Monday, November 30, 2009

Most Bone-Headed Coaching Decisions of All Time

Over the past few weeks I've seen what I consider some of the worst coaching decisions I have ever seen in my life. It started on November 15th when the undefeated Indianapolis Colts hosted the rival New England Patriots. The Colts were able to overcome a 17 point fourth quarter deficit to win the game 34-35 and stay undefeated. However, they were able to do this in part because of the terrible decision by Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick. With a fourth and 2 from their OWN 28 yard line with 2:08 remaining in the game Bellichick decided to go for it and didn't make it turning the ball over on the 29 yard line. Sure Payton Manning and company may have scored to win the game anyway but at least make them go 60 yards or more rather than 29 yards with two minutes left. Besides, Payton Manning was struggling in the game and who knows if he could have moved them all the way down the field with only one timeout and 60 plus yards to go. I think this is the worst coaching call I have ever witnessed in any sport but I wanted to think about it and brainstorm other bone-headed coaching decisions before writing this post. These are the top bone-headed calls that I came up with.

While I was compiling my list of the most bone-headed coaching calls I got to witness another bad coaching call, this time it was college football. On November 21st, LSU traveled to Old Miss for an SEC showdown. LSU was down 17-25 with only 3:32 left in the 4th quarter. However, they drove 66 yards to make the score 23-25 with 1:17 left. They had two attempts at a two point conversion but failed on both tries. LSU then recovered an onside kick and completed a 26 yard pass to get them into field goal range. Then came the bone-headed coaching decisions. LSU took a sack and a loss on a screen pass that lost them 16 yards and took them well out of field goal range but the poor coaching decisions don't end there. The screen pass was blown dead with about 26 seconds left and LSU let the clock run down to 9 seconds before calling their last timeout of the game(15 seconds that they could have saved). To quote the late Billy Mays, "But wait, there's more!" LSU comes back on the field and connects on a long pass play to the Old Miss 5 yard line with one second remaining. The clock stops for the chains to reset and LSU lines up for the last play of the game only to spike the ball and let the clock run out. So, this had several bone-headed coaching calls that stacked up on each other. 1) Make sure you don't get sacked or take losses when you are in field goal range to win the game. 2) Why let 15 seconds run off the clock before calling timeout. 3) During the timeout, why not get your kicking team ready to run on the field just incase you are able to convert (which they did). 4) If you aren't going to get your kicking team ready to run onto the field then why not have a second play called during timeout to run incase you are able to convert (which they did).

During the 1995 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Phillidelphia to take on the Eagles. With Berry Switzer as the head coach, Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones made the statement that offense now wins championships in the NFL. Maybe Switzer was trying to back that statement up when he made a huge bone-headed coaching decision not once but twice. With the game tied at 17 and just over 2:00 minutes left in the game, Berry Switzer decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 29 yard line. They tried a handoff to Emmitt Smith who was stuffed short of the first down at the 3o yard line. However, the officiating crew ruled that the play started after the two minute warning and gave the Cowboys a chance to rethink and punt the ball. After the two minute warning Berry Switzer sent his offese out on the field again and ran the same play with the same result, Emmitt Smith coming up short of the first down. The Eagles ran three straight dive plays and kicked the winning field goal. Cowboys 17 - Eagles 20. I thought Bill Bellichick's decision was bad but at least he didn't make the decision twice.

During the past few weeks of brainstorming the most bone-headed coaching calls, I have come up with many but these are my top three. Below are some of the honorable mentions.

  • BYU loses at home to Stanford because head coach Gary Crowton decides to throw the ball with time running down deep in their own territory and clinging to a 2 point lead. Stanford picks off a pass and wins the game. When asked about the decision to throw Crowton stated, "I wanted to win by 9 not by 2." As it turns out, he wanted to lose by 4.

  • Detroit Lions head coach Marty Mornhinweg wins the flip for sudden death overtime, and chooses to kick. The Bears get the ball and score on their first and only possesion.

  • Larry Bird calls an iso for 5' 11" Travis Best with the game tied at the end of regulation of Game 4 during the 2000 NBA Finals. Reggie Miller and Rick Smits don't even get a chance to touch the ball and Best misses his shot with 2.5 seconds left. The Lakers go on to win in overtime and gives the Lakers a 3-1 lead in the series.

