September 22, 2008

The Sporting Gods are Angered!

Well, what a sporting weekend!

I watched all the action in the Ryder Cup and Europe lost for the first time in forever. Then I switched over and watched the Indianapolis Colts lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars (Thats NFL or 'gridiron', for those not in the know), and on top of that the almost unbeatable New England Patriots get beaten at home BY THE MIAMI DOLPHINS! (Just to put this in context: it's akin to my Grandfather beating Lewis Hamilton in the wet at Spa Francorchamps, or my mother beating the late, great Dale Earnhardt at Talladega.)

What is the sporting world coming to?

If we look at the Ryder Cup first. I think everyone will agree that it was very well played. The matches were pretty evenly distributed. But Europe never threatened and always seemed to be playing catch-up. I think for once the US were, well not exactly dominant, but forceful. Boo Weekly was the guy to gee them up - who can forget his antics as he rode his driver from the first tee like a horse, or whipped the crowd into a frenzy (much to Lee Westwood's chagrin) - one of golf's great characters.

Anthony Kim - eager out of the gate like a little whippet - ended up being reigned back in by 'Lefty' Mickelson as he started spraying the ball all over the course on day one. He then got his act together and played superbly on the last day dominating Garcia after the latter tried playing mind games with him. Jim Furyk holed the winning putt - a reasonably simple one to guarantee the 14 1/2 points needed for the US to win the cup.

Personally I think it's a great US victory. Nick Faldo played the wrong people at the wrong time (who would put your best players out last when we were behind!!) and the US deserved to win. Well done Team USA. Hold onto that cup for two years until Celtic Manor in 2010.

Then the Colts: They just couldn't stop the run. Hell, they couldn't even stay on the field, playing 18.25 minutes in the whole game and a meagre 1 minute 39 seconds in the fourth quarter! But what a fourth quarter! Manning gets the ball on the Colts 23 yard line with 2.33 to play. He throws 2 incompletions and a short pass left to get to the 2 minute warning. Then he hits Marvin Harrison for a 27 yard completion on a fourth and 2, scrambles 12 yards for a first down himself and hits Marvin for 8 yards on the next play, Reggie Wayne for 20 yards 2 plays later and sends Joseph Addai up the middle for 2 yards two plays after that. Touchdown! 1 drive, 77 yards, 11 plays and 1 minute 26 seconds off the clock.

But they've left the Jags with 1:07 seconds! All the Jags need is to get within field goal range and they can put their fate into the hands of Josh Scobee, their kicker (Remember he's the guy who kicked the last second winner in the RCA Dome in 204 to give the Jags their last regular season win over Indy). But it's not as simple as that. A questionable pass interference call on Freddie Keiaho gives the Jags a first down on a must-win 4th and 1 after the pass fell incomplete. Without that the drive is stalled at Jacksonville's 29 yard line. With it, the drive keeps going. 1 minute and 3 seconds later Wham! - Scobee kicks the field goal and that's all she wrote.

There but for the grace of God......

So now the Colts are 1 and 2 with a bye week to recover. Could be an interesting season. Unless the sporting gods are angered. . . .


  1. Howdy,

    I think its unfair to lay the blame at the feet of Faldo...

    The Europeans played very well, and in some cases they played excellently, the difference between the two sides IMHO was that the Americans played, for the most part, like demons - look at poor Olly Wilson, who played something of a blinder on the last day but lost 6&4 (or 5&4 I can;t remember) and certainly the putt that won America the match on a psychological level was Mahan's at the 17th, which was superhuman - if he had missed and Casey had holed his, we'd have been up on points for the day so far and in with a very good shout (the final score would at least have been a more respectable 15.5/12.5

    I really think it was more about the Americans playing well than Europe playing really badly (except the dumb antics of Garcia) - after all, we had Garcia being useless, but America lost Mickelson to the useless disease too, and no-one is blaming Azinger for that!

    As for the NFL, not having Sky it's sadly impossible to see it at mine, but we (me, dad and my brothers) did watch the Superbowl last year at mum and dads and it was freaking awesome fun. It even turned on that match-winning pass in the fourth quarter. Awesome.

    I'm not a fan of Baseball though. I find it inferior in every way to Cricket, but hey - no American would agree with me on that.


    P.S. Are comments disabled on Rashomon? I tried to give my biased opinion but can't find a comment link.

  2. Sorry, slip of the finger when posting.

    Comments are now enabled for Rashomon story