Monday, October 29, 2007

DON'T WANT TO LOSE BIG? DON'T BE A BIG LOSER. Once again I'm hearing the jockosphere bellyaching about "running up the score." This time the issue was the New England Patriots' decision to go for a first down (and a touchdown) at first-and-goal late in their rout of the Washington Redskins.

Apparently Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs was Not Happy. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick: "What do you want us to do, kick a field goal?" Exactly. I'm not privy to the he-man code by which every Bud-swilling La-Z-Boy jockey instinctively knows precisely at what point a winning team is supposed to stop trying to play the game to avoid hurting the other guys' feelings, but if actually trying to score points is an insult, I think piling up an automatic and meaningless three points would clearly be a bigger insult than trying for the more difficult six or seven while risking coming away with zero.

As I've said before, plenty of little girls playing 12-and-under tennis lose 6-0, 6-0 with more dignity than the "Don't rub it in" losers of men's team sports. And I bet Houston wished it had "run up the score" against Notre Dame in the 1979 Cottom Bowl.

No, Bill, they didn't want you to kick a field goal. They wanted your team to punt from their team's 4-yard line. Or maybe just forfeit, to let one of the other teams win for a change, you big undefeated bullies.

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