Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday Circus

Yes, Bruce, after a Saturday Circus on Sunday and a Sunday Circus on Saturday, we now have a Sunday Circus on Monday. Try to keep up.

San Diego sportswriters have finally learned their lesson. They are deliriously happy about the Chargers win yesterday, but they are not using the words “Super Bowl,” or even suggesting what will happen next week in Nashville. None of them have gone so far as to admit that the Eagles’ defense stinks, but let’s not expect too much.

They are, on the other hand, saying that the Chargers’ defense stinks, which is kind of ridiculous. That defense held Philadelphia to 89 yards total on the ground, including Vick. When the offense gave up two turnovers they permitted the Eagles to score zero points off of them. The Eagles had first and goal three times without scoring a touchdown, including the one in the fourth quarter which set the Chargers up to win with a field goal.

Bad Eagles defense or not, celebration is appropriate. We’ve played bad defenses before and lost. We played well on both sides of the line of scrimmage yesterday, only punted once in the entire game, and won.

Again I was struck by the blind admiration the announcers displayed for Michael Vick, constantly swooning over his “pinpoint accuracy” as a passer, etc. Never mind that at least six times he had a receiver wide open and, even though not pressured by the San Diego defense, threw the ball where the open receiver was not. At least two of those mis-thrown passes would have been touchdowns. The truth is that Vick is a highly erratic passer; at times very precise and at other times unexplainably badly inaccurate.

NASCAR has added yet another rule for yet another rather bizarre reason, having to do with restarts. Actually it has to do with their fecklessness in enforcing the rule on restarts.

There is a marked “restart zone” prior to the start/finish line within which the leader is supposed to initiate the restart by jumping on the gas. If he does not do so the starter, the guy in the platform above the line, will wave the green flag to restart the race. The second place car, who restarts beside the leader, must not cross the start/finish line ahead of the leader.

That last part has been violated rather frequently lately without the officials noticing, and drivers have been complaining vigorously; sometimes with validity, sometimes not. The officials have noticed a time or two and penalized the offending driver, but usually they just blow the complaints off with some sort of excuse such as that the leader spun his tires, or that he drove slowly on purpose. (?!)

So NASCAR has now dropped the last part of that rule, the part about the leader having to cross the start/finish line first, so as to “remove the subjective judgement part” of the restart rule. Weird. If looking at which car crossed the line first is a “subjective judgement” on a restart, then why is it not a “subjective judgement” in determining who won the race?

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