4 Down Territory

Reaction & Response

by Sam Pouncey

Welcome back everyone.  We hope you enjoyed our initial 4th and 10 post. That will now be a weekly segment that Levi and I work on and write together.  So that means that we will now have a post Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Before I offer my response to Levi’s Monday topics, I’d like to personally thank everyone who has read and helped us spread “4 Down Territory” your support means the world to me.  As always, feel free to comment and make suggestions in the comments section of by tweeting at us: @4_DownTerritory

First Down- Uniforms: Traditional or Flashy?

One of the big subjects in sports today, particularly college football, is the revolution of uniform design and performance.  Recent innovations in design and function of uniforms have led to uniforms being unveiled on a weekly basis for some teams.  Of course, Oregon is the obvious example with Nike CEO, Phil Knight, being an alumnus they have a new jersey every week (rendering that De’Anthony Thomas jersey you bought in August already obsolete).  For teams without traditional uniforms or a long-standing tradition of on-field success, this is an excellent recruiting tool and method of garnering media attention.

Other teams, on the other hand, have tremendous programs historically, and a large part of that tradition includes their uniforms.  These teams have created a certain brand identity with an iconic look, so there is no need for them to change their look.  In fact, it might even be a detriment to how they are perceived by their fans.  Teams like Alabama, Florida State, Texas and Notre Dame have such classic and clean looks that it would be hard for them to design an alternate uniform to improve from both an aesthetic and brand identity standpoint.  The bottom line is there is no need to “keep up with the Joneses”, when you are, in fact, the Joneses.

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Second Down- Don’t Be Stuck in the Stands Next to That Guy

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Levi is spot on with his analysis.  Deciding whether or not to attend a game or watch it on television is a tough decision.  On one hand, visiting the stadium and the atmosphere of the crowd is a great experience, especially when visiting for a big game or the first time.  However, the allure of being able to where pajamas, eat and drink for free, sit in a comfortable chair, and not be surrounded by crazies sounds nice too.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled by being a college student and attending six or more games a year and will miss it in a few years, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

Assuming you decide to go to the game, there are certain types of people you never want to be stuck near in the stadium for three or more hours.  Here are the worst five people to be stuck near.

The “Back in my Day” guy

This guy is the alumnus, or just rabid fan without a college degree, who believes that football was significantly better during the Great Depression, and never misses an opportunity to remind the “young whippersnappers”.  He can also be found at fraternity tailgates constantly asking you to recite the creed, talking about their crazy spring parties, and how pledgeship now is like daycare compared to what they went through.

Commonly overheard saying: “Grown men played football back in Unitas’ day, there are a bunch of wimps out there now.”

The “Scream to Mask your Lack of Football Knowledge” guy

This guy is also frequently the “Well-Overserved” guy.  We all know that guy who never misses an opportunity to scream at the top of his lungs that the offense should go for two instead of kicking a field goal on fourth down, or that the defense should have been flagged for a false start.

Commonly overheard saying: “LET ‘EM PLAY REF” (after a delay of game penalty).

The “Let’s Start the Wave” guy

The wave is a pretty common activity at sporting events these days.  Of course, to have the wave someone, or section, has to start it.  No one wants to be next to that guy who is just insistent on being that guy though.  It’s just like come on man there’s 8:26 left in the first quarter and you’ve already tried like 38 times to start the wave, when the whole crowd is standing anyway it doesn’t work.

Commonly overheard saying: “Man did you see that? We made it go all the way around the stadium like 5 times!”

The “Everybody Sucks” guy

Similar to the “Screamer”, this guy is convinced that everybody involved in the game is terrible.  The team he pulls for, the opponent, both coaching staffs, the referees, the waterboy.  It doesn’t matter!  Nobody is immune to his criticism.  He will flip from berating his own quarterback to reminding you of how badly your 2-time All-American wide receiver sucks in a matter of seconds. 

Commonly overheard saying: “You suck! My grandmother could have made that pass and she has arthritis!”

My response: “No he doesn’t.  He won a Heisman trophy and a conference championship…”

The “In-your-face-after-every-play-fan-of-the-opposite-team” guy

If you attend enough sporting events, you will inevitably sit next to a fan of the team that you are not pulling for to win.  Typically, this is fine.  I’ve, for the most part, had good experiences in these situations.  However, occasionally you get stuck next to the guy that feels the incessant need to remind you that he detests your fandom decision and his team is better than yours every 45 seconds.

Commonly overheard saying: “Yeah brother, did you see that first down pickup!”

My response: “Yeah man that would’ve been a huge help before y’all were losing by 4 touchdowns.”

Third Down- Tony Romo

Tony Romo gets a bad rap from the media, ergo he is less well-liked than other players with comparable stats.  He has thrown for over 4,000 yards 4 times since 2007.  He has thrown more than 25 touchdown passes 5 times since 2007.  Only four other quarterbacks have accomplished both of those feats in that time frame also: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers (of all people).

Unfortunately, for Romo he has two things working against him that make him an ideal scapegoat for the lack of recent championships by “America’s Team” to be placed.  He is not “clutch” and he is turnover prone.  He has thrown double-digit interceptions 4 times since 2007.  A stat that he shares with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Hasselbeck, Jay Cutler, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Joe Flacco, the Manning brothers, and, once again, Philip Rivers.  His lack of the “clutch gene”, however contributes more to his media and fan perception than his turnover issues.  The 2007 and 2008 playoffs are the best examples.  The famous botched field goal hold knocked the ‘Boys out of the 2007 playoffs, and a Romo interception with :09 seconds left in the game made Dallas the first number 1 seed in two decades to lose in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The key with Romo is to accept him for what he is.  A good player, who will never threaten to be elite.  A quarterback whose stat line will always outshine the actual on-field product.

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4th Down- Young NFL Quarterbacks

I’d like to thank my good friend, Stephen Vosel, for suggesting this topic to Levi and me.  He is an avid Jets fan and wants our take on Geno Smith.  I am going to give Stephen what he requested, going forward if you have a topic you want us to cover feel free to drop us a line and we will do our best to cover it.

Geno Smith has certainly shown his potential, particularly in the first half of last year’s college football season with West Virginia.  He has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets and has led several key drives late in games this season.  However, he has also shown us that he still has a significant amount of growing up to do.  He stepped out of the back of the endzone in a preseason game a.k.a. “pulled an Orlovsky”.  If first year quarterback coach, David Lee, can do a better job than the previous coach, then the Jets may have a talented young weapon on their hands.  However, if he gets the instruction that his goateed predecessor received then the Jets are in for a few more years of hardship. 

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Other young quarterbacks who have the brightest futures in the NFL are Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Cam Newton.  This upcoming draft class will only further the meteoric rise of quarterback quality in the NFL as well.

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