I've never played professional football. I played in high school, and have watched it my entire life.
One thing that coaches have always preached, is to play until the whistle, and play a full game.
Why does that change when you get to the pros?
Yesterday, at the end of the Buccaneers-Giants game, Eli Manning lined up under center in the victory formation (otherwise known as 'kneel').
The Buccaneers were down by a touchdown, but the Giants had possession with essentially no time left on the clock.
The ball was snapped, and the Buccaeers' defensive front surged into Giants' backfield - eventually knocking down Manning.
The game ended, and Tom Coughlin shot over to the Buccaneers sideline like Usain Bolt chasing gold medals. He then scolded/berated Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano for the defensive actions on the previous play.
Well coach Coughlin, I have news for you - get over it.
If the Giants were up by two touchdowns, ok the hustle play by the defensive line makes can be seen as excessive. But from the Buccaneers' perspective the game wasn't over. They believed they could blow up the snap and maybe get the ball back.
This offended Coughlin - he feels that once the Giants decide the game is over, then it's over.
Well the rookie coach of the Bucs thinks the game should be played for a full 60 minutes - not until Coughlin decides it's time to take it easy.
I tend to agree with the rookie coach. Here he is, taking over a mediocre team that played neck and neck with the defending Super Bowl champions. They played through to the last whistle, and it shouldn't offend anyone.
By no means am I a huge Buccaneers fan, nor a Schiano fan. I'm a fan of the game, and I will not take part in demonizing a team for playing hard. Neither should Tom Coughlin.
Now an argument can be made that "unwritten rules" exist in all sports, and players should stop hustling when the quarterback kneels may be one of them. But I can't buy it, not in a close game, not one bit.
Too much can go wrong in a quarterback-center exchange. If the losing team is down by one score, then by all means they should try to create a problem for that exchange. Thereby getting the ball back and a chance to score. If a team is not doing this, then they're poorly coached.
Coach Coughlin please keep your interpretation of how lackadaisical the game should be played to yourself. Fans and players both like hustle, don't usher in the further destruction of it.