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Football pet peeves

Posted by Jason Lisk on February 20, 2009

Throughout the season, the various contributors to this blog have had an ongoing thread of discussion of football pet peeves. Some are related to coaches, some players, some to announcers and television broadcasts, and well, some to just about anything else football-related. As you will see, some of us are a little more crotchety than others.

PLAYER BEHAVIOR

Doug: Oh yeah, if I were ever named commissioner, the first rule I would enact is this: Any receiver who looks at a ref and does the little throw-the-flag wrist flip gets a 15-yard penalty and a lifetime ban from the league. [Ed. note: if this rule were actually enacted, NFL teams would be running the wing-T all the time within a year]

JKL: The whole exaggerated "hands over the back", thumb-pointing thing that alot of players have been doing recently after a touchdown, pointing to their own name on the back of the jersey. It usually follows a simple touchdown pass where 10 other guys made the easy catch likely. I'd rather have players proposing to cheerleaders and doing snow angels after touchdowns than this.

JKL: Lendale White. I'm waiting for the first story noting that the Titans win if Lendale White gets more than one carry. At least guys like TO and Moss have earned the right to bitch about something by, oh, having an ounce of talent. [this was written after the NY Jets win over the Titans, when White complained about getting only 1 carry and 1 dropped pass when the Titans fell behind big early and needed plays to be made to catch up]

PLAYER APPAREL

Doug: I grant that this is the most frivolous of peeves, but what is the deal with baseball caps? When you go to the sideline and take off your helmet, how does it make any sense to then put on a baseball cap? I guess it's just a marketing deal, yes? I try hard not to let the Old Fartism creep in, but this just really rankles.

Chase: I always thought [it] was because of hat hair, but maybe it's a marketing thing.

JKL: when did "baseball caps" become the accepted hat of choice in this country? Was it before the 80's? It had to happen sometime, but it has been the case as long as I can remember. I would love to see quarterbacks go to the sideline and don their berets in between series.

Sean: I hate, hate, hate the t-shirts and hats they pass out after the Super Bowl, World Series, etc. The players are wearing classy $150 jerseys and then put on these cheapo $10 t-shirts and $12 hats. Drives me crazy. [Ed. note: do those shirts and hats really cost that much?]

Sean: Just to follow up for this year's Super Bowl the players will also be given 24"x42" Trophy Towels. Read that in Sports Business Journal.

TELEVISION AND ANNOUNCERS

JKL: commercials after a touchdown, followed by a kickoff, followed by more commercials. We cant get all the commercials in at once?

Chase: Here's one that's absurd on a lot of levels: every QB on a winning team that doesn't throw for a ton of yards is "being asked to play a dilferesque role." I saw that applied to Pennington today.

Chase: All [insert the QB on the favorite, if said favorite has a good defense] needs to do is play mistake free ball. If [his team] doesn't lose the turnover battle, they'll win.

What does this even mean? Do they think QBs intentionally throw interceptions? Do they want them to avoid all plays with any degree of risk even if they're positive EV plays? Should they just kneel it every down?

JKL: [written on October 21, following the Giants-Browns Monday night game] Here's one of mine. When Announcer says "it's too early to go for two . . .", regardless of the score and time situations. In the Browns/Giants Monday night game, the Browns scored on the INT to go up by 19 with about 9 minutes left in the game, and Jaws actually said "it's too early to go for two", when the Browns went for 2 and successfully made it a 21 point game. It also came up in the K-State-Colorado game. Didn't watch it, but I guess K-State scored to make it 12-14 late in the 3rd, and kicked the extra point. The final score was 13-14. The radio show I was listening to said you can't go for 2 in the 3rd. For some reason, this absolutist attitude that I hear quite frequently on 2 point conversions is a pet peeve.

Chase: I heard that Jaws thing. That was absolutely absurd. Only an idiot wouldn't go for two up by 19 with 9 minutes left in the game. It's not even close to debatable. The way he forcefully argued it was almost as crazy as the reasoning behind his argument (it was too early).

Doug: Brent Musberger, who I generally like OK, has got to stop saying "snaps it off" when he means "throws a pass." If he said it once a game, it would be nonsensical but acceptable. But he says it a dozen times a game at least. [IMPORTANT UPDATE: it appears that his producers said something to him about it. In the few games Musberger worked after I wrote this, he was down to about one "snaps it off" per game.]

