February 16, 2014 in Sports

Super Bowl fixed in memory

A Grip On Sports
 
Associated Press photo

How many times have you watched Russell Wilson dump Gatorade on Pete Carroll?
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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink.

Monday: We did it. We got through a weekend without NFL football. So I want to know. How many of you spent Sunday re-watching the Super Bowl? Admit it. It’s OK. It’s not something you need to hide.

I know someone who has the Super Bowl on his DVR three times. There is the version he taped live, the long version shown by the NFL Network and the network’s short version, with all the extraneous stuff edited out – and some extra commentary from the players themselves. That’s a lot of memory – computer version – used on one event.

Myself, I like to utilize a different type of memory. The non-computer version. Yes, I’ve sat and watched one of the replays the NFL Network showed. And it was worth my time – once. By the second quarter I realized I was saying to myself “Oh, this is the play where…” a lot.

The game has been seared into my memory, like the 79 I once shot at Liberty Lake or the day we adopted our first dog. If need be I could probably read the play-by-play and have a thought on each one, from the first snap into the end zone to Doug Baldwin’s sort-of-pedestrian touchdown.

I still have a list of commercials I liked on my phone. The  Chevy truck commercial celebrating cancer survivors made me cry. My wife, Kim, is one, so when the woman in the commercial looked out the window, saw the sunrise and reached over to touch her husband, I lost it. Darn you Chevy. I will never buy one of your vehicles now. You made me tear up on one of the better days of my life.

But that was so yesterday. (Last Sunday) we all had to get through the day without our NFL fix. Instead we had to fill our life with something else.

I took a nap. A long nap. From 1 to 4. And had a dream. A dream Seattle won the Super Bowl. Perfect.

Thursday: Let’s get this right. The NCAA is contemplating a rule making it a “delay of game” penalty if a football team snaps the ball too quickly?

Are college defenses at a disadvantage these days? Yes they are. The rulemakers have made it that way. Why? Because offense thrills the fans and makes for a more exciting product. That’s cool.

So why change? A  rule was proposed this week that would make it a penalty if the offense snapped the ball before 10 seconds had run off the play clock. This allows the defense a chance to substitute and would trim one or two plays a game.

Yep, about one or two plays a game. Most teams rarely snap the ball that quickly. However, they use the threat of a snap to keep the defense on its heels. And defensive-minded coaches don’t like it.

We ask again, so why change? There should be only one real reason but there might be a couple bogus ones. The real one? If you think you can make the game safer. That’s actually a good reason for any rule.

Study the game, see definitively if injuries occur more often because of hurry-up offenses and the increase in snaps, and then discuss a rule change. As far as I can discover, studies like that haven’t been done.

So that brings us to the bogus reasons. Nick Saban doesn’t like hurry-up, no-huddle, race-to-the-line-of-scrimmage offenses. He’s voiced his opinion before, saying they cause more injuries. He had no evidence, mind you, but when Alabama’s coach speaks you might as well chisel it into tablets. From his lips to the NCAA’s ears. And he’s not alone.

There is a growing schism in college football between those who have embraced the lightning speed and those would rather play a more plodding style. The latter believe the rules have tilted too far toward the other side.

Yes, games take too long. But that can’t be a worry, can it, as each year more and more replay – and the ensuing delays – is mandated. So why this rule and why now? Could it be a hurry-up Auburn team cost the Crimson Tide – and Pope Nick – another national title?

That’s too simplistic. And giving the SEC’s most powerful school too much credit. But something is at work here. Something other than the NCAA’s usual penchant for audacious behavior.


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