DID PETE CARROLL SNATCH DEFEAT FROM VICTORY?
The last few games played by the Seattle Seahawks have been impressive. To begin with, they found Russell Wilson, a million-dollar quarterback in the $.99 store. He was not drafted until the third round, and it did not appear that there was any way that he would earn a spot on an NFL roster. Yet, there he was, as cool as the other side of the pillow, all 5'11" of him.
In the opening moments of the game, he methodically drove his team down the field, until they were deep in the Red Zone. Then, on fourth down, with a score 0-0, Carroll disdained a field goal attempt, and tried to make a first down with a run. He failed to do so, and Seattle needlessly gives up three points. In the final moments of the game, the Seahawks were leading by a score of 28 to 27. Atlanta was readying to attempt a game-winning field goal. The attempt failed, and Seattle won the game. Right? Wrong! Carroll had called a timeout, and Atlanta won the game on the second try. I don't have any idea of how they are feeling right now in Seattle, but I suspect that Carroll is not feeling very smart.
Perhaps I should not be so concerned with Pepsodent Pete, but I have been following his career, since he became the head coach at USC, a few million years ago. I was shocked and disappointed when the then Athletic Director Mike Garrett hired him. To me, at that time, he was just another failed NFL head coach. The Trojans had already had a horrible experience with Paul Hackett, another NFL veteran. After a rocky start, Pete returned USC to its glory days. Trojans all over the world had a new spring in their step, and the good times were rolling. Then, suddenly he was gone, and the end of the world seemed near. We loved him! How could he do this to us?
Well, leave us he did. Then the Heisman People came and took back Reggie Bush's trophy, and banned USC from playing in Bowl Games forever. But, worse than that, we wound up with Lane Kiffin as the new head football coach. We thought, and hoped, that Kiffin could do the job, and for a while, it seemed that he could. However, we were to later learn that the team was running on the momentum that Carroll left.
The San Francisco 49ers are my pick to win the Super Bowl. They easily handled the previously dreaded Green Bay Packers, by a score of 45 to 31. They did this by unleashing their new Ultimate Weapon, Colin Kaepernick. He is so fast that he ran by the Packers as if they were standing still. He gained 181 yards rushing, and that is the most ever by a quarterback in an NFL game. His powerful arm appears to be controlled by lasers, and he throws a ball just where it needs to be. I do not know how long his career will be, but for this brief moment, he is the best there ever was.
The 49ers will travel to Atlanta for their game against the Hawks on Sunday. That city has not seen anything like him since Sherman marched through it on his way to the sea. Harbaugh will show them even less mercy then Sherman did. Then they will beat up the Patriots, and return the Lombardi Trophy to California.
It was interesting to note that the Raiders fired four of their assistant coaches, after another disastrous season. The question now is will those same people who hired and fired these four, hire and fire another four? What do they know now that they did not know then?
The Athletic Department at USC is now an unmitigated disaster. At one time in their history, they routinely had high-level teams in football, baseball, men's and women's basketball. They now have better training facilities than ever before, and more television exposure. It would appear that some aliens came to this area and kidnapped all of the good athletes, and sent them to Stanford, Duke and even San Diego. We now have to hope that UCLA will continue their resurgence and give local fans something to cheer about.