Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And hilarity ensues

Or as it's otherwise known, the Green Bay Packers losing to the Seahawks.
There's been a lot of back and forth about this. From what I can tell of the final play of the Packers/Seahawks game, Golden Tate committed an interference penalty, three Packers defenders committed penalties on a Seahawks receiver whose name I couldn't see, and ultimately Tate and Jennings came down with simultaneous possession. So the refs got it about right.
Since then I've been provided with plenty of entertainment. Listening to people complain about the replacement officials is freaking hilarious. It's like the majority of the NFL fan base has had collective amnesia. Need I remind people that the reason all scoring plays in the NFL are now reviewed automatically is basically because of the mountain of shitty calls that the regular officials have made about scoring plays over the last decade? I guess so.
One other thing I found quite entertaining was the revelation from Packers offensive guard T.J. Lang that the Packers players were in the locker room after the game throwing things at the television like babies, then discussing plans on the plane ride home to boycott future games by taking knees on every offensive snap.
Presumably at some point during the discussions someone stepped up and reminded the players that there are these people called "fans" and that they pay a lot of money to go and watch football games, not people taking a knee because they're upset about losing a game.
But the following quote from Lang just cracks me up the most;
"We put too much effort, blood, sweat and tears into this game to have it taken from us. . . . It was kind of embarrassing to be part of it, everybody was furious, a lot of guys are trying to take the high road, but it’s hard to do when there’s that much emotion into one game.  To have the win actually stolen from you?  It’s frustrating."
Stolen from you? Hold the fuck up there buddy!
I've always been taught, like most coaches have always been taught, that every game contains a certain amount of unaccountable factors, like the random bounce of the ball after a fumble or the inexact flight of a tipped pass. These are things that you can't plan for precisely and you most certainly can't rely on to help edge you to victory.
What you can do though is minimise the impact of these events. By playing better throughout the full 60 minutes of the game you can reduce the impact that "chance" has on the outcome. You can avoid situations where the game is decided by a close call that goes against you.
You can teach your players to pursue to the ball on defense, meaning that if there is a fumble then you can maximise the number of people around to pick it up. You can teach tip drills, to improve the ability of your players to anticipate the flight of a tip and to speed up their reactions to it.
Or in the case of T.J. Lang, how about you learn to protect your quarterback properly before you go pointing fingers at the officials? He talks about all the effort, blood, sweat, tears and emotion that went into that game. Well they didn't put that much effort, emotion or sweat in, because the Packers O-line gave up eight sacks.
That's ridiculous. It's not even a bad day. A bad day is giving up four or five sacks. A terrible day is giving up six or seven. Eight sacks is an unmitigated disaster for an offensive line. It's inexcusable. You want to know why the Packers lost, this is it. Right here.
Although, having said that, there was another villian here. His surname is Jennings and he's the defender that came down with the simultaneous catch with Golden Tate.
There are two basic rules for a defender underneath a hail mary pass. Rule number one is only attempt to catch the pass if you have a clear shot at it. Otherwise observe rule number two, which is to bat the ball either straight down, or if near the sidelines then you can hit it out of bounds.
Jennings did neither of these. He attempted to catch a jump ball which he should have knocked down or out of bounds. It really is that simple.
The Packers didn't have this game "stolen" from them. They went into it as absolute favourites to win and they simply blew it. They got dominated by an amazing performance from the Seahawks defensive line and they failed to follow standard football drills when dealing with the hail mary.
Not to mention some of the slightly suspect calls throught the game that went their way, which on balance you would have to say evened things out.
There is nothing but pure arrogance and jealousy behind the comments from the Packers. The fact is that they have a certain swagger about them. They believe that since winning the Super Bowl they should win every game and that people should bow to them in respect. You can see it written all over their faces and in their body language.
And they don't like it because they've had a rough start to the season and because they got absolutely pummelled in many regards by a Seahawks team that they look down on. Well tough shit. Don't give up eight sacks and you wont lose the game. Don't try and catch a hail mary jump ball and you wont lose the game.
They say fortune favours the brave. I say fortune favours the people who work the hardest to eliminate fortune from their gameplan. Ball hawking defenders get interceptions by sticking close to their receivers and taking chances on certain plays. You make your own luck.
It's literally that simple.

No comments: