Tuesday, October 9, 2007
More reasons why we're sports fans
Monday night is why we all love sports.
It wasn't because Major League Baseball's and the National Football League's most popular teams were playing on national television.
It was the excitement of the games they were involved in. It was the importance of the New York Yankees final loss and subsequent end of their dynasty and the luster of this season's Dallas Cowboys.
For the fourth straight season, the Yankees, a team once dubbed "the evil empire" by Boston Red Sox owner Larry Lucchino because of their gigantic payroll and superbly talented roster, lost in the ALDS.
They looked older, slower, and less motivated than their opponent, the Cleveland Indians. And this loss seemed like the final straw for the 12-year dynasty created under manager Joe Torre.
Game 4 of the Yankees-Indians series drew a 7.5 rating on TBS - quite the high number for a sport that slumps on television. Fans and viewers who know anything about baseball had a feeling this could be it for the Yankees. It was a feeling we had since C.C. Sabathia outdueled Chien-Mang Wang in Game 1 and concluded with the Indians slapping timely hits and using the effective but unspectacular arm of starter Paul Byrd in Game 4.
On the flip side, the Cowboys somehow pulled out a victory in Buffalo last night. Tony Romo threw five interceptions - two returned for touchdown - and lost a fumble and the Bills defense did just about everything right last night, but couldn't clamp down in the waning minutes to defeat the NFC's top team.
Terrance McGee even returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown to put the Bills up 24-13 midway through the third quarter. Even rookie Trent Edwards' fourth quarter interception that was returned deep into Buffalo territory was not capitalized upon because Romo threw his fifth interception at the goalline.
Late in the fourth quarter, however, Dallas was still hanging around. Romo got the team into the endzone with 20 seconds remaining, but Terrell Owens dropped the two point conversion pass that would have tied the score. But Dallas recovered an onside kick and Romo moved them into position for the game-winning field goal.
And Nick Folk drilled it. Twice. His first was true but the Bills called a timeout about a half second before the snap to ice the rookie. Folk, however, was unflappable, drilling the second 53-yarder. It was one of those games where you shake your head and say, "Damn" as Folk's kick split the uprights and gave the Cowboys a 25-24 win. Trailing the entire game until the final second, the Cowboys snatched the improbable victory.
The game was ESPN's highest rated Monday Night Football contest of the year, drawing a 9.4 rating.
Dallas improved to 5-0 and set up the game of the season thus far against 5-0 New England.