This wasn't a good weekend to be a favorite. Three of the four home teams lost in the NFL playoffs, the University of Alabama just got clobbered by Clemson 44-16 in the college football national championship game, and Bohemian Rhapsody beat out A Star is Born for Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Considering that it rained all weekend in northern California, at least we had some good TV to watch while staying inside.
If you start with Saturday's football games, the biggest blowout was the Indianapolis Colts beating Houston 21-7. Indy led 21-0 early, and then hung on. That evening, the Dallas Cowboys got a home win over Seattle, but only by two points. Sunday, the Chargers had a 23-3 lead with about six minutes to go, and hung on 23-17, which was followed by the 'double doink' in Chicago. Bears kicker Cody Parkey attempted a game-winning field goal as time expired, only to have it hit the upright, and then deflect off the crossbar. Instead of 'nothing but net', the ball fell onto the field, and Philadelphia won the game.
Minutes after that failed field goal, NBC switched live to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards. This is apparently the year of the 'nice guy' hosts, with Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh trying to play off that by pretending they were going to insult all the stars, and then ended up telling them how great they were. One of the surprises of the night, though, was Bohemian Rhapsody picking up top awards, including Best Picture.
If you wanted a big surprise, though, you had to wait until tonight. College football crowned its champion, and everyone expected Clemson and Alabama to be a good game. People were on the fence about who would win with both teams undefeated, but no one really expected Clemson to win in a blowout. The Tigers won 44-16, and have now beaten Alabama in two of their three national championship meetings. It's also the most lopsided 'Bama loss under coach Nick Saban.
The game was played in Santa Clara, abouth three thousand miles from the two schools. There was talk that ticket sales were off, and you could get a seat fairly cheap on the secondary market. Watching the game, though, there was a big and boisterous crowd, with of course, those wearing Clemson orange making all the noise. All three games in this year's College Football Playoff were blowouts (27, 21, and 28 points), but at least you can't say, “Alabama won again.”
Sports and awards shows. They all can be unpredictable.
Bet you can't do that again: In watching football, I've always (half) jokingly said when a field goal attempt hits the upright or the crossbar, that the team should get extra points for that. I mean it's a lot harder to hit a pole from 40-plus yards away than put the ball between two of them. The Bears and Cody Parkey should have gotten 100 points for hitting the left upright, then off the crossbar, then down onto the field.
Global efforts: I'm not quite there yet, but I'm starting to feel like Dick Van Dyke at these awards shows. The 93 year-old legend, who presented for Mary Poppins Returns, remarked that when he saw Carol Burnett, he said “Hey. I know her!” Most of the TV shows aren't even on network (or in a lot of cases even cable) TV, so I haven't seen them. I haven't seen the movies, either... Burnett got an award named after her—the first recipient of the Carol Burnett Award for excellence in television. It is to TV what the Cecil B. DeMille Award is to movies, which was presented this year to Jeff Bridges. Bridges, in his speech, looked like he was going to lose the audience with a story about ocean-going vessels and small rudders that would turn large rudders which would turn the ship. His point was that people are those small rudders, called 'trim tabs', and that together, society could turn the proverbial ship. He ended up with a standing ovation for that one.
More globes: The weirdest moment was when Saturday Night Live alumni Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler presented for Best Screenplay While apparently trying to dramatize how important storylines are, Rudolph took out a ring and 'proposed' to Poehler. It didn't get a lot of laughs, and in this day of diversity and inclusiveness, one has to wonder if the gay community was offended... The funniest speech was Christian Bale after winning Best Actor for Vice. Bale said he was chosen to play Dick Chaney because he was the most “charisma free” actor they could find, and reviled by everybody. He then quipped, “Thank you to Satan for inspiration on how to play this role”, and wondered out loud if his next part would be portraying Mitch McConnell... Samberg and Oh did a decent job hosting, but nothing really all that memorable. Oh, however, won for Best Actress in a TV Series or Drama for Killing Eve, and her speech was genuine. They did do one quick bit where, instead of offering pizza or goodies to the audience, they offered flu shots. A bunch of people in white coats and surgical masks came out as they went to break, but it didn't look like there were many takers.
Blah blah blah: We love Clemson Coach Dabo Sweeney because he'll always give you a great interview. He's probably still out there talking.