As we prepare for the start of the 2013 NFL Season – which is just THIRTEEN days away!!! – we thought it would be fun to look behind the curtain of last season, with the help of the ever-awesome NFL Films team, and their Sound FX series. It’s over 8-1/2 minutes of pure unadulterated NFL goodness, from the mouths of the players and coaches themselves – from trash talking and joke cracking to ref-baiting, pure nonsense, and everything in between.
It’s pretty awesome, and includes our favorite from last year – JJ Watt telling Ray Rice that he had “eaten burritos bigger than you” (Mmmmm … burritos) — and a lot more. If you’re not already, his should help get you fired up for the upcoming season. Enjoy!
Houston defensive end J.J. Watt has been a dominant force for the Texans defense so far this season.
With a league-leading 9-1/2 sacks and 10 passes defended, Watt has clearly made his presence felt among opposing quarterbacks … and his 34 tackles indicate he’s also gotten up close and personal with some of the league’s best running backs.
And when Watt was mic’d up by NFL Films on Sunday during Houston’s 43-13 beat down of the Ravens, he delivered one of the best trash talk lines of all time to all-pro RB Ray Rice.
After the 5′-8″ Rice took a shot at the 6′-5″ beast, Watt told the diminutive back, “I’ve eaten burritos bigger than you”:
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This is hilarious.
Last week, the NFL Network aired the latest in their ongoing series “A Football Life“, entitled “Cleveland ’95“, which looked back at that fateful final season before Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore. It also examines the first head coaching tenure of a young Bill Belicheck, whose effort toward re-building the franchise went for naught, as the very team was yanked out from under them before they really had a chance. It was a rough time for all Browns fans … one that many have yet to fully recover from, and certainly not something they were particularly eager to re-live.
Well our old friend Mike Polk (of “Factory of Sadness” fame) is here to put things into perspective for us, with this brilliant teaser for the sports broadcasting world’s next plan to kick Cleveland fans while they’re down — simply called, “F%&* Cleveland Night”. With “the sole purpose of depressing the s#!t out of America’s longest-suffering sports fans”, this joint-venture of the NFL Network and ESPN promises to bring back all of the worst nightmares from Cleveland sports history … all in glorious HD, and right into your living room.
That’s right. Among other punches to the gut, Browns fans will get “the Decision”, “the Drive”, “the Shot”, and “the Fumble”. All. Night. Long. Oh, and just to ratchet up the sadness factor, the lowlights will be set to the music of Adele.
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We love our GIFs here at ReadAndReact, so we’ve started a new weekly feature where we collect the best GIFs from each NFL week, and post them all in one convenient spot for your viewing enjoyment.
Most of these come courtesy of the always-awesome GIFulmination, @SBNation GIF or@CJZero Twitter… so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to firstname.lastname@example.org, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
In honor of the passing of Steve Sabol – who is the reason so many of us fell in love with professional football – SBNation posted these classic NFL Films GIFs:
Willie Brown running into your living room:
Earl Campbell = truck:
Sad news in the football world today, as Steve Sabol – the founder of NFL Films – has passed away from brain cancer today, just shy of his 70th birthday.
NFL Films is one of the big reasons many of us originally fell in love with the game, and continue to do so today. Sabol’s impact on the sport – and the way it’s broadcast – is immeasurable, and he will be missed greatly. RIP, Steve.
Watch the NFL Network’s tribute to Sabol HERE
Here’s some good news for NFL fans … “A Football Life” – the acclaimed series produced by NFL Films for the NFL Network – is returning for a second season.
Following up on the success of last year’s inside look at the enigmatic Bill Belichick, “A Football Life” will premiere on September 12th, with (what else) a feature on Tim Tebow, and his wild ride through the 2011 season. A week later, we get to go on the field with Ravens LB Ray Lewis, who allowed himself to be mic’d up for every game last season for the production (the first player in NFL history to do so).
In addition to these two episodes, this season promises unprecedented insight into such NFL luminaries as Jimmy Johnson, Barry Sanders, and Steve McNair … as well as some of the more important moments in the history of the league (“The Immaculate Reception” and the 1995 Cleveland Browns).
Watch a sneak preview HERE, and get a complete list of subjects for the upcoming season of “A Football Life” after the jump.
Every year, around this time, we start missing football a little bit. Sure, there are owners meetings, OTAs are starting, and we’re getting a sneak peek at some teams in action, but we’re still more than 3 months from the start of the regular season, and it’s been more than 3 months the Giants hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. And as much as we can appreciate the NBA and NHL playoffs, can see how some people (not us) can enjoy the start of the epically long baseball season, and even don’t mind watching a little Champions League soccer now and again … combined, they still somehow don’t compare to the thrill of the NFL by itself.
