Monday, September 15, 2008

Don't leave it to the coin 

A friend at breakfast today observed something I thought interesting. We all know by now the story of how the Denver Broncos won their game against the San Diego Chargers yesterday by "courageously" going for the two point conversion after a touchdown that brought the Broncos within a point late in the fourth quarter. Kicking the usual one point conversion try has a 98-99% chance of success, the two-pointer around 50%.

But of course Denver only got this chance after a blown call by the referee, who had told both coaches at the time he had blown his whistle to stop a play he shouldn't have stopped, but that he couldn't "unblow the whistle", as it were. Listen to Coach Turner of San Diego and this from ESPN:

Now, my friend observed that perhaps this is what Denver coach Mike Shanahan thought as well. Rather than decide the game on the coin flip, it should be decided on one play, on the field. Denver's offense versus San Diego's defense, for the game. (There would have been nearly no time left for the Broncos to get another opportunity to score.) He thought it wasn't courage that motivated Shanahan, it was honor.

For those who wonder why Steve Bartman still can't go to Chicago, that's an angle you should support.