Last week in the Kubiak Konundrum, I wrote a post about my impending nuptials. Lissy F'n May decided she wasn't all that sure that posting a picture of her as, well, a football player was the most elegant of things for me to post the week of our wedding and asked me to post a wedding picture to counterbalance it. I tried to tell her how bad ass every male from the Battle Red Community thought that picture made her (on a side note, she just called me from a business trip and told me she was watching the '04 USC vs. Oregon game on ESPN Classic to scout Matt Leinart). I tried to tell her that the interwebs is forever and those pictures have been up for two years and will never go away.
Alas, she was unpersuaded by reason and being that I have been married for less than a week, I decided to oblige her. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert at this matrimonial bliss thing yet. In fact, what I am about to write pretty much guarantees that I'm not. However, sometimes you just have to accept that people can be at times brilliant and at other times that same person can seem as challenged by the concept of logic as Bud Adams is by the notion of integrity. But, you still love that person and try to remember the brilliant moments. No, I'm not talking about my wife. I promise. I'm talking about Gary Kubiak.
While Kubiak has traded off mildly positive and negative decisions all year, last week he decided to spice things up around the Konundrum and give us, in my estimation, this season's first brilliant decision. He followed that, in true Kubiak fashion, with the season's first truly moronic one, ensuring that his naysayers could at least have some ammunition in regards to an otherwise fantastic weekend. As much as the royal we would love to stick our fingers in our ears, say 37-9 over and over and over, and ignore every other bit of news that happened during (and especially after) the game, sometimes them's the breaks. So, on to the whole Enchirito:
1=terrible call, 2=negative, 3=neutral, 4=positive, and 5=outstanding.
1Q. 4:38 left. 3rd and Goal from the Bucs' 5 yard line. Up 6-0.
Matt Schaub threw over the middle into the hands of a Bucs defender, who snatched the pass, fumbled on the two, recovered and gave the Bucs possession, taking away a certain chip shot field goal. I, for one, thought the fault was more Derrick Mason's than Schaub's for not reading that he was the hot route and looking for the ball. But, that debate is for another blog series. To his credit, Mason knocked the ball loose after the interception, causing a fumble which the Bucs recovered, almost saving the Texans from a costly turnover.
But wait! Kubiak challenged the interception, saying Mason knocked the ball loose during the catch. I found the fact that the TV crew hadn't even considered it an option telling. As did my Twitter timeline, which tore its hair out (or would it be feathers?) over another komical Kubiak challenge. But, then, for the second straight week and second straight challenge, Kubiak shocked the world, and the officials overturned the call, much to the amazement of the broadcast booth. Neil Rackers nailed the aforementioned chip shot field goal, and Kubiak had three extra points to stuff into his proverbial back pocket, or perhaps stick as feathers into his proverbial cap. Just like the last challenge Kubiak won, that no one expected the call to be overturned shows why a coach can't just wait for those calls which appear absolutely indisputable. Percentages must be weighed.
The fact that the challenge was by no means a slam dunk, the fact that winning the challenge gave us automatic points, the fact that said points gave us a two-score lead make me want to give this the season's first 5 for an outstanding call. I don't see how it could be any less than a 4. I'll let you all be the judges in the poll.
4Q. 11:18 left. 30-3 lead.
Preston Parker bobbles a pass as he crosses the goal line. Kubiak throws the red flag, even though every scoring play is challenged anyway. Which, of course, is a fifteen yard penalty. I don't care that the rule is ridiculous (in other circumstances a red flag on an unchallengable play is simply picked up by the refs and handed back to the coach). I don't care that the refs took extra time before upholding the ruling. I don't care that the game was well in hand. On the flip side, I don't care that extra fifteen yards emboldened Raheem Morris to onside kick (or that he probably should have anyway). I don't care that the extra fifteen yards kept us from having amazing field position. I don't care about any of the specifics either way because the decision to throw the flag shows at the very least an inability to control emotions and at the very worst an ignorance of the rules.
Inexcusable. I give Kubiak a 1 for utter stupidity and also for giving the resident lynch mob more rope to string him up with. This time, the rope was strong and well earned.
So, there you have it. The best of times, the worst of times, a post filled with two uses of the word proverbial in one sentence, the excitement of the first 1 and the first 5 (most likely) ratings of the season, and . . . I guess it's time for me to shut up and get to the scorecard.
1: 1 play
TBD: 1 play
1: 1 play
2: 6 plays.
3: 10 plays.
4: 9 plays.