Just as Christmas and Santa Claus come around every year so does the college football season. Saturday in my household is reserved for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones. Well, not so much the CyClowns because they don't win all that often. It's almost basketball season, though, and their team will make amends for what happens on the football field.
I became a Hawkeye fan in 1952. That's also the year I started biting my fingernails. I know there's a correlation.
It took 20 some years of living in Ohio but I can now tolerate the Buckeyes. The University of Michigan on the other hand was despised by me in 1952 and the feeling carries on.
Please understand when I write that I'm loyal to my home state of Iowa. If the Hawks lose I'm not going to kill our dog. Sports is not the be all end all in my life. It is a diversion to our political mess and that's good.
Yesterday I watched Michigan lose to Michigan State in the most unique way on the last play of the game. It was a phenomenal muff on the part of the Wolverines. What bothered me most was not the loss but the way post game incidents occurred.
If you didn't see the game or hear about it the Michigan punter bobbled a center snap with ten seconds to play and the ball on their 40 yard line. A Michigan State player snatched it in mid air and raced to the end zone scoring a touchdown as time ran out.
In his post game interview the Michigan coach, Jim Harbaugh, had the gall to blame his punter for losing the game. His arrogance was despicable.
Now, I'm not a football expert but because I coached high school ball for eighteen years I have some knowledge of the game and view the situation differently. Harbaugh and his staff are highly paid to plan the game anticipating all possible situations.
From my point of view Harbaugh was directly responsible for the loss. Instead of punting on 4th down he should have done it on 3rd down. That way, if the snap was bad his punter could have fallen on the ball and used the 4th down to get it right. Folks, it's standard operating procedure. He makes millions coaching football at a major institution and I was working for 2 grand. He should have hired me as a special teams coach. He could have had his quarterback take a center snap and run around for a few seconds then heave the ball like a boulder leaving a catapult. In that case Michigan State would have had one chance to complete a Hail Mary into the end zone. But it's probable time would have expired on the Michigan's quarterback's heave so the Hail Mary would have been a moot point.
Secondly, and worse, death threats too numerous to mention have been made against the team's punter. It's not like he was a member of ISIS beheading a Christian. The poor kid will have to go into a witness protection program for the rest of his life. His days of having a girlfriend from Delta Chi are down the drain. The poor kid's dog meat.
I promise that Coach Harbaugh will lose the respect of some, if not all, of his players for his words and actions.
Sports in America. Gimme a break.