July 18, 2008

Manchester Wins, But Not Triumphantly

THE GOOD NEWS: the Manchester Wolves (8-7), my city's minor-league arena football team, beat the Albany Conquest (5-10) in Albany this evening by an impressive score of 70-49, thus ending the Conquest's playoff hopes and pretty much ensuring our appearance in the post-season.

THE BAD NEWS: our starting quarterback, James Pinkney, got hurt in the fourth quarter and did not return. He was able to walk off the field but was in extreme pain. I don't know what happened to him and neither did the announcer on the radio feed to which I was listening, but I just hope it's not a rib-cage injury. That would be bad. That would be very bad. I hope Mr Pinkney has a swift and speedy recovery from whatever is ailing him.

Also in the "bad news" category -- our play was ... well, a bit sloppy. Yes, I know I'm a perfectionist. Yes, I know I am unforgiving. That's not the point. Albany should not have scored 49 points in that contest, and I think we could have scored more than 70 -- we had 40 at halftime, after all. The only reason we did score 70, as it happened, was because Albany was messing around with timeouts when the game was lost; thus, instead of running the ball, we ran a long-bomb pass play that went for a touchdown.

I suppose what frustrated me as a fan were the innumerable penalties against the Wolves, several of them personal fouls. The personal foul penalty is the bane of every football fan, primarily because it's so stupid. Does the quarterback release the ball? Sadly, he is inviolate. Does some loudmouth on the other side rattle your chain? There is one and only one acceptable response to this -- and that is the word "scoreboard."

I mean, come on, guys. It's Albany. They suck. They always suck. They always have and always will suck*. There is no reason to let them get under your skin. For that matter, there is no reason to let anyone get under your skin. Channel your anger into an appropriate response, such as legally piledriving a wide receiver into the boards four plays later. It is one thing to get mad, but much better to get even.

On the other hand, the Wolves do deserve a lot of praise for turning their season around this year. Things seemed pretty grim back when they were 1-6, but winning seven of their last eight games has turned this into a winning team and an impressive program. Don't ease off the accelerator now!

* This may actually prove the case, as the attendance in Albany tonight was just 3,000 and change -- not enough, based on the Conquest's owner's previous statements, for the man to bring the team back next year.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 18, 2008 10:02 PM | TrackBack
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