I know. I know. This isn’t a sports blog, and I shouldn’t let my interest in the NFL enter here. However, one game yesterday turned out to be such a morality play that I thought it good to
point it out, especially since readers might find it helpful in teaching youth
that bad sportsmanship can have consequences.
That game was the Washington Redskins vs. the St. Louis Rams.
Now what has gotten all the publicity is that towards the end of the game, Redskin receiver Josh Morgan caught a pass that took Washington deeper into field goal range when a field goal would have tied the game. But immediately after the play ended, upon being pushed in the helmet by a Ram, he lost his cool and threw the ball at him.
Up goes a yellow flag – 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The look on Coach Mike Shanahan’s face as he stared at Morgan was delicious. Now on 4th down, it’s a 62 yard field goal try which the Redskin kicker missed. End of game.
The obvious lesson here is keep your cool!
However, there was another instance of bad sportsmanship on the part of the Redskins, even their coach, that has not gotten much attention. But it should.
At the end of the 1st Half, the Rams were trying a 42 yard Field Goal. Kicker Greg Zuerlein missed.
But wait. Redskin Coach Mike Shanahan called a timeout immediately before the kick.
Now for those unfamiliar with the practice, some NFL coaches will wait for literally the last second to call timeouts on opponent FG tries at the end of halves. They hope that having to attempt a FG, then having that attempt scrubbed because a timeout was called immediately before the play began, will rattle the kicker and help him miss what is practically the second attempt.
Now some may disagree with me that this is poor sportsmanship, but they are wrong. And Mike Shanahan has long been one of the best/worst in the NFL at this practice.
But this time it bit him in the rear but bad. Zuerlein made the second try at a FG to give the Rams 3 points right before the halftime. In addition to the much needed points, this surely helped the Rams’ momentum and attitude for the 2nd Half in which they came from behind to win . . . by 3 points.
Thanks, Coach Mike Shanahan, for giving us an important lesson in sportsmanship!