Oct 092012
 

The scenario:

  1. Player A reaches to catch the ball thrown across the middle…
  2. … and the fans scream “KILL HIM!! RIP HIS HEAD OFF!!”
  3. Player A gets hit so hard by Player B that several pellets of Player A’s poop fill his pants… (that was alliteration, for those of you keeping track)
  4. The crowd roars with approval and excitement…
  5. …until Player A doesn’t get up
  6. Player B continues to bounce around, congratulating himself, as if he cured cancer. Nevermind that his  team is down by 4 touchdowns – making this play insignificant.
  7. As a result of the lifeless body, the crowd feels a bit ashamed that they screamed so loud for his death. There’s a murmur of concern
    Was that his spine there on the field? I’ve never seen a spine before, I don’t know…
  8. Several minutes later, Player A is carted off the field, seemingly ok…
  9. …while Player B continues to tell everyone how great he is. He does the “repeated low-5 slap” with any teammate that will pay attention to him.
  10. Player A, attempting to break the hushed, guilty silence, raises an arm, in a heroic THUMBS UP gesture.
  11. The crowd cheers a sigh of relief, clapping in encouragement.
    He can move his arm! He’s probably only paralyzed from the waist down! Yay!

“The reason you are in intense pain, is that you have many pins sticking out of your bones.”

What if Player A didn’t feeling like raising a thumb? Or, what if he felt pretty “Meh” about the whole situation? Would the hurt player give the “meh” shaking flat hand – “yeah, I’ve been better”. Maybe the player knows he won’t survive, and makes the thumbs down?

In ancient Rome, in the Colloseum, it was the “editor” who decided, based on his feelings and that of the crowd, whether a competitor would live or die. What if each stadium had an “editor” for the fallen athlete? Perhaps the mascot for the other team gets to decide whether Player A lives because of his mercy, or if he dies?

Roary, the Unmerciful Mascot

“Well Jim, they’ve stopped the stretcher on the way out of the stadium, where Mark Sanchez will have his fate decided by Roary, the Detroit Lion’s mascot. I gotta tell ya, I don’t like his chances here. OH – and sure enough! He gets the thumbs down!

“Yeah Tom, this is where the medics will euthanize Sanchez somewhere in the tunnel, and shuffle him off to dispose of his dead body somewhere outside the stadium in a dumpster. Tom, this isn’t all bad – at least this will free up some salary cap room for the Jets next year.”

Not sayin’ it would be good, or that I’d like it… but it would be interesting.

Jan 042012
 

This pass to Hemingway was in the VT defenders hands

I was convinced that Virginia Tech would get crushed by Michigan in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. Speedy quarterbacks like Denard Robinson are not VT’s specialty. After the first half, it was evident that VT has a much stronger team than Michigan.

On the night, Michigan scored 3 times, on bush-league plays.

  • VT roughed the kicker on a 4th and 10, prolonging the drive which ended in a horrible pass for a touchdown.Michigan Quarterback Denard Robinson badly underthrew his receiver, the ball somehow bounced through the VT safety’s hands. And Instead of a turnover at midfield, the result was an entirely undeserved UM touchdown.
  • After VT fumbled the kickoff at their own 25 before halftime, UM got stuffed, botched a fake field goal, where two VT players bounced the ball in the air trying to catch it before UM miraculously caught the ball. Then UM scored a fieldgoal to end the first half.
  • A "look what I found?" catch, total fluke

    Michigan’s second touchdown came off a fluke point-blank interception at the VT 35. VT stuffed UM, got a pass interference call to continue the drive, and UM made a hail mary to the endzone, where Hemingway made a nice catch to put UM up an absurd 17-6.

Michigan only gained 56 rushing yards, and 72 legitimate passing yards. UM got 56 bush-league passing yards on the botched fake kick and the botched interception. UM had 184 yards for the game? Virginia Tech gave up as many defensive penalty yards (45yards) as rushing yards! (1 illegal block, 1 roughing the kicker, 1 pass interference)

Michigan was dominated on both sides of the ball. I was convinced it was a matter of time before VT just pounded Michigan into the ground. This VT loss was really shameful. Chalk it up to poor coaching by Beamer (penalties are always coaching problems, VT had 7 for 68 yards) and bad play calls (UM was playing the run all night, stop trying it! Logan Thomas had 7.6 yards per catch!). VT had 2 interceptions and a touchdown overturned, but those were probably good calls.

Anyway – this was the first time all year VT looked much better than the other team. Michigan got totally owned, and VT just had too many bad luck plays, tough calls, bad play calling (like trying for the tie instead of the win at the end of regulation) and crappy penalties to pull off the win.

I’d say “maybe next year”, but until VT gets rid of Beamer, their performance will be mired somewhere in the #15-#20 range. Oh sure, they’ll be ranked #6, but when VT plays a top quality team (not Michigan this year), they are exposed for their weakness.

Fishtankin’ Starbuck-face,

Tony