I watched the Dallas Cowboys blow another season last night, againt the New York Giants. This has become standard in the Jerry Jones era, after Jimmy Johnson and the one Super Bowl champ;ionship with the team that Johnson built. It has also become standard in the Tony Romo era, as the main Cowboy quarterback after Troy Aikman. Jerry Jones was always hopeless, but Tony Romo seemed to offer hope, until he PROVED that he simply is unable to do what it takes to win games you have to win. His tatistics arfe fine. His skills are fine. And it is not exactly "heart" or "toughness". Whatever intanglibe quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Tery Bradshaw, Johnny Unitas, Bat Starr, John Ellway, and the rest had, however, Tony Romo just does nto seem to have. As this blog told you way back when i was noting that Tony LaRussa had become a FAILURE in the Ben Bernanke era (another FAILURE over the past vive years--my crticism of LaRussa being SOLELY responsible for the St. Louis Cardinals being world cahmpions, as evidence by the fact that La Russa's Cardinals begqan their push toward the playooffs eXACTLY the same time that this blog article on LaRussa was posted), baseball is merely a game. It is not life and death. But this is FOOTBALL. Football is NOT merely a game. It IS life and death. Thus, it depresses me to talk any further about Jerry Jones and Tony Romo, or the Dallas Cowboys. I am begining to feel like a Chicago Cubs fan, and their can't be any worse feeling than that. The Cowboys have been "my team" since Roger Staubach,. I do, of course, live in Texas , although El Paso is clower (by far) to Phoenix than it is to Dallas (or Arlington or Irving). Enough. I would rather talk about sportscasters, and specifically Chris Collinsworth.
Sportscasters are, in general, stupid people. As you know "journalists"in general share the "nonor" of being The Stupidest People n Earth with Wall Street/financial peoople (like Bernanke, CNBC people and Wall Street Journal people)--although leftists in general are in contention. Sportscasters are the WORST of the "journalists", which may make them The Stupidest People Who Have Ever Lived (including Neanderthal Man in the comparison). You may think this is because sportscasters are often former professional athletes, but that does not explain people like Howard Coseell, Al Michaels and the rest. Howard Cosell was one of the stupidest men I have ever heard on television, as former Dallas quarterback Don Meredith exposed virtually every night in the "Golden Age" of Monday Night Football. Thus, we come to Chris Collinsworth, who is one of the STUPIDEST of the sportscasters--making him automatically one of the stupidest men who has ever lived.
Doubt me? Never do that. Collinsowrth is NOT a "one-hit" wonder. He has EARNED his standing as one of the stupidest men who ever lived over time. Take my word for it. But you don't have to take my word for last night, as NBC (home of a remarkable number of the stupidest "journalists" around--making NBC the natural home for MANY of the stupidest people who have ever lived) presented Collinsworth as its "expert" commentator on Sunday Night Football.
Let me set this up for you. It was early in the 4th quarter. The Cowboys--as Romo took advantage of a Giant team that was obviously "sitting on" a 21-0 halftime lead--were on the comeback trail. They were still down 21-7, but they had a 4th down and 1 on the Giant 10 yard line (after a typical Romo play ened up JUST SHORT of a first down). Collinsworth, et. al., were just talking aobut what a "big decision" this was (not true--it was an OBVIOUS decision), when Romo rushed the Cowboys to the line to try to catch the Giants off guard with a "qucik snap" quarterback sneak (the kind of play upon which Tom Brady has made a living). Romo FAILED, and the Giants took over on downs. The OTHER "analyst" noted that this made the decision to "go for it", rather than kick a field goal, a BAD decison ONLY if the Giants were able to move the ball. Collinsworth--again, one of the stupidest man who has ever lived--ws obviously not listening to the person right there with him, as he NEVER listens (in my experience hearing him "analyze" things).
