The Worst Play Call In The History Of Sports?
So many great things happened on the field when the Seattle Seahawks met the New England Patriots.
From the wild two minutes that ended the first half with touchdowns by both the Pats and the Seahawks to the emergence of Chris Matthews, who walked out of a Foot Locker to catch four balls for 109 yards and a touchdown. Then you had Russell Wilson‘s elusive brilliance and Tom Brady being Tom Brady. Oh yeah, and that circus catch by Jermaine Kearse to put the Seahawks in the red zone with just over a minute left.
But you’re going to forget all of that because what you’ll remember is the play call on 2nd down with a yard to go. All the Seattle Seahawks had to do in order to secure their second Super Bowl in as many years is hand the ball to Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and let him punch his way into the end zone. No, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but it was about as sure of a thing as you can possibly imagine. But what does Pete Carroll do?
He throws the ball.
And what happens?
An undrafted rookie named Malcolm Butler sniffs out the play, steps in front of the receiver and makes the game-saving interception.
Curse words were hurled at televisions across the country and Twitter exploded with users who just couldn’t believe what they saw.
It didn’t make much sense when you think about it, but when you look at the setup it was even worse.
With less than a yard to go, Russell Wilson lines up in the shotgun formation. That’s bizarre in itself considering that unless you are calling an ill-advised draw play on the goal line that is destined to lose yardage, you have to be calling an even more bizarre pass play. Wilson is a great quarterback but he’s never been known for laser-like accuracy and that’s what was needed to thread the needle and get the pigskin to Ricardo Lockette. But Ricardo Lockette? Well, that’s almost as unbelievable but given the way the play was set up… nah …never mind. It doesn’t make sense.
Was it the worst play call in the history of sports? Probably. Even if you consider the hyperbole of the statement and stand it up next to other plays like Chris Webber‘s NCAA championship game time out, you have to call this the worst in the history of modern sports.
Considering that Marshawn Lynch led the NFL in touchdowns with 17, doesn’t it make sense to at least try to do the sure thing two times before you consider passing? It was 2nd down! Not to mention that the Seahawks didn’t exactly mask the play well either.
It was a mess that led to the game ending and everyone forgetting the greatness beforehand.
And Carroll explained his role in the travesty that will always be remembered in the Super Bowl.
“I made the decision,” Carroll said in exonerating Wilson and (offensive coordinator) Bevell. “I said, ‘Throw the ball,’ and we went with the play that we thought would give us a chance to get in the end zone. We had great matchups for the call that we made, and it didn’t work out. They made a better play than we did.”
Yeah. Wow. The worst ever.