If Cliff Floyd’s breakdown wasn’t mind blowing enough for you, “Ball Four” author and Big League Chew inventor Jim Bouton (above) tackles the increasingly complex world of what we like to call “American Football” in today’s Seattle Times (link culled from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).
It’s embarrassing, as a former baseball player, to have to explain how to win a football game, but somebody’s got to do it. So, here’s my advice: Try to Score the Most Points.
I know this is contrary to basic football strategy ” reinforced over the years by TV analysts (ex-coaches and old quarterbacks) ” which is: Establish the Running Game, Get Good Field Position, Eat Up the Clock.
Football logic dictates that you Establish the Running Game to Set Up the Pass. (Why a team can’t Establish the Pass to set up the Running Game is a closely guarded secret.) The other reason to Establish the Running Game is to Eat Up the Clock. Eating Up the Clock is good. Unless you discover, later in the game, that the clock you ate was your own.
But never mind. The main thing is while you’re Eating Up Clock, you’re piling up Time of Possession so important to the TV guys.
Their thinking is that if the other team doesn’t have the ball, they can’t score. Beautiful. Of course, if you’re not scoring either, there’s no advantage.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop them from believing that marching 60 yards in 10 minutes before giving up the ball is better than turning it over in two minutes. Tip to football experts: No matter how quickly (or how often) you turn over the ball, each team gets it the same number of times!