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Archive : September 2011

September 20, 2011

ROMO'S INJURY...A TURNING POINT

Week 1 could not have gone worse.

I sat texting a few friends during that horrific 4th quarter against the NYJ on opening night and sent this over cyberspace:

"This drive will make or break the rest of Romo's career"

That was with exactly 5 minutes to go in the game. That all-important (to me anyway) drive consisted of a 12 yard pass, then three plays and a punt.

So I was off one drive. It was actually the NEXT drive that ended up being the crucial, Romo-defining moment.

And we all know what happened.

59 seconds left. 1st and 10. Tied at 24. Ball on our own 41. Just need about 35 yards for a chance to win. Romo back to pass. Looks right. Sees double coverage on a limping receiver. Flips the ball out towards the sideline like a little girly-man who thinks that a football is stinky and smelly and wants nothing to do with it.

Interception.

Game over.

Romo is the goat. Again.

I was ready to fire him that night. Glad that's not (nor will it ever be) my job.

The next day, after a night of reflection and meditation, I wasn't ready to jump off the Romo bandwagon just yet.

After all, Dirk Nowitzki is soft and will never win the big one. Mack Brown and Tommy Bowden also had the "can't-win-the-big-one" stigma for many years. So why can't Romo shake the monkey off his back and do something great?

The other thing I thought was..."it's the first game". Still lots of football left to be played.

That brings us to Sunday afternoon. On the road in San Fran. Down 10 in the 4th quarter. And not only does Romo bring Dallas back to win in OT. But he does it with a broken rib.

And not only is it a broken rib. It's PUNCTURING HIS LUNG.

While it's not heroic in the same sense of the word we use to describe our brave men and women in uniform serving our country today and in years past, in a game where a very minor grazing of the top of a defender's helmet on a QB's jersey will get you a 15-yard penalty and probably a fine...you bet it's heroic.

It was just what Dallas needed. Seeing their leader frantically looking for his helmet in the third quarter after the sideline reporter said he was done for the day, seemed to galvanize the team and propel them to the come-from-behind victory.

And how fitting...that Romo would lose Canseco-style 27-24, then come back one week later and be just the opposite in a 27-24 win.

I'm still calling Dallas to go 11-5, which is contingent on us beating Washington on Monday night and then a very good Lions team (yes, they're very good) at home the next week before the BYE.

Here's what's not helping...the players on our injury report (and this isn't even the whole thing):
Tony Romo
Jason Witten
Dez Bryant
Miles Austin
Orlando Scandrick
Mike Jenkins
Felix Jones
Terrence Newman
Phil Costa
Bill Nagy

There are 7 potential Pro-Bowlers on that list. But here's the good news. Nobody's done for the year. In fact, the longest any of those 10 is expected to be out is through the BYE week.

Those are the types of injuries you can bounce back from (see Green Bay in 2010).

The kind you can't are the ACL's, broken bones, torn muscles, etc. Look at KC. They've lost their best offensive and defensive players and are, for all intents and purposes, done for the year.

That hasn't happened to us yet.

Our most terrifying injury is to our most important player. And he fought through the pain, fought through all his critics, put all the parody posters and viral texts making fun of him in the past, and led his team to victory. Don Meredith style.

That drive at the end of the NYC game may turn out not to be Romo's defining moment. It may turn out to be an everyday hit he took in the 1st quarter against San Fran.

The injury that saved the season...we can only hope.
  • mark rogers
  • September 20, 2011 10:46 AM

September 17, 2011

ACU GAME STORY COMING

I'm headed to ACU game this afternoon...an article will be written tomorrow or Monday about thee goings-on at Cowboy Stadium...stand by...
  • mark rogers
  • September 17, 2011 8:43 AM

LUBBOCK JUST WHAT COOPER NEEDED

With one more game to go before a juggernaut district starts, Cooper was 1-2 with the one win a game that could have very easily gone the other way. Basically, the Cougs were a play away from being 0-3 heading into their game against Lubbock High last night.

And the Westerners were exactly what Cooper needed to gain some confidence and momentum at a key point in the season. Let's say the Cougs had played someone else, like a Trinity or an Allen, someone like that, and was now 1-3. Even a win against Coronado next week would have put them at 2-3 heading into district.

