Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, November 28, 2005


I'm watching Monday Night Football, Steelers at the Colts. Indianapolis is 10-0, with the most feared offense in the league: Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Edgerin James. Just one problem--it's the ugliest looking offense to watch. Offensive, even.

From back when I was four years old going to high-school games in Alexandria, Virginia with my family, I was always fascinated by the alternation between order and chaos that is football. The teams organize themselves into neat little huddles. Then they come up to the line and array themselves in orderly formations, waiting for the snap of the ball. Then, when the ball is snapped, everything gets all Cheneyed up. But the guy gets tackled, the whistle blows, and order is restored--huddle, formation, snap.

The Colts' offense does away with all that. They don't huddle. They go immediately into a formation. Manning then runs around for about fifteen seconds, making weird hand signals to his teammates, who keep looking over their shoulders to see him (why that isn't illegal procedure I don't know--usually a little flinch from a down lineman draws a flag). The whole thing is an ugly mess, even if it works better than anyone else's offense. The best teams are usually the most fun to watch--last year's Patriots, the 49'ers of 15 years ago. But the Colts, no matter how effective, are just plain ugly to watch.

Speaking of ugly football, the Lions just fired Steve Mariucci as their coach. The search for an even dumber coach will begin immediately.

Meanwhile, in REAL football, congratulations to Australia for qualifying for soccer's World Cup (Germany 2006), for the first time in 32 years. The Socceroos beat Uruguay in a shootout in Sidney to qualify.