7:25pm: Bottom of the 8th, game is tied 3-3 thanks to Nelson Cruz's solo home run that led off the bottom of the 7th. Joaquin Benoit walks Elvin Andrus to start the inning (the Rangers fastest player). Great timing. I literally just sat down on my couch after getting home from the gym and showering. Bad omen.
7:27pm: Whew, coked-out Josh Hamilton crushes a line drive right at third baseman Brandon Inge, who easily throws to first in time to double-up Andrus. 2 outs.
7:29pm: This is a good time to mention that those joining me tonight in my man cave - Lars (my dad), Colin Kait and hopefully Brad. 3 Lions/Tigers fans (me, Lars and possibly Brad). Colin sent me a text earlier in the night "I'm feeling Bears by 10." Thanks Colin. I'm feeling 4-12 for the Seahawks and October tee times for the "Phab Phour."
7:35pm: The Tigers get out of the inning and head to the top of the 9th. I was just about to make a note on how the Tigers lineup is gawd awful tonight (really, they have 2 major league hitters in Cabrera and VMart and then a bunch of scrubs that wouldn't even see the field for the Rangers). To prove me wrong, Ramon Santiago smashes a single to left (bloopy liner) and the Rangers pull Alexi Ogando (who dominates the Tigers). Let's go Don Kelly! (who?)
7:38pm: Kelly rips a double to the right-field corner...but Santiago can't score? That is inexcusable. The ball seemed to sit in the corner for 3 seconds before Nelson Cruz got to it. With 2 outs, Santiago should have been running on contact. I have a feeling this comes back to haunt the Tigers. MVP Miggy (Miguel Cabrera) is up with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. Another pitching change. Ps - Brad, the Tigers fan, just sent me a text that said "sh*t I forgot they were on!" To Brad's credit, he was a Pirates fan growing up, lost interest in baseball (hmm, I wonder how a Pirates fan could lose interest in baseball from 1992-2010) and then decided to become a Tigers fan since he was already a Lions fan. I'll give him a break here.
7:42pm: The Rangers bring in their closer, Neftali Feliz, a guy who throws 101mph GAS. He intentionally walks Cabrera?? What a bunch of
7:46pm: VMart (Victor Martinez) pops out to end the inning. I just pounded my first off my ottoman, hard, about 30 times. I REALLY hate baseball sometimes. And then, as if on cue, Kait walks in. Nice timing - not in the mood for hugs, sorry honey.
7:50pm: The Rangers start off the bottom of the 9th with a leadoff double by Adrian Beltre. The ball missed being a home run by about a foot. After loading the bases, the Tigers' closer Jose Valverde gets a pop out and a double play ball to escape the inning. 3-3 heading to the 10th. Heart attack city.
8:06pm: A promising start for the Tigers as Ryan Raburn leads off with a walk. However, the Tigers AA lineup can barely get the ball out of the infield and off to the bottom of the 10th we go. I'm still mad Santiago didn't score on Kelly's double in the 9th. This game has walk off written all over it.
8:15pm: 1-2-3 for the Rangers in the bottom of the 10th. Of course this game will bleed into MNF and I'll have to choose which game to watch and flip back and forth. Of course it will.
8:25pm: Colin, Lars and Kait are all here now. We are in full-blown heart attack mode. The Lions are about to kickoff and the Tigers are in extra innings trying to avoid going down 2 games to none in this best of 7 ALCS. I don't know if I'll make it through this night. By the way, I need 32 points from Matt Stafford tonight to beat Colin in fantasy football. Also, I need 7 points from the Lions defense to win my matchup in another league. These are the things I think of to take my mind off the game. Oh, and the Kardashian wedding countdown - 35 minutes!!!
8:30pm: And we just got the first Lars negative comment: "I have a horrible feeling about this." As a Detroit sports fan all his life, Lars is programmed to be negative and expect the worst things to happen. We will hear comments like this about 40 more times tonight. In the top of the 11th, Cabrera hits a deep fly ball to the warning track that is caught for the 3rd out. EFF.
8:34pm: Ok, I'm pulling a Lars now. I have a horrible feeling about this inning. Meanwhile, we switch over to ESPN to check out the new MNF opening - pretty cool. Barry Sanders doing his thing. He is definitely the greatest running back of my lifetime and the prime reason I'm a Lions fan today. Maybe I should hold that against him? Did I mention I hate flipping back and forth between these games?!? Lars is all over me - having me switch in between pitches! I really need a second TV mounted above my first TV. Let's make this happen!
8:43pm: Here we go. Dropped fly ball by Andy Dirks. Yes, Andy Dirks is playing for the Tigers in the biggest game of the season. On the positive side, first down Lions. Positives and negatives. All night.
8:46pm: A quick switch back to the Tigers and....Grand Slam Nelson Cruz. Game over. 7-3 Rangers. Before Nelson can make it to first base the TV is back to ESPN...permanently. Thankfully we have the Lions game or I'd be raging right now.
