By Steve Kallas
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Tony Romo is 31 years old. This is his sixth season as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He’s a three-time Pro Bowl player. Yet, he makes some of the dumbest decisions imaginable in big spots.
You know the plays. Fourth quarter, Cowboys-Jets, Sunday night, Cowboys up seven and driving. Third and goal, all the Cowboys need is a field goal to make it a two-score game. Romo looks for Dez Bryant in the end zone, but Bryant is covered. So Romo brings the ball in and decides, inexplicably, to try and be a hero.
He runs towards the goal line and tries to split two guys to score the heroic touchdown that will put his team up 14. Of course, it doesn’t dawn on him to just fall down in the middle of the field, making it a chip-shot field goal and a two-possession game. Nor does it dawn on him to slide, thus avoiding any hard hits and a possible fumble.
No, Tony room puts his head down, dives towards the goal line, comes up two yards short – and fumbles.
Unbelievable. Eventually the Jets, who should be given great credit for taking advantage of Romo mistakes to become the first team ever (in 284 games where the Cowboys had a big lead) to beat the Cowboys when the Cowboys had a 14 or more point lead going into the fourth quarter, tie up the game at 24 and Dallas gets the ball.
But Romo, trying to hit Bryant (who looked hobbled the entire second half) on a short pass, throws the ball right to Darrelle Revis, who intercepts it, setting up a Nick Folk 50-yard, game-winning field goal.
While Romo was soundly criticized for making a stupid throw, many prefaced their fumble comments with “Tony Romo was trying to make a play on the fumble.”
But Tony Romo, by now, has to grow up and make intelligent decisions. There was no reason to “try and make a play” up seven when a chip-shot field goal would have put Dallas up 10. Somehow, he gets caught up in the moment and is unable to make the right decision. If he’s down seven, that’s a smart move (to try and score). If he’s up seven, that’s a stupid play.
And the scary thing is that, at 31, Tony Romo still doesn’t know the difference.
And the Jets took full advantage of those mistakes.
Antrel Rolle is 28 years old. This is his seventh year in the NFL and his sixth as a starter. He is a two-time Pro Bowl player. Yet his “inner dog,” as he likes to call it, can get him into trouble.
You Giant fans know the play. Fourth quarter, Giants down seven, Redskins with a third and nine from their own 45. Rex Grossman throws a six-yard pass to Fred Davis, who has to leave his feet and come back towards Grossman to catch the ball (three yards short of the first down). If you were watching as a Giant fan, you felt great because you knew that your team would now get the ball back with a chance to tie the game.
But Antrel Rolle, very late, comes in and hits Davis hard, helmet-to-helmet. It could have been a late hit, a helmet-to-helmet hit, unnecessary roughness, you take your pick (Corey Webster also came in and simply touched Davis, who was still on the ground). Personal foul on Rolle, 15-yard penalty, automatic first down. After the game, both Rolle and coach Tom Coughlin disputed the call.
You know what happened. Rex Grossman drives the Redskins down the field for a TD to put them up 28-14. Game over.
After reviewing the tape, Rolle told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that “It was a legit call. Wasn’t intentional.”
The NFL is a different world today than it was 10 years ago, never mind 20, 30 or more years ago. The quarterback, the “defenseless” receivers, etc. are protected more now than ever before. While it is hard for players to adjust to these changes, especially defensive players with that inner dog, they have to adjust in 2011.
Or, sometimes, cost their team a chance to tie and/or win an NFL football game.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Hard to believe that, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there would be any problem with the New York Mets wearing any hat that they wanted to wear to honor the fallen heroes of 9/11.
But leave it to major league baseball to screw that up.
It doesn’t really matter who you believe. Joe Torre, now employed by MLB, went on WFAN and told Mike Francesa that he was involved with the decision to not allow the Mets to wear the FDNY (for example) hats because he wants things to be “uniform.” Indeed, Torre said that all major league cities were “affected” by 9/11.
Hard to believe that the Brooklyn-born Torre would say these things.
The reality is that, although cities like Seattle and Oakland (just to pick two) certainly were affected, to some degree, by 9/11, to even think about comparing them to New York City and the affect that 9/11 had on NYC is utterly ridiculous.
Now, according to the New York Post, Bud Selig is angry that the Mets threw MLB “under the bus” with respect to this fiasco. Everybody in MLB is doing damage control.
Is this a big deal?
You bet it is. Torre cuts against his own argument when he admitted that, to his knowledge, the Mets were the only team to make a request to wear the hats. Presumably, if the Yankees were home, they would have made a similar request (the Yankees were on the West Coast).
To not allow the Mets to wear hats to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 was a stupid decision. If the Mets were afraid to defy any edict because of their precarious position with major league baseball, then that was a stupid decision.
Whether you like it or not, we live in a corporate world where very few are willing to buck the system and stand up for the obvious right from wrong.
Now more than ever.
Dan Mullen has done an excellent job revitalizing the football program at Mississippi State. But you probably didn’t see this play. Down seven to Auburn, with 10 seconds left in the game on Saturday, Mississippi State decided to run the ball (no timeouts left).
According to Mullen, he sent in both a run play and a pass play for quarterback Chris Relf, who is a pretty good player. Inexplicably (the decision should not have been left up to the player), Relf decides to keep the ball on the option, runs it, falls just short of a touchdown and the clock runs out.
Game over. Mississippi State loses to Auburn, 31-24.
It’s a stupid decision to turn two plays into one, which is what Mississippi State did. Why would Mullen send in a potential run play with no timeouts left? Here’s what the coach said, “Chris made the call on the last play of the game. We gave him two choices (pass or run). I put it in his hands and he made the right call. I like that. I like that confidence. “
The coach went on, according to the Associated Press, “Chris said, ‘I feel great about this run call.’ It looked like he had it and the kid made a heck of an open-field tackle.”
Good grief. To turn two plays into one, no matter how good the run play looks, is just plain stupid.
Bizarre that a coach would allow a player to choose to run with 10 seconds left, no timeouts left, and down seven.
That’s what Mississippi State did and, at a minimum, it cost them at least another chance to tie (win?) the game.
Presumably, if and when the same situation arises again, the coaching staff will have a different take on the call.
Who else had made some bad decisions lately? Leave a comment below.