Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So, remember when I was a little mad that everyone was claiming that the Seahawks actually lost on Sunday when they won? And that the Giants dominated us?

Yeah. About that.

Turns out that NFL officials called Holmgren to inform him that not only were one of the Giants touchdowns a result of an incorrect call, but BOTH OF THEM WERE!!!

Jeremy Shockey? Both feet were not down.

Amani Toomer? That first foot's heel WAS on the white line.

Wow. Those were, by the way, the only two touchdowns scored by ELI THE MAGICIAN AND HIS TRAVELLING ORCHESTRA during the entire course of the game.

But, hey, they did dominate us. That is true.

Just so you know that we can rip on a Seattle sportswriter about this as well, I give you the inestimable John Levesque, who never met an argument he couldn't somehow mangle. Today's entry is on the use of instant reply in the NFL. Let's read the genuis at work.

"Never mind that, in hindsight, the NFL says the referee goofed twice. The official stats say the Seahawks-Giants overtime game on Sunday lasted three hours and 51 minutes. Coincidentally, that's roughly how long it took to rule on the five plays challenged and reviewed during the game."

Translation: Never mind that at least two HUGE plays were incorrectly decided by instant replay. The real crime here is that instant replay made the game long. Because Lord knows that "60 Minutes" fans can't wait those extra fifteen minutes. Levesque continues to describe the botched calls, ending with the reversal in overtime of Shockey's catch.

"To describe the 16-yard differential as huge would be to say Donald Trump has no ego. It was enormous, humongous because two incomplete passes by Manning followed, forcing Jay Feely to try a 54-yard field goal. His effort fell short. Given the wretched day Feely had -- he missed earlier from 40 yards and later from 45 -- there's no guarantee he would have made one from 16 yards closer. But with a first down at the 20, it's likely Manning would have moved the Giants a few more yards before having to call on Feely."

So Levesque has just made a convincing argument for the need for instant replay. The overturned Shockey catch in overtime was huge. The Giants would have probably won if that call had not been overturned. Playoff seedings and the entire NFC playoff picture would be different right now. And yet....

"Either way, the replay system remains deeply flawed if a coach has to lose a timeout because the guy upstairs is slow on the uptake. And what if Holmgren had been fresh out of timeouts?
"That was a little bit scary there," Holmgren said Monday. "That should have been done a little bit sooner." Better yet, how about not at all?"

Um.... what? Why would that be better?

"Sunday's five reviews probably consumed 10 to 15 additional minutes. Not a lot in the overall march of the universe. But enough to make the pace of a nationally televised NFL game fall somewhere between snail-ish and tortoise-like."

You are arguing, John Levesque, that it is better to have the game run 10-15 minutes shorter and end with an incorrect call. That is what you are arguing. That is about the stupidest thing I have heard since Skip Bayless saying that the kicking game should be abolished so that teams can't just settle for field-goals, they can only score touchdowns.

"What's more, two review decisions that were rendered on the field -- both involving Giants touchdowns -- were later deemed at the league office to be incorrect, and Holmgren was so informed Monday. So replay and review extends the game, sometimes robbing a team of essential momentum, and the calls aren't necessarily the right ones anyway. Why bother?"

Because not ALL the calls were incorrect, numbskull! The overturned call in overtime WAS correct! It changed the outcome of the game! Do you not see this? Do you not care? Would someone rather be watching "Desparate Housewives"?

"Holmgren might argue that, without review, the Seahawks lose Sunday's game, It's a valid point, but, then, the Seahawks emerged victorious only because the Giants blew three chances to win it. Holmgren will also tell you that hoping for salvation from the officials is a dumb way to play the game. In Nemmers' defense, he's under enormous pressure to make a decision in 90 seconds on each challenged play. The league office, on the other hand, has all the time in the world to second-guess him."

Yes, in Nemmers' defense, he is under enormous pressure. And, yes, it sure did seem like he was calling his wife under that hood for her to tell him the correct call as she watched the game on her huge HDTV, or whatever that one commercial is about. But, Johnny, when you say that the Seahawks emerged victorious ONLY because the Giants blew three chances to win, you're talking out both sides of your mouth on this one.

"Nevertheless, the thinking behind replay and review is to make sure a controversial call is the right call. Yet, even with super slow motion and digital imaging, it remains a subjective exercise that, in different hands, can yield different outcomes. Turns out one man's incontrovertible evidence is another man's reasonable doubt."

Turns out one man's attempt at journalism is another man's toilet paper.

"We're stuck with replay for at least three more seasons. But if the NFL's competition committee, of which Holmgren is a member, really wants to make the game more accessible, enjoyable and entertaining for the fan, it will eventually realize the old way is the preferred way, and instant replay only makes the game longer, not necessarily better."

So, you believe that the game will be more accessible, enjoyable, and entertaining for "The Fan" (whoever that is), if instant replay is abolished and more games are decided on poor calls. You want us to go back to the phantom touchdown days of Vinny Testeverde. Fantastic. Wow. Um, keep up the good work, ok?

Gavin: My favorite part of the Monday Night Countdown broadcast had to be their "Jacked Up" idiocy where they all scream at the camera on hard tackles. The #2 hit was Marquand Manuel's decleating of Jeremy Shockey on that first "touchdown". They all gasp at the hit and then Tom Jackson said something to the effect of... "Did he have both feet down?" So even idiots just looking at the hit could tell that was an awful call.

posted by colin_hesse @ 9:09 AM  0 comments


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