JKL: Announcers who refer to how costly an intentional grounding penalty is, because of the loss of down. Hello! If he had simply held the ball and taken the sack, he risks a fumble and a sack also results in a "loss of down". It's actually one of the smarter penalties a player can risk taking. Rarely does a QB do it without a sack being eminent. At least half the time, they can convince the ref that they were trying to throw it to someone and got it close. And when they don't, they don't lose anything except the same result as a sack.

Doug: NBC's little scoreboard thing at the bottom of the screen has a space that flashes after every single play. First of all, it serves no purpose. But you can't go around getting hot about everything someone does that serves no purpose. No, what makes this rise to pet peeve status is that it flashes yellow. The same color as any sensible penalty flag related graphic. Even though I'm aware of the situation, my subconscious brain still thinks there is a penalty flag on every play.

COACHING DECISIONS

Doug: any timeout called in the second half to "talk things over." Timeouts are for STOPPING THE CLOCK. I get that your 3rd-and-2 is a crucial play, but in your 90 hours of preparation for this game, did you not foresee that a crucial 3rd-and-2 might arise at some point? In the first half, I guess it's OK, but in the second half, timeouts are for STOPPING THE CLOCK.

Chase: I've been on [calling second half timeouts] for awhile. It annoys me more, I think, because I (probably incorrectly) feel like teams usually come out of timeouts with a good play, too. Why couldn't you have thought of that great play on Wednesday?

JKL: Also, timeouts called to determine whether to challenge. I'm pretty sure I have seen Herm Edwards do this. Nothing quite as gut-wrenching and mind numbing as watching your coach burn two timeouts in a row.

Your point is particularly well taken when the team in question is trailing and KNOWS they will need the timeouts on defense. I have seen this happen alot.

JKL: Here's one that I meant to add after last Monday's Buffalo-Cleveland ending. Coaches who play for a field goal at the end of the game once they get in "field goal range (35 yard line)". They are so afraid of throwing an interception, which, what, may happen 5% of the time, so they instead meekly play for the long FG, so they have about a 30-40% chance of failure. Dick Jauron is just the latest member, though I'm sure he was already in the club.

Doug: I hate it when they call for a measurement when the ball is spotted on one side of a yard-line and the marker is on the other side of the same yard-line. Do they think maybe the stripes are crooked, or what?

[yeah, yeah, I know they're probably just doing it because a coach asked for a measurement to buy some time. I think the ref should deny the request.]

MISCELLANEOUS

Doug: [This is] only vaguely related to football, but.... AC/DC.

Doug: Punt, Pass, and Kick enrages me. Why is two thirds of this thing devoted to non-football activities? [Ed. note: of course, the two things Doug refers to are the two things that one would actually do with a foot.]

Chase: Thinking that coaches don't age.

I actually read someone calling Marty Schottenheimer a bad coach because of all the things John Elway used to do to him. JOHN ELWAY!!! Could you imagine calling Fred Taylor a bad RB because Eric Turner forced two fumbles in a game with him once? (Note: I made that up). Even worse, the Elway stuff wasn't from '98 but the '80s. How in the world could anything that possibly happened in the '80s be relevant to today's game? Joe Gibbs down?

Anything a coach does that happened >6 years ago should henceforth be stricken. I don't want my team to hire Brian Billick because he won a SB in 2000. That was eight years ago. Tom Brady was a rookie back then. Who cares? This isn't a lifetime achievement award.

If you want to evaluate Tony Dungy as a playoff coach for 2009, I don't want to hear anything about what happened in Tampa.

John Gruden? Whenever he's fired, I don't want to hear that his next team is hiring a SB winning coach. Did anyone say that the Cowboys were okay when Romo got hurt because they had a SB winning QB come in?

Chase: People . . . saying Pittsburgh had the hardest schedule ever this year because their opponents had great records in 2007.

Doug: This is mostly a message board thing, but I am calling a moratorium on the word "sick." I am [also] really tired of the word "presser." [Ed. note: feel free to use "sick" as much as you want in the comments, now that you know Doug's position].

Doug: Granted, this does no real harm, but it annoys me when draft-related literature well after the deadline for underclassmen to declare includes asterisks for underclassmen. In December, sure, the asterisks let us know that the listed player might not even actually be in the draft. But in February they're pointless.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 7:48 am and is filed under General, Rant. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.