Scapegoat (n.) [skeyp-goht] – a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. (For antonyms: see USC Trojan Football Players & Coaches)
There’s no excuse for bad coaching.
Or bad coaches, PERIOD!
C’mon, no excuses, Lane! Stop running your mouth to blame everyone and anyone else–except yourself–for USC’s inability to set up for a potential game-winning kick last Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
USC, at home (with a home timekeeper), has a timeout left with the score tied with sixth-ranked Stanford.
With about eight seconds remain in regulation. USC has a timeout left. The Trojans have a placekicker still injured from last week, and even when healthy, he hadn’t attempted a 50-yard field goal (until earlier that night). USC has a timeout left, and they can use it to bring out the kicker.
In case anyone hasn’t mentioned it yet, USC has a timeout left!!! Actually, two!
QB Matt Barkley hits sophomore WR Robert Woods on a 5-yard screen pass. Unable to find any daylight into the end-zone 35 yards away, Woods keeps running nearly two-thirds of the way across the field and dives to get out of bounds trying to stop the clock. His knee seems to hit the ground in-bounds, so the referees let the final one second tick off the clock, and take the teams to overtime.
Kiffin screams bloody Halloween murder. During the game, after the game, and well into the next day until the NCAA fines him for his remarks criticizing the referees. He’s lucky the NCAA doesn’t fine a coach for stupidity. Or its players.
Upon review, the referee uphelds the ruling on the field: the last second runs off the clock. And as we know it, Stanford goes on to beat USC in triple overtime.
Kiffin doesn’t want to blame his own players and coaches for botching that last play in regulation. Kiffin only wants to blame the referee for not honoring a timeout that he seems to make with about much time left on the clock as Kim Kardashian’s latest marriage.
C’mon, Lane, your injured kicker would have gotten the kick blocked by one of your own fat interior lineman’s butts. As Luck would have it, Stanford QB Andrew Luck probably would have caught the deflection and run it into the end zone and give himself a signature highlight for his Heisman Trophy ceremony next month.
Lane, why didn’t your All-American wide receiver know to hit the ground so you could use your timeout? Why didn’t the coaching staff inform the entire offense before that play?
It’s like the Bizarro World version of Chris Webber calling his infamous game-blowing timeout during Michigan’s NCAA Championship game against eventual winner North Carolina.
Except the Trojans had a timeout–while Chris Webber did not have a timeout.
Or Lane Kiffin is like every Chicago Cubs fan who still blames poor old Steve Bartman for their 2003 NLCS game #6 loss at Wrigley Field to the Florida Marlins.
Yes, I recently watched Alex Gibney’s brilliant ESPN 30-for-30 documentary “Catching Hell” on scapegoats in sports.
Anyone who claims to be passionate about sports should watch “Catching Hell”, in order to regain some perspective about sports place in the universe of life. Then let’s talk!
But last Saturday night, Kiffin wanted to make scapegoats out of the referees. Some may argue that he was simply being a good coach by deflecting attention off the blunders of his own players and coaching staff. The real scapegoat could have been WR Woods. Or the USC coaching staff. Or RB Curtis McNeal, who fumbled the ball in triple overtime.
Whether it’s Steve Bartman or Lane Kiffin, the real scapegoats in sports can only be found between the lines.
In Week #8 of our fantasy football Unsportsmanlike League, did the four winners really win? Or did the four losers just really, really lose because of bad coaching decisions and preparation?
BLIND SIDE TAYLORS (100.46) lost to FUNCTIONING DERELICTS (108.46)
TEUFLE HUNDEN (48.16) lost to CHENGRI-LA (98.76)
DRUNKEN IRISHMEN (82.88) lost to MONEYBALLER (88.02)
BARDSDALE BRAWLERS (84.72) lost to FLAMING BAG OF POO (90.88)
BLIND SIDE TAYLORS didn’t have her bodyguard, QB Aaron Rodgers, to protect her on the school yard. And with draftee QB Sam Bradford bumming on his bad ankle, the BLIND SIDE TAYLORS picked up…Matt Hasselbeck of the pass-happy Seattle Seahawks.
Oh, wait a minute, Hasselbeck plays for the run-oriented Tennessee Titans?!?! So instead of the usual 27.34 point average that Rodgers provides, BLIND SIDE TAYLORS threw short with only 12.86 points. To give you some perspective, QB Tim Tebow pulled in 14.18 points. Even RB LeSean McCoy’s 32.00 points couldn’t bail you out. With a roster that still looks nearly identical to your draft day roster, BLIND SIDE TAYLORS have fallen back to rest of us slubs at 4-4. Someone please text the engraver and tell them to stop writing “BLIND SIDE TAYLORS” on the fantasy Lombardi trophy!
And with an almost effort-less glide of a Michael Vick (24.16 points), FUNCTIONING DERELICTS rides a five-game winning streak into second place in the Unsportsmanlike League! It almost makes you worthy of your own cool Old Spice commercial.