What happened? The Giants could not make a first down. They not only had to punt, but Des Bryant brought the punt back quite a ways, and a personal foul gave the Cowboys 15 more yards. Suddenly, the Cowboys were inside of the 30--hardly much worse off than they had just been on the 10, as they now had a first down. A play or two later, the Cowboys scored a touchdown, and were only behind 21-14---the same as they MIGHT have been had they MADE that 4th and 1 first down try. Thus, the failure to kick a field goal--as the OTHER NBC analyst had poknted out without Collinsworth bothering to listen--had SUCCEDED for the Dallas Cowboys. They had got their touchdown--not a field goal--partly BECAUSE they had "gone for it" (and failed), rahter than kick the field goal. This mad the 4th down failure by the Cowboys, and the good play by a Giant player (which Collinsworth had GUSHED about), a MEANINGLESS play. At most, it had cost the Cowboys maybe 2 or 3 minutes--not nothing, but hardly one of the game's key plays. The Cowboys were within a touchdown, and there was sitll more than half of the 4th quarter left to play.
In fact, the Cowboys looked likely to get the ball right back after the Giants got the ball. Manning (I think on a thrid down play) ws in DEEP TROUBLE, and the Cowboys should have SACKED him. For all the world, it looked just like the play in the Giant Suerp Bowl win, when the Patriots had Manning sacked, only to see him throw the ball up for grabs, and have the Gian receiver come down with the ball. That is what happened. Manning whirled around, and seemed to jsut loft the ball almost blindly twoard a Gian receiver way down field (Victory Cruz). History repeated itself, and Cruz out-jumped the Cowboy defensive back from the ball (despite the defsive back being in perfect position to break up the play). The gain ws 43 yeards or so. The Giants would get a field goal, after running some time off, and the Cowboys were suddenly in pretty desperat sahpe (down 10 points--they would lose by 17). THIS Manning play was THE key play of the game, but NOT for Collinsworth (agian, one of The Stupidest Men Who Ha Ever Lived).
What did Collinsworth say after the Giants kicked a field goal? You should have guessed it. He said that IF the Cowboy's coach had jsut kicked that field goal (see above), the Cowboys would only be behind "one score" (a touchdown), and not in such desperate shape. What cn you say about a man this STUPID. IF the Cowboys had kicked that field goal, they would be behind ELEVENPOINTS (instead of 7), and the Giants' field goal wold have put them back ahead 14. Collinsworth was INGORING the fact that the Coowboys had scored their touchdown MAINLY BECAUSE they had "gone for it" on 4th down, and failed. This had led directly to the Cowboys scoring a touchdown a few minutes later, as Collinsworth's own colleague had TOLD Collinswroth would be the test of whether it had been right or wrong to go for the first down on 4th down (not exactly true, since yo can't operate from hindsight, and "going for it" awas ALWAYS the right decision, because it gave you TWO chances to succeed: make the fist down or hold the Giants and be in good position to be right back down deep in Giant territory, which is what acutally happened).
What Collinsworth was ASSUMMING (with NO justification whatever) was that teh Cowboys woulld have socred their touchdown ANYWAY, after successfully kicking the field goal and then kicking off to tthe Giants. There is NO reason to assume that this would have happened. What actually happened was about as GOOD as the Cowboys could possibly have hoped for. They FAILED to make the first down, but promptly scored a touchdown only abut 3 minutes later, after STOPPING the Giants. As stated, this made the Giant play stoppping the Cowboys on 4th down pretty much MEANINGLESS. The Cowboys were pretty much in the same position they would have been had they MADE the first down. The few minutes they lost were NOT crucial to the outcome.
Was it POSSILBE thta things would have gone the way CollinsworthASSUMED (with no justification--an "ass of you and me" when you assume)? Sure. IF theCowboys had kicked the field goal, kicked off, and promptly held the Giants, the Cowboys MIGHT have been able to go right back down, after the Giants punt, and score a touchdown. But it is UNLIKELY that it would have happened as easily as it did after the Giants took over on downs. Remember, the Cowboys STARTED that next possession INSIDE THE GIANT 30, as a DIRECT result of the Giants taking over on downs at their own 10. There is NO reson to believe it would have been thaqt easy for the Cowboys if they had kicked the field goal.
