View Full Version : Page 2 Article about Vermeil

11-08-2005, 02:49 PM
This article (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=keown/051108) made for a quick, good read about Vermeil:

The man who saved football

By Tim Keown
Page 2

Dick Vermeil should be everyone's hero. Today we can forgive, even learn to appreciate, all the crying. The man saved football Sunday afternoon, and everybody who has an interest in the game should be giving him his due right this minute.

With his team down by three, and five seconds left, Vermeil turned his back on convention. Most coaches -- heck, all coaches before Sunday -- would have slapped their quarterback on the butt and sent in the field goal team to tie the game and set up overtime.

These are the guys who coach to save their jobs first, and to win the game second. They're assuming failure and reading the next day's newspaper ("We Lose; Coach a Gambling Fool") instead of taking a clear-eyed look at the situation.

Vermeil went for it. He called "20 Blast" and Larry Johnson ran straight into the end zone to win the game. The Raiders cleared out like Johnson was carrying the ball in one hand and a gun in the other.

If you watched the game, there was absolutely no doubt Johnson would get the half-yard. Overtime was a far riskier option for the Chiefs than getting that yard. The Raiders were beaten, having already inexcusably allowed Johnson to roll down to the 1 after a dump-off pass from Trent Green. The touchdown was a foregone conclusion, even if the color commentator kept saying the only, only play the Chiefs could possibly run was a quick slant pass that, if incomplete, would give them a second or two to kick the field goal.

So hardened is the conventional thinking that Vermeil's decision to go for the touchdown was still presented as a means of setting up a field goal.

(After the touchdown, the Raiders didn't have enough guys to take the field for the point after. Granted, the game was over, the clock was zeroed out, but Kerry Collins was the middle linebacker for the extra point. Craziness all around.)

Vermeil set up his flawed team for the rest of the season. He showed confidence in his guys, and they'll remember it the rest of the way. They'll play for him.

So all hail Vermeil. There's hope yet for this staid game and the folks who run it.

It's almost enough to make you cry.

11-08-2005, 03:11 PM
Ha, the gun thing it funny.

Rain Man
11-08-2005, 03:14 PM
"Flawed team?" Screw him.

11-08-2005, 03:18 PM
No doubt, I didnt see the flawed team part. What a D-Bag.

siberian khatru
11-08-2005, 03:21 PM
Awesome read. Couldn't agree more.

Even the "flawed team" part. :D

siberian khatru
11-08-2005, 03:22 PM
Actually, the one drawback about the piece is that he didn't call out Randy Cross by name for ridicule.