Super Day - IV
What an odd sport, American football. Here was a man about to score a touchdown in the final minute of the Super Bowl, yet trying to erase a lifetime of muscle memory for lugging the ball into the end zone.
Ahmad Bradshaw of the Giants was trying to halt his large, mobile body at the 1-yard line but he just couldn’t get himself down. A man could blow out two knees or maybe a spinal column doing that.
That was the strategy after more than three hours of ominous commercials and hard play: the Giants wanted to kill some seconds before Tom Brady got the ball again. But Bradshaw could not put the brakes on his forward momentum, so the poor feller had to settle for a touchdown with 57 seconds left that ultimately won Super Bowl XXXXVI, 21-17, over the Patriots.
Congratulations to the Giants’ owners who showed their traditional patience with Coach Tom Coughlin during a disappointing autumn, and condolences to the Kraft family.
And the one dominating memory of this game -- in a sport that preaches going all out -- is likely to be a running back trying to plop his body down short of the goal line. Very strange.
2/5/2012 09:55:08 pm
Pleased to hear you thought it was strange. I needed it explained to me, by the better half who stayed up late to watch, until driven away by Madonna. Tactics! But perhaps odd tactics: go out and do something alien to your expensive training and natural talent; don't come back until you've stuffed it up.
2/6/2012 12:46:57 am
Jen, you are either up late or up early. I remember watching the 2003 SB on the tube in London - pubs were open late, and casual fans really knew their stuff. I bet some of those blokes got what Bradshaw was doing. Took me a few seconds.
2/6/2012 02:23:01 am
George, An ironic and apt observation. Yet I was delighted that Bradshaw's gravity prevented the cautious Coughlin from attempting a field goal that far in, or fumbling away the game on the next play. This don't give the ball back to Johnny Unitas/Joe Montana/Tom Brady strategy is overdone. When you're running well and your offensive line is dominating, as were the Giants' big boys on the last drive, I hate to see the offense screw around and kill the clock and kick a field goal with 1 second left--if you can pull it off. It's a two part test; 1) Score enough to prevent a field goal from winning the game; and 2) Then worry about the magical talents of human quarterbacks. So I disagree with Cris Collingsworth's comment that "it was a huge mistake" for Bradshaw to have scored. It wasn't. It was the winning margin. Collingsworth's performance, by the way, reminds me of the biggest beef I had all year with color analysts. They have become so intent on proving how smart they are by recognizing various schemes that they do not get good looks at the actual plays, which given all those monitors and cameras should be easier than it used to me. Indeed with the vast number of close plays now reviewed at both the college and pro level the eyes of the broadcasters should be sharply attuned to things such as whether a college receiver has one foot in bounds or whether an NFL receiver has two feet in bounds. Finally, for us old timers, I'm pleased to note the following statistics: NFL Championships--Eli Manning 2, Charley Conerly 1. Hail to the Ole Miss Rebels who have quarterbacked the G-Men.
2/6/2012 02:51:36 am
Hadn't thought of the Ole Miss connection. I noticed one of his teammates, Andrews?, identified himself as being from Ole Miss but Eli said Univ. of Miss. Is there some important subtlety?
2/6/2012 06:13:04 am
I don't know if there is a subtle distinction among players or alumni of Mississippi calling the school Ole Miss or the University of Miss; distinctions made, however, by players announcing their school for the cameras is a different issue. They outdue each other by trying to be folksy, "Ole Miss," or correct, "University of Mississippi" to be exact. Eli Manning strikes me as a "correct," if laid back, type of guy. But good heavens, in 40 years of hearing the name Archie Manning, I never heard anything other than he played for Ole Miss. When you have a best selling ballad, "The Legend of Archie Who," 1968, named after you, how could it be other wise?
This was indeed an odd play, but one which my friend Brian Youngerman has been recommending in his private emails to me and discussing in his weekly sports commentary email blasts which he's been doing for more than a dozen years.
2/10/2012 12:25:58 am
Kenn: Sorry, missed this., My question about the tactic is: what if the snap is botched on the"automatic" field goal attempt? Or what if the Brady-level QB throws an interception right away?
9/10/2013 09:49:21 pm
Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing post with your readers.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.