Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Bowl

As an Australian, I am very much in the minority when it comes to following the NFL or American Football.  For some reason, the game has appealed to me from the perspective of its tactical variables and the use of players for specialist roles as opposed to a free flowing game like all other codes of football.  I am not saying one code is better than the other, but I do not understand how some people seem to have such a narrow view of the game.  Case in point yesterday when discussing the Super Bowl yesterday with a work colleague its just a game when one guy throws the ball down the field and they hope to catch it”… this degenerated into a discussion on tactics vs free range instinctive play.  She is an Aussie Rules fan and that for a start gets my goat up damning point for missing crowd!

Then last night when watching the end of the game on repeat on Fox Sports, I tell Niki that there is 2 minutes to go and the Giants were driving to win.  Of course 2 minutes of game time is not 2 minutes of real time, so Niki proceeded to say things like come on! Hurry up!”…. all while the teams, particularly the Giants were trying to make the right play call.

Gridiron is a game of nuances and calculated risk.  Its pretty much a human game of chess.  It has moments of athletic brilliance such as the classic 3rd & 5 play yesterday when the receiver took the catch on his helmet, but it is the mental side of the game that is to me what makes it a good spectacle.  To see the God Like Tom Brady falter in the last 30 seconds when I thought the most likely option would be to go for comparatively short yardage for the field goal and to see Eli Manning, younger brother of the respected Peyton Manning beat his older brothers rival is a classic reason why the NFL is a game within a game.

Well done to the Giants as well beating the previously 17-0 Patriots and causing a great upset was a good thing to see.  Whilst I am a Redskin fan and hence the Giants are a rival team, it was good to see the NFC come out on top.

To add to the sporting spectacular this week, Australia plays a World Cup Qualifier against Qatar tomorrow night! Cant wait for that one either!


ozjesting said...

You know...it IS possible to be both an AFL and a NFL fan ;)

Awesome game indeed!

Now "one point for missing"..I am off to look up the rules for all the various ways your beloved rugby league and cricket teams can score points with out "getting it done" properly. ;)

Anonymous said...

You hit nail right on head there Oz. Cricket has four different ways to score without the batter hitting it.


Clay said...

Hey! No dissing the cricket my good friend Faibios! That is Australia's NATIONAL game!!


Anonymous said...

But gentlemen, runs scored (excluding penalties such as wides and no balls - which are classified as unfair deliveries)in cricket without 'getting it done' are not allocated to the batsman. Nor are they recorded against the bowler. They are called Sundries, or Extras.

I believe Ozjesting may have a personal interest in his defence of AFL given his allegiances to a certain harbour city based team......


Ben said...

I think a large part of the perception of tactics comes from the way the games are portrayed in the media. The amount of analysis and depth the American media uses to cover the NFL has resulted in a more mature knowledgeable audience.

Unfortunately, Rugby League is still covered in a jingoistic, lets all be mates sort of way, that prevents mature discussion of tactics and strategy that exist within it.

AFL is better than League on this front by a long way, but still falls a long way short of NFL. Part of this is simply because the stoppages in NFL gives the TV coverage time to show replays and analyse plays - something that could be done in league with tries.

Clay said...

Yes oz, now that I think about it all other codes award points for successful attempts. Failing to score doesnt warrant a "consolation" point.

League / Union / Soccer all score points for putting the ball over the try line, over the cross bar or in the back of the net.

In AFL, if you "go for goal" and miss by 10 feet, you get a point.

Re Tactics: I agree that Australians cover their football codes in a jingoistic fashion. However I disagree re AFL. It is perhaps the least organised / tactical game of all of the major Australian football codes. Instead it is a contest of speed and stamina (and the above mentioned accuracy) however I dont see anything in the way of tactics other than having the tallest and fastest players.

League / Union use set plays, scrum plays, can tactically take options like touch finders from drop outs and short kick offs.

Soccer, is all about weighting the balance of attack and defence against your opponents weakness. 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-3-3 are all examples of these.

And cricket? Nothing finer than that grand old game. Runs are scored, bowlers can be "fined" via Sundries for poor performance and other than 5 runs being scored for hitting an object such as helmet on the field, it is a pure game.

And Americans dont over analyse the stats anymore than we do of cricket as well...

Anonymous said...

Indeed Cricket is the only sport most Australians watch at same time, but your point on 'point for missing' is way off,most footy codes have two types of score. Leage,Union,NFL all have an option to add extra points from try/TD. AFL just has that function with the goal and point posts as they are...:)

Clay said...

Um no Anon...

You kick a conversion or a goal in league / union / soccer its because you are TRYING to kick that goal.

In AFL if you're TRYING to kick a goal and MISS (but by less than 10 feet or so) you get a "BEHIND"

WTF is a BEHIND anyway?

ozjesting said...

It is simply semantics for arguments sake. So what if it was phrased as such; An AFL player kicks for the "scoring zone"...and is rewarded 6 points in the middle, and 1 point to the wide sides."


Seems fair enough. Then we move into the the idea of the kick-out the added pressure etc...but that is a different discussion.

If there was no "behind" (and I have no idea where or why that term was chosen all those years ago) then it would be silly to make it 6 points ;)

The only "pure" scoring sports that I can think of are Soccer, Baseball, hockey and Blood Bowl.

One point for getting the job done. Thats it.

If we move to a discussion of "consolation" score...then you open the whole debate. Byes are consolations no doubt,regardless of the batter NOT being credited. While wides/no ball is a penalty for the bowler...leg byes are not.

Penealty kicks in rugby? consolation.

Open field goal shots? consolation for NOT being able to get a try (and why the fuck is it a "try" if they actually did it Mr "terms make no sense"? ;

Anonymous said...

Sorry Clay that was me forgot to put name at bottom ;)


Clay said...

A "try" was derived from the from the word "tri" meaning 3. Which was what a "try" was once worth until League made them 4pts and Rugby 5.

And BYES, and LEG BYES are penalties for the fielding team not getting a ball that wasnt off the bat....

And Oz, what about the AFL PreSeason scoring when they make a goal from beyond 50yrds worth 9 and a ball that hits the goal post 3? WTF is that all about?

Why dont they make it a big archery target!!

Anonymous said...

Now you're talking!

A big target... maybe with a hole cut out in the middle that trumpets like an elephant and gives you 100 points when you nail it!

And defenders with long sticks with nets on the end!

Now that would bring the crowds back!


Anonymous said...

Crikey I didnt know you were a Redskins Fan, I thought what with the Dragons, you'd probably be a Dolphins fan.

Rabid (Proud Skins Fan)