Big Break NFL 5 – Unnecessary Roughness

Drama took center stage at this week’s Big Break NFL with the Doleman team once again showcasing the dark side of its creative differences.

Chris obviously thinks Brian should be singing soprano even though it’s Brian coming through in the crunch, not Chris.  Something’s gotta go on that team, and sadly it seems like the leader of Team Doleman wants it to be Brian.

It’s hard to imagine what it is like for Shannon and Brian at this point in the competition. What’s really going on? Is it as bad as it appears or is it just selective editing.

I am delighted to have Brian join me this week to put things in perspective including club tossing and his play under pressure…

Besides the Doleman drama, we also saw some out-of-character behavior from Zakiya and a surprising attitude from a veteran  NFLer who seemed to think it should be back scratching time when choosing opponents for sudden death.

Let’s hear what Stefanie thought about it all…

Emily was on fire this week, holing out a downhill, slippery breaking putt to save her team and hopefully putting all her flat stick woes to bed, once and for all!

Besides reliving that moment here, I just had to ask her about the Rice/Doleman sidebar over Brian to learn what she thought and what Jerry had to say after that uncomfortable on-camera exchange…

Next week looks like it’s going to be doomsday for one of the 6 teams. I sure hope it isn’t orange or red!
BTW, if you have any questions for Brian, Stefanie or Emily, just let me know and I’ll ask them next week.

Now don’t go away…Blue Falcon once again gives us his wonderfully detailed analysis of the day’s events. Let us both know what you think. We love hearing from you!

Blue Falcon’s Play-by-Play on Episode #5

There are three teams on this season of Big Break with a loss, and on the verge of elimination, but it could also be fairly argued that the three teams without a loss aren’t in solid shape either. 

Two teams-Teams Bulger and Rypien-are essentially being carried by one player, and the other team, Team Doleman, can’t stand each other. The chains of tension continue to tighten as reality sets in that there will be five losers and only one winner. So how did this episode go? Read on.

Immunity Challenge #1 -The teams would try to get up and down from the fairway. All three players on each team would hit an approach shot, with the team selecting the best of the shots and the player who hit the best shot trying to make the putt. 

Teams would receive points for their efforts; the farther back the attempt, the more points gained. The two teams with the highest point totals would gain immunity.
Team Doleman went first, from the 5 point location, 65 yards from the hole. 

Shannon made a good but not great shot, Chris barely made the green, while Brian saved their bacon with a shot to 21/2 feet. He made the putt, giving Team Doleman a 5 point score.

Team Del Greco came next. They also tried to convert from 65 yards to gain 5 points. Al barely found the green with his shot, Stefanie found the green with her shot to about 20 feet, and Oren’s shot was about equidistant to Stefanie’s, but the team chose to let Oren putt. Their faith was justified, as Oren drained his putt to earn Team Del Greco 5 points.

Team Bulger attempted their shots from 85 yards, which would be worth 7 points. Marc’s shot was wide left but safe on the green, Chad’s shot found the green but spun back a bit, and Zakiya’s shot came down about 15 feet from the hole. The team chose Zakiya to make the putt, but she failed to make the up and down so Team Bulger scored 0 points.

Team Rypien also attempted their shots from 85 yards. Mark’s shot spun back from the right of the hole. Meghan’s shot flew the flag and was well past, while James brought his shot to rest about 8 feet and, as he has all season, James was money, making his putt and gaining his team 7 points. We’ll address the “celebration” later.

Team Rice chose 95 yards for their location, which was worth 8 points. Jerry pulled his shot left but safely on the dance floor. Emily’s shot came to about 20 feet and slightly right of the hole, while Isaac’s shot found the green but was farther away than Emily’s, leading Team Rice to count on her to make her putt. And she did! Afterward let her emotions come out, which is really great to see. 

Unlike Team Rypien’s clearly rehearsed and staged “celebration”, Emily’s actions are pure and spontaneous. They could learn a lot from this young woman. I really wish Golf Channel would produce a “Best of Emily Talley’s celebrations” video. Team Rice scored 8 points and, with only Team Brown left in the challenge, guaranteed themselves immunity.

Team Brown was the final team in the challenge. They tried from the 9 point spot, taking their shots from 105 yards. None of the three players hit great shots; Tim and Mallory both missed the green and Will’s shot barely stayed on. Will tried his best to make a long putt but was unsuccessful, sending Team Brown to Immunity Challenge #2 and gave Team’s Rice and Rypien immunity.

Immunity Challenge #2: Teams would hit approach shots to point circles on the green, but with a catch. The teams could only count two shots and they would have to decide which shots counted before the second and/or third person hit their shot. There were two locations to play from and the team with the highest point total gains immunity.

Location #1-85 yards. Team Brown played first. Tim hit his shot for 3points, which the team kept. Mallory followed with a 4 point shot to gain Team Brown 7 points from the first location.

Team Bulger was next. Marc made a 3 pointer, Zakiya followed with a matching 3 point shot. Both shots were kept and the team stood on their 6 point total.

Team Del Greco went third. Al found the circles for an appropriate 3 pointer, which was kept. Stefanie found the 4 point circle and Team Del Greco scored 7 points and tied for the lead at the time.

Team Doleman finished the challenge. Chris made a 4 point shot and Shannon added a 3 point shot. Both shots were kept so it was a three-way tie for the lead with 7 points after round 1.

Round 2-125 yards. Team Bulger started strong with Zakiya nailing a 4 point shot; however, both Chad and Marc missed the green with their shots, costly mistakes for Team Bulger. They finished with 10 points.

