Blue Falcon Analyzes Big Break NFL – Episodes 1, 2 and 3

If you missed any of the first 3 episodes of Big Break NFL, then you’ve come to the right place.

Guest blogger, Blue Falcon, who provided his play-by-play commentary on past Big Breaks, has just sent me analysis of BB NFL.  Check it out and let us know what you think…

This season, the Golf Channel’s “Big Break” has thrown a new twist in the tail. 

The format: Six former NFL players team up with 12 former Big Break contestants in three person teams-two men and one woman-to achieve their mutual goals.

For the NFL players, the chance to earn $50,000 for their favorite charity.
For the Big Breakers, a chance to win a prize package worth over $200,000 including an exemption into a PGA or LPGA Tour event.

The goal: Participate in challenges with the goal of avoiding losses. 2 losses = elimination from Big Break NFL Puerto Rico.

To paraphrase late former New York City Mayor Ed Koch: How’re they doin’? Here’s how I see things through the first 3 episodes.

Team Brown: 
Members: Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL wide receiver Tim Brown, Mallory Blackwelder, Will Lowery.

Like all of the teams, Team Brown has shown signs of brilliance but signs of inconsistency.

High points: Most of the team’s high points came in episode #1, “Combine.”: Tim and Mallory’s success in the first challenge, the famed Glass break.

Brown’s drive in challenge #2-even though the team finished last-Mallory’s approach shot in challenge #3, to 8’6”, and Will’s shot in the same show in challenge #4 to 8’8”. 

Mallory also landed three points in the lag putting challenge in episode #2.

Low points: Will’s struggles at the Glass Break, not to mention getting schooled by Jerry Rice at breakfast the next morning! Will talks a better game than he’s playing right now.

Mallory’s struggles in episode #2, where she double bogeyed the hole she played. It wouldn’t be fair to say she cost her team a loss-while I do not subscribe to the theory that one player, play or call ever costs someone or a team a loss or failure at any time-her performance, or lack thereof-certainly didn’t help. She’s also struggled with the putter. How much of Mallory’s struggle is down to her injury-she has rheumatoid arthritis in her right elbow-is unknown. However, she certainly hasn’t lived up to her “Eliminator” nickname she gained in Big Break Ireland.

With the exception of the long drive competition in “Combine”, Tim Brown has struggled, especially with the putter. They have one loss; Team Brown is one step away from elimination. Can they pull themselves back from the brink?

Team Bulger: 
Members: Former NFL quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Zakiya Randall, Chad Schulze.

Team Bulger has been the surprise team for me this season. They’ve been at least good in every challenge so far.

High points: Zakiya has been strong. Chad and Marc have had some good moments. Team won “Combine”, gained immunity early in episode #2 with a touchdown, Bulger to Randall.

Low points: Not many. Marc has missed a couple of shots. Please don’t get me started on Zakiya’s wardrobe.

Through three episodes, it would probably be fair to say Team Bulger is the favorite to win it all. They are the strongest team right now.

Team Del Greco: 
Members: former NFL placekicker Al Del Greco, Oren Geri, Stefanie Kenoyer.

High points: This team might have the best chemistry among the teams. They’ve won two challenges outright and immunity early in episode #2.

Low points: two missed putts in episode #1 cost team #1 spot after “Combine.” In first challenge on episode #2, both Del Greco and Geri missed their approach shots to their planned distances. 

Geri is golf’s version of Mike Hargrove (Hargrove is a former Major League Baseball player and manager who earned the nickname “The Human Rain Delay” for the inordinate length of time he took between pitches.)

Of the NFL guys, Del Greco has been the steadiest so far. Stefanie has shown some good form, but has also missed a few shots. Oren has been the weak link on the team so far.

Team Del Greco is doing enough to stay in the competition, but is that enough to win it all?

Team Doleman: 
Members: Brian Cooper, Former NFL defensive end and NFL Hall of Fame member Chris Doleman, Shannon Fish.

Team might be better known these days as Team Immolation, Team Turmoil or Team Titanic.

High points: Doleman won the long drive competition. They haven’t killed each other yet!

Low points: Since episode #2, this team has gone to hell in a hand basket. From poor shots by everyone on the team to surly attitudes to outright disrespect, this team is falling apart fast. I put most of the blame for this state of affairs on Doleman, who seems to view himself as a feudal Lord and Brian and Shannon as serfs who should do his bidding, no questions asked. 

Two problems with this philosophy; one, it’s not the 1300’s anymore, and two, Brian and Shannon are professional golfers and Doleman is not. It seems Doleman is taking his frustrations out on his teammates, and that in turn is affecting their performance. 

Given that Doleman hasn’t exactly been Tiger Woods on the course, he has no legitimate right to criticize Brian and Shannon for their struggles. Can these three find a way to peacefully co-exist? Right now, my money is on no.

Team Rice: 
Members: Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, Isaac Sanchez, Emily Talley.

High points: no one was more excited to see their teammate than Isaac and Emily. That introduction was priceless. Both Emily and Isaac have hit good approach shots.

Low points: Three shots off the cart path, two by Jerry, one by Emily. Emily’s struggles on the putting green; she had one putt lip out in episode #1 and missed two putts to help contribute to her team’s loss in episode #3. Isaac has been inconsistent with his approach shots.

How will Team Rice respond to their loss in episode #3? If anyone can turn this around, I believe it is Jerry Rice, one of the most motivated athletes I have ever seen.

Team Rypien: 
Members: NFL Super Bowl winning quarterback Mark Rypien, Meghan Hardin, James Lepp.

High points: Well, they staved off a loss in episode #2. James won trouble shot challenge in episode #1.

Low points: Meghan’s poor performance so far. While she’s certainly popular with Big Break fans-the male ones-there’s very little to indicate she will ever rise above the level of eye candy. Meghan is still young, but she’s raw like sushi right now.

James right now is the star of this team. I admit I never watch the all-male Big Break seasons, so I ‘m seeing James for the first time and he looks like a strong competitor.

Other than making a par putt in episode #2, Mark Rypien hasn’t really done anything of note here.

So far, Team Rypien has survived, but they certainly haven’t thrived. It’s a legitimate question to ask if they can.

Blue Falcon

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