Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Couple of Minutes of Zen

During last Saturday's Badgers game at Camp Randall Stadium, there was a play that saw quarterback Tanner McEvoy flushed out of the pocket and forced to scramble.  As McAvoy turned the corner, one of his receivers held a defender drawing a flag.  Then as McAvoy went out of bounds, he was hit by a defender--too late in the judgement of the side judge (a bad call by the way).  Because that same official had already thrown his flag for the holding penalty, he had to throw his hat in the air to signify that he was also calling a late hit out of bounds.

The play made me smile--not because the Badgers were going to get an automatic first down on the dead-ball penalty--but rather because I could imagine what John Madden would have had to say about the play if he was doing the game.  Most younger people know John Madden as the "Guy with the awesome football video game" or as the bumbling idiot that comedian Frank Caliendo portrays him to be in his impersonation.  But back in the day, Madden and his play-by-play man, Pat Summerall were actually entertaining.

Here's how I think that play would have gone if Pat and John were calling the Badger game:

Madden--Uh-oh, the official threw his hat!

Summerall--I think we're going to get a late hit penalty here.

Madden (as a replay of the play airs on the screen)--"Yeah, you see the official calls holding on the wide receiver as the quarterback runs past and throws his flag right here--but then the quarterback gets to the sideline and he's going out right here but then BOOM he gets hit by the linebacker too late and the official has to throw his hat because he already threw his flag and he doesn't have anything else to throw there.  It's a good thing there wasn't another penalty on the play or he probably would have had to throw something else--like his shoe. Ha ha ha."  (All the while furiously marking up the Telestrator with circles and arrows around the flag, the hat and the ref's shoe.)

Summerall--"He would have thrown his shoe?

Madden--"Yeah, cuz he wouldn't have had anything else that wasn't, you know, attached.  So he would have had to throw his shoe.  And you never want a ref to throw his shoe because you know it's going to be a fifteen yard penalty.  A ref will never throw his shoe for a false start or a holding penalty--it's always going to be for, like, a late hit out of bounds or unnecessary roughness or something like that."

Summerall--"Did you ever have an official throw a shoe on you?"

Madden--"No. But I think Lyle Alzado once tackled a guy and took off the guy's shoe and threw it off the field so he couldn't be in on the next play.  But Lyle Alzado was crazy."

Summerall--"On first and ten the give is to Gordon for six."

I miss that kind of "analysis".  It's better than breaking down the "double cross, backside stunt blitz" and the "poor pursuit angle" that today's color guys think they have to use to prove they are "football geniuses".

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