Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sensitive zebras, smart-aleck coach

Finally getting to the computer after a long day on the couch with Charlie, who can't seem to wake up fully today. That's OK, another day to watch my favorite football team, this time professional, lose on a last-second field goal.

Anyone who read the blog yesterday may have come away with the impression that I'm going easy on the Badger coaching staff in regards to blame for yesterday's loss. That's true, but at the time of writing I didn't know that Bielema's remark led to the 15-yard penalty that changed the momentum of the game.

Still:

-Jay Valai gets called for a penalty for bumping into a ref running onto the field after a kickoff?

-Bielema gets flagged for being a smart aleck?

You could argue that neither should have done that, especially Bielema, who should have kept his compusre. You could also argue that this isn't friggin' baseball -- it's football. Players and refs bump into one another. And coaches give it to the refs. How many of the most classic NFL Films moments have been coaches berating officials? Who is this sensitive zebra?

Still, even discounting that, it's easy to question the decision to call timeout before State's field goal attempt. I had the same feeling that I did whenever Ned Yost did or did not make a pitching change in the late innings -- whichever decision he made, it was going to be the wrong one and he was going to get ripped for it.

I'm still not calling for Bielema's head. (Readers of this blog, increasingly, appear to be; from the last 30 days, the search terms "fire bret bielema," "fire brett bielema" and "fire bielema" are three of the top seven queries that have led people to Badgercentric.) He deserves the chance to work through this.

But when a team continues to beat itself, the head coach is the first guy you look at.

2 comments:

Tyler Feuling said...

Definitely agree with all your points. Saturdays game really took a lot out of me as a Badger fan, and I even found myself wondering if Bret should be gone. But I think what everyone needs to realize is that Bielema, while this season sucks, is our best option and is still very young. The more he continues to recruit well (still room for improvement), I still think he's the right man for the job. Now...McCarthy on the other hand....

Keep up the good work, I check this site every day and it gets me through the day. I have to say one of the few bright spots of the Badger season is this blog.

Edward said...

Since I didn't expect to win the Michigan State game, it is hard to be too critical. I think, obviously Bielema should stay as coach: Barry had what, 5 losing seasons? If we can get a couple more wins this will not even be a losing season. I remember my fair share of hard loses under Alvarez such as Northwestern 1996, the Brett Bell game, etc., but Jeez, we have had about 6 years worth of heartbreakers in 5 weeks.
Bottom line, is I'll take this heartbreaker in exchange for pounding Minnesota at home. I hope that is a deal the football gods will take.

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