What do you consider the most-boneheaded coaching decisions of all time? Do you agree with my list? If not, what should be included?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

America's Unfair Pastime

Ok, I have to admit that my dad raised me as a Yankees fan. However, before you start to hate me, let me tell you that I admit that the salary structure of baseball is unfair. The Yankee's out spend all of the other teams year in and year out. This year the Yankees payroll was 26% higher than the next highest payroll of the New York Mets and 82% higher than the lowest payroll Florida Marlins. Although the Yankee's don't win the World Series every year, they rarely miss the playoffs and it is hard to ignore the fact that they go out and buy the best talent they can find in the market. This year they bought their ace pitcher C. C. Sabathia and slugger Mark Teixeira who have played key roles in the Yankees success this year. So, if it is unfair why don't they change it? Why doesn't MLB incorporate a salary cap?

There is a raging debate about the use of a salary cap in Major League Baseball. Some say that it will save the game and others think that it will destroy it. Currently, the only real constraint on salaries is called a Luxury Tax. This means that any salary money spent by a team over a certain amount will have to pay a tax (or a fee) to the league. The offending team has to pay 22.5% for the excess amount and the tax increases if the team "repeat offends" the excess amount. This tax doesn't come into play much though because it is set so high. Most teams don't even have to worry about the tax and the Yankee's seem to ignore it because they are usually repeat offenders and pay more than the 22.5%. One of the reasons the Yankees have been able to afford their payroll is because successful teams have been proven to increase revenues significantly. They have the advantage of charging for lucrative playoff tickets and they see increased regular season sales because people want to see winning teams and therefore they can continue to spend more.

I think the only solution to the inflated salaries and the unbalanced spending is some form of a salary cap. I think this would also create more parity in the league and allow more teams to make the playoffs. That way it would be even sweeter when the Yankees win the World Series.

What do you think, is baseball an unfair game? Do the Yankees have an unfair advantage? Would a salary cap fix baseball? How would you fix baseball?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fantasy Football "Warps" the NFL

Fantasy football has increased my interest in the NFL all while ruining the NFL for me. Does that sound like a paradox? Let me explain.

I have been a long time Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Charges fan and I loved rooting for my teams. All while growing up I liked watching my teams play as well as watching key matchups week to week. I had little interest in watching the meaningless games and I even paid little
attention to the highlights and even less attention to the stats. However, since I started playing fantasy football a few years ago my view of football has been ruined. I always say that fantasy football “warps” my view of football. Now, instead of just cheering for my teams, I find myself in scenarios where I’m cheering for my team to score but only if Antonio Gates scores because he is on my fantasy team and if Ladanian Tomlinson scores then I will lose my fantasy game. I guess I have personalized my fantasy team and have put more emphasis on me winning my game than my team winning its game. Sure, I’m happy if my teams win but I’m happier if my teams win AND I win my fantasy game.

I now have to pay attention to the meaningless teams like the Detroit Lions because I have a player playing for them or against them. Or maybe I should play a lesser player because he is playing against the Lions. I also want to know the stats for players of all games while I’m watching the key matchups, even the meaningless games. I pay attention to not only scores but who scored them and I have to follow injury reports before and after games so I know who to play on my fantasy team for the week. So, my overall interest in the NFL has increased because now I pay attention to the meaningless games as well as the marquee matchups.

The saving grace of the fantasy football league that I’m in is that my fantasy league ends before the actual NFL playoffs start. Therefore, if my teams can make it to the playoffs then I can cheer them on without a “warped” view of the game.

Has Fantasy sports given you a warped view of sports? Do you watch more football, basketball, baseball, because you play on a fantasy team?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sportsmanship Weekend

This past weekend in college football was named "Sportsmanship Weekend" and teams were asked to shake hands at mid field before the game. I thought that this would be a disaster because it is hard to manage so many people and make sure that nothing breaks out between teams that are ready to punish each other. I couldn't be more wrong. I even saw the likes of Miami (FL) and Florida State meet at mid field to shake hands. If they can do it without incident then I believe that any well coached teams can do it.

On a more personal note, I also deemed this weekend "Sportsmanship Weekend" in my own life. After all of the games were over on Saturday I went to the store to buy groceries. After loading the groceries in my trunk I started to take my cart to the cart drop-off in the empty parking lot and as I did I picked up several pieces of garbage and even put away a couple of extra carts. On Monday afternoon we decided to go to lunch with some of our family who had come into town. After getting ready, I looked all over the place and couldn't find my wallet. I retraced my steps in my mind and thought that I had left my wallet in the cart in the parking lot. We drove back to Wal-Mart and I asked the customer service manager if my wallet had been turned in. Sure enough, my wallet was there with all of my credit cards and cash in place. I asked if I could reward who turned it in and he told me that he didn't have any idea who turned it in. I ran out of the store so I could make it for lunch and I saw a lady trying to lift up a heavy cart (the kind with the car seat in it) that was laying down flat next to her car. I stopped, helped her pick it up, and took it to the cart drop-off for her.

