01 Nov 2012
Saturday's game between UCLA and Arizona State University proved that half of success really is just being there. During the coin toss, UCLA's team was in the locker room, with only the punter on the field to call the toss. UCLA won, but the punter apparently (reports are sketchy at best) said something to the effect of "we want to kick." The officials were perfectly happy to oblige him, and the end result is UCLA kicking off to start both halves.
When UCLA won the toss, they were given a first-half option to kick or receive, an option which a team can defer until the second half. If a team exercises any option in the first half, their opponent has the option for the second half. The hapless punter believed he was deferring UCLA's option to the second half, but in reality he was exercising their option to kick in the first half. Arizona State happily opted to receive using their second-half option.
There are a lot of small things about a football game that people overlook. Granted, losing one possession did not prove fatal for the Bruins, but considering UCLA won the game by two points on a field goal as time expired, perhaps Jim Mora should make sure his actual captains are on the field in time for the coin toss next time.
47 comments, Last at 02 Nov 2012, 10:50pm by MJK
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?