Recently, every sport that I’ve watched has seemed to have an NBA Jam-style “on-fire” team, streaking through the season towards the league title. Take the Chicago Blackhawks, Miami Heat or Real Madrid, all guaranteed to walk away champions, right? No.
Maybe that’s why I was so stunned to see how poor NFL coaches’ decision making was on fourth down in the playoffs. I had gotten used to the college game, where inconsistent kicking games have helped lead coaches to better decision making. Chip Kelly has been at the forefront of college head coaches in this category.
With the exception of the Raiders-Buccaneers blowout 11 years ago, the Super Bowl has always been high on drama. The last few years have condensed an entire season’s worth of tension, pressure and intensity into a few agonizing minutes towards the end of the game. This year’s tilt was no exception, with the champion Baltimore Ravens outlasting the San Francisco 49ers by the slimmest of margins, 34-31. A few musings about the game:
The San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to the Super Bowl alone– they’re taking a piece of Stanford with them: their medical director, Daniel Garza ’91 M.D. ’00.
Sunday was the second-most important day of the NFL year: conference championship Sunday. And although sports analysts spent hundreds of hours dissecting the ins and outs of the teams, there isn’t a person in the world that expected the two deciding figures in the action to be Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams
With those two calls, the first-year head coach appeared to answer one of the biggest questions that Stanford faced coming into the 2011 season: would the team’s tough attitude stay the same as it had been under former coach Jim Harbaugh? The answer is yes.