Thursday, October 11, 2007
What if some kickers had actually gotten a second chance?
As we all know, the stupidest fad in both college and pro football is calling a timeout right before a potential game-winning kick is made.
Ever since Mike Shanahan managed to get this to work against the Raiders and professional fat man Sebastian Janikowski, we've seen multiple coaches try it, from Lane Kiffin, to Urban Meyer, to Dick Jauron. It worked for Kiffin, since the Raiders blocked the second kick, but it didn't work at all for Meyer or Jauron.
But here's the point. At some time in the future, a kicker is going to miss the first field goal attempt and then nail the second attempt. Which will make the coach who called the time out look and feel like the biggest idiot in the world. Most kickers actually think it's an advantage to have what is in essence a full-speed practice attempt. They can also stamp down the kicking spot again to further flatten the kicking zone, or if there's wind, they can see how the ball moves on their first kick. It seems to make more sense to freeze the kicker well BEFORE the snap, thereby not allowing him to have what is basically a practice kick.
This trend is so new though, and since it's yet to backfire on a coach, we thought we'd take a look to see what might have happened if coaches had actually called a timeout right before some of football's most famous missed field goals. So here we go.
1991: Florida State kicker makes his second attempt on a 34-yard field goal. The University of Washington goes on to win the National Championship instead of having to split it with the U. Luther Campbell ends his relationship with the U in disgust to help turn South Florida into a perennial powerhouse.
1991: Scott Norwood makes his second attempt on the 47-yard field goal. Bills win the Super Bowl and go on to win three more in a row. Bill Parcells quits football in disgust. World rejoices.
1992: Florida State kicker makes second attempt on 39-yard field goal. Noles go on to face Alabama in the National Championship instead of Miami. Alabama loses, Nick Saban decides on the spot to never coach Alabama and always remain loyal to one team.
1999: With under two minutes to go in regulation in the NFC Championship, Gary Anderson makes second attempt on 38-yard field goal to put Minnesota up 30-20 against the Atlanta Falcons. Minnesota goes to the Super Bowl, beats Denver. Randy Moss becomes most celebrated rookie in NFL history, vows to stay in Minnesota for life, team goes on to win 3 more Super Bowls. Sex boat scandal never happens.
2006: Mike Vanderjagt quickly recovers and drills his second 46-yard attempt sending the AFC title game into OT. Colts go on to win and Manning becomes the most hated football player in NFL history, ending any potential future endorsement deals. Riots engulf Pittsburgh as fans threaten to kill Paul Tagliabue in retaliation for worst officiated game in NFL history. Colts lose Super Bowl after Manning's right arm is torn off in the first quarter by Lofa Tatupu.