Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blame the Kicker!

After BYU blocked a 35-yard PAT to seal a 28-27 win over the University of Washington, the only thing I heard commentators talking about was the appropriateness of an unsportsmanlike penalty on Jake Locker. I’m guessing if it was your team and your QB, you would think the penalty was bogus. If your team benefitted, then rules are rules. But why did no one choose to focus on (1) the inability of the Washington field goal unit to kick a straight-on 35-yarder, or (2) the clutch block of the PAT by BYU? Think about it this way: If your team only has to kick a 35-yard field goal to take the game into overtime, and the kick is from right in the middle of the field—not from either hash, then your field goal team better damn-well make that kick, right? And if they don’t, are you blaming anyone but the field goal team and the kicker? I say no. The way BYU pushed back the UW line on the PAT, I don’t think the PAT result would have been any different if it was a traditional 20-yarder. So give it a rest on the celebration, the ref and the call. Blame the kick, credit the block.

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