No more so than Cleveland fucked themselves by making Charlie Frye their starting QB in Week One. However, the following item from the scandal-riffic Pro Football Talk is worthy of consideration, if only to suggest the Hooded Casanova might not be the only head coach playing fast and loose with the spirit of fair competition.
Buried in Peter King’s MMQB column is the first reference we’ve seen in several days to the unintended bombshell from Titans quarterback Kerry Collins (above) that his team took three knees while leading by six with less than two minutes to play in Week Seventeen because Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher and Indy coach Tony Dungy had some type of agreement that the Titans would run out the clock and the Colts wouldn’t use their one remaining time out.
Fisher told King that the suggestion of such skullduggery is “absurd.” King also takes the somewhat non-journalistic tack of vouching for Fisher’s credibility, with the veteran NFL reporter saying that he could tell that the accusation “shocked” Fisher.
Okay, so then either way this story deserves much more attention than it has received. Either Fisher and Dungy had a deal and are now lying to cover it up, or Collins was crazy (or liquored up) when he said what he said last week on WFAN.
But the story has been largely ignored by the media. Well, it’s been ignored publicly by the media. Privately, we’ve heard from a prominent national media figure who had this to say: “If Dungy and Fisher had some sort of ‘arrangement’ in a one-possession game with another team’s playoff chances on the line, this makes ‘Spygate’ look like ‘Romper Room.’ This whole thing stinks to holy hell and I’m sure Dungy, Fisher and the league would love for it to continue to be a non-story. But this is a huge story. What arrangement? When was it arranged? Why was it arranged? Whose idea was it? Who was in on it?”
Though it’s easy (and obvious) for Fisher to deny any type of collusion, the facts don’t lie. Apart from Collins’ nothing-to-gain-everything-to-lose candor, Dungy failed to call a time out after the Titans took a knee on third down with more than 30 seconds to play. Stopping the clock would have forced the Titans to try a field goal — which could have been blocked, and possibly returned for a touchdown.