Monday, November 16, 2009

Nothing at stake?

Found it interesting that as I was in the lobby of the Yale athletic department offices, I overheard a conversation of people standing in line waiting to buy either tickets or parking passes for "The Game" on Saturday.

One comment in particular caught my attention as one said to the other "there's nothing at stake."

Really? I understand what he meant but to say their is nothing at stake when Yale plays Harvard shows a definite lack of understanding of what the Yale/Harvard game is all about. Yale can not win the Ivy League title and Harvard would need a win and a Penn loss to Cornell to earn a share of the title so it's a little different than it is has been in the last few years. But try saying there is nothing at stake Saturday to Yale captain Paul Rice, leading receiver John Sheffield or safety Larry Abare, who is holding out hope that he gets to take the field on Saturday one final time as a Bulldogs assuming the Yale medical staff OKs his return after two broken bones in his right forearm forced him to miss the last three games. It will be their last game as a college player and depending on how their dreams of playing pro ball shake out, could be the last time they play football period.

Year in, year out, The Game is a season onto itself. The alumni will have a significantly different take on a 4-6 season with a loss to Harvard and a 5-5 season capped with a victory over the Crimson. Williams' predecessor Jack Siedlecki was 23-7 in the last three years but his struggles against Harvard led to alumni turning up the heat on his.

And let's get any silliness of Tom Williams has to win this game for job security sake. They didn't undergo a nation-wide search to send the 33rd coach in Yale football history packing after one year. Maybe I'm naive but I think this staff will get the job done. It won't be easy and certainly losses to Cornell and Princeton are bitter pills to swallow but when you look at who is coming back next year, there is reason for optimism. Yes, Yale has to replace its entire starting linebacking corps (I consider Sean Williams to be a defensive end regardless of what the depth chart or roster may say), filling the void left by the reliable Sheffield won't be easy but Yale returns the nucleus of this year's team. If the Bulldogs head into next year's Harvard game with a 4-5 record and sitting at 2-4 in the Ivy, Williams should rightfully be feeling the heat. Right now there is reason for any Yale coach, player, administrator, fan to be disappointed but it's a bit premature to be calling for his ouster.

I've been at least one practice a week every week this season and have seen the coaching staff at work. I think they are good teachers and good communicators. I do think they are a little quick with the hook, especially on offense, changing quarterbacks, running backs and offensive line combinations a little too much to suit me but I think any coach deserves to bring in a full rotation of recruits before all this craziness about making a coaching change gets brought up.

NO CHAT THIS WEEK
There will be no live chat this week but we will look to have an online presence with video of interviews and of course stories on our website.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if it's the coaching, but there hasn't been much improvement in the team over the course of the season. Still no run game, defense has gotten worse against the run, and Witt made silly and costly mistakes v. Geot'n, and continues to make them v. Prin and Brown.
PS - Was there some kind of incident at the end of the Prin game?

10:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 2010 and 2011 are mediocre seasons, Yale should consider Larry Abare (currently a Wagner assistant) as its 34th Head Coach.

2:13 PM 

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