But now, with a win (and not just any win, but a huge, dominating, blow-out win), the Cougs not only have a chance to be 3-2 heading into league play, but they have some huge confidence as well.

I said this last night on KTXS Football Friday Night, but I have been utterly impressed with Cooper's special teams so far this year. If you can get one special teams score per game (which is pretty uncommon), it takes a great deal of pressure of your offense. 

If you can just consistently make big returns and put your offense in good field position, THAT takes a big load off, too.

All this to say, Cooper is in a good position. They've worked some kinks out, put a full game together, start to finish, and are looking like they're ready to make a run at the district title.
  • mark rogers
  • September 17, 2011 8:31 AM

September 10, 2011

STAND OUT PERFORMANCE - WYLIE'S BLOOMER

In any other case, showing off your bloomer is not a great thing to do in front of thousands of people.

But last night, the Wylie Bulldogs did just that in a key 21-7 road win over Graham. Richard Bloomer, the 6'5", 205 lb senior, was on display in a huge way. His performance on offense was enough to gain some eyebrow raises across the region - 141 yards and a TD. 

His defense was a performance for the ages - 3, yes 3, interceptions to help the Bulldog defense hold the Steers to just 233 total yards and one score all night.

I don't know much, but I do know that in order to keep winning, Wylie needs to keep showing its Bloomer to as many people as they possibly can.
  • mark rogers
  • September 10, 2011 10:37 AM

September 7, 2011

PAC-16 GOOD FOR ANYONE?

I say...yes.

Those not in favor of the impending creation of "Super" conferences in college football cite the fact that schools in the same region should play each other every year based on tradition, proximity, a natural rivalry. I get that. It's a compelling argument.

Wisconsin-Ohio State is intriguing.

Texas-Texas A&M has been happening since Grover Cleveland was president (for the second time).

Michigan-Notre Dame just makes sense.

But there's one thing to keep in mind when debating and discussing the current state of college football in America - globalization.

Back in the good old days of telegraphs and train stations, teams played teams right around the corner. Rivalries were established, traditions were born, legends were made.

But today, the sense of "neighborhood" that used to exist within each conference is disappearing - if it hasn't disappeared already.

Moms and dads from Boston whose kids went to USC to play 40 years, 30 years, even 20 years ago could only watch them play in person. And unless mom and dad made millions of bucks every year, that was hard to do. So kids in the "olden" days stayed put. You're from Boston? You play at BC. Kids from the Northwest played at Oregon or Washington State.

The only far away school you could send your kid to and watch them on TV was Notre Dame. That's why ND has such a big national following (or should I say...had?). But that advantage is over. ND has its own channel...UT has its own NETWORK.

You can watch Buffalo, Akron, East Carolina, or Wyoming as easily as you can watch anybody else.

Now, those same moms and dads can watch their kids play on a handheld device from anywhere in the world. I watched the Texas-Rice game in a hotel room in Boston over the weekend on my father-in-law's HTC. It was great.

So what does all this mean?

It means that a Pac-16 Super conference wouldn't be bad for college football. The dominos would/will fall and the Big 10 may expand so you may not see Wisconsin-Ohio State for a few years, but it's pittance for all the other great match-ups fans will be treated to every year.

And of all the other long-time rivalries in jeopardy? Let it go...people who hang on to things too long end up on the show Hoarders with strangers rummaging through their house wearing protective suits in search of decaying cats and fruit that is so rotten it literally tries to run away when discovered under a 20 year old mattress filled with clown dolls and ceramic butterflies.

Instead of two divisions in the Pac-16, we could have four divisions. The winners of the four divisions play a two-round playoff for a conference champion to determine the BCS berth.

If this happens, all the other conferences will have to expand and some teams will get left out in the cold and you'll have people picketing in the streets demanding no taxation without representation...

But you know what? It's interesting. And if college football keeps that characteristic about it, I'll keep watching forever. No matter how ardently I disagree with the way it's set up.

That's what has always set college football apart - the fact that it's so unfair that nobody can stop talking about it. Mission. Accomplished.
  • mark rogers
  • September 7, 2011 10:36 AM