Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hey Rex Ryan: Go Pound Sand

I just caught this blip from the AP about how NY Jets coach Rex Ryan felt "disrespected" by the Patriots' decision to throw long even after the game's outcome was more or less determined on Sunday.

I know something similar came up a couple years ago from the Redskins, and just two weeks ago, mighty USC was complaining about an opponent's go-for-two decision while they were being blown out at the Colosseum.

I'll make an exception for youth sports, where far less is on the line, but for any Division I college game, or especially for an NFL game, where this really is what all these guys do for a living, all complaints about running up scores need to cease.

Anyone who witnessed infamous collapses like the Oilers-Bills game back almost two decades ago (the one where the 35-3 halftime lead didn't prove so decisive) needs to understand that these teams play a high-stakes game where the objective is to win. A lot of crazy things can happen in short time spans, so just because you're winning by two or more scores in the fourth quarter doesn't really guarantee anything. More important than being graceful, or not hurting someone's feelings, or appearing un-gentlemanly comes the singular ambition for the "W" as shared by coaches and players whose careers and futures are always on the line.

Anyone who has ever invested their hard-earned time or money (and, yes, time is a commodity that for some is the scarcest and most-valuable thing they have) in following college or pro sports should expect nothing less than the team for which they're rooting to try to win the game.

And winning means scoring more points than the other team does.

If it's late in the game, and I'm a second- or third-stringer fighting to keep my job or get promoted, you better believe I'm not letting up.

If I'm a first-stringer who trains year-round with one goal in mind, you better believe I'm not letting up. If that means testing out a pass play, or trying something out in a game situation, I would do it.

No comments: