Grading the NFL Kickoff 2009

Madden Curse- A

still going strong with Polamalu’s torn MCL. (That interception however may have stolen play of the year on the defensive side of the ball in the first half of the season)

Heinz Ward-  F

There is not a bigger clown in the NFL that hasn’t shot himself in the leg or been charged with a DUI? He throws cheap blocks, and almost blew that game for the Steelers. I don’t like that guy one bit.

Al Michaels- D

First off  I like Al Michaels. He is one of the top 3 TV play by play guys ever. I have Costas ahead of him though. In honor of MJ’s induction into the Hall of Fame here’s classic Costas. However last night he was a train wreck. For a national broadcaster I should not be able to tell who he has in his 4 team teaser for the weekend. Honestly I would rather watch this Al Michaels. Big Al last night did everything but wave around a terrible towel. My favorite moment was when Michaels waxed poetically as Rothelesberger escaped from a rush and exclaimed “Classic BEN!” and then Rotheslesberger scrambled back 10 more yards and was sacked for a 19 yard loss. Luckily Al Michaels will always have this to fall back on

Chris Collinsworth- B

I think he did very well. Had a good cohesion with Micheals and also threw in some actual football knowledge and didn’t mumble like Madden. 


NFL Kickoff Concert- D

Am I the only person who hated this opening show from the NFL who usually does it right (example) First off having the woman from Entertainment Tonight host? Did someone from pass. How do you not have someone like Rich Eisen host. I would have even taken Freddie Prinze Jr like they had in 04.

The Black Eyed Peas just sell out at the drop of the hat. Both their songs are now more outdated than the Terrible Towel. 

Tim McGraw is one of the biggest stars in country (hell Taylor Swift even wrote a song about him) and had the nation’s eyes and ears especially non country fans and he blew it. I felt like Simon Cowell watching it last night. “terrible song choice and very pitchy”  Not the time to debut a song with poorly written lyrics about jessus’ Love Timmy.  He should have done his new single (heard here) Better yet he should of been home watching Brad Paisley on the NFL Kickoff Concert. Paisley had a recent album come out, also likes football like every American male, and has more up tempo songs. If I have to wait 30 more minutes for football atleast hive me some thing like THIS

Pittsburgh Steelers Intro- C-

Your the Pittsburgh Steelers. You won you 6th Super Bowl 7 months ago and this is your moment in the sun to rub it in the rest of the leagues face before you put the helmets back on and try to go get another title and what do you give us? A crooked banner behind a gold post? Really that’s it? NBC organized the fireworks in downtown Pittsburgh which were pretty good but the Steelers just trotted out like it was week 5. I understand the “the past is the past” theory but come on enjoy it. Even Bill Belichick let the Pats celebrate their 3 titles. The ring ceremony/banner raising is usually my favorite part of the NFL kick off game, but not this year.

This huge celebration phenomenon was actually started by the Pats in 2004 the first year the NFL did the right thing and let the defending champs host the kickoff game.

Here are the Top 3 NFL Kick Off Entrances of the Champs: 

#1- 2005 New England Patriots- They took it to another level in 2005 and created my favorite NFL kick off night moment ever during their entrance. When Ozzy Osbourne appeared from inside the Pats helmet and performed “Crazy Train”

Now that is an entrance fit for a Champion. Great move being introduced by the guy who signs the checks too.

#2- 2007 Indianapolis Colts

Now as any true blue Pats fan I don’t like the Colts but as Vick Mantooth said to Ron Burgundy “I don’t like you, but god damn it I respect you.” I respect Tony Dungy and I can’t hate Peyton Manning. Yes he does too many ads but most are funny and the guy gave us THIS GEM. They did it right as well. Running out of the giant Super Bowl Ring was a new twist. 

#3- 2008 NY Giants

This just pains me to put on the list. The Giants handed me the worst lost in my sports fanhood in the helmet catch game. However, because the Steelers dropped the ball like Hines Ward last night I had to put them on the list. I will say if this was any other team any other year the “retired player emerging from inside a giant Lombardi trophy” idea would have had me hooked, Not with Gappy McStrahan and the team who deprived me and the rest of the Patriots fans our perfection we deserved. As much as I hate to do it here’s the link.

I just can’t wait for next September when once again the game day staff at Gillette Stadium gets yet another chance to set the standard for championship banner ceremonies after the Pats win their 4th Super Bowl in Miami.


On a side note: This is the best time of year for sports fans. Football is back. Both NFL and College. Baseball will soon cease being boring when the playoffs begin and basketball is right around the corner as well.


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