In case you’re like us and are starting to go into football withdrawls, the good people at NFL Films put together this nice little walk down memory lane to help you re-live this past season, and remind us once again how awesome the sport is. It isn’t exactly new, but we were saving it up for a time when we thought you might need it most … enjoy:
WATCH VIDEO HERE ON NFL.COM
As always, the NFL Films crew was in full force at Super Bowl XLVI, capturing all the sights and sounds of the world’s biggest game as only they can. For this game, the Sound FX team had WR Victor Cruz and LB Michael Boley mic’d up for the Giants, and QB Tom Brady and DT Vince Wilfork wired for the Pats. And the result is every bight as insightful and exciting as you’d expect it to be.
A few of the more interesting moments from the broadcast:
- Justin Tuck’s pre-game speech inspiring his teammates who have yet to win a Super Bowl to reach for their ring (which possibly inspired the team’s now-famous post-game “I got a ring” celebration)
- Patriots owner Robert Kraft asking to look into Tom Brady’s eyes before the game to see if he has “the look”, and Brady responding “I got it today. I’ve had it for three days”
- Victor Cruz pre-game: “Super Bowl 46 … I used to think it was all about me, and what I could do. It’s all about this team, man.”
- Wes Welker: “I’m open on every play.” Brady: “I know you are, man. I know you are.”
- Brady, following the intentional grounding call that resulted in a safety on the first offensive play of the game
“I looked at Gronk, I looked to Wes, he dropped, then I felt him, I had no place to throw it away. I threw it over his head. I didn’t want to throw an interception.”
- On Cruz’ fumble/non-fumble in the first quarter, when the Patriots were flagged for 12 men on the field, the Giants saw it all the way, urging Manning to snap the ball to catch New England for a free play
- After Jason Pierre-Paul knocks down a Brady pass, the QB says to Welker on the sideline: “It’s like throwing in a forest, dude, those f*ing guys arms are like…”
- When Giants Kevin Boothe was called for holding Vince Wilfork in the 2nd quarter, nullifying a big first down and ultimately killing the drive. Immediately, the referee asks the official who thew the flag “You’re good with it? I thought he spun off of it”, which Wilfork later confirms, saying “That was a bad call”.
As the Tim Tebow phenomenon continues to grow to the point of nearly taking over all league-wide discussion, it should come as no surprise that the NFL Films crew had the Broncos QB mic’d up for his Week 14 match-up against the Chicago Bears, as part of their Sound FX series. In it, we get a little more insight into the way Denver’s savior plays the game, what he says to his teammates to motivate them on the field, as well as Tebow’s most personal conversations with the man upstairs.
Particularly interesting is hearing Tebow try to keep WR Demaryius Thomas’s head in the game after dropping a sure third quarter touchdown, presciently telling him, “You’re good. Hey, no big deal, it just makes it closer for a little bit longer. You’re about to catch the game-winner, and then you’ll be the hero of the game.” (well, technically it wasn’t the game-winner, but still).
Then, following his own 4th quarter fumble (which seemingly sealed their fate with just 5:41 remaining), Tebow comforts Broncos’ QB coach Andrew Case, who asks, “Why do we always gotta do this?”. Cool as a cucumber, Tebow just smiles, put his hand around Gase’s shoulder and says: “It’s all right. We’ll figure it out, man.”
And figure it out he did, rallying to tie the game and take it to overtime, with a little help from Marion Barber along the way. But to no surprise, Tebow appears to be most relaxed when the game around him is at its most tense. Following Barber’s OT fumble, Tebow silently rises off the bench, points toward the sky as he takes the field, and launches into song with a quiet hymnal before calmly leading Denver to the game-winning score.
Regardless of your feelings about his faith or throwing abilities, you can’t deny that we are witnessing something special in Tebow right now. And as long as he keeps winning, he’s going to continue to make believers out of his teammates, opponents and even his harshest critics.
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The latest episode of NFL Network’s excellent series, A Football Life, focused on the Chicago Bears’ legendary larger-than-life coach and player, Mike Ditka.
As usual, the program gives an in depth look into the Hall of Famer’s life, both on and off the field. From his upbringing in western Pennsylvania to his time as an All-American two-way end at Pitt and becoming a first round draft choice by the Bears. There, Iron Mike revolutionized the Tight End position and came to define toughness and agression from an offensive player in the NFL.
Of course, Ditka went on to coach the Bears for 11 years, winning Super Bowl XX and creating a much larger legend for his his blustery and temperamental persona. His coaching career ended on a less successful note with a 3-year stint with the Saints, where Da Coach looked so constantly stressed out that you genuinely worried he might have a heart attack at any minute.
With NFL Films at the helm, the show provides a multi-dimensional look at one of the more fascinating characters in NFL history. You can watch a bunch of clips here (the “growing up Ditka“ section is particularly worthwhile), but this segment covers a lot of ground on Ditka’s coaching career, including his, shall we say … colorful relationship with both quarterbacks and the media. It also includes a look at this classic furious, pantsless television interview, and starts with Ditka’s now-ubiquitous “Kick Ass” brand, which he shamelessly slaps on everything from red wine to Italian beef :
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