Yesterday I was at a Big Ten game. To stay in the playoff hunt, team A would have to beat team B. I was rooting for team A. However, team A had been having problems on special teams all season, with fumbles and missed tackles.
The game began with team A fumbling on the first handoff and giving team B a touchdown after only seven seconds of play. Nice start. However Team A came right back to tie it, 7-7. In fact, they were up by eleven points with eleven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, 34-23.
Once again, team A's special teams forgot how to tackle and team B scored 14 unanswered points after long kick off/punt returns.
Team B was now up 37-34. Team A managed to get a field goal. Game tied, 37-37.
Instead of trying an onside kick, Team A kicked off to team B. Team B rolled over team A's special team players again and almost returned the kickoff for a touchdown. Now it was first and goal for team B. Team A's defense managed to hold team B to a field goal. Score 40-37. The clock was ticking down.
With little over a minute to go, team A still had a chance to tie the game, maybe win it. Their kicker had made a record setting 59-yard field goal a few weeks earlier. Their quarterback was hitting his receivers with regularity. Even though the kick off and punt return teams were not carrying their weight, anything was possible.
Oops. Nevermind. Game over. Team A loses. All hopes of a bowl go down the tubes.
In the locker room, after the game, one of the starting players, a senior, went up to the Special Teams coach and screamed in his face, "You should be fired!!!" A player who was standing nearby told me about the outburst.
I think his frustration spoke not only for the team, but for a stadium full of fans. And not just for this one game, but for the whole season.