Tuesdays With The Sorries – 10/28/08

I am back from Las Vegas; I got some sleep last night; there is coffee to kickstart my cardiovascular system. OK, everything seems in place for the preparation of this week’s rendition of “Tuesdays With The Sorries”.

As usual, I will begin with the NCAA “Sorries” and cite first and foremost the performance of the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday. Trailing 34-0 at the half, Colorado came out for the second half determined to redeem themselves and only lost the second half 24-0. I understand the Missouri’s offense is very good; and once it gets rolling, it can score a lot of points. Nevertheless, Missouri’s defense has equally demonstrated its ability to give up a point here and there; Colorado got nothing. Colorado did not quite gain 200 yards of total offense against a Missouri team that had been torched in each of the last two weeks. Degrading…

Staying in the Big-12, Kansas soiled itself last Saturday too. At the end of the first quarter against Texas Tech, the score was 14-14. Tech is similar to Missouri in the sense that its offense will score points in bunches when it is working right, but its defense is – to be very polite – suspect. As the teams changed ends of the field at the end of that first quarter, this had to seem like a game destined to put somewhere near 115 points on the scoreboard on that day. Then the Kansas offense went into hibernation while the Kansas defense clearly went into “befuddled mode”. Missouri scored 49 unanswered points before a meaningless TD by Kansas to make the final score 63-21. Reprehensible…

A special mention has to appear here for New Mexico State. They lost to Idaho on Saturday. Idaho shut them out for the entire second half. Unbecoming…

Northwestern had a chance on Saturday to lock in a bowl bid with a seventh win for the season against Indiana – the worst team in the Big Ten – with Indiana’s starting QB out for the game with a sprained ankle. Northwestern lost three fumbles and threw two interceptions handing the Hoosiers their first conference win of the year. Mortifying…

Pitt was the pits on Saturday hosting a Rutgers team that has not distinguished itself as anything superior to “marginally proficient” all year long. Rutgers outscored Pitt in every quarter winning the game 54-34. Pitt actually gave up 54 points to a Rutgers team that could not score 40 points on Morgan State a few weeks ago! Humiliating…

Normally, winning teams do not get a mention in “Tuesdays With The Sorries”, but the selection committee will make a small exception this week in the case of Fresno State. Yes, they won their game against Utah State – - but they only won by 2 points. Fresno State once aspired to be the BCS gatecrasher this year; Utah State is awful. Disgraceful…

In Sunday’s NFL action, the Niners’ performance against Seattle bears mention here. While I totally agree with Mike Singletary’s benching of JT O’Sullivan and his banishment of Vernon Davis in mid-game for malfeasance (O’Sullivan) and misfeasance (Davis), the Niners’ defense is what cements their spot here for this week. Consider please that the comatose Seattle Seahawks scored 34 points on Sunday led into the fray by Seneca Wallace. Heinous…

There will be no need for you to change your geographic focus for the moment since the next sorry performance of the week for your consideration comes from the Oakland Raiders. Where to begin? Against the Ravens, the Raiders rushing game generated 47 yards for the day. That’s bad – - but the Ravens’ defense is very good so maybe you can forgive that. The Raiders gave up a safety when JaMarcus Russell was sacked in the end zone. That’s certainly not good against any defense. However, the Raiders assured themselves a place in “Tuesdays With The Sorries” when they allowed a TD pass from Troy Smith to Joe Flacco. The Ravens lined Flacco up at WR with Troy Smith in the backfield and ran Flacco on a “fly pattern”. Watch the replay; Flacco running a “fly pattern” looks like an ostrich running in two feet of Jell-O. He caught the ball and stumbled into the end zone for a touchdown. Atrocious…

The Tampa Bay Bucs went into Dallas and held the Cowboys to 13 points – - and lost the game nonetheless. They managed to put the ball in the Cowboys’ end zone precisely zero times. No more need be said. Vile…

The Cincinnati Bengals make frequent appearances in “Tuesdays With The Sorries”. Normally, it is because the defense gets steamrollered – as it was on Sunday – or because the offense is indeed offensive – as it was on Sunday. Losing by 29 points to the 2008 rendition of the Houston Texans is not something that any player or coach will put on his résumé when looking for that next job. But that is not why the Bengals are here today; they are here because of a single play. In the third quarter, the Texans’ Kevin Walter caught a medium range pass over the middle and fell to the ground around the 25 yard line; he rolled over and got up to run. The defender on the play had been beaten by several steps. Seeming to look for a way to make his performance on the play even worse, the defender just moseyed on up to Walter thinking he would touch him on the ground – - but the defender was so nonchalant about it that Walter was up and running before the defender could touch him – - so Walter waltzed into the end zone. There was no tirade about this after the game; imagine what Mike Singletary might have said/done about that situation. Scandalous…

I am going to make what I hope is a one-time exception to the concept that “Tuesdays With The Sorries” is devoted to football sorriness. Last night’s fifth World Series game in Philadelphia demonstrated world-class ineptitude on the part of the folks who run major league baseball. I have no problem with a rule saying that a World Series game should end in less than nine innings; I don’t even have a problem with a prior decision/agreement among all of the parties to the game that there will not be a truncated game. What is truly sorry is that when the weather was “iffy at best” for this game, the baseball powers-that-be did not announce what the game situation might become and make sure that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver knew what the game situation might become so that they could tell the audience. Surely, no one thought that was information that might damage the national security, so why not put it out there? And while we are at it, with the “must-take-this-game-through-nine-innings rule” in place for the game, why did the umpires even start the sixth inning under the conditions prevailing on the field? If the game can be suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning, it could just as easily have been suspended in the top of the sixth. There was not a single inning of any game in the 2008 season played by any major league team under the conditions that existed on the field in the top of the sixth inning last night. Shameful…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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Comments

  • Rob  On October 28, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    That botched play in Cincinnati summarizes their entire season. I have no idea what that defender was thinking. Carson Palmer and T. J. Houshmandzadeh deserve to be on better teams.

    Maybe the brain cramp that afflicted that Bengal’s defender managed to also manifest itself in the Raiders collectively, because they did very much the exact same thing in letting Joe “in no way can I be confused for a fast guy” Flacco score on them… as a wide reciever.

    I make fun of Joe’s running a lot, but I do like him as a quarterback. Plus, he has Ben Rothlesberger’s size, so although he won’t outrun anybody, he may run over a few unlucky defenders.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On October 29, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Rob:

    I’ll cut the Raiders just a bit of slack here by saying they may have been so surprised by the design of a play that would have Joe Flacco running a fly pattern that they could not react quickly enough. Flacco has not done that to date in the NFL and is not likely to become a mainstay of the Ravens’ offense in that role.

    But the Bengals play was purely a lack of hustle and focus on the part of the defensive back. He was not fooled by the play; he was just beaten by the receiver to the ball and then the receiver beat him again by getting to his feet prior to the defender arriving on the scene.

    BTW, I like Joe Flacco as a QB too and I think he can have a productive NFL career.

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