So with a week to go before the Super Bore and an eternity before the Packers start anything, I was pumped and excited to watch the Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl, I was thrilled with the fact that I would get to see some of my favorite senior players suit up once again to play the game I love.
I turned the TV on and waited to see guys like Jerry Rice, Deon Sanders, Emmit Smith and so many other Seniors run onto the field to let it all fly one more time. I waited to see Packer greats like the Majik Man, James Lofton, Jerry Kramer, and maybe even Paul Hornung run one last play for the glory of Lambeau Field and all things Green and Gold.
What an utter disappointment this game turned out to be. It had absolutely nothing to do with Seniors. It was a bunch of young college guys. Kids not even old enough to get AARP mail or the senior discount at Denny’s.
I figured we might see some guys with walkers out there or something like that with the kickoff, but noooooo. Some kid who was probably not even born when I was a Senior in College runs the kickoff 95 yards to start the game. Then two plays later the first touchdown. I figured we would at least have to wait a until the senior lunch special was over before there would be this much movement.
I was waiting for the first bone crushing blow of the game. I did not mean a ferocious tackle or punishing hit . Rather I wanted to see some octogenarian shuffle across the middle to catch a floater from Terry Bradshaw. I was waiting to see some bones get crushed and guys carried off the field on a stretcher like in the original The Longest Yard, when Burt Reynolds and his team of criminals took it to the staff of the prison and the evil prison warden? Where were the players of years past looking to add to their storied careers?
Instead this was a typical game of power moves and pushing the ball down field. Showcasing young talent looking to make a name before the NFL draft. Kids playing one last college style game, hoping to impress some NFL team. Wanting to make their dreams come true, instead of Joe Namath looking to have one last dream shot.
So who impressed me in this game. EJ Manuel, the QB for the South had a nice start to the game. He was able to move the ball and set up the run as well. The receivers for the South did a good job of creating separation and making the North secondary look rather mundane. In fact the South clearly owned the North in the first quarter.
What was not impressive in this game. Well that would be the fact that the North could not get anything going offensively. Two quick offensive series showed me why it is always better to look to the South. Not only do they have better players, but seriously, if you want to see the higher percentage of Seniors, then you always have to go South cause at this time of the year, that is where all the Seniors go when the weather gets cold.
The only mention of any seniors in the first quarter was EJ Manuel giving a shout out to his grandmother and the mention that some old guy named Brett Favre was going to do commentary at the Super Bowl. Did I really learn anything about Seniors in this game? Nope. In fact like most of the Seniors I know, I turned the game off before the first quarter ended, pulled up my pants and headed over to McDonald’s for a Senior Coffee and then over to Crabby’s to order dinner off the Senior Special menu and then home to catch Matlock before it got too late.
So what did I learn in watching the Senior Bowl? Nothing, because my expectations of seeing Senior NFL players make one last grab for glory never came close to fruition. It was all about the up-and-coming players, not guys in the twilight of their life looking to rekindle what once was. Truly they need to change the name of the game so it does not confuse guys like me who are looking to the past.
I would have even settled for an appearance of the greatest high school player ever to play the game, Al Bunde of Polk High School, but it was not meant to be. Maybe the Packer scouts who were there saw more then I did and were able to put together information that will benefit our senior staff as they prepare for the NFL draft, that is if they are not grabbing the Senior specials at some greasy spoon down in Mobile, Ala.
Next time I guess I will read the preview of the game instead of just assuming I was going to see glory players of the past one last time.