The Breakdown: Sad Sunday
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Sure, I’ve had worse days than Sunday – I just can’t think of any at the moment. Between the Knee Injury Heard ‘Round the World, listening to Joe Buck for three-and-a-half hours, The Freezer icing the game, Brian Urlacher getting (easily) caught and tackled by a quarterback on a potential game-changing play, the Bears’ offense looking as pitiful as Caleb Hanie’s mustache and listening to Joe Buck for three-and-a-half hours, the NFC Championship ranks up there with only Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS as the two worst moments in my life as a fan.
And, yes, I know I mentioned Joe Buck twice.
Really, if there’s such thing as hell, it would be watching Joe Buck call that game over and over and over and over and over without having the ability to stand up and yell, “The guys’ quarterback rating is barely higher than his center’s jersey number! Stop effing saying how great Aaron Rodgers is playing!”
It was a bad day, a bad loss – There were remotes being thrown, hats being crumpled and stepped on, monosyllabic screams, and babies crying (my son’s sick, maybe from watching the game), all leading me into a Ron Burgundy-like stupor where I didn’t move or say anything discernible for at least an hour.
Milk was a bad choice.
Anyway, this led to me refusing to watch the second game (much to the delight of my wife), and instead, popping in “Back to the Future II.”
Strange turn of events, I know, but it actually helped me put everything in perspective. You see, there were two things in that movie that helped to shine some light on my misery as a fan.
The first is that in 2015 (the year Doc Brown takes Marty to in order to salvage the McFly family), the Cubs will win the World Series. Book it. If “Back to the Future” says it, it’s true. (That also means in four years we’ll have flying cars, hover boards and pizzas that cook in about 7 seconds, yet still use fax machines; it’ll be awesome.)
The second part is that being able to adapt on the go is the most crucial aspect in any sport, or in any situation where the space time continuum could be destroyed by an old man taking a sports almanac back to the year 1955.
Throughout the movie, things continually go wrong for Marty and Doc, but each time, they alter their plan and wind up coming through in the end.
See what I’m getting at? This is what good coaching should be like. This is how games are won and lost. Sure, you go into the game with one game plan, but when things go south, you have to make adjustments, you have to stray from your strict system and use the players you have in the situation you’re in to get the win.
More than anything, a coach (at every level in every sport) is simply supposed to take the players they have and put them in the best possible situation to succeed.
Still, in football we see coach after coach flaunt their system and stick to it through wins and losses; they ride their systems no matter what their talent should dictate them to run.
Urban Meyer stuffed his spread down his players’ throats this season, and it blew up. Rich Rodriguez’s spread may have looked nice this year at Michigan, but his first two seasons, he didn’t have the players – and they didn’t score any points.
Even Lou Holtz, as coach of the 1976 New York Jets, attempted to run the veer option in the NFL. Let me repeat that, a Hall of Fame coach tried to run the friggin’ option in the NFL.
Examples are prevalent throughout the sport, a glaring one in the Bears’ offense on Sunday. Mike Martz’s system was pretty great with Kurt Warner throwing screens to Marshall Faulk or going vertical to Tori Holt. But in Chicago, he doesn’t have the personnel.
I know, Chicago had a few other things go wrong Sunday, but if the Bears’ offense simply outscored the Green Bay defense by more than 14 points, Chicago would be heading to the Super Bowl.
Really, if there was more Doc Brown than Biff Tannen in their play calling, I would’ve had a much better day.
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