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Welcome to the Pros, Gentlemen

November 16th, 2004

Here’s a little note to CBS’s Randy Cross and all the whiny little whiners in Houston: There’s no such thing as running up the score in an NFL game. There’s running up the score in Pop Warner football. There’s running up the score in High School football. But there probably isn’t running up the score in college football. And there definitely isn’t in the NFL. Why? Because there isn’t, that’s why. Because if you’ve made it to that level and you can’t keep your opponents from scoring seven fucking times during a game, you deserve whatever humiliation you feel. But, most important, because there are provisions in the league’s post-season tie-breaking system that have to do with net points. And that’s just how it is.

Now, if the question is, why didn’t Tony Dungy pull his starters once the game was well in hand, you’ve got something. Why risk a stupid injury to Manning, Harrison and James at a meaningless point in a game, when you know you have to have those guys healthy in order to compete? And why not get some snaps for rookie quarterback Jim Sorgi when there’s no risk? After all, if Manning should go down for so much as a game or two, you’re gonna wish Sorgi had some game experience, ’cause Indy just isn’t a team that can win games if it only scores twice. But that’s a coaching decision. And I, for one, won’t be boo-hooing if one of Dungy’s coaching decisions comes back to bite him on the ass (nor, I imagine, will anyone in Houston).

So, barring a decision to give the backups some field time, what you do in an NFL game is that you continue to play the way you play best until the clock runs out. And that’s what the Colts did. Who cares if Houston didn’t care for it? Who cares if the Texans swear they’ll use the Colts meanness as a motivator heading into their December 12 rematch in Houston? (Good luck with that, fellas, by the way.) It’s the way the ball bounces. And, just like every other hit that doesn’t end your season, you just suck it up and take it.

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