Thursday, January 07, 2010

A good game after all

I didn't get home until halftime, but I overheard a conversation on the train about Colt McCoy being hurt and out of the game. After a few minutes of the second half, with the score 24-6 Alabama, it looked to be thoroughly boring, but then young Texas Freshman quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, connected on a touchdown and he actually brought his team to within 3. Then he played like an inexperienced Freshman again and the score didn't reflect how close the game was up until the last few minutes. That's not to take anything away from Alabama, whose defense was mostly stifling and might have stymied McCoy too. And the offense finally moved when it was necessary. It's a real shame he wasn't able to play -- it could have been a really great game -- but Texas gave a decent account of itself. The Alabama QB, Greg McElroy, may not have been spectacular, but anyone who hasn't lost a game he started since 8th grade must be doing something right. And he has Southern California roots.

Years ago, annoyed that so many intellectual types had taken to describing baseball (wehich I also like, for different reasons) as the thinking man's game as opposed to the brute force nature of football, I did a piece for the Register making the case that football, with its emphasis on deception and the need for all 11 players to do what is specified in a play while gigantic guys on the other side are doing their utmost to disrupt you and prevent you from carrying out your assignment, and sometimes having to improvise when a play doesn't get started properly, is intellectually as well as physically challenging. It is certainly more challenging to the mind of a spectator who wants to understand more than the bare rudiments -- hell of a run, hell of a tackle, brutal hit -- than baseball or many other sports because of all the moving parts.

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