Monday, October 31, 2011

Football - Why to Love it

Eight weeks into the season, reading NFL standings is like reading a sci-fi novel.  Those must be misprints. For a minute you might think this is April Fools Day and these are all jokes.  But no, it is Halloween.  So someone is going for eerie.  Consider:  

* St. Louis Rams beat the New Orleans Saints 31-21!? 

* Forty Niners 6 and 1!?

* Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills 6 and 2!?

* Colts 0 and 8!?

Every weekend is just great fun watching former losers win and former winners lose.  Did you see the "game of the week" with Cowboys vs Eagles.  Previews expected this to be THE game of the day.  Two powerful but inconsistent teams going head-to-head to determine who's who in the NFC East.  Yikes!  I hope you're not a Cowboys fan.  This is the year to be a Houston Texans fan.  The game wasn't even close, not even interesting.  Eagles 34-7.  And it wasn't that close.

What about college ball?  Wisconsin (sorry Vero) looked like the class in the Big Ten - and lose two consecutive weeks in the closing seconds of the game.  Lose to Michigan State in a hail Mary pass with four seconds on the clock.  Lose to Ohio State with a hail Mary style pass with 30 seconds left. 

Then there was the Stanford-USC game settled in triple overtime.  I'm not a west coast fan but tuned in to see the Stanford QB I've been hearing so much about, Andrew Luck.  He lived up to his billing - the kid is good!  And the game was one of the best this season. 

Next week LSU and Alabama, ranked #1 and #2, go head-to-head in what should be a great game.  I'm not an SEC conference fan but maybe should be.  Isn't the University of Texas joining that conference?  Oh, that's Texas A&M.  My Aggie friend says A&M "is THE University of Texas.

What about the Longhorns? 

I heard they played a game Saturday.  Heard but didn't see.  They're narrow-casting some of their games on the invisible Longhorn Network.  I think that's their way of punishing fans for... for what?  You're not buying enough Longhorn shirts and caps?  Not flying the Longhorn flag prominently enough on weekends? 

So they keep some games off the major networks.  So we don't get to see a couple nail-biters, UT over Rice 34-9, UT over Kansas 43-0.  Somehow I don't feel particularly deprived.  There were a lot more entertaining games this weekend.  A lot more.

Will University of Texas BROAD-cast this weekend?  So the rest of us can see what only the elite club of Longhorn Network members saw Saturday?  I don't really care.  I'm going to be watching LSU-Alabama. And maybe there will be another Wisconsin game - I still think they're the best in the Big Ten (did you know there are eleven teams in the Big Ten?  College people aren't very smart sometimes.  Especially Harvard people - but don't get me started...)

Outlaw tryouts continue November 19, 9:30 a.m., at Kealing Middle School.  Hope we get lots of veterans returning, lots of talented rookies joining the team.

When the NFL shuts down after the Superbowl, the Outlaws give us football fans four more opportunities to enjoy the game here in Austin.  Eight chances if we're willing to travel.  Actually more if we attend practices.  And if they do the scrimmage in Waco again this year, that's one more opportunity. 

This is a photo blog. 

So today we'll post just a few shots to try to show some of the allure of Austin Outlaws Football.

Shadana and Monica leading the team onto the field.
You've seen these ladies carry the ball?   Next season
maybe they'll come on to the field with a bit more energy?

Here's a shot from that field at 15th and Lamar.  This one actually catches the skyline - in an earlier post
I admitted trying and failing to get a skyline shot.  Probably not good to take pictures during the
playing of the National Anthem but that opening tradition gives me a thrill and I had to attempt to
capture it for you.

Another thrill - the opening kickoff of any football game.  Score 0-0, 60 minutes of football ahead.
I think that's my friend, Griff, kicking off left-footed.  I hope you appreciate that this photographer
climbed all the way to the top of the stands to give you this perspective on the game.  Whew.  Puff, pant.

Lots of exciting plays when the Outlaws are on the field. 

We still have two months of college football, three of NFL - but I'm already anticipating another Outlaws season.  They fill the void left by the end of the NFL season.  And Outlaws games are just plain fun.  Some serious football played by some serious athletes. 

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