Monday night in Buffalo, after Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a 19-yard pass to tight end Austin Hooper, ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky spoke for all of us when he said:
“Watch for the widened release. Looks like outside zone run game. Get to your depth and there’s that three-level flood. You go to the post outside, the ball fake to the back.”
Yep, he took the words right out of my mouth, or some other orifice.
And that, naturally, brings us to World War I and the murderous stalemates of trench warfare. British infantry not only were blown to bits, but also they suffered from a myriad of unidentified disabling intestinal diseases.
The medics in the field, before evacuating the victims to field hospitals, tagged them with the notation, “GOK,” which stood for “God Only Knows.”
This past weekend was another loaded with GOKs — games won and lost for no discernible reason above rotten decisions and behavior.
Let us begin Friday night with the Yankees-Brewers game. The Yankees lost 7-6 in a game that ran 4:09, with the teams using 15 pitchers as both analytics-addled managers, Aaron Boone and Craig Counsell, removed effective pitchers in search of one who would be shellacked.
It wasn’t enough that Lou Trivino, in the seventh, faced three batters, striking out all three. Boone likes to try to improve on perfect. So out went Trivino.
Counsel twice replaced relievers — first Brad Boxberger, then Devin Williams — who went 1-2-3, each striking out two.
Why has baseball been lost to such insanity? GOK.
Saturday, with blowouts all over TV, ESPN2 had a close one, Purdue-Syracuse. With under two minutes left, Syracuse led, 25-22, but Purdue was driving. Why Orange coach Dino Babers didn’t use any of his timeouts seemed odd. And so with 51 seconds left, when Purdue tight end Payne Durham caught a touchdown pass, that seemed even more unfathomable.
Durham should’ve been flagged for performing an excessively immodest, preening end zone strut. Disgusting. But he soon paid.
After the extra point, Durham was flagged for a late hit. A moment later a Purdue coach, apparently livid with the call, was also flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. With a short field gift-wrapped, Syracuse returned the kickoff to the 50, with 45 seconds remaining.
Two more penalties against Purdue brought the Orange closer until they scored with seven seconds left. Another unsportsmanlike flag against Purdue followed.
The final minutes of the game included the latest in sports group participation: vulgar chants inspired by a mob mentality.
Yet ESPN’s Brian Custer (former SNY anchor who didn’t quite get it) and Dustin Fox couldn’t get over the “fact” that we’d just watched a “great college football game!” when it was an idiot’s delight.
The capper came in the postgame “interview” with Babers conducted by Lauren Sisler. With so much good stuff to ask, she drew on that one-game-fits-all “question” that postgame inquisitors memorize all week:
“What kind of statement is this for your football team?” Ugh!
The next day, more: Browns running back Nick Chubb and Cleveland’s 24-man coaching staff simultaneously won the Fantasy Football Play of the Week and lost the game when Chubb chose to run for a TD rather than fall down after reaching a first down with 1:55 left. The Jets had no timeouts left, thus game over.
Instead, the Jets went from 24-17 losers to 31-30 winners. GOK, ya’ll.
Pissing away a view of a historic moment
It has to happen, right? So here’s the plan:
One of the local TV stations should place a news crew outside a Yankee Stadium men’s room in anticipation of someone on the inside missing Aaron Judge’s next home run.
Chances are, after that home run, some grumbling young father will emerge with his kid who couldn’t hold it in.
What an angle! What an interview! What a scoop!
Wednesday on ESPN’s “Around The Horn,” panelist Frank Isola noted that the excitement attached to Judge’s home run season has been diminished by the steroids era “accomplishments” of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — a pall cast because of the bottom line negligence of foresight-barren former commissioner Bud Selig.
Agreed. Though Bonds, McGwire and Sosa have not been voted into the Hall of Fame, Selig, was inducted just two years after his retirement.
The NBC team of Jac Collinsworth and Jason Garrett that called the Cal-Notre Dame game on Saturday should try plain English. Plays weren’t called, they were “dialed up.” Quarterbacks didn’t run, they “used their legs.” Running backs ran “downhill.” Both offenses tried to create “positive plays.”
Incidentally, a reader asks if players can still run downhill after the teams have switched sides on the field. Answer: Yes, but only if the game is played at the North Pole.
SNY’s Steve Gelbs, running out of the 2 hole in Milwaukee as the Polish Sausage, won the Sausage Race on Wednesday, proving that hams are eligible to run as sausages.
Any stats any time: At halftime of Panthers-Giants last Sunday, Fox posted a full-screen graphic giving the game’s three “Top Performers.” One was Carolina receiver Robbie Anderson: “3 catches, 32 yards.” Not much. And one catch ended with a fumble that led to the Giants taking a 3-0 lead.
Wednesday in Milwaukee, the Mets’ Jeff McNeil, hurt his hand trying to make a catch against the left-field fence in front of a billboard advertising, “Injury Lawyers.”
Watching local MLB telecasts takes too much irk
Local baseball telecasts seem to have grown downright annoying.
During Mets games, we now regularly hear Keith Hernandez whine, groan and moan when something cataclysmic befalls the Mets, such as a bloop single.
Still, who can’t sympathize with Hernandez when a slow-moving game (aren’t they all?) delays his return to Sag Harbor to sip wonderful wines? Cry me a river of 2016 Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan cabernet.
Yankees telecasts, if you can watch them, continue to be insulting. Less-is-less Aaron Boone Baseball, followed by look-away passes or excusing the inexcusable with excuses morons wouldn’t buy.
Tuesday, at 4-4 against the Pirates in the seventh inning, indolent Josh Donaldson, with a runner on first, grounded to shortstop Oneil Cruz, a likely double-play ball. Cruz muffed it, thus no play at second, but he threw out Donaldson. YES then showed Donaldson. initially, in no particular hurry, even carrying his bat toward first.
David Cone: “It’s hard to fight that initial disappointment when you don’t make contact. Carry the bat with you a few steps.
“And we see that so much in today’s game. It’s not that players, today, are dogs. It’s just that they expect to get a hit. And when they don’t they’re disappointed, and sometimes a full step or not running out of the box can cost ya.”
Huh? Donaldson made good contact. And when batters averaged .260 instead of .240 they didn’t expect to “get a hit”?
Paul O’Neill: “It’s not intentional, it’s just a habit.”
It was 4-4, bottom of the seventh, man on first, no out! Habit? Disappointment? Stop! Donaldson dogged it. Again. If it’s a “habit,” Boone, the last five seasons, has fed it.