Finding Mudville: Parity or Parody?

  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014

There’s something fishy about NFL football and it’s not the Miami Dolphins.

I saw these sports headlines from the Wildcard Weekend playoff games from Saturday, Jan. 4 that read, “Colts win 45-44 after miraculous comeback,” and “Saints edge Eagles on last second field goal.”

I’m beginning to believe these games are scripted, won or lost not on the field of play, but decided by Rozellian Scribes, these monk-like disciples locked away high in some ivory tower office in downtown New York, followers of longtime commissioner Pete Rozelle whose NFL vision of parity included everybody finishing 8-8 and all games being decided by last second scores and amazing comebacks.

Sadly, today’s game of football isn’t parity but instead a parody of what used to be a great game.

I’m not saying the games are fixed. I’m saying the games follow a script. Like pro wrestling.

Last year’s quest for the Super Bowl game script was a masterpiece: the lights went out and the Baltimore Ravens rallied from a three touchdown deficit in the second half to win the Harbaugh Bowl.

Like wrestling, they play, play hard, even get hurt, but for analytical hype, ratings and the almighty advertising dollar there is an amazing fourth quarter comeback.

Think about it.

Hulk Hogan (Baltimore) is down, almost out under the mystic power of the Iron Sheik’s infamous claw hold, and then when all hope seems lost, Hulk finds that tiny spark to ward off the final pin.

He starts to battle back.

He starts to recover.

And as the crowd roars Hulk Hogan turns the tide, implements his own signature pile driver move and seizes the day with a win over the villainous Iron Sheik.

Lately, NFL football has become a lot like that.

Either the games are scripted or these coaches are idiots. You build up a 28-point lead then you sit back and try to kill the clock, abandoning the pass that previously sliced an ineffective defense to shreds and opt instead for a sluggish running attack that gives the ball back to the team that’s behind in about 90 seconds, which provides them even more opportunity to score and eat into that lead.

The second scenario, you take the lead with a minute and a half left in the game and you drop your defense back in the “Prevent” in order to avoid the big play touchdown pass. But what you do is allow the 15-to-20 yard gains that allow the opposing offense to gobble up the necessary 40 or 50 yards on three sideline pass plays to get the team into field goal range with five or six seconds left in the game and …

BOOT!

You lose.

So either the game is either scripted or the NFL playbook is flawed.

Take your pick.

The last five playoff games have included a miraculous second half comeback by 21 points or more or a last second field goal to win the game, or both.

Indianapolis and Kansas City, New Orleans versus Philadelphia, Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers over Atlanta in the NFC championship game and Atlanta over Seattle, which allowed for Seattle’s big comeback and Atlanta to win on the last second field goal.

The human mind can only take so many amazing comebacks. I miss the old fashioned blow out.

Call me crazy.

They called Einstein crazy too and look how that turned out.

You’ll be sick of these “Luck”-y headlines by February.

Watch and let’s talk. That’s provided I don’t get a late night visit from the Rozellian Scribe Police.

If I go missing, you’ll at least know why.

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