Monday, September 12, 2016

As a Fan, I can Really Do Without Some of This

For 44 games Kristaps Porzingis brought excitement to the New York Knicks fan base and New York City was electrified. Of course, disappointment ruled yet another debacle. But the crushing losses aren’t the only things that bring us down.  Here’s some stuff I can do without …

I remember when most fumbles happened on good clean hits. The 1983 Redskins changed all that and stripping the ball became SOP in the NFL.  
A great run now pales in comparison to the “skill” of ripping away the ball.

The soul of the game going with it, soccer alerted me to another deficiency. In soccer, the final 20 minutes are marred by feigned injuries to kill clock. So I assume the general mindset says whoever wins the first 70 minutes wins the game.

No Hollywood to guide them, America loves miracle comebacks – especially in the NFL.  Sorry, the drama has become a gimmick.

The 2015 championship game between Seattle and Green Bay annoyed me – despite a very straight forward comeback.  A three and out, a quick drive, onside kick and the go-ahead score.

But it’s so predictable.  The just desserts belonged to Green Bay and Russell Wilson’s late pick said as much. Of course, when the New York Giants play victim I must skip a few Sundays because I cannot endure the commonplace upheaval.

Still, I can be objective. A late-season Giants victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 2011 followed the same script, and even though it led to the Super Bowl, the Giants season should have ended there.

So prevalent are the miracles, how soon before the NFL is Arena Football?
The NBA suffers from a similar aspirational climax. In one sense, endless timeouts to extend the game interminable. But the outcomes aren’t as compelling, and therein lies the problem.

A Clippers/Warriors playoff game several years ago supports my point.  The fourth quarter had both teams masterfully moving the ball, threes were dropping everywhere which made for unbelievable basketball.  But then the unwritten two-minute warning sounded.

Get the ball to the star and let him go one-on-three before launching a 35-footer.  Whether the blame falls on the players or the coaches, how come in the NCAA final they can have a play drawn up and return a real ending?

Certainly worth a second look, two tries never come close with instant replay. Unusual, since we are often able to make the call before the refs even get under the drape.

So each play should be reviewed, and the pertinent footage ready as the red flag falls.   Of course, not all calls are as clear, which leans me towards the play standing. Instant replay emerged because of high profile egregious misses.

If the ref needs 20 looks, the original impetus doesn’t apply and such precision isn’t worth the time spent. And forget baseball.  A dead ball call can’t take into account where the live action would have lead.

The rules do provide limits, but I’m always left with endless possibilities, which undermines the process.

I hope this helps – even though I know it won’t.

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