Friday, December 5, 2008

The Naked Light of Sunday

As the shadows lengthen to the solstice, we take our comforts - and our excitements - where they may be found. Last Saturday, I watched one of the best college football games I've ever seen. Amid the sleet and rain of a "winter-mix" as the meteorologists term it, Missouri and Kansas went all out for a full four quarters. Kansas, the underdog, playing with a banged up roster, including their quarterback, who could barely lift his arm at the beginning of the week, took the lead early and held it through most of the game. Missouri, playing with their own share of injured starters, manging to fight their way back into the game, then take the lead on a series of gut plays. The final six and a half minutes featured four touchdowns, each of which resulted in a change of lead. Missouri lost on the last play of the game, a 53 yard field goal attempt. As the cliche-mongers have it, it was a shame that one team had to lose.

The Atlanta Falcons, who some predicted wouldn't win a game this season, are now 8 - 4 under a new coach, Mike Smith, and led by a new quarterback, Matt Ryan, who has to be the frontrunner for rookie of the year. What a difference one season makes, leaving behind the debacle of Vick, Harrington, and Pettrino.

And for those of you old enough to remember the 70s era Pittsburg Steelers, this may bring back some memories.