If the most ambitious, colossal defense in modern history – France’s 280-mile Maginot Line, built in the 1930s to thwart a German invasion – turned out to be a colossal failure, what leads football coaches of either species to believe that they can be successful?
Defensive measures are both football’s version of institutionalized insanity and insanity that should be institutionalized.
Just like in 1968, when “Harvard beats Yale, 29-29,” the US national team’s World Cup opener on Monday gave us “Wales beats USA, 1-1.”
The US side, playing with unexpected panache and offensive dominance, would have won that game – in the bag – if only they had stayed the course, a course that saw Wales running backwards for most of the opening 70 minutes.
Even American standout Christian Pulisic was in his right place. Although listed as a forward, he often directed offense from central midfield, from where he hit Tim Weah with a sweet opener pass – a “through ball” in football lingo – to the US result.
And at 1-0, not 2-0, the US kept attacking, right? After all, opponents have a hard time scoring from 100 yards.
But US coach Gregg Berhalter – who wore a black Nike-branded T-shirt that just said “STATES” (huh?) – called for fresh replacements and an outdated idea. prevent defense!
You know, fix what ain’t broke, Aaron Boone Soccer. Pass the NFL team 25 yards per play, then run wide to stop the clock against defenders in a Deep Prevent D!
We have them on the run. What now, General? “We’re retreating!”
And watch the lead disappear!
Soon the penalty area was littered with attacking Welshmen, now a foul was called, now a penalty was scored. USA, who were responsible for much of the game, trudged 1-1 against discouraged losers.
Instead of three points and a big boost to advance to the second round, USA gained a point but lost two. The old Prevent D. As they said after crossing the Maginot Line: “Welcome to Paris!”
The CBS crew rightly leaves it up to Jets
Two notes from last Sunday’s aftermath of the CBS Jets-Patriots: 1) Unlike almost all of the NFL’s pre- and post-game shows, it contained material worth listening to. 2) Phil Simms is beautiful when he’s angry.
After the Jets’ offensive loss without a hitch, Bill Cowher said, “You know the fourth quarter, [Jets] got a third and one and i still see people in the shotgun. And Zach Wilson threw a pass for minus-1.
“At some point you have to be able to walk the football to take the pressure off the young quarterback.” Or, Cowher added, perform some movement plays that delay close-in defense.
Then Simms: “You know what? Here’s what I hate. I hate that phrase, ‘Well, give it to our playmaker in space.’ I hate that. It’s third-and-one. You throw it outside. What happens? You lost a meter!”
Plus amen and encore!
So let’s get this Kyrie Irving-NBA-all-is-taken saga straight:
A white NBA player who genuinely believes the world is flat is promoting a crazy movie on social media that claims slavery didn’t exist before our civil war, that slavery was created by conspiratorial blacks was a fabricated hoax and that blacks had been sent to hell to be roasted.
The Klan then emerges outside the arena to join the player’s view of the story and support their right to free speech.
And the NBA and player’s team welcome back that player after two weeks of trying to extract what sounds like a sincere apology. Commissioner Adam Silver states that he met with this player and finds no evidence that he is racist.
And NBPA officials are publicly competing for that player. Can that possibly happen? No chance.
And yet it is done in racial reversal, with Jews, easy prey, the bait. Holocaust? Never happened! So let’s have a big welcome back ovation for Kyrie Irving!
Television’s Third Down Virus (TDV) – which cuts the field at the most pointless times – continues to gnaw at the central nervous system.
On Sunday, the Jets, trailing 3-0 against the Pats, held third and seventh as CBS switched to back-to-back viewer shots. On FOX, the Lions, who had led 24-12 at the Giants, were in third and 12th place when the field for back-to-back bystander shots disappeared.
We now understand that there is a formula at play, but the ingredients are lazy. Is circumstantial judgment – common sense – no longer the plan?
He’s an honest devil
A good gauge of someone’s honesty is when they’re wrong, even if it’s just a little bit. To that end, Ken Daneyko may be a career fiend — gamer, then TV analyst since 1984 — but his take on reruns includes an admission that his first take may have been wrong.
On Saturday, after New Jersey’s Doug Hamilton hit off his skates on a pass, Daneyko said it was a clean goal — Hamilton didn’t try to deflect it on goal.
But Daneyko expressed concern during a replay, noting a slight movement of Hamilton’s skate blade toward goal. He said he was probably wrong – the goal could be waved off. And that’s what happened.
During Giants radio broadcasts, Eli Manning can be heard as a paid promoter for a local chain of banks. This makes it easier for people to withdraw money to pay off their gambling debts, as recommended in television commercials starring the Manning family.
DraftKings clients this week reported their bank accounts were hacked, with losses totaling nearly $300,000. Anyone remember the DraftKings employee from 2015 who won a bunch of money on FanDuel using “secret” DraftKings data? Both times, DraftKings said there’s no evidence its security procedures were breached, so it must be a major coincidence.
The World Cup couldn’t come without some silly stats TV graphs, so now we have the number of individual player ‘defensive line breaks’ that would be worth explaining if they weren’t irrelevant. But mostly they mean passes that lead nowhere.
Not that we’re surprised, but you don’t see/hear/speak evil on FOX about despotic, theocratic Qatar during the World Cup. Those thousands of imported slave wage cup facility workers dead on return? Don’t be a party muffle!
Independent US Advertisers Continue to Believe We All Love Megan Rapinoe. We are not.
Think how many millions of dollars and how many jobs we could save networks by distinguishing bad from much worse. On Saturday from Texas, FOX had five panelists transported to sit in the cold and each deliver a few worthless words at TCU-Baylor’s halftime.
Although beer was a late fad at World Cup games in Qatar, big, expensive beer adverts ring the bells in stadiums. So remember: no beer. Drink Budweiser.