD TV and his general willingness to let me come over and watch sports at basically any time. Greg's squad, which goes by the somewhat soccer-fied name of FC Moose Jaw, is in a battle against the Considered Lobsters. Both teams are currently 6-6, so the winner will go to 7-6 and fall into a tie with me. If the Lobsters win, I take the division crown, since I own the tiebreaker with them; if FCMJ takes the victory tonight, Greg also takes the title, since he owns the tiebreaker with me.

FCMJ currently trails by 12. Only one player remains for either team, and he's Greg's: New England wide receiver Wes Welker. The only thing that matters tonight, for our purposes, is how many fantasy points Welker scores. If he earns 13, the Moose win the division, I drop to second, and my team faces the Lobsters next week; if Welker fails to reach 13 FPs, I win the division and go up against the 4th-seeded Frumious Bandersnatchi in the first round.

8:42 Kickoff to New England. Welker in the slot

8:43 Quick slant to Welker for 8 yards. The nailbiting begins. In FLOGG, a receiver gets a fantasy point for every two receptions and another point for every 20 yards gained. It's six points for a touchdown reception. There are also bonus points for long TD catches (over 40 yards), and another bonus (3 points) if the receiver catches over 100 yards for the game. Welker's still scoreless, but his next catch will get him on the board.

8:47 After that first catch, the Jets have put start cornerback Darrelle Revis on Welker. Let's hope that continues.

8:49 Third down near the Jets 20, and the rush hurries Brady. The Pats settle for a field goal, one which takes a hard left as it's going past the uprights and scrapes through for the score.

8:53 Jason, who's come from next door to watch the game with us, notes that Jets kick returner Brad Smith s a former QB for Missouri. Maybe he'll take a snap or two later...

8:54 Jets take over on offense. Who cares?

8:59 Jason announces that the Broncos have fired head coach Josh McDaniels. There is much rejoicing. Not that we're Broncos fans. We just think he's a cocky, cheating, jerk.

9:01 Jets 4th down punches through. Solid.

9:04 Whoa. Vicious wind as the Jets' figgy attempt blows wide left. Still 3-0 Pats.

9:07 Long incompletion. Deion Branch wants a flag! He wants a flag! Yeah, and I want a pony.

9:08 Crap. Welker catches a 15-yarder. That's 2 FPs so far. I'm running out of wiggle room.

9:09 Jason is listening to a hockey game on his laptop. Isn't that bigamy?

9:10 Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski--is that a great football name or what?--gets mugged by a safety on the way to the end zone. There is laundry on the field. First and goal Pats.

9:11 BenJarvus Green-Ellis--is that an awkward football name or what?--gets jammed at the goal line.

9:12 Ah, there we go. The law firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis powers it in for the score. No immediate danger of Welker scoring. PAT is good, and it's 10-0 New England.

9:17 Jets WR Santonio Holmes drops a ball I would have considered all but undroppable. He's an over-achiever that way. On the very next play, he tips it up and almost into the waiting arms of a Patriots DB. Ay yi yi.

9:18 Man, that was a crappy punt. Patriots take over at the Jets' 32!

9:19 Oh, that's HUGE. The Jets send a safety blitz and James Ihedigbo sacks Brady out of FG range at the 44.

9:20 Okay, they're close to the first down now after a Deion Branch catch, but in this wind, the Pats may want to go for it on 4th down.
9:23 The Pats are going for it--and Branch breaks a short slant for a long gain! Twenty-five yards! Touchdown minus Welker again! Make it 17-0 New England.

9:27 Jets QB Mark Sanchez rolls left, comes in front of the line of scrimmage by a good six yards, and still freezes a defender by faking a throw.I don't know why the defender bought it, but hey, he's close to the first down.

9:28 End of the first quarter--a long one.

9:30 The second quarter is off to a running start, as Shonn Greene (MNF Puzzler: is that really how Greene spells his first name, or is it a typo?)

9:32 Greene is pounding the Pats pretty hard here. Naturally, he'll take a seat now.

9:35 Braylon Edwards is forcibly separated from the ball by the sound of a defensive back. Here comes another figgie attempt--and this time Folk compensates for the wind. 17-3 Pats.

