Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings - Bad Decisions

Bad decisions are everywhere…..the NY liquor authority, college football, pro hoops, pro football, and in most bars right around 2am. But we'll just cover the first four and leave the rest for your walk of shames.

Bad Decision #1: NY State Liquor Laws
This is just a shame. The Mad River Grille, the Badger bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan was busted for unauthorized selling of New Glarus Spotted Cow beer. New Glarus only distributes its beer within the state of Wisconsin, and the NY State Liquor Authority got wind of the beer in NY. I’m not an investigative reporter, but I may or may not frequent the bar on many game days, and may or may not have engaged in more than a few games of flip cup in the back of the bar after Badger games. The bar may or may not have allegedly been buying the beer from Sam’s Club in Madison and allegedly filling a U-Haul truck to drive it out to the bar.

Bad Decision #2: Yale Football.
Is it ironic that the worst coaching decision, maybe ever, was made by a college coach in the supposedly full of genius Ivy League? Yale’s coach decided to try a fake punt when up 10-7 deep in his own territory, on 4th and 22!! Yeah, you read that correctly, 4th & 22. The play actually worked – for 15 yards – and Harvard took over and scored to win the game 14-10. It was actually worse than Les Miles clock management. It was a worse decision that asking Pacman Jones to host a party with Lindsay Lohan, Antonio Cromartie and Russell Crowe sharing a booth in the VIP room.

Bad Decision #3: Nate Robinson
I also forgot to mention in yesterday’s “hate” section Nate Robinson during the Knicks-Nets game on Saturday afternoon. I mean, it’s a game of two of the worst teams in the league, so no one really cares, but with 0.5 seconds left in the first quarter, Nate decided to launch a shot at the wrong basket. Thankfully the ref declared the shot after the buzzer because it went in!! Coach D’Antoni went apeshit, and understandably so. I’d say Nate’s decision making is as poor as Marc Bulger dating former Miss America Carrie Prejean and not carrying a camera with him at all times.

NFL Overtime
It happens a couple times a year when a team with a sizeable fan base plays an overtime game in the NFL. The people come out banging on the OT rules as “unfair” because whoever wins the coin toss wins the game. Well, unless you’re Marty Mornhinweg, who famously decided to take the wind to start an overtime game when he was coaching the Lions – and the Bears marched down field, kicked a field goal and the Lions never got to use the wind. Because the game is decided in sudden-death fashion, people want to find a way to give each team an equal chance with the ball. This past weekend, the Falcons lost when the Giants scored on their opening possession, but the Steelers lost after not scoring on their opening possession of overtime. The simple solution is to put 10 minutes on the clock and play it out, which is what Bill Belichick has proposed in the past. Or 8 minutes. That would definitely be a better solution than the current format or the current college format.

The current college format is a joke for overtime. Completely removing the special teams and field position from the game completely bastardizes the game. Special teams are a crucial part of being a good team, and by removing that aspect of the game, it is no longer true football. Too many times with the college format it turns into the teams trading TDs against tired defenses when they only have to cover 25 yards. This leads to ridiculous 3 and 4 OT games that end up with scores in the 40’s and 50’s when it was a 28-28 game at the end of regulation. It turns into a mockery of the game.

The problem with the short quarter plan is that it would likely be longer overtime periods than the current system. That means that there are extra plays when your quarterback could take a hit, your linemen could bust a knee, etc. The Steelers game was another example of that fear, as Big Ben left the game with a potential concussion in overtime, and Charlie Batch replaced him, and promptly broke his wrist. In addition, the extra effort takes a toll on the teams, and the stat is somewhere around 75% of teams that play overtime games that go beyond the first possession lose the following week – regardless of whether they won or lost the OT game. The other concern is that teams could drag out one long 8 or 10 minute drive that ends with a field goal and the other team would not get a chance on offense. However, the odds of a team being able to put together that long of a drive seem about as high as the odds of the Royals being competitive this century.

NFL Pro Bowl
I’m not sure if you saw the memo, but just below the part about the cover pages on the TPS Reports, was a note that the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl was going to be significantly different than it has been the past 20 years. Since 1979, the annual pro football all-star game has been played in Hawaii, two weeks after the Super Bowl. This year, the game will be played in Miami (the site of the Super Bowl), the week before the Super Bowl. The change was driven by the ever increasing number of players who were skipping the game due to “injuries” after making the trip repeatedly for a number of years.

So the league decided the solution was to have a game that can no longer include the players on the best teams – i.e. those in the Super Bowl, in a location and time that will likely increase the likelihood of arrests by tenfold. It’s already a light version of real football, with no blitzing, and minimal hitting – with the exception of Sean Taylor (RIP) on Brian Moorman.

Oh, and they also forgot to take into account that the Super Bowl will be played in Indianapolis in 2012. Not exactly a great reward for Phillip Rivers or Ricky Williams to get a trip to Indy in February.

At least the league recognized the error and will return to Hawaii in 2011 and 2012. Whoops. On the scale of bad decisions from partying with Michael Phelps to asking Tara Reid for a plastic surgery reference, this ranks about a 5 – hiring Lady Gaga or Bjork as your fashion consultant.

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