There has been a lot of speculation recently as to the meaning of the Broncos’ “Omaha” call at the line of scrimmage, which Peyton Manning seems to use prior to every play as part of his pre-snap audibles. Manning shouted “Omaha” 44 times during last Sunday’s divisional playoff win over the Chargers, so naturally, folks are curious.
Well, Manning finally explained the call during today’s pre-AFC Championship press conference, and did so in a way that will probably only serve to leave people more confused than before. When a reporter asked Peyton what it is that he loves about the city of Omaha, Manning first joked that it must be a fan-written question, but then obliged all of us wanting to know the same thing:
“Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass depending on a couple things: when, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys that we’re wearing. So it varies, really, play to play, so, that’s — there’s your answer to that one.”
There it is, indeed. Mystery solved. Thanks Peyton.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is one of the more petulant players in the NFL, and during yesterday’s playoff loss to the Broncos, Rivers turned in one of the brattiest performances of his career.
Rivers threw tantrum after tantrum while being continuously frustrated by the crowd noise in Denver, and after burning yet another timeout in the 2nd half, Broncos DE Robert Ayers brilliantly mocked young Philip’s latest hissy-fit, kicking and stomping at the dirt like a child:
Well played, Robert. Well played.
As part of his ongoing worldwide promotional tour for the highly-anticipated upcoming release of Anchorman 2, Will Ferrell – as his alter-ego and super-anchor Ron Burgundy (along with David Koechner as Champ Kind) – will be hosting a special edition of SportsCenter on ESPN this Thursday at 6pm ET.
In advance of this momentous event, ESPN has released this teaser video of Burgundy interviewing Broncos QB Peyton Manning, in which he discusses mustache’s, horses, and audibles … much to the delight of Manning, and fans of Anchorman everywhere:
As we kick off the 2013 NFL season tonight, we are graced with this incredible set of NFL team sigils, in the style of the house sigils from Game of Thrones. For those of you who are geeks for both the NFL and GOT (like us), this is pure nirvana.
Created by internet hero DJroomba, aka Tim Proby, the complete gallery of all 32 teams (even the Jets) can be found here, and includes several variations for each club. We’ve posted some of our favorites below, and saved the best for last in the Patriots and Browns. Enjoy your new desktop wallpapers!
MORE NFL TEAM SIGILS AFTER THE JUMP
In their latest opus for DirecTV, the Manning Brothers have ventured into Lonely Island territory with this ridiculous rap video to promote the fact that you can now watch football on your phone as part of the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
The track, aptly named “Football On Your Phone”, is about as lame as you’d expect (“look at this guy using his phone as a phone. Your phone ain’t for callin’, your phone’s for footballin!”), but props to Peyton and Eli for fully committing to the gag with very little sense of ego or shame … and of course, for their totally awesome wigs.
I really don’t have much else to say about this one, as the video really speaks for itself, but it felt like it needed sharing.
By now this photo has made the rounds, but we couldn’t resist sharing a genuine, un-staged moment between two of the greatest football players of our time.
Following the Broncos devastating 38-35 playoff loss to the Ravens – more than two hours after the game had ended – Peyton Manning met up with Ray Lewis in the visitor locker room to congratulate him on the victory:
They say a picture says a thousand words, and with Lewis taking his final run at the post-season, we can only imagine the stories these two warriors have to share from their storied careers as opposing forces in the NFL.
What we wouldn’t have given to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. Even though only Peyton’s young son was close enough to hear what was said, fortunately for us, Ravens media director Chad Steele was there to capture the moment and share it with the world.
After eight games played this season, both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are 5-3, with 2,404 yards passing.
Mind = Blown.
Every year, we try to refrain from pulling a Tom Smykowski from Office Space, and jumping to any conclusions about the NFL season prematurely. In a sixteen-game season, it generally takes several games for teams to figure out their identity, and a lot longer than that to determine a realistic playoff picture.
So while it’s tempting to draw knee-jerk reactions from a couple of games, we at least try to wait until the quarter-point mark to start making our hyperbolic and definitive statements about the season ahead.
And even though many of these will undoubtedly prove wrong, we’re not afraid to draw these bold conclusions after just week four of the season.
So without further adieu, here are our top 5 observations on the 2012 edition of ol’ Jump To Conclusions mat:
The impact of the hit was so great that it sent Schaub’s helmet flying, along with a small piece of his ear lobe. And if you look closely enough in the banner pic above, you just might be able to make out that little ear chunk flying through the air. It was a gruesome sight to be sure, but Schaub toughed it out, missing only one play before returning to the field.
“I felt fine,” Schaub said. “I just lost a piece of my ear. I was bleeding and my helmet came off. So I had to come out for a play, but I was fine.”
As a repeat offender, Mays was also fined $50k for the hit, but he only appealed the suspension in hopes that he might be able to play in Sunday’s game against Oakland. Instead, the league has re-determined that Mays hit a defenseless Schaub in the head area with his own helmet after he had thrown the pass. Pretty obvious, really.
Mays has apologized to Schaub for the play, insisting he didn’t intend to hurt anyone, but will still have to sit this week out and think about what he’s done wrong.
GIFS AFTER THE JUMP
We’ve been saying this since the pre-season, but after this weekend’s games (and particularly the Monday night junk show that we all witnessed), it’s become more than painfully obvious that the replacement officials charged with policing the multi-billion dollar NFL are in over their heads … and it’s having a very real affect on the quality of the product on the field.
And unfortunately, it seems that Roger Goodell just doesn’t care.
Last night’s Falcons-Broncos game put a national spotlight on the problem, as the scab officials bumbled their way through an hour-long first quarter, clearly unable to handle the speed or intensity of the game as it unfolded before them. At one point, there was a 6-minute delay in the action after players got into a shoving match on the field after a fumble, and the replacements struggled to restore order (or make a definitive call on the recovery). The scene has been described as “chaotic”, with MNF announcer Mike Tirico finally breaking down and saying, ”Honestly. It’s embarrassing. The command and control of this game is gone”.
Later, the replacements showed their lack of grasp on the pro rule book with a couple of egregious spots. Toward the end of the half, the Broncos were awarded 10 yards for a defensive holding penalty against Atlanta – an infraction that only carries a 5-yard penalty in the NFL (it’s 10 yards in college). In the third quarter, with Atlanta driving in their no-huddle offense, the game was paused again while the officials sorted out the spot on another defensive holding penalty. This one had been incorrectly spotted from the previous spot, instead of the spot of the foul as NFL rules dictate.
So even when these officials ultimately got the call right (with the help of the on-field NFL officiating supervisor), it completely interfered with the flow of the game, rendering it nearly unwatchable.