Don’t you wish all your men on your roster smelled like Michael Vick? Your recent pick-ups (not named Big Ben) haven’t smelled like roses, but at least they don’t smell like manure either. You were quick to steal DeMarco Murray (7.20) off waivers. Let’s see you play him instead of that bum RB Matt Forte! And if you added up the points for balls that WR Torrey Smith dropped, it would have probably surpassed the 5.70 that he put up. But when you win league (for the third week this season), there can be no scapegoats. Until next week.
With a two-game lead on FUNCTIONING DERELICTS, CHENGRI-LA continues to make things look easy. So easy that we might want to test him for steroids and other performance enhancers. Even if you had misplayed your roster this week and used the guys on your bench, you would have still beaten TEUFLE HUNDEN. In fact, if you had started WR Greg Jennings on his bye-week, you also would have won easily. You might want to start some of those bye-week players before the league begins giving you random drug (and alcohol) testing. Because picking up game-blowing K Olinda Mare is indeed the sign of a drug user.
TEUFLE HUNDEN, man, we hardly knew ya! What happened to your roster this week? Nobody will argue you starting QB Drew Brees (12.66) against the Rams defense when you have pretty toy QB Cam Newton (24.90) languishing on your shelf. But the rest of your offensive starters looked like your Green Bay defense…idle. If I were you, I’d take an extra week to take a breather and further assess how to keep your stronghold on seventh place (one win out of the fantasy playoffs right now). At least your team point total was probably better than Tebow’s Week #8 passer rating. You should be proud, Marine!
Live by the sword, and die by the sword; as the New England Patriots offense sputters, so, too, do the DRUNKEN IRISHMEN. Perhaps the two smallest non-kickers in the NFL, WR Wes Welker and WR DeSean Jackson combined totaled 7.00 points. NFL.com statistics point out that players under 185 pounds trend downward over the latter half of an NFL season because of wear-and-tear.
It would be smart then to dump those midgets and pick up some taller receivers like Terrell Owens or T.J. Whatchamacallit.
DRUNKEN IRISHMEN picked up QB Alex Smith (13.28) this week for a built-in scapegoat. In fact, on the back of Smith’s jersey, it actually says “Scapegoat”.
Speaking of football players with hoofs…
Does anyone remember the Disney classic “GUS”…the placekicking mule?
After two straight losses, DRUNKEN IRISHMEN could use an extra kick. Even RB Adrian Peterson only put up 28.20 points this week!
MONEYBALLER had to do the unthinkable…pray for a poor game from his beloved San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews (who DRUNKEN IRISHMEN owns). His prayers came true when Matthews left with a leg injury. Be careful what you wish for.
While the classics (Calvin Johnson, Frank Gore, Tom Brady) carried you to victory, you were rewarded playing WR A.J. Green over WR Jeremy Maclin. Chris Johnson is still due for a breakout game. I hope it comes in Week #17.
MONEYBALLER didn’t want to ride the Tebow-ing bandwagon. I dare you to climb aboard. If you can make the playoffs by playing him these next few weeks, you will earn the first bronze statue outside the Unsportsmanlike League arena. Because that would be…
…wait for it…
If your answer is “FLAMING BAG OF POO”—you would be wrong!!!
Go to straight to JAIL. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
It almost feels like BARDSDALE BRAWLERS has the monopoly on losing games faster than he loses players. 1-7???
The Cowboys-Eagles game was painful to watch for the both of us. BARDSDALE BRAWLERS had QB Tony Romo (12.02), while FLAMING BAG OF POO had WR Dez Bryant. I heard their names mentioned more often in the NBC pregame show than I heard during the actual game. It felt like tossing your enemy overboard strapped to an anchor—only to later realize that the chain is wrapped around your own foot. At one point in the second half, I looked on StatTracker, and Romo had just gotten himself back up to positive digits. Worst Cowboys game plan ever.
The game was almost as painful to watch as our WR Dwayne Bowe (6.20) vs. my TE Antonio Gates (7.30) matchup on Monday night. Sometimes mediocrity gets rewarded. For me, anyway. Lucky for you that Victor Cruz caught that game-winner in order to make our matchup seem more respectable. I was already ready to put you on suicide watch after you picked up TE Visanthe Shiancoe (3.70)!
I did remember to send a basket of muffins to RB Darren McFadden for sitting out this bye week. But even Lane Kiffin would have started the Detroit Lions defense (29.00) against Tim Tebow and the Broncos.
My biggest Lane Kiffin moment was not pulling the trigger and starting RB Steven Jackson (31.10). I stared at my laptop screen up until 15 minutes before kickoff debating about replacing RB Darren Sproles (7.60). Jackson without Bradford’s passing against a weak Saints run defense. It was like me sitting on my last timeout while the clock ticked down to zero. My #3 draft pick, and I last used him in Week #1. I’m a smarter coach than that, and I won’t make that same mistake again.
In the bottleneck of 4-4 teams, I realize that I lose all tie-breakers. I need to keep winning. I need my Julio Jones!
I call WR Julio Jones my “Robert Woods with a brain.”
Chant it with me, everyone: HOO-lee-oh! HOO-lee-oh!