9:40 Tiny New England running back Danny Woodhead takes a short pass for a long gain--35 yards. The Pats are on the verge of ending this thing before halftime.

9:42 Now Jason's showing us a shootout between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets. I'm pretty sure this is the firs time I've ever seen a Blue Jacket doing anything other than being a logo.

9:44 Columbus stops the Stars' third attempt--Jackets win!

Oh yeah--football. The Patriots are driving. They're inside the ten, first down. It's a throw right to Welker... but there's a flag. Offensive interference--Branch set a pick to get Revis off Welker's back. That'll make it first and goal from the 18.

9:46 Catch by Welker at the four. That puts him close to another point.

9:48 Brady hits former Tar Heel Brandon Tate in the end zone--but is it complete? He's on the sideline, falling over... and it's a TD. Official confer, but there's no challenge forthcoming from the Jets sideline. Pats 24-3.

9:51 My god--Donald Trump is in the owner's box with New England owner Bob Kraft. And let me tell you, when his hair moves in the breeze, it's downright unnatural looking.

9:53 Holy crap! Holmes caught one!

And with another Edwards drop, it's time for the Jets to knuckle down, man up, take this fourth-down ball and... uh, punt? I think this game's over, folks. Honestly, I'm not surprised the Pats are playing this will at home on MNF, but I'm a little surprised the Jets aren't playing better.

9:57 Brady in trouble, and there's his safety blanket, Welker, across the middle. That's two more points for a total of four.

Punt by NE is a boomer, and Holmes makes a good return, but there's the inevitable flag for a block in the back--courtesy of Brad Smith. Jets take over on their 12. Not that they can do anything with it. Pats take over again.

10:03 Oh, god. Another Coors Light coach-at-press-conference commercial. I hate them. And I hate their beer. I mean jeez, folks, its called "Colorado Kool-Aid" in its NON-light form. Why spend money on a can of cold water?

There's going to be a halftime tribute to Don Meredith, who died today. I wonder if they'll play a recording of him singing "The Party's Over," since that's basically what's happening to the Jets here.

10:06 It's 4th and 20 for the Pats, and they'll launch a punt. Fair catch. Yes, it's gridiron excitement the way you like it!

10:11 The Jets are putting together a decent little drive in the last minute here;they're at the Pats 38 with :14 seconds... and Brad Smith drops it. Really, it's a fumble, but I don't think the replay official's going to stop the game.

10:12 Sack of Sanchez. That'll do it for the second quarter. Halftime score: Wes Welker, four catches for 45 yards = four fantasy points.

10:26 We begin again. If Welker gets a TD, I've still got a minute amount of wiggle room, but two more catches will get rid of that quickly.

10:28 LaDainian Tomlinson is lucky he was able to grab that fumble. A turnover would have driven a stake through the Jets' heart. Nice snag by Holmes on the rollout from Brady, too.

10:30 Hey, Braylon Edwards finally caught a pass!

10:36 ...and, after a solid drive down the field by the Jets, there's the killer interception on the New England 2 yard line. This game is over for everyone who's not watching Wes Welker's fantasy total.

10:40 Another short catch for Welker as an escape valve: 5 catches, 50 yards, still 4 FPs.

10:42 Wow, Pats rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez just caught a pass and raced for a good fifteen yards after the catch, alternately dodging and powering over Jets en route.

10:46 Aw, CRAP!  CRAAAAAAAAAAP!  Welker catches it in the flat at the ten and runs forward; the DB drags him down, but not until his momentum carries him into the end zone. That gives him 6 catches, 69 yards, 12 FPs. Greg and I are exactly tied... but I hold the tiebreaker. Still, if Welker gets two more catches, or gains 11 more yards, Moose Jaw wins the title.

10:52 And there's another killer interception for Sanchez, throwing long to Edwards and dropping it short for the Pats DB to pick it off at the New England six.

10:55 Alas, that'll do it. Crap. Brady throws to Welker for EXACTLY 11 yards. Seven catches, eighty yards, one TD: 13 fantasy points. Unless he fumbles, I'm done here. I'll let you nice people go now.

10:58 And to think that all of this could have been avoided if I had just started Greg Jennings this week. CRAAAAP.

On the plus side, that's a pretty funny Snickers ad with Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on December 6, 2010 8:25 PM.

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