Plays of the Week. Top Five this and Web Gems that.
Fine. Get it. It’s what society demands, because consistently prepared and sound and productive just ain’t sexy. Understood.
But here’s an idea: How about an occasional version offering a peek at the plays and players behind the spectacular, the hidden beauties that make spectacular possible?
How about at least a snippet of the fullback who, on third down before the highlighted 61-yard field goal sneaked in without a thimble to spare, received a middle screen and, through sure Want To turned a 2-yard loss into a 4-yard gain— enabling the kicker to shine.
Maybe something of the .243 hitter who, one batter ahead of the guy who sent the winning two-run home run into the second deck, endured an 11-pitch at-bat to shove the reliever’s pitch count just past the comfort zone.
That dunk was great and so forth, and certainly water-cooler fodder for those who fail to grasp that it’s worth no more than the two points awarded for a jump-hook of far greater difficulty. But perhaps an iso of the reserve forward’s bloodied cheekbone, created when he screened that 270-pound defender to free Supe for that dunk.
The striker’s dash for a one-on-the-keeper goal was a delight. But, catch the work of that center-back winning the tussle near midfield, absorbing knees and hips and even that forearm to the chops to gain possession and feed ahead for the marker?
That footage of the course-record setter loping the final 60 yards to a cross country victory is great, most certainly justified. So, too, is recognition of that gal who whacked 19 seconds from her personal best to move up, oh, a dozen unexpected places to secure valuable points toward that two-point team victory.
The anchor runner’s zip across the finish line in the 4×100 is a natural. But maybe take it back to the final curve, to the point where the third-leg runner lunged belly-to-track to assure a clean exchange of the baton because the anchor burst prematurely into a full sprint?
Gotta show the final pitch of the perfect game. No-brainer. But maybe backtrack to footage of the catcher’s work to frame those three-ball pitches and steal strikes in the second and sixth innings to keep the possibility afloat.
That three-pointer in transition from just inside the concession stand was super — well, footage anyway, it was brutal shot selection. Anyone catch what preceded that? The gal who persistently defended, got a hand in the passing lane, made the deflection, chased down the basketball and fed ahead. Yeah, that’s the highlight.
What the hell, perhaps a group shot of the scout team that so wonderfully prepared the starters to ring up that three-TD title-game win. Ain’t happening without the fellas who get their buttocks kicked around every Monday through Thursday— guaranteed!
That 2-under-par score that headed the field was remarkable, particularly on a breezy, drizzly day. But, hey, so was that 82 the No. 5 man sealed by holing putts of eight and 12 feet on his last two holes— because he’d worked his tail off on the practice green in the offseason to tidy up a weakness in his game.
Off goes the tailback, nary a glove on his jersey, 88 yards for his third touchdown of the night, and every step is captured on the 11 o’clock news. But what’s blurred out? What should be front & center? Check out the slot receiver’s work to engage the corner — and drive and inhibit and deny — providing the necessary room for TB to jet.
Naturally, that 0-2 riser for the pitcher’s 16th strikeout leads the reel following that 1-0, extra-inning softball game. But think back to the right fielder’s play in the second: One out and, despite shading the line, she motors into the gap to reduce a potential triple to a big-turn single. Two batters later, with a runner at second, same gal charges to snare a knee-high, sinking liner for the third out.
Bottom line, spectacular is fine and all. But as often as not, the best stuff, unfortunately, tends to be buried a layer below.
Keep grinding, star-makers. Your due will come in the long run.