I bought my annual college football magazine last week. It predicts my Oklahoma State Cowboys to be an offensive juggernaut with a porous defense. The overall product, according to the experts, should be just on the good side of mediocre; probably somewhere between 6-6 and 8-4.
This isn't going to be a post about the 2007 college football season or about my Oklahoma State Cowboys; they merely serve as a jumping-off point for a Friday discussion question:
If you're going to root for a mediocre team, would you rather they have:
- a mediocre offense and a mediocre defense,
- a good offense and a bad defense, or
- a bad offense and a good defense?
I think I'd rather have one good unit and one bad one than two average ones. That way, at least you've got something to believe in. Now, having rooted for some mediocre teams with great defenses and terrible offenses (like the early-80s Leslie O'Neal-led Oklahoma State Cowboys) and also some mediocre teams with spectacularly great offenses and astonishingly poor defenses (like the late-80s Barry Sanders-led Oklahoma State Cowboys), I say it's no contest. I want the good offense.
I have to admit that a small part of that is probably the contrarian in me rebelling against the standard old-school Defense Wins Championships refrain; I take a perverse pride in playing the part of the rube who is wowed by big points. But it's more than just that. When you're rooting for a team with a great offense, you never really feel out of the game. Down 21? No problem, we can get that back in a couple of minutes with a few breaks. There's hope. Whether it turns out to be enough or not, your team is going to do something about that lead. But with a bad offense it just seems hopeless. Your bumbling offense turns it over in your own end early in the game, the other team capitalizes, and the resulting seven-point lead that feels completely insurmountable.