HANG. ON. TO. THE. BALL.

2 07 2007

I promise not to make a pun using “crush”

Some thoughts on ball control, and specifically Kansas City’s final-drive-lack-there-of, after the jump:

The Colorado Crush, to their credit, put up a lot more of a fight than I previously predicted they would (I believe I wrote something to the effect of “Raymond Philyaw, He Who Looks Suspiciously Similar to Byron Leftwich, Shall be Showered in Petals of Rose and Felated by Serfs as he Launches His Ball as, His Seed, Deep into the Endeth Zone for Easy Righteous Victory and Expensive Paternal Lawsuits”) as the Crush jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. Philyaw found a rhythm (or whatever it is you ‘find’ to ‘stop blowing’) on offense, by half time, the score was 28-23, Kansas City ahead by 5.

Colorado QB John Dutton and WR Damien Harrell (that upstanding young gentleman pictured above) connected late in the 3rd to put Colorado up by 6, and the Crush managed to maintain a lead through most of the 4th quarter, until Brigade DB Kenny Mcentyre pulled off a pick-6 to tie the game up at 42. Dutton and Harrell connected again to go up by 7, but made the classic NFL Blitz error of leaving too much time on the clock for Kansas City to score and either tie it up or go for 2 and the win.

With 9 seconds left on the clock, Kansas City within the 10, poised and ready to keep the Brigade in the game – fumbled snap. The ball skitters across the field like pig parts on the freeway from an overturned garbage truck, and Philyaw jumps on the ball and desperately starts signaling for KC’s final time out at 5 seconds. The clock stops at 2. Just as there is NO PUNTING and VERY LITTLE RUSHING, there are NO VIDEO REVIEWS in the AFL, so Kansas City has one shot from midfield, instead of maybe 2 had the clock stopped at 5 seconds.

Rather than opt for the Off-The-Net-Hail-Mary, KC sends its receivers on various routes to the endzone, Philyaw zeros in on WR Anthony Hines who has a half-step of separation on a deep flag in the end zone. Philyaw gives him a beautiful throw, down and away, so it’s either Hines or nobody. Hines is able to get his hands on it – but that scrappy WR/DB John Q. Nobody comes up with the catch. Kansas City loses at home, Colorado moves on to a sure-loss against San Jose next Saturday.

Hang on to the ball. Hines not catching the game-tying TD pass (assuming the PAT was good, which is never a sure thing in the Arena league) is understandable, but the bad snap before it? It looked like me this past winter for an annual game of snow football when I tried to QB while wearing wet leather WR gloves (which, coincidentally, made me look like Sexy Rexy in the Super Soaked Bowl as well – it’s what I deserve for wearing a kicker’s jersey in a game of snow football)(Robbie Gould’s, since you asked wise-ass), which, needless to say, did not work out so well. Isn’t beating the elements why you play indoors in the first place? Aside from the novelty of playing an outdoor sport indoors, that is.

Overall, kind of a sloppy game on both sides of the ball – a total of five turnovers and almost 150 yards worth of penalties illustrates the fact that neither of these teams would advance far in the playoffs (prove me wrong, Colorado – I dare you). A sad loss for the on again/off again KC Brigade. If the Brigade Girls need consoling, please hit us up on the tipline. Hats off to John Dutton, who overcame 2 picks to lead the Crush to a narrow win. Also, credit has to go to John Elway – John Madden Hybrid Head Coach Mike Dailey, otherwise we don’t have an excuse to post his picture and comment on how he looks like a hybrid of John Elway and John Madden.

It’s uncanny.

Well, that or just John Elway with a John Candy appetite.

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