The Sports Center Effect

This last weekend was the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. There were 3 really good games and the game that the Patriot played in. This is unfortunate because I only had the Patriots game on the calendar for the weekend so that meant other things could get scheduled whenever and I would end up missing many, if not all, of the other games.

Sunday had 2 amazing games. The Steelers lost to the Jaguars in an upset and I got to see the last drive that put the Steelers down by a Field Goal as time expired. It was simply amazing to see how hard they played even though they must have known that they weren’t going to win.

When I got home from being out the New Orleans at Minnesota game was at half time with Minnesota up 17-0. It looked like it was going to be a route and I was glad that I wasn’t really watching it.

I started to do the chores that needed to be done (laundry, straightening up, getting ready for the week) and had the game on in the background.

And then the improbable started to happen. Drew Brees played an amazing half of football and all of a sudden it’s 21-20 New Orleans. After a couple of field goals are exchanged it’s 24-23 New Orleans with Minnesota in possession of the ball.

Case Keenum had made a couple of errors earlier in the game (one interception lead to a touch down and really helped the Saints get back in the game). It looked like he was on track to do something similarly ill-advised.

Then, with 10 seconds left the bar is snapped and he passes the ball to Stefon Diggs who catches the ball. And just as he catches the ball Marcus Williams, a defensive back for New Orleans is cued up to make an ordinary tackle in an extraordinary situation.

I was only on my high school football team for 2 years, but one thing the coaches were always on us about was wrapping up the ball carrier when we were going to tackle. “Wrap him up” they’d scream at us. Over and over again.

It became something we did just so they’d stop yelling at us (for that anyway).

So Marcus Williams is getting ready to tackle Stefon Diggs and all he has to do is “Wrap him up!” But something inside of Willliams’ head is saying, “Sports Center highlight” and instead of going for the boring, but effective arm wrapping tackle, he tried to hit Diggs with his shoulder to hopefully get the ball to be knocked loose.

Instead, he whiffs by Diggs who spins, plants his hand on the ground to stay up and proceeds to run 60 yards for the game winning, walk-off, touchdown.

I truly believe that Williams was thinking about how cool it would be to get on Sport Center when he was deciding how to tackle Diggs, and that cost the Saints the game.

Dear Sports center, stop making our sports be bad and our athletes make dumb decisions. Can you just go away now. Ok, thanks, bye