Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kickers are Important and other football related thoughts

So my favorite college and pro teams would both be in better shape now if they had decent kickers. Dallas would likely be in the playoffs without about three big misses on field goals this year, and FSU probably would have won the Orange Bowl with a decent kicker. I can almost excuse the missed field goals in overtime, but the missed extra point was too much. And Bobby Bowden has no excuse for not finding a good kicker, he's seen this all too many times, big kicks missed in big games with FSU on the wrong side at the end. It's not enough to hope the other guy sucks a little bit worse than your guy, although last night (this morning) it almost seemed like it would be, and it did work for Penn State. I don't know if Bill Parcells has had any major kicking problems in his past coaching stops, but I hope this season teaches him that a good kicker is invaluable and that he either goes out and gets a reliable free agent kicker, or find some young kicker who actually shows real promise. I'll be pissed next season if they still have a shitty kicker, considering what it cost them this season.

Now, on to my BCS complaint. Since this season they lucked into getting the right teams in the championship game, I won't complain too much about that. Even though a system that works once every five years seems like a failure to me. Anyway, what I want to complain about today is the game times and length. If a game starts at 8:00, it shouldn't end at 1:00, regardless of how many overtimes there are. Regulation didn't end until after midnight. And if you're going to start the games at 8:00, how about starting them at 8:00, and not at 8:20? I don't need any more pregame or buildup, these teams haven't played for a month, that's all anyone's been talking about. Your extra twenty minutes just means I have longer to wait. One game like this might not be so bad, but after staying up for the Sugar Bowl, then the Orange Bowl, I don't know if I have enough left in the tank to make it to the end of the Rose Bowl tonight. Especially if it's a long game that goes down to the end, like last night's. But no matter what time they start, a football game shouldn't take 4 hours to play. It's an hour on the clock, that means they had three hours of commercials, halftime and other crap. That's too much. I love football and wouldn't mind it the games lasted six hours if they didn't put them on so late on a weeknight. Why is it more important for west coast viewers to see the beginning that for east coast viewers to see the end?

And why were Mike Tirico and Kirk Herbstreit so intent on defending Jeff Bowden last night? The guy blows as a play caller. The one constant in all their underachieving offenses is him. Sure they've had injuries that have hurt, but they still have plenty of talent and ought to be able to rush for more than 50 yards in a game. I think it's a testament to that talent that they can go to overtime with the #3 team in the country despite such an anemic offense. And I especially think it's ok to blame Bowden when he so clearly uses his players the wrong way. Running Booker between the tackes and Washington wide, when it should be the exact opposite. Or after Washington easily converts a third and 2, only to have it come back for a holding penalty, giving it to Booker on the subsequent fourth and 2, where of course he was stuffed. Or trying a QB sneak almost from the 2 yard line. That really could have cost them, just a completely wasted play. I can understand why Bobby Bowden would defend Jeff Bowden, being his father, but I don't get why anyone else would.

As the NFL playoffs start, I will be rooting for the Jaguars and the Colts. Mostly the Colts since I think the Jaguars will get hammered this weekend, and I don't think I could stand listening to the radio if they win. I like Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy, and would like to see both of them win it all. Especially Dungy since he's been through enough lately, and also because he got screwed in Tampa and wasn't there for their SuperBowl win. I can't really get excited about anyone in the NFC. Seattle is the worst number one seed I've seen since the Giants a few years ago. They got a lot of luck this year in the games I saw them in. Chicago is a nice story, but I don't want to watch a team with no offense again. We've seen that too much recently with the Ravens and the Bucs. The Giants are incredibly overrated, if you watch them play, it's amazing that they're able to win at all. I guess having nine home games helps, especially when you suck on the road (nice job, NFL). I guess I'll probably root for Tampa, though I can't get too excited about them either. I do hope Washington gets beat badly, that's one thing I can get excited for. Whatever happens, I hope the games are good. Anyone have any predictions?

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8 comments:

Shakespeare's Sister said...

I don't have any predictions, but I have kind of a funny kicker story for you...

My dad always wanted to be a kicker, and each week, his high school coach would have a kick-off; whoever wanted to be the kicker could participate, and whoever won would get to be the kicker in the next game.

It was always between my dad and another kid, same two, every week. My dad always won, and the other kid was always put in as the kicker.

Unfortunately for pops, he was the only one on the entire team who could do the long snap. :-)

John Howard said...

Ha, that kinda sucks. He should have kept that ability to himself, although I guess if no one else could snap it, he'd never get to kick it anyway.

Toast said...

I like Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy, and would like to see both of them win it all.

Ditto. The Colts are my first choice, followed by Anybody But The Patriots.

As to your BCS getting it right this year comment, I disagree. I think this is just the right time to step up the attack on the BCS. Sure these guys are the best. That's why they should have to run the gauntlet of upset threats that every legit champion does in every other post-season.

Chris Howard said...

Why is it more important for west coast viewers to see the beginning that for east coast viewers to see the end?

I'm sure this has to do with ratings. They're afraid if the West Coast viewers don't watch the beginning they won't tune in at all. That's my guess.

That's why they should have to run the gauntlet of upset threats that every legit champion does in every other post-season.

Good point. Division 1A college football is the only major sport anywhere where the supposed best team can win the title and get no tests. The ultimate example of course is the 1984 BYU team.

Toast said...

Why is it more important for west coast viewers to see the beginning that for east coast viewers to see the end?

That's the great, ongoing injustice that is prime-time sports in America, right there. It's actually a good argument for going to a singe time zone. Screw daylight. I want to be able to stay up for Monday Night Football.

Chris Howard said...

I want to be able to stay up for Monday Night Football.

No shit man. I don't remember the last time I stayed up the whole time for a Monday night game that didn't involve the Cowboys.

John Howard said...

Oh, I agree, toast, I think it's always time to criticize the BCS, and if what I said made it sound any differently, than I didn't say it very well. But they did for once get the right teams in there, even if it was just by default.

Yeah, watching these teams go through a playoff only to (possibly) meet at the end would have been great.

John Howard said...

Yeah, I rarely watch an entire Monday Night game if the Cowboys aren't in it.

And the last three nights are the first time in quite a while I've stayed up that late (on a weeknight) for any college game, either.

I should also point out in that classic 3OT thriller of an Orange Bowl, Chris abandonded his alma mater and went to bed before it was over, which is probably why Cismensa didn't bother to make those field goals. Although in Chris's defense, it was 1:00 before the game got over.