[Don't forget about our Book Giveaway -- entries will be accepted until I check my email sometime on Sunday! In the meantime, enjoy Christian's article. I'm pretty sure I owe him a drink for this one. -Ed.]
I don't know what my expectations were when I agreed to go to the Tacoma Cobras game last Sunday to report on it for our beloved Seahawk Addicts, but whatever they were I should have shot lower. The first thing that annoyed me? No beer. Argghh!
When the the players all came out onto the field, the first thing I noticed was that the Cobras had 48 players, while the Renton Ravens had only 14. The game might have been fairer if the Cobras had loaned 12 players to the Ravens; it isn't like they would have missed the depth. Secondly, the largest player on the Renton Ravens was about the same size as the smallest of the biggest guys on the Cobras.
As the game progressed, I took copious notes on what player number had done what and so forth, or at least I did until I realized that the roster I printed off of the team's website didn't match what the announcer was calling out. Some guys had different numbers, and Tacoma's starting RB, a guy named Marcelle Givens, wasn't on the roster I had. Seeing as how that problem made it difficult if not impossible to keep track of who was doing what on the field, I doubt that many scouts show up to watch these games.
Speaking of which, it wasn't really fair to call this a game. It was more like David versus Goliath, only this time David played for the Ravens and got squished like a little bug. In just the first quarter the Cobras' offense was in the red zone six times, but the Ravens were scrappy as all get-out and held the Cobras to just a TD and a field goal.
Part of the problem for the Ravens was that their kicker wasn't very good; all of his punts went a max of 20 - 30 yards. Also, whenever the Ravens had the ball, the Cobras' defense was in their backfield practically as soon as they hiked the ball. I counted to one second before the poor Renton ballcarrier would get crushed by a sea of green jerseys. There were some players on the Ravens' team that I thought played well. Number 81 made an electric catch up the sideline at one point, and number 8 was lightning-fast (but still looked like a freaking ball boy next to the Cobras).
After the first half the score was 19-0, but it should have been 60-0. For all the Cobras' superior size and physicality, they kept turning over the ball through fumbles and interceptions. It was frankly ridiculous watching them not hold on to the ball and throw interception after interception. But as the second half wore on the Cobras began to make bigger and bigger gains, mostly because the Ravens were tiring out from playing ironman football.
One Cobra (#24, I think) made a huge return on a kickoff, then threw his helmet off and yelled to the crowd, and I thought, you do know that you're celebrating making a huge return against a team you should be making huge returns against, right? I mean, the Ravens have been playing both ways all game, they're half your size, and they still have enough gumption not to quit. How about showing some class?
My buddy and I decided that the only good thing about this game was the hottie quotient. Per capita, that place had more hotties than a freaking California beach! But look out guys, because I'm pretty sure all of them were the players' wives and girlfriends. The entire crowd seemed to be made up of the players' friends and relatives.
There were a couple of Cobras players I thought were outstanding. Nathan "Tank" Proctor is listed on the roster as being 340 lbs, and with his big gut hanging out of his jersey I believe it. He was playing fullback, so I figured this guy was going to be slow. Wrong -- Proctor was quick, and on several plays when he was lead blocking he really kept out in front of the ballcarrier, whichis no easy feat. When he got the ball he was a one-man wrecking crew, bowling through two and sometimes three Ravens at a time before they could finally drag him down (of course, when you're playing against leprechauns that's what you're supposed to do). Ryan Dowell also had a good game on defense. He was always in the backfield laying hits on people, and his presence was so ferocious that the poor Ravens never had a chance of EVER getting anything going.
I felt bad for the Ravens; they were clearly the smaller team physically and they had to play both ways, but they played their tiny little hearts out. The final score was 40-0, but it could have easily been twice that.