Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Monday, February 07, 2005
Teams of talented competitors clashed yesterday in a battle that will, for many of them, be the peak moment of their careers. I didn't see the full competition, but, in what I did see, there was a clear winner: the Visa superhero commercial was definitely the cleverest.
In between, there was also a ball game, which led me to ponder one of the deep questions of our age: why is it that NFL coaches, presumably intelligent guys who are the absolute cream of their profession, have never figured out how to manage the clock after devoting decades to the game? If I were a player, I'd be tempted to imitate Brad DeLong and ask, "Why are we coached by these idiots?"
The announcers today noted the bizarre behavior of the Eagles, who continued to huddle between plays and stroll casually to the line of scrimmage even as time was ending their chances. But they failed to note the ultimate consequence of that beginner's blunder: because Philadelphia had only 2 time-outs left, they were forced to attempt an onside kick after scoring a touchdown with 1:48 left. The kick was recovered by the Patriots, as onside kicks are almost 90% of the time when opponents know one is coming, and the game was essentially over.
If they had gone to the no huddle offense when the drive started, as they clearly should have, there would have been more time on the clock: in fact over two minutes. The Eagles could have kicked deep, knowing they had two time-outs and the two minute warning to stop the clock. If the kickoff had been reasonably defended and New England held, as they were in the game, to a three and out possession, Philadelphia would have gotten the ball back in good field position with an excellent chance of at least getting a good shot at a field goal to force overtime.