Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Point Conversion

Because I'm new to this blogging thing, I reserve the right to change my mind a bit. I think that the last things you readers want to read about are the headlines since, presumably, if you're already here, you know what they are. The great thing about sports is that there are more stories to tell than ones just about the box score.

....That being said, this story is related to one of those headlines. Kind of. Today, the lowly Seattle Seahawks (previously 7-9) upset the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New Orleans Saints, in what some sportscasters are already calling the biggest upset in the playoffs. Ever. What I don't want to talk about is how they pulled this off (but in case you're wondering, 4 touchdown passes from Matt Hasselbeck and a 67 yard run by Marshawn Lynch is how). What I do want to talk about is the man behind it all: Coach Pete Carroll.

Most sports fans know who Pete Carroll is. He coached the Jets, the Patriots, the USC Trojans, and is currently the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He has an outstanding resume (including two AP national championships, three consecutive Rose Bowl wins, two BCS championship game appearances and one win, blah blah blah; he's a good coach) and a not-so-clean recruiting and management record (Reggie Bush and Pete Rodriguez). Here's a story about Pete Carroll you might not know.

Ryan Davidson was diagnosed with brain cancer at age six, which he fought valiantly for 9 1/2 years before passing away on February 19, 2009, his 16th birthday. He was a passionate Trojans football fan throughout it all. When Pete Carroll heard about Ryan, he contacted him and brought him to California in 2004. He gave Ryan a tour of Heritage Hall, he brought Ryan to a quarterbacks meeting, had Ryan attend practice, and, at game time, carried Ryan on his shoulders into the locker room, singing, "Fight On" (Ryan's motto, adopted from the Trojans). Throughout the next few years, Pete Carroll made Ryan a member of the USC team, dubbing him their 'good luck charm'. A few months before his death, Ryan was made an honorary captain, leading the team out of the tunnel and doing the coin flip at center field. After his death, Pete Carroll flew to Wisconsin to speak at Ryan's funeral.

Ryan Davidson was an amazing person. He was brave, funny, and almost unbelievably optimistic. He was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. Pete Carroll was a wonderful friend to him. If only for that reason, I will continue to root for the Seahawks. 

Since we're on the topic of football, I thought I'd mention the importance of the two point conversion. Not to insult your intelligence, but in case you need a reminder a two point conversion is a play in football where, instead of kicking a field goal for 1 point after a touchdown, a team attempts a play for 2 points in addition to the 6 points of a touchdown. If the play fails, they get the touchdown and nothing more. A lot of times, they make or break the game. Since we're in the playoffs right now, a good two point conversion will be the thing to watch for.

On a completely different note, RIP to all those killed in the Arizona shootings. My prayers go out to the families of everyone involved as well as the victims in the hospital. 

That's all, folks!
The Sports Nerd

1 comment:

  1. Erin, I will attempt to be more involved in the College Basketball world, because I like talking Football as much as you like talking Basketball.

    Regardless, I didn't know that about Pete Carroll. I never truly thought ill of him, but that story indicates that he has a good heart.

    With regards to the two point conversion, it often ends up being a call of mathematical probability when a team is down by two or more touchdowns (e.g. a team down 30-14 scores a touchdown to make it a one score game so they only have to drive once). In other cases, it's simply a gutsy call such as this:

    In any case, great job Erin.