I have been watching the stupid parade continue in the NFL playoffs. Obviously the playoff teams are the best. Obviously, they still are also as stupid as the teams that didn't make the playoffs.
The Giants-Eagles today included Donovan McNabb picking up nine yards as the Eagles were running out the clock, leading the Giants 23-11. But then his inner stupid came out, and he grabbed a phone on the Giants bench and said something on it. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yards. Fortunately for McNabb and the Eagles, the Giants couldn't do anything with the extra time McNabb's stupidity gave them, but why take the chance?
The Chargers-Steelers started off with a classic stupid play. Vincent Jackson caught a great pass from Rivers, Chargers touchdown!
But then Jackson had to show how stupid professional football players can be, and cost his team 15 yards on the following kickoff with an "excessive" celebration. The Steelers received the kickoff and started almost at mid-field, then Roethlisberger pooch-punted from the Charger's 35 (a great call by Pittsburgh!) to put the ball on the 10-yard line. The Chargers went three-and-out, punted, and Santonio Holmes ran it back for a Steeler's touchdown.
Thanks to Jackson, the Steelers had great field position, and the Chargers didn't. Jackson let all of his teammates down, just to do a show-off celebration. Players sweat and strain to gain 15 yards of field position, then one stupid play pisses it away.
Of course, the players are not the only stupids on the field. The referees get their share too. Yesterday the Baltimore Ravens didn't have a delay-of-game penalty called, even though the play clock hit zero almost a full second before the ball was snapped. Baltimore got a first down on the play instead of losing five yards.
Instant replay challenges and timeouts are two of the most valuable possessions a coach has. Today coaches foolishly wasted challenges (and timeouts) on plays that were not going to be game deciders. For example, San Diego coach Norv Turner challenged the spot of the ball on fourth down and inches, even though a glance at the network replays showed he would lose the challenge - and a timeout.
Not to be undone for stupid, the Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called a fake punt at midfield that failed, and gave the Chargers great field position and led to a Charger field goal.
Fortunately for the Steelers, the Chargers went into their "prevent" defense during the last two minutes of the first half, and the Steelers took advantage of their soft defense and easily scored a go-ahead touchdown.
Steelers 14, Chargers 10 at halftime.