clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stuff and Shenanigans: Mother Nature's Like “Slooooow Doooooown”

In which we sincerely give credit to Arizona for being good at the space-time continuum.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Washington v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images


I believe it was the declaration of independence that said:

A 72% Sober and 100% Accurate Rundown of Absolutely Everything

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to something something and blah blah, we find it self-evident that one ought to be able to hold two thoughts in one’s head, that:

  1. Washington’s offense looked mildly poo-ish compared to their usual levelling of opponents and
  2. The pace of play — largely dictated deliberately by Arizona — made the score artificially low in a way that overstates the offensive meh-ness.

For comparison, against Arizona Washington had only two more possessions than they had against Boise — in the first half.

Combine the fact that the offense was stupid sloppy and cute, and uh, yeah that’s a good recipe to look real bad on paper. (And, sloppiness-wise, in person.)

All things considered, other than the bumbling execution on UW’s side, I’m less freaked out by this game on their behalf than I am impressed with Arizona’s coaches’ strategic approach — really, just the fact that Jedd Fisch wasn’t too proud to admit his team couldn’t go shot for shot with Mike Penix and Co, and instead adapted to the most logical path they were given, so long as the space-time continuum still stands as we know it.

Following this formula is the way any lesser team — and I say that with full respect not to belittle said teams but to avoid false modesty about the historically prolific nature of this offense — has to defeat Washington.

So f*ck it, kudos to Arizona there going full Tony Bennett's Virginia.

On defense, have every defensive resource prioritize taking away the top and force Penix and Co to go down the field bit by bit to score, then on offense, also forget about explosive plays because that will give you a dopamine hit but ultimately score too fast should you be successful and then result in more possessions for each team, which favors Washington because they're more likely to score efficiently any given possession than you are so the more you multiply these possessions the more that effect is magnified. *Finally inhales*

Just, like... slooooooooooooooooow doooooooooooown.

Honestly, considering how much stupid amounts of money head coaches get, it shouldn’t be a novel idea to actually analyze a situation and adapt to it to give your team the best chance of winning, but shockingly grown-ass head coaches are, often, Kind Of Total Idiots, so...

Seriously, the amount of CFB coaches who are given a scenario, proudly proclaim beforehand that they’re just gonna “play our game” and “we can compete with anybody” and then get shitcanned because, as it turns out, they’re full of it: It’s like when the Redcoats were like “No we’re just gonna march double-file into battle and— Hey! You can’t pick us off like that! You can’t just hide in the bushes and snipe us from a cranberry bog! Mom! MOOOOM the Americans aren’t playing by the rules— no we haven’t stopped marching double-file through the fields— NO we’re not gonna adapt we just have to keep playing our gam— Hey where’d the colonies go?”

So well done to Jedd Fisch for actually analyzing an opponent and approaching them accordingly. That shouldn’t be rare, but it turns out coaches are disproportionately dinosaurs, so... *insert shrug emoji, I guess*

If-slash-when Washington gets beat this year by a team not named Oregon or USC, it will be from a staff building on the blueprint first laid out in Tucson, by Tucson.

Luckily for le Huskies, I have minimal faith in mmmmmm-most coaches to commit to that, because most are too hubristic and lacking in the discipline it takes to A) admit your team can’t keep up if each offense gets as many possessions as possible and B) commit to, essentially, also scoring less.

And on that second part, I get it. I don’t think I’d have that discipline either; it’s scary and, in the moment, counterintuitive to every instinct to recognize that you’re committing to having to march down the field extremely slowly, six yards at a time or some bullcrap, and often not score, just to give the opponent as few chances as possible.

“You’re telling me there’s an offense that, under all but the most purposefully-constructed adverse circumstances, scores at will?”


“And you’re telling me that, when I play them and have the ball, I have to just... not score?”


“For like, eight minutes?”


“And then what?”

“Well then you score.”

“But what if I don’t score?”

“Well then there’s eight fewer minutes to worry about in which they could’ve scored twice.”

“Why don’t I just score as fast as possible?”

“Cuz then they’ll score twice in that time.”

“So don’t score?”

“Don’t score.”


“Until you score.”

See? It sounds like the ramblings of a crazy person. If the hubris of football coaches drives me nuts and could be my thesis topic, at least the challenge of committing to this aspect of competing against the UW offense I can forgive them for. That part's not hubris, that's basic sanity.

Lines of the Week

All of us realizing, because of course, because it’s Arizona, of course after comfortably leading the whole game it was gonna come down to the final minute n’ some:

All of us realizing tick tock it’s onside kick o’clock:

All of us realizing tick tock it’s “4th & one with 16 seconds left, should we go for it to ice it and risk everything if we don’t make it, or punt and give them possession?” o’clock:

(See also, “me once per paragraph here every week from September through January for the last eight years.”)

Lastly under the “do good things” umbrella of the week, help out Emerald City Hockey’s photographer, who’s a rad beeyotch and increasingly a staple of the Seattle sports world and has had to deal with some crap lately and deserves our support.

And in a less selfless move because you get something out of it, but one I’ll still count as your daily good thing because you’ll make a stranger (me) feel positive things (happiness-slash-fewer stress dreams), get tickets to this standup comedy series in Greenwood or this chaotic comedy panel show at The Crocodile wherein we might end up cage match-ing on stage or, once again, help me reach 100 subscribers over at Everett Flabbergasters because I have way more fun writing that than this but it has like... less than 1% the readership on a good day despite the fact that this is, frankly, a way worse product.

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.