Good Monday Morning to you all,
It’s kind of a slow day and I’m not sure if I really have anything relevant to say… but I’m just gonna start typing and see what we end up with… I’m pretty sure there’s a few things I wanna talk about.. so Let’s Go!
I checked out the Green Bay/Philadelphia playoff game yesterday afternoon. What a battle. That was a classic football game right there. Although, Favre and the Packers really should have gone for it on 4th and 1 rather than trying to pull Philadelphia offside. The Eagles hole season was on the line… no one was gonna jump the gun. It’s been the running game that’s got it done all year for the Pack and that was the worst possible time to stray from it and it did end up costing them. Though in all fairness to the offense, when your defense pins someone down at 4 and 26 and still lets them get to the first down maybe you need to look at them. Aside from all that, something bothered me in watching the post-game show and the Eagles celebration. That, of course, was the verbal bashing that the commentators laid on Brett Favre.
Now I won’t argue the fact that no matter how many fathers you’ve had die on you lately and no matter how many records you’ve set in the NFL and even how many people have said you’re one of the greatest ever that was still one of the worlds shitties passes of all time. There was no chance that any good was gonna come of it. He put his receivers in a situation where they had no chance to succeed and ended up turning the ball over. But let’s look at the big picture here. The Packers don’t even get close to where they did without Favre’s inspired play over the last month or so. From the Monday Nighter just after his father died all the way up until the Overtime of yesterday’s game he was the best player on the team and arguably the only reason the Pack gets that far. He probably made a few hundred good plays to get them that far and it’s all forgotten after one bad one. If the defense could have held McKnab and the Philly offense and FOURTH AND TWENTY SIX it never would have happened. It was a team loss. I guaruntee you not one player went in to the dressing room blaming Favre… it’s just us… the fans and the media that could possibly spin it that way.
I gotta admit I was kinda rooting for the Pack just for that emotional underdog I guess. You have to admire a guy that can put all that out of his head and just go out and win. Favre was quoted as saying that he didn’t want the season to end because up until now he had football to distract him from the pain of his loss…now he’s got free time on his hands. In any rate it sets up for a great NFC Championship game next weekend.
I don’t know how many of you saw the Leafs game on Saturday but it was one of the most god-awfully boring games I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen some boring games before. (See entire Minnesota/Anaheim playoff series last year). The thing that gets me is that we’re still willing to talk about it. The Leafs played New Jersey – long acknowledged as one of the best trapping teams in the league and thus the most boring to watch. Every team that they play knows EXACTLY what they’re going to do…. and no one can beat it. They clog the neutral zone, force the rush to one side, cut it off and dump it back down.
Everyone keeps saying that it’s what’s wrong with the NHL but you can’t fault anyone for it. It’s simply great coaching. You may not like to admit it, but that’s what it is. A coach acknowledges that he may not have the most talented squad in the league and needs to find a way to win. New Jersey has got 3 Stanley Cups in the last decade so how can you ask them to stop doing it. They aren’t breaking any rules. Sure it’s boring… but they don’t care. They care about WINNING! And that’s what they’re doing. They have a big tough defense, a world-class goaltender and a few forwards who can finish when they get the chance. That’s all they need.
Everyone out there saying that they need to find a way to get rid of the trap or make it illegal is looking at things the wrong way because no matter what you do someone will find a way to beat it. What the league really needs is more coaching like that of New Jersey’s and Minnesota’s and other teams. Not because we need more trapping, but because a coach as smart as say Pat Burns would figure out a way to beat it. It’s that simple. Instead of whining about seeing your team lose 1-0 game to a boring team you need to tip your hat to a team that plays their system perfectly and wins Championships because of it and look at your own coach to beat it.
I’m not saying I know how to beat the trap (although I do think if you’d just activate a defenseman to join the rush on the opposite side of the force you’d open up more options) but the other coachs are paid to know it so let them figure it out. Scoring lately has been up around the league so don’t complain about the 2 or 3 teams out of 30 that are boring. It’s still the fastest game out there and sometimes watching a 1 goal game is just as intense as you sit on the edge of your seat waiting for that one break.
Well this has been a very sporting post. Maybe I’ll be back later with something else… Maybe I won’t… But maybe Steve will… or maybe you people shouldn’t be so needy.