Do you recall the temper tantrum of Ravens’ linebacker, Bart Scott, in the Pats’ game as he threw the official’s flag out of the end zone to get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and then announced that the referees were biased against the Ravens because the officials – and maybe the league itself – had decided that the Patriots were the golden boys of 2007? Well, I got to watch the Ravens/Dolphins game yesterday because that was the CBS game piped into this particular market; I watched because sometimes it is actually fun to see ineptitude play itself out on the screen. Oh yes, there was plenty of ineptitude on display yesterday; and Bart Scott provided his share of it.
The Dolphins victory in OT was the product of a 64-yard touchdown pass. The vaunted – and, truth be told, highly overrated Ravens’ defense – yielded that pass not to a passer/receiver combination of the likes of Unitas/Moore or Tittle/Shofner or Bradshaw/Stallworth or Montana/Rice or Manning/Harrison but to Cleo Lemon/Greg Camarillo. Therefore, the question for Bart Scott now is simple:
Did the referees – and maybe the league itself – decide that the Dolphins needed to win a game this year and chose the game against you guys because you had dared to mouth off?
Brian Westbrook’s decision to forego a TD and stop running and down the ball at the Dallas 1-yard line to preserve a victory – Dallas was out of timeouts and the Eagles could win the game by taking a knee successively – is a play that demonstrates the mirror image of the defense standing aside to let a team score quickly to get the ball back. And in the copycat NFL, look for similar plays to happen in the future. When that happens, they should call it “Westbrooking the ball”. Fantasy football owners probably went berserk at the play and that makes it all the more wonderful…
Speaking of the Cowboys/Eagles game, I certainly saw enough camera shots of Jessica Simpson to last a lifetime. Who cares about her during a football game – even if she is “dating” Tony Romo? [Notice how polite I am today. I qualified that last statement. In actuality who cares about her at any point of history?] There is a reason we do not see camera shots of every player’s wife/girlfriend/significant other/insignificant other during a game. Those camera shots are I R R E L E V A N T. With regard to the pink Cowboys’ jersey Ms. Simpson wore, I think it is fair to say that anyone wearing a pink jersey or hat that is otherwise an “official” team item is not a longstanding fan of the team.
After listening to the Atlanta Falcons’ players talk about how Bobby Petrino was a quitter and a weasel and someone who made them sick even to talk about, you might think they would have played with some inspiration for their new interim coach. If you thought that, you would be dead wrong. The Falcons players played like quitters who make you sick even to talk about.
Final score: Tampa 37 Atlanta 3.
It wasn’t nearly that close. The Falcons achieved all of 5 first downs for the day, held the ball for only 17 minutes, and amassed a total of 27 yards passing. That is a bed-wetting performance.
If the Falcons wet the bed then the Lions wet themselves. Five interceptions and a lost fumble were the main ingredients in a pathetic loss to the Chargers by the nail-biting score of 51-14.
I have absolutely had it with the BCS apologists who like to say that the presence of the BCS makes every weekend in college football just like a tournament/playoff. That is nothing more than a crock of ovine ordure. Here is what the perpetuation – and the seemingly endless expansion – of the college football bowl system produces:
Half of the Division 1-A teams get to play in bowl games (64 out of 120 this year.
Those teams reach those bowl games based on winning half of their games.
How does that make very weekend seem like a playoff? It seems much more like a system to reward mediocrity.
Where is the Lake Woebegone Bowl – - for those teams that are just slightly above average?
The Bowl season begins this week and one of the early games shows how meaningless these things are. Florida Atlantic and Memphis play each other in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on December 21. If you are having your office Christmas Party – oops I mean Omnibus Holiday Celebration – on that evening, go and enjoy yourself because missing this game will not be any big deal. For this game to be remembered beyond December 23 of this year, something spectacular will have to happen – on the order of the roof collapsing in the middle of the second quarter. Oh, by the way, no I do not know who or what R&L Carriers is/are. Moreover, I don’t have the interest to go to Google to find out…
On December 22, BYU and UCLA play in the Las Vegas Bowl. Why is this a worthless game? Well, these two teams already met this year in one of those weekends that that was just like a playoff/tournament – - and UCLA won that game. So, why is there a rematch? Does this mean that college football’s “playoff weekends” have a repêchage round?
Then on December 23, East Carolina plays Boise State. I’m hard pressed to imagine why that game would be important under any circumstances or in any venue but since these two teams are traveling all the way to Hawaii to play this game, I know that all of the players will be focused only on winning and ready to give their all for the glory of old alma mater. Me? I’ll have another egg nog thanks…
Duke needs a new football coach. In the last 13 seasons, Duke has won a total of 22 football games. On November 29, the school’s human resources website had a posted job opening for the position. The school said that it needed to do so in order to comply with university hiring regulations and practices. A likely story. Maybe they put the job notice there in the hopes of attracting someone the job who might not feel comfortable letting it be known that he actually sought the job.
Finally, here’s Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel on the Duke University’s search for a new football coach:
“Bobby Johnson coaches football at Vanderbilt. But he may get an offer — from Duke. Some guys just can’t catch a break.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…