Just some final thoughts on all the action in the final minute of Saturday's game and the aftermath...
After all is said and done who is really affected by the events of last Saturday night?
Fans on both sides will either cheer or decry what happened...But usually those battle lines are drawn usually with a hard partisan tilt.
Regardless of how it all went down, regardless of the reaction of the fans, the fact is the guys on the field who do the actual playing know the deal. I said over the weekend that Rick Neuheisel knows the drill and so does Pete Carroll. Yes, some have said Carroll is a hypocrite for allegedly heap scorn on Harbaugh for his ballsy 2-point conversion attempt only to then turn around and drop a bomb on Neuheisel...there may be some truth to that but who really cares?
There is one group of people who were there and saw it all go down and even called what the response was going to be...the recruits.
Here is an interesting take...
After the game, outstanding safety recruit Deitrich Riley was asked about the ending of the game, he commented: "If you’re UCLA and you’re down late like that and the other team takes a knee, just let the game finish, don’t call a timeout. As soon as they did that, all of the recruits in our section were calling it and saying SC is going to go deep on them and that’s just what they did."
In fact, it even looks like Ucla expected it. The Bruins lined up with a five man front, then tried a linebacker blitz to get to Barkley. They had six defenders trying to get to the QB, kept one linebacker off the line to protect the middle, and used four defenders against the only two Trojans that crossed the line of scrimmage and went out as potential receivers. That's right, the Bruins gambled with a blitz and had five defenders back to defense the two Trojans who could possible catch a pass.
So, the guys who actually play the game get it...they saw it for what it was and they knew what the response would be. Now, you can debate whether or not the response was appropriate but as Rick Neuheisel said he had no problem with it.
You be the judge, do you believe him?
I do, but I know he has tacked that to the ucla locker room wall...
I have read just about everything on this that has been written on this. From all sides...but the take above strikes me as the most credible because it is from the guys who actually play the game. Not Simers, Miller, Plaschke, Seth Davis or any others who have criticized Pete Carroll. Those guys can wax poetic about class and sportsmanship all they want but to me the guys who actually play the game have the final say.
Our players felt disrespected for the Harbaugh thing just like the ucla players did for the Carroll thing. I am totally cool with that...Why? Because they are the ones that put it all out on the field. If anything they get to be the ones that determine class. They sacrifice their bodies (and sometimes their minds) for our enjoyment. So I have no problem with their complaints...but at the same token they better be prepared to defend the play. SC did against Stanford, ucla should have been ready for it against USC.
Pete is damned if he does damned if he doesn't...there is no such thing as a sure win!
But where players lose their right to complain is when they act like that loudmouth/thug Reggie Carter. I get the pre-game bluster, smack talk is a part of the game, but don't charge the middle of the field looking for a fight because you feel you have been "disrespected" and then talk about class...
I said earlier today that class in sports is for suckers...I totally believe that, The good old days are over.
We all watch ESPN/Fox/CBS and see how they hype teams, players and highlights...we all eat it up. Players calling other players out (is that classy?). Players taunting players or fans on the field after a big (or not so big) play or game. How many times have we seen that. Yes, there are many players that exude the very definition of class, but for every one of those there are 5 who don't. It is what we are today. I may not like it but I accept it as our level of tolerance for these types of actions has been numbed to it over time.
If you don't like it, do something about it and turn off the TV or radio.
Frak said it best...this was Pete making his statement for all the crap Slick Rick has stirred up...real or imagined.
Whether Pete's detractors want to believe it or not, Pete has been doing his own thing. Pete didn't poke Slick Rick in the eye when he arrived. It wasn't Pete's fault that the Dorrell regime was so terrible. Neuheisel wanted to change that, I get it. He wanted to take back the town and rile the ucla faithful up. Mission accomplished on the latter but his mouth and his off the field actions made him a very big target before he won anything. You reap what you sew...
Neuheisel claimed that he wanted to send his team a lesson about not quitting...that is perfectly legit and I applaud it. It is his team and he knows the best way to coach them up. Pete answered in kind by saying "OK, GAME ON!" by continuing to play but there is no rule that says that it has to be the way the opposing team wants it.
Pete Carroll finished the game right then and there and left no doubt and no chance for Slick Rick...
Why is it that the whiniest losers always want to talk about class and sportsmanship instead of just seeing at it is...you lost, deal with it.
SC fans have had to deal with far bigger losses than ucla has in the past few years but we sucked it up. Many of the fans acted childish...welcome to the world of the fan! Yes, some of our players were hardly classy in defeat but because they were on the field playing their asses off they get a certain amount of latitude in may eyes.
But hey, at least our guys have been there before, right...
Anyway, I am pretty much done with it.
The game itself was so bad that this spiced things up...A LOT!!