Being Forced To Burn A Timeout


Marshawn Lynch lays beneath a pile of defenders. It’s one of the drawbacks of fighting so hard for extra yards. The extra time allows more defenders to come over and add to the pile. Lynch doesn’t mind though. He takes pride in getting every possible inch. He smiles a bit as the last defender finally moves and allows him to get up, and he turns to rejoin his teammates in the huddle.

He makes eye contact with John Moffitt. The rookie guard had been key on the last play. He pealed off the double team on the DT just in time to block the MLB as well. Lynch think “man, the kid’s really starting to get it,” but he doesn’t say anything. He just gives Moffitt a nod and then turns his attention to Tarvaris Jackson to get the next play.

As the team breaks the huddle, Lynch glances at the play clock; 21 seconds left, plenty of time. Looks over the defense going through the reads one by one in his head. “The LBs are shifted to the weak side, away from where’s the play calls for him to run. Good. That’ll help. Where’s the safety? Back deep. They’re expecting pass.” 

Lynch glances at the play clock again. 15… 14… What’s taking so long? The linemen aren’t even set yet. 

12… 11… Then Lynch sees the problem. There’s no ball. The official is still holding it.

8… 7… He turns around to look at the referee behind him. There’s no concern on his face. Weird. Lynch turns forward to see Jackson yelling at the umpire to set the ball.

3… 2… Lynch looks over the sideline just in time to see head coach Pete Carroll get to the side judge just in time to call a time out with 1 second left on the play clock. Carroll then begins jogging out to the center of the field to speak with the referee. Lynch decides to walk over and listen in to see what the problem was.

Carroll: “What’s going on, why didn’t the ball get set? and why did we have to burn a time out?”

Referee: “Well, we knew you were going to call a time out, we were just waiting for you to do it.”

Carroll: “WHAT!?! ARE YOU ____ING KIDDING ME?!?”

The above story is obviously a work of fiction, but it expresses a level of frustration that I felt earlier this week. Around mid-day on Monday my internet suddenly stopped working. Turns out CentryLink (the company, not the stadium) had sent me a defective DSL modem and it had already burnt itself out.

Normally that wouldn’t be anything more than a minor inconvenience, but I run a blog (the one you’re reading) and there’s a few thousand of you who regularly read it and I feel I owe it to all of you to have regular new content ready for your consumption. Luckily, Joseph did a fantastic job filling in for me with not one, but two articles during my absence, for which I am extremely grateful.

It’s times like this that I have to force myself to see the big picture and not just be irate with my ISP. In the grand scheme of things it isn’t really a big deal. And hopefully, all of you, my loyal readers, will forgive my brief absence.