Team Brown went next. Mallory put 3 points on the board. Will followed with a 2 point shot, which the team debated accepting or rejecting. Eventually, Team Brown kept both shots and scored 12 points total.

Team Del Greco went third. Stefanie only scored 1 point, which was rejected. Oren added 2 points; unfortunately for Team Del Greco, Al was only able to make a 2 point shot, giving the team no chance for immunity with 11 points.

Team Doleman finished things out. Shannon’s shot rolled out of the 4 and 3 point ranges to the 2 point circle. After a debate, they decided to keep her shot. Brian responded with a 4 point shot to win immunity for Team Doleman. They win with a total of 13 points.

Team Bulger went directly to the Sudden Death challenge and chose to try to finish off Team Brown, who already has a loss.

Sudden Death challenge: each team selects one player to play out from three short game locations. The team with the highest score gains a loss. If Team Brown loses, they are eliminated from Big Break NFL Puerto Rico.

1st location: chip shot from just left of the green. Tim vs.Zakiya. Zakiya hit a great chip to about 4 feet. Tim hit his chip to about 12 feet. Tim was clutch in making his putt. Zakiya, who had been up until this episode almost bulletproof, once again didn’t make her putt, putting Team Bulger in a one shot hole, 2-3, after the first location.

2nd location: 45 yards away. Mallory vs. Marc. Mallory’s pitch went to about 8-10 feet left of the hole. Marc’s pitch came up well short on the green to about 40 feet. He gave his putt a good effort but the shot veered right. Mallory’s birdie effort missed left and ran by 4 feet. She did make her par putt and Team Brown score after two locations was 5 shots. Marc also made his putt to keep Team Bulger only down by 1, 5-6 with one location left to play.

3rd location: Trouble shot from 50 yards in the native grass between two trees. Will vs. Chad. After struggling to find a spot to place his ball, Will chipped out to about 20 feet. Chad’s shot found the green inside of Will’s shot. Will’s birdie attempt missed right but he made the par save to give Team Brown a final score of 8. Chad’s putt to tie and force a playoff came up THISSHORT. Final score for Team Bulger: 9 points. Team Brown survives a second elimination and lives to fight another day.

A dramatic episode to be sure, but not all of the drama was positive. That subject is addressed in my team notes:

Team Brown: Mallory earned the moniker “The Eliminator” after she sent three of her fellow competitors on “Big Break Ireland.” Her nickname this season might be “survivor.” Team Brown has gone into 3 Sudden Death challenges and has come out of the last 2, staving off a second, ultimately fatal, loss in this competition. Team Brown’s problem remains consistency. There haven’t been many moments where all three players on the team have done well. Are they winning this game, or are the other teams not playing well enough to finish them off? Score: 7.

Team Bulger: For the first time this season, Team Bulger has shown signs of cracking. Zakiya, who has been the strongest member of their team, failed twice in this episode to make putts which were costly for the team. Perhaps her shoulders are tiring from having to carry Marc and Chad, neither of whom has done much this year. Chad, in particular, earned the derision of co-hosts Tom Abbott and Michele Tafoya for his big talk/little action performance so far. It is not good when the hosts are making fun of you. Score: 5.

Team Del Greco: Stop the presses! Oren finally made a shot! Not to mention having the quote of the season that he wants to dress up in something tight and short because it seems to be helping Zakiya. I need to get THAT image out of my head! Even Stefanie, who has been TDG’s strongest player this season, wasn’t up to her usual standard this week. They’re hanging in there, but not on a solid foundation. Score: 7

Team Doleman: The Hot Mess Express rolls on unabated. Clearly, the actions of Chris, even if they have had some positive effect on the team’s status in this game, are having a negative effect in other parts. Take, for example, Shannon’s body language in this episode. If you watch carefully, you will see her barely talking to Chris. She walks several feet in front of both he and Brian, and when Brian made his shot to secure immunity in challenge #2, Shannon hugged Brian but-at least on camera-made no attempt to do so to Chris. 

Then, when Chris made the statement about their being a family, notice Shannon’s eyes drop to her hands, as if she wanted to say something, but chose not to. Doleman’s actions are somewhat motivating Brian, but given what’s going on right now in Miami, these behaviors cannot be looked upon kindly. Score: Brian, 9, Shannon 7, Chris, 0.

Team Rice: Once again, the youngest, blondest, and most excitable member of the team was the star this episode. Emily Talley is right now on a hot buttered roll, and if Isaac and Jerry can follow and support her, they might very well be the dangerous team in this season. Score: 9.

Team Rypien: As has been the case this season, one player is carrying the water for this team, and that is James Lepp. He has done all the heavy lifting so far for this team, and it’s fair to wonder if this team is headed for a fall like Team Bulger had this episode if Mark and Meghan don’t get their act together. And I don’t mean that childish “celebration.” Funny that Mark thinks that Brian’s club throwing was bush league, yet this wasn’t. Score 10 for James, 4 for Mark and Meghan.

Side notes: per Golf Channel. In the trailer for next week’s episode, “Circle Route”, it states that one of the four teams with losses WILL…BE…ELIMINATED. (Emphasis from Golf Channel, not me.)

Also from Golf Channel, information on the next season of Big Break. The 21st season of the show will be called “Big Break: Florida.” It will premiere February 29, 2014 and feature a 12 member all-female cast. It will be the sixth Big Break season with an all-female cast. The identities of the 12 players have not been revealed yet. You know I’ll be watching.

Next week will be heartbreaking as one team will bite the dust, their dreams shattered on the craggy rocks of despair. I will be here to tell you about it. Until next week, I remain…

Blue Falcon

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