I doubt the reason I found my wallet was because I had picked up garbage and put away extra carts but maybe Karma or Sportsmanship was looking out for me. Anyway, I would like to publicly thank all of you out there that have found and turned in things of value. Thank you!

Anyone have any similar stories they would like to share?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Glass Ceiling of College Football

I love this time of year. The weather starts to cool down, the leaves start to change color, and most importantly, football season is finally here. I like NFL football and I play fantasy football, but college football is my favorite sport in the world to follow. I think I’m more excited for this year than in years past with the three Heisman finalists all returning to action, top 25 match ups the first week and even a top 10 matchup the first week.

Tonight marks the first games of the year and tonight’s games have me excited like a kid in a candy store. I’m especially excited to watch the matchup between Oregon and Boise State at Boise. I’m excited because I typically cheer for the underdog non-BCS qualifying conferences because I played for one of those teams and it is fun to see the “big boys” get beat. With that being said, I have to give props to Oregon for actually scheduling a home and home series with one of the better non-BCS qualifying teams in the country. Most automatically qualifying teams schedule a powder puff for their openers and IF they schedule one of the teams like Boise State, they usually only agree to do it if they get home games. Boise State is starting the season ranked #14 and if they win they should move up. If you look at the rest of Boise State’s schedule, they should be favored to win the rest of their games and they could end up in the National Championship game right? As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!”

I believe there is a glass ceiling in college football for all of the non-qualifying conferences and there isn’t much anyone can do to get past it. The University of Utah went undefeated last year beating BCS automatic qualifying teams like Michigan and Oregon State and even beat two other teams in the Mountain West that ended up ranked in the top 15 in the final BCS poll and they weren’t even considered for the National Championship game. Many of the voters for the all important Harris Poll, that is a crucial factor in the BCS, admitted to the fact that they hadn’t even seen Utah play. Hence, it was a shock to the world when Utah showed up to the Sugar Bowl and dominated an Alabama team that had been ranked #1 for a large portion of the season.

It is extremely hard to go undefeated in football no matter what the competition is. Even what many consider as the greatest NFL team of all time, the ’85 Bears, didn’t go undefeated. Many analysts and sports writes say that the conference schedule is too easy for the non-qualifying conferences and even if Boise State beats Oregon, they would be expected to blow out all of the teams in their conference because they are lesser teams. What the writers and analysts never
point out is that the conference games are usually more difficult no matter what conference you play in because the conference coaches play each other year in and year out and have a better feel for what the opposing team would like to do. I’ll give you the fact that the WAC or the Mountain West or Conference USA isn’t as good top to bottom as the SEC, Big 12 etc. However, conference games, no matter what conference, are more difficult because of the knowledge of the coaching staffs that prepare for the conference teams year in and year out. Therefore,
those games shouldn’t be discredited just because they aren’t blowout wins but they often do and the non-qualifying conferences pay for it in the rankings.

I don’t think the current BCS will put a non-qualifying team into the National Championship game because they are scrutinized at another level and penalized too greatly for their conference. Even if BYU were to beat #3 Oklahoma to start the year and go on beat Tulane, and
Florida State they would be penalized in the polls each week that they didn’t blow out a conference foe and they would eventually hit the glass ceiling that exists in college football. I’m not saying that these teams can’t play in the BCS, that has already been proven. I’m saying they can’t make it to the National Championship game.

What do you think? Is there a glass ceiling in college football? Could Boise State, TCU, BYU, or Utah ever get past the glass ceiling that exists and play for a National Chamionship?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Brett Favre and Movie Sequels Have in Common

OK, how many times have you seen a great movie and because the movie was so good you get excited when you see that the sequel is coming out. You start to remember how you felt when you saw the original movie and sometimes even get an adrenaline rush when you think about how great it will be. You think about how the sequel should go and how great it should be. You work yourself up for the movie and when you see it you are let down i.e. The Matrix and it's sequels. Sometimes the sequel may even ruin the luster of the original movie.

The Brett Favre of today is the sequel of the Brett Favre in his prime during the 1990s. He is one of the best QBs of his generation and carried the Packers on his back during his prime. The Packer teams were mediocre teams during this era with running backs that were pretty forgettable (as evidenced by their inability to perform outside of GB), and the defenses were decent. However, they had a star at QB that carried them with him to greatness. He was gifted with mobility, toughness, and a rocket arm that he used to force balls into tight coverage. However, with his age, he has lost some of his mobility, he has been hurt recently, and the arm clearly isn't the rocket that it once was.

