Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday Circus

I would not say that Nick Saban got his revenge. Yes, Bama won the game, but his defense letting the opponent rack up 42 points was humiliating no matter what his offense did, and his offense did it against a weak defense.

It was amazing to watch the sycophancy displayed by the announcers in the form of endless adoring discussion of “Johnny Football” no matter what he did. At one point he was scrambling Fran Tarkington-style to avoid a pass rush on third and twelve, was more than twenty yards behind the line of scrimmage, and threw up an unguided air ball into the center of the field. The pass was a horrible decision, it had the trajectory of a punt and was as likely to be caught be a defender as by one of his own. Had anyone else thrown that pass the announcers would have been declaiming it as absolute stupidity, but because it was thrown by “Johnny Football” and by sheer good fortune was caught by an Aggie for a first down, they were going crazy about what a brilliant pass it was and raving about the thrower’s athleticism.

We will undoubtedly see a lot of high scoring college football games, because the new rule about “targeting” has made defensive secondary players afraid to play pass defense. Not only can you not hit a pass receiver before the ball arrives, you now cannot hit him after the ball arrives either without fear of not only being penalized but of being ejected from the game. You are, apparently, required to tackle him without hitting him, which is a pretty neat trick.

An Alabama defender went for the interception. He had both hands on the ball in front of the receiver, made contact with the receiver shoulder to shoulder, and was flagged for “targeting.” The ejection was overturned by replay, but the penalty for pass interference was not. It seems the referees are told to “err on the side of receiver safety.” I’ll tell you how that receiver can be completely safe. He can sit on his sofa and watch the game on television at home. Football is not a noncontact sport.

During that play the cat left the living room in some degree of haste. My wife came from the back room to assure herself that I was okay. Always nice to know she cares. The referee probably does not actually have some of the habits of which I was accusing him.

Utah’s coach, by the way, is an idiot. Yes, Lee, that was addressed to you. On offense in overtime he went with two weak running plays and kicked a field goal. He had to know OSU would score a touchdown, given that they had done so on each of their last four possessions.


  1. bruce3:36 PM

    why is there Saturday circus on Sunday and Sunday circus on Saturday? IstheresomekindoftimewarpI'munawareof?

  2. Well, I do have a degree from Univ of Utah, but I don't have much invested in football there. It's nice if they win, and even nicer if they beat BYU, but it isn't basketball. Which may be better this year.
    I got used to losing football games (and winning basketball games) at Kansas.