While the sting of the 126th Harvard-Yale football game may have begun to abate for Elis who attended the Game last weekend, sports reporters around the country have continued to add their two cents about Tom Williams’ controversial fourth quarter play. They all agree that Williams’ fake punt was a huge — and dreadfully unsuccessful — gamble.
But most of these critiques also drew comparisons between Williams’ losing play and other similarly bad calls made recently by football coaches, including Louisiana State University’s coach Les Miles and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Here’s the best of the bunch:
“Rewinding the highs and lows from the college football weekend,” from USA Today: “Six days after Bill Belichick made one of the more curious coaching decisions in recent history, Yale coach Tom Williams did him one better.”
“A Hand Of Blackjack At The ‘Atrocious Football Game Management’ Convention,” from the Houston Press’ Game Time blog: “The sun is setting behind the main casino building and the marquee at the front of the parking-lot entrance reads ‘2009 ATROCIOUS FOOTBALL GAME MANAGEMENT CONVENTION.’ This is the annual gathering where football coaches at the college and pro level who have proven through stupidity, stubbornness, or mere genetics that they have no idea how to manage end-of-game situations all gather to exchange a free flow of ideas that will ultimately get them all fired.”
“Yale-Harvard Fourth-Down Analysis,” from the New York Times’ Fifth Down blog: “We asked Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats to take a look. With a caveat that he doesn’t know ‘the real numbers for the Ivy League,’ he said: ‘With some reasonable assumptions, we could estimate the break-even probability that a fake punt would need to be successful for it to make sense.'”
“Yale Football Coach Out-Crazies Bill Belichick,” from Deadspin.com: “Well, Williams was apparently so won over by the outpouring of love and affection that Bill Belichick got all week by going for it against the Colts, that he decided to do the Patriots’ leader one better. The Bulldogs ran a fake punt that gained 15 yards on an end around run. The only hitch in the plan was that they needed 22.”