Confession: I didn’t get a chance to start watching The Rivalry Game That Isn’t until about 2:45 on Saturday afternoon. I suppose that makes me a bad fan, but I was out doing good in the community (no, seriously, stifle your laughs because I was). I was thinking on my drive home, “How am I going to find this game? It’s on the ACC Network and isn’t televised here. Hmm.” On a whim, I fired up the Xbox and loaded ESPN3… and there was the game! Holy crap! So I got to watch the UNC game in full HD, on my own TV, while skipping commercials. By turning on my video game console. God I love technology.
I suppose I should explain why for a game that had a ton of hot air around it this week – UNC coach Everett Withers essentially called NC State a crappy academic institution, then later said “I was only referring to the academic facts” – I’m calling it the Rivalry Game That Isn’t. Because, as evidenced by the picture below, NC State really IS a crappy academic institution:
I mean, we should all just be impressed he spelled "Committee" correctly, right?
There are many things I don’t understand in this world. How they get peanut butter into Reese’s peanut butter cups. Why Diet Coke, a drink consisting mostly of toxic chemicals and poisonous gas, tastes so amazingly good. How announcers Dan Hawkins and Pam Ward are even hirable, much less employed. But maybe the most vexing part of football I can’t figure out is why the replay system has to take so long.
It doesn’t help that there are two entirely different sets of rules for replay between the pros and college. It doesn’t much matter what system is used, though; the process takes entirely too long. This really wouldn’t bother anyone if the decisions being made were earthshaking, championship-implication close calls at the end of games that could easily be wrong if they weren’t scrutinized 20 times from every angle. It shouldn’t bother anyone when an obviously wrong call gets challenged. But I take issue with a system that results in a referee taking seven minutes to determine something that a casual fan eating Cheez-Its in front of his TV can figure out in five seconds without even squinting. I think I counted 5 or 6 reviews in the Carolina-Wake rout. Not one of them was remotely contentious. Not one took less than 90 seconds. Not one took me, or my intermittently-napping father, more than 9.
Here’s how bad this game was: With the score tied at 0-0 and Louisville lining up to try a field goal with nine seconds left in the first half, UNC coach Everett Withers called for a timeout. To ice the kicker.
I will repeat that. UNC thought the game was so bad it had a serious chance of ending 3-0, so they iced the kicker at the end of the first half. The best part? The guy missed.
<shaking head sadly> Ugh. I generally am gung-ho for the little guy, standing up to the big corporation, but I felt genuinely sorry for ESPN today. They were forced to televise a football game that probably could have been out-watched by PBA Bowling, which ESPN sometimes shows when they are up against a monster event they don’t get to televise like NFL football on Sundays. Nothing against bowling, of course, except that along with cheerleading, golf and NASCAR it’s not a sport.
Posted in UNC
Tagged Bryn Renner, Dwight Jones, Everett Withers, football, Gio Bernard, John Shoop, Lousiville, Optipessimism, Quinton Coples, Sylvester Williams, Tre Boston
Well, well. The first Optipessimism feature after a Carolina loss. I don’t have the lack of attendance to complain about since it was the first road game, so let’s get right to it.
Story. Of. The. Game.
Optimism: After a truly miserable half of offensive football, Renner seemed to clean up a little bit and settle down. In general, Renner wasn’t asked to do a whole lot throwing downfield. That’s about it for optimism. Of course, the week after I gush over Renner’s potential he takes a step back.
Pessimism: This was undoubtedly Renner’s worst game as a Tar Heel. His stats weren’t terrible – 17 of 25 for 204 yards , 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s – but this is one of those cases where stats don’t tell the whole story. Both of Renner’s picks came at particularly bad times, both when UNC had momentum off takeaways of their own. Both were especially bad decisions in a game filled with them; Renner’s first interception was thrown into quadruple coverage. I didn’t even know someone can have quadruple coverage on them. Renner looked extremely young in this game, often running scared out of the pocket and taking a lot of sacks he probably could have avoided.