Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Football Players - The Dumb Goes On

The subject of dumb football players just won’t go away, because even after I point out their stupidity, they still do dumb things. Obviously, reading comprehension is also one of their deficiencies. Of course, it isn’t only the players who are intellect challenged. Anyone who watched the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers game knows that coaches can take a lot of credit for the idiotic happenings on the field.

Leading 23 to 20 late in the game, less than 30 seconds to play, all New Orleans had to do was run the ball, don’t run out of bounds and stop the clock, and if necessary, punt the ball away. Instead, Drew Brees handed the ball to Reggie Bush on a sweep, a questionable call since it would open the possibility of losing yards or going out of bounds. Still, with time running out, all Bush had to do was hold onto the ball and stay in bounds, because Tampa Bay was also out of time outs.

Not to worry. The play was actually a reverse from Reggie Bush to Devery Henderson, featuring a toss by Bush instead of a handoff.

A toss?

Of course, a toss by a running back, not by a quarterback. Quarterbacks, you see, make tosses, running backs receive tosses. A real role reversal in the making.

A toss by a running back going left, to a wide receiver going very quickly the other way.

As the ball left Bush’s hands, there was less than twenty five seconds remaining for a Saints victory. Only a miracle could save Tampa Bay.

Bush’s toss never looked like it had a chance of reaching Henderson.

It didn’t.

It took Tampa Bay fourteen seconds to score the winning touchdown.

Tampa Bay also took their chances to shine in the dumb. Their back-up quarterback, Luke McCown, playing for the very bright but injured Jeff Garcia, didn’t seem to know that he could leave the pocket and throw the ball away to avoid being sacked. In fact, McCown was tackled for a safety late in the game when he could have easily thrown the ball away. At the time it looked like his boneheaded play took away the last chance for Tampa Bay to come back and win.

The two-point safety gave New Orleans a three-point lead, making a Tampa Bay field goal only a tying score, not a winner. Then after the safety, Tampa Bay had to punt the ball away to New Orleans, thereby sealing the loss.

Actually, it was the best thing Tampa Bay could have made, because it gave the Saints a golden opportunity to mess up and turn the ball over to the Buccaneers in the shadow of the Saint’s goal posts.
There was no way that Tampa Bay could have driven the length of the field to score with no time outs until New Orleans showed them the way.

Bad coaching, plus a) stupidity, b) inattention, c) lack of concentration, or d) all the above on the part of Cincinnati wide receiver “Ocho Cinqo”, aka Chad Johnson, was demonstrated on a fourth down and long yardage to go play, when Johnson slowed several yards short of the first down marker to wait for the pass, then after he caught it casually backed out of bounds several yards short of the enormous, bright red, first down marker.

Yesterday’s stupidity pales besides the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens game tonight. The Patriots should have lost. They lost the game twice, only to be saved by Baltimore’s stupidity as provided by their coaches and players.

It wasn’t like the Ravens were the only dumbies on the field. Patriot running back Kevin Faulk had the choice of getting a first down or getting out of bounds. He ran out of bounds, and if it hadn’t been for the Raven’s boneheaded plays, the Patriots would have lost trying to make the foot or two Faulk left them short for the first down.

Baltimore stopped the Patriots on fourth and short to win! Except the genius coach of the Ravens, Brian Billick, called time out a split second before the ball was snapped, giving New England another chance.

Then the Patriots took it down to the fourth down again, and Brady threw an incomplete pass – Ravens win! Except Baltimore was called for defensive holding and the Patriots got four more downs, and eventually the winning touchdown.

It’s customary for teams to award game balls after victories, and in these games it seems that some of the losing players and coaches deserve game balls, because they contributed more to victory than many of the players on the winning side.

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