Last Monday's Falcons-Saints game in New Orleans, won 35-27 by the Saints, included the most ferocious scramble for a football that I've seen.
With 28 seconds remaining, Atlanta players needed the ball back after an onside kick to have a chance to tie the game. The ball was momentarily covered by a Saints player, but he couldn't control it and the battle was on.
The Falcons' Coy Wire got it, but not before a flurry that resembled the pile-up for Barry Bonds' 756th home run ball.
I wasn't alone in thinking the fight for the ball had a little extra oomph than most. One of the officials trying to determine who had the ball was Derby resident Steve Stelljes, the head linesman.
"That was the fiercest one I've ever been a part of," Stelljes said Friday. "There was no unsportsmanlike conduct or anything like that, but it was intense."
Stelljes, in his seventh NFL season, is not allowed to talk too much about plays in games, but he did explain how officials try to determine possession in the pile.
"That mass of humanity is just amazing," he said. "Keep in mind I'm 185 pounds and I'm trying to pull off guys who are 250, 260. You have to get your head down in there, kind of rooting down like a hog."
Bring on Cornell — KSNW, Channel 3, has seven college basketball games scheduled for its airwaves this season. That's less than 1 percent of the hoops available for viewing in our market.
But they're the right seven games.
The station and its western Kansas affiliate this season secured a five-year deal to put a handful of Kansas Jayhawks games on TV. None of the opponents finished last season in the RPI top 100, but KU's faithful seem to tune in, anyway.
KSCW, Channel 5, had carried the Jayhawk Network package the past few years. KSNW president Al Buch said KSNW's ability to get games aired from border to border — with an assist from Cox Cable in the southeast corner — was attractive to the Jayhawk Network.
"I think it's certainly a factor that we decided to clear prime time to air the games," Buch said.
But it also forces KSNW to pre-empt some prime-time shows, which it's allowed to do under its contract as an NBC affiliate.
Those seven games will air on four days of the week. For those of you who watch the Thursday block of comedies including "The Office" and "30 Rock," make sure your TiVo or DVR (or VCR) is set for Nov. 19, when those shows will air after midnight so Jayhawk fans can watch the Central Arkansas sacrifice.
Net coverage — Props to our Joanna Chadwick, who will be recognized for media excellence at the Dec. 5 Missouri Valley Tennis Association awards and hall of fame luncheon in Overland Park.
Joanna was chosen over sportswriters in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and part of Illinois. She was recognized as the Kansas recipient last weekend.
She has covered some terrific Kansas tennis stories, such as Nick Taylor's preparation for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and profiles of high school players Ryan Norman, Chase Dippel and Saif Khan.
Most recently, she wrote on the friendly rivalry between coaches of the area's top girls tennis programs, Wichita Collegiate and Wichita Independent.
Joanna, who's been with The Eagle since 1996 covering high school sports and other assignments, doesn't have much of a tennis game herself, though she claims to have been good at whacking the ball off the garage door as a kid.