While watching the Alamo Bowl on Monday night, I was struck by two things:
-Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin was a man among boys; and
-Jeremy Maclin's teammates must really dislike him.
Maclin scored two touchdowns on the night. After each touchdown, exactly one teammate / coach congratulated him. Think about that. On a team consisting of about 75 players, 10 coaches, and a few other staff members, only two people acknowledged the guy.
These weren't meaningless touchdowns, either. The first, an electrifying, momentum-changing 75-yard punt return, improbably tied the game at 10 after Northwestern had dominated the majority of the first half.
His second score was an overtime reception which put his team ahead for good.
Admittedly, I know very little about Maclin on a personal level, and I could be way off base here, but I would imagine Maclin is not a popular teammate.
Sports Pet Peeve #6: When trying to down a punt deep inside an opponent's territory, a player will wildly slide / jump / dive on top of a football forcing it into the end zone for a touchback. Failure to down the ball inside the 1-yard line has become an epidemic. I cannot count the times this has occurred recently.
Sports Pet Peeve #34: Soccer players wearing gloves. Really, soccer players? It's so cold that you need gloves to cover your delicate fingers? Man up. You don't use your hands anyway.
Note: This applies to cross-country runners as well, but no one pays them much bother anyway.
Other Thoughts and Observations
--I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved the camoflauge uniforms Army wore against Navy. They were awesome.
--Coaching football cannot be easy. However, the coaching in these bowl games has been especially appalling. This includes everything from wasted timeouts to complete disregard for time and game situations.
Perfect example: in Thursday's Rose Bowl, Penn State chose not to go for the two-point conversion after scoring a touchdown to cut their deficit to 31-13 with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. USC's defense, regarded as one of the best of all time, must have been doing backflips when they saw kicker Kevin Kelly sprint onto the field after the score. A successful two-point conversion would have made it a two possession game. The odds would still have been long, but by not going for two, the chance of winning was completely eliminated.
--In a recent article, Peter Gammons shed some light on the salary cap issue in baseball:
Remember this: For all the talk of a salary cap, only twice in the past 30 years has a team won the World Series with a $100M-plus payroll -- the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox.
In those 30 years, 20 different teams have won World Series, and it likely would be 21 without the 1994 strike that cost the sport's best team that year -- the Montreal Expos -- a chance to win it all. In those 30 years, 14 different teams have won the Super Bowl, 13 have won the Stanley Cup and nine have won the NBA championship.
Pretty good stuff from the legend.
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