(head coaches generally don’t wear helmets, but it might be time for Jim Zorn to break from tradition)
If the Lions chose to celebrate yesterday’s 19-14 defeat of the Redskins by returning to Ford Field to high-five long suffering Detroit fans, how might they mark, say reaching .500? Individual backrubs? Fellatio doesn’t seem out of the question if the Lions could pull off a a miraculous playoff berth this season, and I don’t wanna guess what might happen if Detroit made it all the way to their first Super Bowl — though an orgy scene / human sacrifice scene not unlike those depicted in Season Two of “True Blood” (with former GM Matt Millen in the role of Sam Merlotte) comes to mind. Where the Redskins are concerned, however, ESPN.com’s Matt Mosely writes of their embattled head coach, “it’s easy to second-guess Jim Zorn on his decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the Lions’ 1-yard line early in the game, mainly because it didn’t work”. Sadder still, Fred Smoot tells the Washington Post’s Tom Bosely, “We can right the ship. The Lions did it.” When they’re looking to the 1 win -in-their-last-19 games Lions for inspiration, it’s an appropriate time to question the Redskins’ psyche, as Boswell does unflinchingly.
They may have to fight through an incredible amount of self-delusion about the talent level on their team. This week, Clinton Portis said he thought the Redskins had the most talent in the NFL. Comments like that have been common in the Redskins’ locker room for the past 10 years — regardless of all available evidence. Not only is the view tolerated at Redskins Park, it is encouraged and marketed. Where does this fallacy arise? In the owner’s suite, where the price of players is equated with their performance?
Most perplexed of all at day’s end was Coach Jim Zorn, who didn’t seem to grasp, entirely, that his two dubious burn-the-book decisions in the first quarter had cost the Redskins at least seven points — more than the ultimate margin of defeat.
Zorn decided against a short field goal, then was stopped on fourth and one at the Lions goal line. Then, just minutes later, he accepted a penalty, allowing the Lions to replay third down — a classic tempt-fate tactic. Detroit, instead of being forced to try a 50-yard field goal, converted the third and 13 and eventually completed a 99-yard touchdown drive.
“I didn’t think we’d be denied” at the 1, Zorn said. “I thought, ‘No way they can drive 99 yards on us.’ I didn’t believe that would happen.”
In the first quarter, most coaches go by percentages, not prophecy.