Wait,. Collinsworth was not thrugh. Remember that Manning pass paly? What do you think Collinsworth later (when it was obvius that the Giants had won the game) said was the KEY play of the game? Right (if you have been paying attention). Collinsworth went back t the defensive player who COLLINSWORTH had GUSHED over for that 4th down stop, and credited him with the "KEY PLAY" of the game? You just can't get any mroe STUPID than that. This blog has desbribed it to you accurately. No matter how good the defensive play was, to stop Tony Romo on that 4th down quarterback sneak (the main problem being that this "ploy" of a quck quarterback sneak is becoming too COOMN and OBVIOUS), the game had gone in such a way tat the play had turned out to be MEANINGLESS. The Cowboys had gotten to within a touchdonw RIGHT AWAY, mainly BECAUSE of that fialed quarterback sneak and immmeidately following events. The Cowboys were in position to have a chance to TIE the game, with momentum and trailing by only a touchdown. Instead, Manning completed that "Hail Mary" (almost) 43 yeard pass, and the Cowboy season was pretty much over. Collinsworht got it WXACTLY WRONG, even after his fellow analyst had TOLD HIM the correct way to view this.
As stated, this is NOT an isolated performance in stupidity by Collinsworth Is he really thi sDUMB, or is it just picking up on the standard sportscaster method of MISREPRESENINTG what has happened? I think it is a combinatino of both. Collinsworth really is this STUPID (as indicatred by his failure to even listen what was told to him), but he is also simply copying the STUPIDITY of sportscasters in general. They ALL seem to make these comletely false assertions as to the significancdee of certain plays and decisions, based on totally false assumptions as to how the game would have proceeded if different vents had occurred, or different decisions had been made. Say, for example, that Maning had thrown that 43 yard pass, and it had been INTAERCEPTAED. Say that the Cowboyd had then gone down and tied the game, and had WON the game larter. Would Colinsworth have said that the INTERCEPATION had "turned the game around"? If he were true to sportscaster fro, that is excatly what he would have said. And it would have been FALSE. Manniing was under extreme pressure. He HAD to throw the ball. He chose to throw it WAY DOWN FIELD. So long as the Cowboys did not return an interception a long ways, this was AS GOOD AS A PUNT. It would have been a MEANIGNLESS INTERCEPTION, since the Giants would have had to punt the ball away anyway (if Manning had simply thrown the ball away, or gotten sacked).
"Skip, you don't know as much as Collinsworth about football." So what? This is not about FOOTBAL. This is about LOGIC, and WATCHING what actually is happening (instead of simply saying things because they sound good, and track what sportscasters have always said). If you are gonig to ANALYZE a game, then you should ANALYZE what has really happened--not the "sportscaster way" of putting emphasis on MEANINGLESS events. The way to look at an interception is to look at what the situation would have been if the interception had not happned. For that matter, say that one team returns an interception for a touchdown. Really important play, right? Probably. But what if the ensuing kickoff is RETURNED FOR A TOUCHDOWN (a play that would not have happned but for the interception)? Then the interceptoin becomes pretty much MEANINGLESS as far as the outcome of the game, because its effect was NEGATED by the next play. Sportscasdters seem unable to analyze the game the way it actually is unfolding, and this is because they are some of The Stupidest People Who Have Ever Lived. Plus, they have CONTEMPT for their audience.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). Yes, if I could SEE I WOULD have made a better sportscaster than Chris Collinsworht, and definitely a better "analyst". Even though most of my life I could see reasonably well, I have never really had acute eyesight since I became severly near sighted at the end of high shcool. Yes, I used to be able to red, drive, and do all kinds of things I can't do now. But I really have never had the eyesight, and ability to see detail, to see accurately what is going on, in detail, in a football play. Maybe mot people can't, and maybe a former footgall palyer has more idea as to what exactly to look for on an individual play. However, they have all of this HELP (spotters, statisticians, etc.). It wuold be nice if they could actualy ANALYZE allof the data that is HANDED to them. Even blind, I could ndo a better job than they do.