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Friday, December 30, 2005

No Heart

In watching that last play again, I was stunned to see the total lack of heart displayed by several members of our team. Henne was standing right next to Hart when he picked up that long dropped lateral. Hart kept chugging, Henne turned around and walked off the field. After Ecker got his hands on the ball, he ran right past Jake Long, who was standing in place with his hands on his hips and not watching the play. Then, near the Nebraska 40, Ecker sprinted past another UM player who I couldn't make out because the Writer's Guild cheated me out of a High Definition TV set...I mean...anyway, it looked like a reciever, and this guy was also just sort of walking away from the play. It bears mentioning that this guy (I have to guess it was Manningham) would have been in a position to throw a block on one of the two remaining Nebraska players downfield, had he been so inclined.

Now I know most everyone in the world at that moment thought the play was over, but come on. You've still got 2 dudes sprinting down the sidelines like their lives depend on it, and there's actually still a number of linemen upfield blocking here and there. How about you play like you mean it and keep trucking until the fat lady sings. Is that too much to ask? Henne was tossing his body around like he was suicidal during the game; would it have been that much of a burden to put in 7 more seconds of effort? On the last play of the last game of the season?

It's pathetic, and it so very brilliantly sums up this team. No heart.


IC said...

While it's true and disappointing that Henne gave up on the play (which as your post notes, contradicts his very gutty effort throughout the rest of the game), it's unfair to say that the team can be summed up by the phrase, "No Heart."

As you point out, there were many players showing great heart during this final play. It is no surprise that Breaston and Hart were among the most conspicuous never-say-die guys. They play hurt and are constantly fighting for extra yards. Ecker also showed tremendous effort, and though his failure to hand the ball to Breaston was obviously a huge mistake, I will not fault him at all for this loss. He never stopped trying to win amidst almost unimaginable chaos and confusion.

Of the many interrelated reasons this team had such a dismal season (to name a few: tentative approach, injuries, lack of senior leadership, playing other teams which also have very good players), lack of heart is way down the list.

Benny Friedman said...

Although it may have been a WR you see around the 40, it also might have been Leon Hall who is just standing on the field, though closer to the 25. Why is a DB on the field when the offense has the ball you ask? Well only Leon Hall can answer that one. Maybe after making his two INTs in the first half he really worked up a sweat and needed a shower bad. If he's going to be on the field illegally, the least he could do is throw a block. There's no way those refs would have figured out that he shouldn't have been on the field.