Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Did They Fall or Were They Pushed? The Answer is "Splat!"

Routs in the National Football League are almost always a murder-suicide pact. The winning team must perform well enough that their opponent was irrelevant to the outcome. The losing team must also harm itself to the extent it couldn't have beaten the Panthers on one of their habitual bad days.

For a true humiliation, an NFL team must humiliate itself. A score of 45-3 indicates that the depths of the loser's self-abasement were about halfway down the Marianas Trench. Down their with the invertebrate fish, we find your New York Jets.

The Jets couldn't have won last night game with New England if they'd played close to their very best as individuals and a group. The Patriots were in the perfection zone which happens only to the very best teams, and then only maybe once every three years. Had New York been on form, it would have lost by around 7-10 points. Had the Jets given an average effort for an above-average team, they would have lost by oh, 31-14 or so.

But the Jets lost by 42. That's hard to do. It takes genuine effort at lack of effort. Or else, it's just a collective choke on the grand scale.

That's my guess as to why the Jets failed to impersonate a football team. If a team's placekicker and punter both choke in the FIRST quarter of an NFL game, it seems conclusive evidence that the entire roster was overcome by the gravity of the occasion.

That's very bad news for the team in question. Lack of effort is a mortal football sin, but one that's susceptible to atonement. If nothing else, players can get fired, which usually perks up those remaining.

Choking, on the other hand, cannot be cured from outside. You can't yell at people to get them to relax. In fact, you can't even discuss it with them. "Don't think about failure" is a thought guaranteed to produce future failure. There's no cure but performance.

Performance and the Jets don't seem like they fit in the same sentence right now.


Post a Comment

<< Home