8:47pm: By the way, before I changed to the Lions I did get a quick glimpse of Nolan Ryan cheering. Does Nolan Ryan get free wings, pizza and beer at the games? And if so, who is in charge of cutting him off? Dude is 400lbs.
8:55pm: To lighten the mood, Lars is quizzing everyone in the room (but me). "Do you know the last time the Lions hosted the Bears on Monday Night Football?" Nobody knows, of course. October 19, 1981. Greatest day in the history of mankind (aka, my birthday). Do you think my dad was more excited that his first child was born, or that the Lions smashed the Bears that night? Toss up.
9:02pm: Ok so I've officially lost the buzz I had coming into this night. The Tigers lost on the first walk off grand slam in MLB postseason history. The Lions are flat. And I'm stuffing my face with (cheeseless) pizza. I feel like Nolan Ryan. I need to wake up!
9:10pm: Great challenge by Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage to negate a pass interference penalty. Now the Lions need a big defensive play to get rolling! Instead, they committ 3 effin BS penalties!!! Wtf? This game is sloppy right now. Also, Cuter is a
9:22pm: Huge 4th and 1 stand by the Lions defense! That's the play I was talking about! Now I need a quick Stafford to Megatron (Calvin Johnson) TD!
9:29pm: It's like they were listening to me! 73 yard bomb to Calvin for a touchdown. 7-0 Lions. By the way, that was Calvin Johnson's 9th TD reception of the season...thru 4 1/2 games. No other player in NFL history scored 9 TDs in the first 5 games of the season. He's kinda good.
9:35pm: Random observation: Stephen Tulloch = Dan Walsh. 5'8, stubby, all over the field.
9:49pm: Does anyone watch commercials anymore? I swear as soon as commercials come on, my house gets silent as everyone starts texting/tweeting/checking the Internet.
10:05pm: Full negativity mode for Lars (I'm more numb at this point) as the Lions are down 10-7 and the offense looks like crap. Oh, and that INT Stafford just threw isn't helping. The Lions are gonna be down 10-7 at half. So far the "best night of Detroit sports" effin blows.
10:11pm: Twisting the knife even deeper, the NBA and David Stern just officially cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA season. I realize that there are not as many NBA fans as NFL or MLB, but I remain in the minority here. I like the NBA as much as any other sport and follow it religiously. This is a huge blow. The 2010-11 NBA season was the best season in YEARS with the Heat becoming Enemy No. 1, tons of young stars emerging (Rose, Durant, Griffin, Wall) and a 7'0 German guy winning a championship. Why build on that momentum? That would be dumb. Just cancel the season instead.
10:17pm: I wish I could be excited about the 2nd half. Instead all I can think about is my trip to Texas this weekend with Colin, Jesse and Jeff. Got tickets for the Texas-Oklahoma St. football game Saturday. Should be fun. And I hear Austin is a great city. Not to mention this is a 4-day work week for me. Ok...things are looking up! Let's go Lions!
10:29pm: Can the Lions throw to Calvin every play please? He's unstoppable. Big first down. The Lions really need to get the crowd going. Ford Field is one of those sneaky loud buildings, only no one knows about it because the Lions have been so awful since it opened.
10:38pm: Ok, I'm getting into the game now and losing interest in this "live" blog. Here are some rapid fire thoughts: Matt Forte is killing the Lions; defense can't stop him.
10:47pm: BOOM, Jahvid Best goes 88yds to the house! 21-10 Lions and Ford Field is rocking! So is 1491 Timber Brook!
11:04pm: Enough highlights of the walk off grand slam. The Lions are up 21-10. That's all I care about right now. That, and admiring Colin's long hair.
11:09pm: The Lions defense gets a big sack and I'm now up .38 in my fantasy matchup. I've already conceded the matchup against Colin. He's so smug sitting over there in the corner with his new Nike (pumped up) kicks.
11:14pm: Watching this game gets me pumped for December 11th when we head to Ford Field for the Vikings game. Should be awesome.
11:26pm: Can Mike Wilbon stop tweeting about how the lions are 5-0? Everyone knows it'll be the first time in forever. You can wait 5 more minutes. Thanks.
11:38pm: Lions playing conservatively here and looking for a field goal instead of throwing to Calvin who is singled covered at the goalline. Don't they know he has a 2TD per game streak to keep alive??
11:49pm: The Final: Lions 24 Bears 13. The Detroit Lions are 5-0!
11:50pm: Even crazier than the Lions being 5-0 - how about the fantasy football implications of the last 2 minutes of the game. I won my matchup with the Lions defense by 1.38 points. If the Bears would have scored any points at the end of the game (they were tackled on the 1 yard line as time expired, I would have lost). Lars loses his matchup by .12 points - yes .12 - when all he needed was another Lions' sack on the final Bears' drive. And the heartbreak of all heartbreaks, Colin loses his matchup in a different league by .5 points because of....A JASON HANSON TACKLE. Yes, Jason Hanson got credited with a tackle of Devin Hester on the final kickoff of the game. In this league, all players get 1 point for a tackle, much to Colin's dismay. Even kickers. Man, I feel really terrible. This could not have happened to a nicer guy.....