I think when the Vikings look at Brett Favre they get that same adrenaline rush that I would about a sequel to a great movie. They are hoping for the "original" Favre and they think about how this season should go with him on their team. Only time will tell if they will get a rare sequel that is as good or better than the original. Even if he is successful this year, I think his indecision regarding retirement has ruined a bit of the luster of the original Brett Favre.

Now, with that being said, I do like Brett Favre and I'm not nearly as harsh on him as most others are. I acknowledge that he makes poor decisions and that he throws a lot of interceptions but I also think he has a lot of intangibles that great QBs have. He is a leader and teams love to go to battle with him. I thought he took a lot of flack in 2007 when in reality he had a terrible team around him with injuries etc. In 2008 he almost lead the Packers to the super bowl losing in the NFC championship game and had one of his best years. Last year before he got hurt he played quite well. I don't know how well his arm has healed but if it is fully healed then I don't blame him for coming back. Could you turn down $25 million dollars for two years? Could you walk away from something you have done your whole life, something you love to do knowing that you will never have the opportunity to do it ever again? Could you do that at a very "real life" young age of 39? What would you do for the rest of your life? I don't know if I could walk away from it so I can't say that I blame Favre for giving it another run.

Is Favre going to be the rare sequel exception that is as good or better than the original (can he take the Vikings to the Superbowl)? Do you blame him for coming back?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Andy Reid "Gets" Michael Vick

I've seen all of the drama surrounding Michael Vick and I've heard all of the arguments. The question that someone asked me a couple of weeks ago is "Should Vick expect to be able to get his old job back?" I believe that anyone that goes to jail for something that is not related to their job should be able to get their job back after serving the time for their wrong doings. However, if their crime was directly related to their job (an accountant embezzling, Pete Rose betting on baseball, etc.) then they shouldn't expect to get their old job back.

Out of all the coaches in the NFL Andy Reid may be best suited to understand forgiveness and the importance of a second chance. He has recently had two sons serve jail time for unrelated drug charges and has seen the importance of second chances. On July 28th he was quoted saying, "Sure. I'm big on second chances at this phase in my life." I don't think there is anyone better suited in the NFL that understands what Vick is going through and the perceptions around him than Andy Reid. I wish the Eagles and Michael Vick the best of luck and hope that Vick makes the most of his second chance.

I'm interested to see what people out there think. Is it fair for Vick to expect his old job back after serving time? I'd also like to hear what people think about how and where the Eagles will utilize Vick. What do you think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Most Historic Stadium in America

On Wednesday, July 29th, I was able to go to the most historic stadium in the country.... Fenway Park in Boston. I watched the Red Sox fall to the Oakland Athletics 8 to 6. However, the fans were into it all the way to the end. When David Ortiz came to the plate representing the winning or tying run (I can't remember) the place erupted and there was hope for the Sox.

So, as I was sitting there taking pictures of the "Green Monster" and walking around the park I started thinking about just how historic Fenway park is. I tried to think of a more historic existing baseball stadium in the U.S. and couldn't come up with one. Yankee Stadium was torn down, Wrigley field is close but I don't think there is as much history as Fenway. Then I tried to compare it to the most historic existing stadiums in any sport. The Rose Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Lambeau Field, The Orange Bowl, Memorial Coliseum (L.A.), Notre Dame Stadium and the Boston Garden (Wow, that is two very historic stadiums in the same city) all came to mind. However, I still don't think that any of them have as much history as Fenway Park.

Now my question is.... Does anyone out there agree/disagree with my assessment? Did I forget to mention any other stadiums that should be mentioned here?

Monday, July 20, 2009


As an introduction, I am a former college football player, my brother was a college football player, my father was a football coach all of his career and I am a sports junkie. I have been blessed with four wonderful daughters who I love dearly but I realized that they don't share all of my sports enthusiasm. Therefore, I have decided to start an online sporting goods store called and an associated blog on sports so that I can share my sports enthusiasm with people who may be more interested in sports than my daughters and so that I have a "manly" outlet.

Therefore, I will be posting my opinions about any and all sports that I see fit and hope to have a lot of fun along the way.

In addition, I would like to have a place where people from all walks of life can comment on sports of any kind.

Please feel free to comment on our blog or visit our website at for all of your sporting goods needs.