Yes, I pried open the door to the long neglected basement last night and fired up the big screen to watch the Colts-Patriots game. Things have changed a little since my last lengthy stay in our subterranean room for the UConn-Georgia Tech game. Back then, I could just disappear for the night without saying anything. Last night, I had to make sure I had my cell phone with me in case S. needed me quickly (and couldn’t run to the door and yell down at me, I guess). In case she couldn’t remember my cell phone number, I called the home phone from it before I headed downstairs to make sure the number was in the caller ID queue. Ain’t modern life grand?!?!

It was fine news to hear that the NFL is going to standardize Opening Night. From now on, it will occur the Thursday after Labor Day (Bravo!) and be played at the home stadium of the defending Super Bowl Champion. It makes so much sense that you know baseball would never do something like this. Nice work Mr. Tagliabue.

As for the game itself, everything was just so predictable. You knew the Colts would play inspired ball for about 55 of the 60 minutes. They’d bend, but not break, on defense. Peyton, Edgerrin, and Marvin would make enough plays to keep the Colts in the game late, but also make enough mistakes along the way to keep them from taking control of the game. Tom Brady would be steady all night, getting better as time wore down. And finally, the Colts would blow a chance late to win. Make that two chances to win and one chance to tie. How very Indianapolis Colts! All in all, an entertaining start to the season.

Can someone explain this Max Stats thing to me? I only saw it used once, and there was no real explanation of it. When Manning rifled a touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley, ABC showed the speed of the ball as 55 MPH. OK, makes perfect sense, I was with them so far. They also listed the “baseball equivalent” as 83 MPH. Huh? I mean, isn’t something either moving 55 miles per hour or it’s not? I never took physics, but perhaps the point was that the force it takes to hurl an object with the mass and shape of a football X MPH would propel the smaller, more aerodynamic baseball at Y MPH. Is distance factored in, too? How about wind speed, temperature, or relative humidity? If you’re going to compare, let’s be honest about it. Neither Al Michaels nor John Madden explained their methodology, or at least that I ever heard.

How about those Royals? They score 26 runs in the first game of a double header; get shut out in the nightcap. Sounds about right. Juntos podemos!

During commercials and halftime, I caught two other interesting things around the cable lineup. On the World Series of Poker, they had a feature on side bets these gambling freaks make. Everything from $10,000 for a vegetarian to eat a cheeseburger, to a man who bet a friend he couldn’t spend 30 days in Des Moines. The worst, by far, though was a man who was bet $100,000 he wouldn’t get breast implants. Naturally, he now has a pretty impressive rack. Whackos.
Over on VH1, I caught the second half of one of the new episodes of Bands Reunited, this edition focusing on The English Beat. A very entertaining look at one of the classic groups of 80s British music. “Save It For Later” anyone? “Mirror in the Bathroom” perhaps? 80s Trivia List members may recall that the Beat broke up and formed two other fine groups, General Public (“Tenderness”) and Fine Young Cannibals. Good stuff.

With that, I bid you a happy weekend.