Insanity here, there, everywhere

Let me apologize in advance to any sane coaches who may be reading this column. But then, if you are as sane as you claim, why are you reading this column?

When I officiated basketball, officials often joked that coaches are temporarily insane during games. Of course, most coaches are reasonable, rational and all-around good people before and after games, but during games their behavior is borderline insanity.

Many years ago, as I walked onto the court at Hutchinson Sports Arena for a high school basketball game, a Winfield High School assistant coach said, ?You may have to give our (head) coach an early one (technical) tonight. He?s not in a good mood.?

Huh? That sounded odd. Turns out the assistant was right.

The game was barely a minute old and the score was something like 4-2 when I heard the Winfield head coach yelling, ?That?s a terrible call.?

After another trip up and down the court, the coach resumed yelling, ?That?s terrible!?

That was enough for me, so I assessed the quickest technical foul I had ever given after the opening tipoff.

As the Hutchinson player prepared to shoot the technical free throws, the Winfield coach yelled, ?So, is that all (the guff) you?re going to take tonight?? It was insane.

However, after saying that, the coach stopped yelling and sat silently on the bench the rest of the game. It was amazing.

But temporary insanity is the only explanation for his behavior at the start of the game.

All of which brings us to the recent Super Bowl decision by the Seahawks to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, with one of the strangest coaching decisions I?ve witnessed as a sports fan.

Rather than run the ball from the 1-yard line in the last 30 seconds with Mar?shawn Lynch or quarterback Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll decided to spring a surprise by throwing a short pass over the middle.

It seemed like an odd call to me and I wasn?t alone. Twitter blew up with all kinds of sports talk show hosts and former football players second-guessing the decision to pass the ball.

You could argue that Carroll?s decision got New England coach Belichick off the hook. Because if the Seahawks had scored, Belichick would have been left to explain why he failed to use his two remaining timeouts in order to save some precious time for his offense in the last minute of the game.

Ian O?Connor on ESPN.com wrote: ?Instead of notarizing his standing as Belichick?s equal, Peter Clay Carroll made the dumbest and most damaging call in Super Bowl history.?

That assessment is harsh, but it?s not without some merit. A lot of things can go wrong with a pass over the middle from the 1-yard-line.

The quarterback can get sacked or stripped of the ball. ?And he can get outsmarted by an undrafted rookie out of West Ala?bama,? wrote O?Connor. Of course, a running back can also fumble, so there are no guarantees.

To his credit, Carroll took the high road and assumed full responsibility for the call, but that doesn?t make it any less insane.

Carroll is not the only smart guy to have done some really dumbfounding things. O?Connor said: ?Pete Carroll, the successor to Dick Clark as the world?s oldest teenager, got all silly and reckless at the worst possible time.?

Speaking of insane, how do you explain the Chiefs beating both New England and Seattle during the season?

And how was Foot Locker able to receive better publicity than any of those who spent millions of dollars advertising during the Super Bowl?

O?Connor said Seattle?s Chris Matthews ?had never caught an NFL pass yet was making like Jerry Rice all night. Matthews had a job working at Foot Locker when Seattle called him. You know, like Kurt Warner had a job stocking groceries at a Hy-Vee before he won his ring with the Rams.?

It?s insane!

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