Sometimes a team with a bad record is one that has a string of bad fortune and the bad fortune caused the bad record. More commonly, teams with bad records deserve each and every morsel of the humble pie they are forced to eat; they earned their bad record; they truly are what their record says they are. Let me give you two examples from NFL action yesterday regarding teams with dismal records that deserve those records:
The NY Jets: Even nomadic yak herders living in yurts on the high plains of Kyrgyzstan know that the Jets have “QB issues” – which is to say the team does not have a fully competent NFL QB on the roster. A week ago, the Jets implemented a game plan against the Dolphins that had as its major theme:
Under no circumstances will we allow Geno Smith to throw the football lest he lose the game for us with his arm.
That game plan worked for a while but came up short in the end.
Yesterday, the Jets must have thought that the Vikings’ defense would be primed to stop the run thereby ignoring to a degree the pass. So, on the first play from scrimmage, the Jets dropped Geno Smith back and had him throw a simple 8-yard slant over the middle. Naturally, a linebacker picked it off and returned it for a TD.
The Washington Redskins: Forget for a moment all of the melodrama regarding the owner and the coach and the not-so-favorite-son QB and forget for a moment that the team’s “special teams” are really “teams with special needs”. With the exception of only a few players, this team is not out there playing as a team; each player seems to be playing for himself.
In the first half of that game with the score still only 6-0 in favor of the Rams, Skins’ LB, Ryan Kerrigan sacked Rams’ QB, Shaun Hill and forced a fumble. The ball was just sitting there on the ground while Skins’ DL, Chris Baker, danced around with his arms in the air celebrating a sack he had nothing to do with. Of course, the Rams recovered the loose ball to keep possession…
As of this morning, the Jets are in a five-way tie for the worst record in the NFL at 2-11. Next week, the Jets go on the road to play the Titans – one of those other teams sitting at 2-11. The week after that, the Titans and Jags (both with 2-11 records as of this morning) play a “national game” on Thursday night; NFL Network execs probably wish they could televise the National Knitting Championships instead, but they cannot. With the Oakland Raiders inexplicably winning two of their last three games, the race to the bottom of the NFL has become interesting…
With the Jets’ record as bad as it is, you might not blame a few of the Jets’ fans who are old enough to remember the details for harkening back to the days of Richie Kotite as the on-field leader of the franchise. The year was 1996; the Jets came out of the gate losing their first 8 games; then they won a game in Arizona against the Cardinals and entered their “Bye Week”. Sorry, there is no heroic twist to the rest of the story here; when the Jets came back from their extra week of preparation, they proceeded to lose their last 7 games of the season and to finish with a 1-15 record. Richie Kotite announced his resignation as the head coach a couple of days before the last game of the year; notwithstanding that uplifting announcement, the team went out and lost the last game of the year at home to the Miami Dolphins.
Interestingly, the Jets’ final game this year is also against the Miami Dolphins – only this year the last game will take place in Miami. I doubt Rex Ryan will resign just prior to that game; resignation/surrender is just not in his DNA; however, the team might announce just prior to that game that Ryan will not be back in 2015 meaning he will be on the sidelines in the role of “Dead Coach Walking”. There might be some interest in in that final game of the year after all.
The “Big News” for college football is the announcement of the 4 teams in the college football playoff. While I would have wished for Ohio State to be left out and for the Selection Committee to say explicitly that the reason was their pathetic non-conference scheduling, I have to acknowledge that Ohio State’s 59-0 win over Wisconsin shows that they belong in the playoff. As to the fact that there are no Big 12 teams in the mix:
1. With 5 “power conferences” and 4 playoff slots, it is a mathematical certainty that at least one of the “power conferences” would be left out.
2. TCU’s out of conference schedule was not exactly “difficult” and Baylor’s out of conference schedule was easier than either Ohio State or TCU.
3. Baylor coach Art Briles’ opinion that there were not enough “southerners” on the Selection Committee demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what the Committee was there to do. They were not there to get 4 really good football teams from all the regions of the US; they were there to try to get the 4 BEST football teams into the bracket.
Memo to Art Briles: Those “non-southerners’ on the Selection Committee had no difficulty in recognizing Alabama as “playoff-worthy”. Last time I checked, Alabama was in the South AND Alabama is significantly better than Baylor as a football team in 2014.
Finally, Brad Rock of the Deseret News ran across two Tweets from José Canseco soon after the Rosetta spacecraft made its landing on a comet. I tell you, Canseco is the gift that keeps on giving:
“If Earth can control the comet transportation system, we will run the Milkyway [sic],” he wrote. “Think about that.”
“Galactic Beings have used comets as star taxis for eons.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………