Seattle scored more times than Fox showed shots of Toronto in the telecast. It sure seemed that way. Seattle did score 9 times.
Several shots of the Toronto skyline taken from the islands. A nice closeup of the Canadian flag. A couple of look-ins at the skaters at Nathan Phillips Square. A quick shot of City Hall (the building that looks like the UN building). A nice shot looking up at the CN Tower after the game complete with a look down the street by the tower. The cameras showed off the Toronto Blue Jays banners inside Rogers Centre.
Perhaps the fact that Fox didn't make a huge deal can be a good thing, that Canada and the NFL are here to stay, and being in Toronto is nice, but no longer a surprise.
Unfortunately, I did not have access to the audio from Dick Stockton, John Lynch, and Jennifer Hale. If I find that they added some Canadian colour, I'll pass that along. If you heard them say something cool or wack, please feel free to leave your reaction in the comments section.
How good was Russell Wilson's day in Toronto? The rookie Seattle quarterback set a franchise record with 3 rushing TDs … all in the first half. Wilson also set a team record by rushing for 92 yards on the day. He also had a 14-23 passing day for 205 yards. And he set a NFL record for having 3 rushing TDs and a passing TD in a half. Russell Wilson will have lasting memories of being in Canada.
Watching a quarterback rush for TDs is more familiar territory in the CFL. Then again, CFL quarterbacks don't usually rush from 14, 25, and 13 yards from the end zone.
No, that was not your imagination. South Korean rapper Psy performed at halftime at Rogers Centre, performing his megagalaxy hit “Gangnam Style." Nice of Fox to show some of the highlights from that performance.
So within the last month, Rogers Centre has hosted Psy, Justin Bieber, and Carly Rae Jepsen. For teenage girls, that can't get much better, unless you invited One Direction. Maybe we'll see more pop artists as a way to draw more people to the NFL games in Toronto.
Seattle punter Jon Ryan, who has roots in Canada, University of Regina, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, got a chance to relax on his trip back to Canada. Ryan didn't get into the game until 41 seconds remaining in the first half. Ryan had a 44-yard punt with no return from the Seattle 22.
Ryan's second and last punt was 35 yards with 1:59 remaining in the game. He was on the field a third time, but the Seahawks called for a controversial fake punt on 4th and 4 from the Buffalo 43 with 12:49 left in the game. Michael Robinson ran for 29 yards to give Seattle a first down.
The Bills scored 70 points in all 5 games in the series. Seattle scored 50 points in one game. The Bills opponents scored 107 points. Seattle's 2-game 108 points outburst marked the third team in NFL history a team has scored 50 points in back-to-back games — the two other times were in 1950.
Jacksonville was a last-minute market addition to the game, joining Houston, Miami, and Baltimore on top of the usual Buffalo and Seattle viewing areas.
The announced attendance for the final Toronto game was 40,770. This wouldn't qualify as a sellout despite the stories that hinted the game was close to being sold out. One other reason why sales aren't as sharp is that Buffalo clinched a 13th straight season without a playoff berth, the longest current streak in the NFL.
Buffalo finished 1-4 in the Toronto series. Attendance wasn't dramatic, yet every indication is a new 5-year agreement will be signed. Rogers Communications, the Buffalo Bills, Toronto, and the NFL need to figure out ways to enhance the experience of the NFL fan in Canada's largest city. We'll explore those options when the new deal is signed.
Buffalo Bills in Toronto (regular season)
|December 7, 2008||Miami||Buffalo||16-3|
|December 3, 2009||New York Jets||Buffalo||19-13|
|November 7, 2010||Chicago||Buffalo||22-19|
|October 30, 2011||Buffalo||Washington||23-0|
|December 16, 2012||Seattle||Buffalo||50-17|
photo credit: Steve Russell/Toronto Star