Tag:Herman Edwards
Posted on: October 27, 2009 8:32 pm
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Running up the score?

In the aftermath of the New England Patriots’ 59-0 whipping of the Tennessee Titans on October 18, I saw a lot of posts on Sportsline condemning the Pats for running up the score. I saw similar posts from people upset with the Indianapolis Colts for throwing deep late in a blowout 42-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams. I don’t understand why people have been critical of these victories and other blowout wins because the players and coaches are merely doing their jobs and doing them well. It is an absolute shame that we live in a society where limits are placed on how exceptional one is allowed to be.

Competition is what makes sports truly great. Perhaps Herman Edwards knows that fact better than anyone else after considering his “You play to win the game!” rant as then coach of the New York Jets. Following this rant, the Jets finished the year 7-2 to make the playoffs and soundly beat an Indianapolis Colts team led by Edwards’ friend and mentor, Tony Dungy. Was Edwards trying to show up his former boss by winning 41-0? Was this just a lack of class on the part of Edwards for daring to win by such a large margin? I don’t think any reasonable person would argue that that was the case. Edwards was just executing his job as head coach and did it brilliantly that day.

We’ve seen the recent dilution of competition in sports as high school coaches are fired for winning and teams condemned for playing their best. It’s high time that coaches stop worrying about the feelings of opposing players and instead focus on their own team. Instead of feeling bad for the loser, feel bad for the player that has to ride the bench because they played too well and gave their team a big lead. We as a society should encourage excellence because it elevates us. As a Colts fan, I loathe the New England Patriots but still respect their right to walk out on a football field to play 4 quarters regardless of what the score is.
Posted on: September 14, 2009 1:18 pm
 

Bye, Bye Tressel

I haven't posted here in awhile but the latest agonizing defeat has spurred me to thought regarding my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and coach Jim Tressel. It is pretty clear that Tressel is no longer the right man to make the play calls or even stand on the sidelines with the young adults that he coaches.

Don't get me wrong, Tressel has had astounding success in his tenure with the Buckeyes. Even after the USC loss, he boasts an outstanding record of 84-20 with countless Big Ten titles and 3 BCS Bowl victories; one in the 2002 National Championship against the then vaunted Miami Hurricanes. Oh yeah, he's also beaten Michigan.

At almost every other public institution in the country, such a resume would render any notions of his dismissal as nothing short of laughable. However, The Ohio State University has a football program deeply steeped in college football history with a proud tradition. Thus, the latest defeats which have made the Scarlet and Gray the laughingstock of the nation have caused fans to wonder why they have a perceived inability to win the big game. The blame for that primarily lies on the shoulders of Coach Tressel. This is not an exoneration of the players themselves as they have consistently underperformed on the national stage, particularly in 2006 against Florida. Yet even then, one has to wonder if their mediocre play is a result of poor game preparation by the Sweater Vest.

The most recent of what feels like many heartbreaks was perhaps the game when Ohio State looked as good if not better than the opponent. The defense played with intensity, forcing the Trojans into crucial mistakes while the offense however unspectacular, was able to make plays that contributed to the lead they had throughout the game. However, Tressel's poor decisions and play calling turned what could have been a blowout win in favor of Ohio State to a closely contested game and eventual loss. He was aggressive when he should have been cautious in calling for a pass right before the half; the incompletion stopped the clock and gave the Trojans the opportunity to march down the field for a field goal. He was also cautious when he should have been aggressive by settling for a field goal when the Bucks were just mere feet from the scarlet end zone. That's not to mention the conservative and often obvious play calls he made; at one stretch in the game, I believe the Buckeyes ran up the middle on at least 3 consecutive series on first down. Against weak Big Ten opponents, such a faulty game plan might still lead to victory but those same plans have been constantly exposed by the likes of Florida, LSU, Texas and USC.

Winning the Big Ten and beating Michigan should not be enough for Ohio State fans anymore. As then New York Jets coach Herman Edwards said so eloquently, "You play to win the game!" Right now, the Buckeyes play for a Big Ten title and BCS Bowl loss. That is unacceptable for such a storied program and I would like to see a new coach who can maximize the potential of his players and finally put an end to our misery by winning the big game.

 
 
 
 
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