Tue | May 26, 2020

Kelly's World | Yes, defence is still a thing in sports

Published:Monday | February 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM
New England Patriots quarterback celebrates with fans during a parade after winning the Superbowl.

Now I coulda written something about Valentine’s Day, but Cupid and I ain’t on speaking terms.

So instead, I’ll write about something that I love dearly, sports. I’m a big sports fan, even though I never played any.

Over time, I’ve become way more calm when watching sports. I’m not such a rabid fan that I go into depression when ‘we’ (yes, I consider myself part of the team) lose.

However, there is, for me, a worrying trend that I see developing in two sports, and it’s called scoring.

A friend from high school took a screen shot of an NBA game in which the score was 83-71 with four seconds left before half-time!

That means literally half the game was still to be played, and one team nearly had 90 points.

When I was growing up, teams had trouble just getting to 90 points in four quarters, much less in two.

And there are people who absolutely love all this high scoring. To be totally honest, it makes me sick.

Sure, the players of today are more athletic. I get that.

But, if they were playing with some of the rules I knew the NBA had back in the ’90s, there would not be that much freedom.

It feels cartoonish to see scores of 135-127. What is this? A charity game?

Another sport I love is (American) football. The biggest game in the sport, the Super Bowl, took place February 3, with the Patriots beating the Rams 13-3.

It was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history and I loved every minute of it.

In the regular season, there was actually a game where a team scored 50 points (plenty for an NFL game) and lost!

Maybe it’s because I’m slow like molasses, but watching a game where teams are just going back and forth and scoring a touchdown every two minutes does not appeal to me.

What little football (the one played with the round ball) that I played, I was in defence. All sports require effort. But it feels like you need it even more on defence.

Truth is, I think that especially on the NBA side, some of these players are too darn lazy.

So it’s like the perceived ‘bastard child’ treatment defence is getting to fit perfectly with their personal mindset.

Defence is all about effort, and especially in the NBA, some of these guys simply can’t be bothered.

But the real issue with all the scoring (and the rule changes that facilitate it) lies in the cash register.

Like legendary US college coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant said, “Offence sells tickets. Defence wins championships.”

And that’s the problem. Professionally run, franchise-based sports are all about the money, hence the obsession with more scoring.

‘Put fans in the seats’ is what it’s all about. Yea, yea whatever. Leave me out a that. Give me a low-scoring, hard-nosed, bruising game any day.

I just feel like all this flashy scoring is for ‘pretty boys’. And I got no love for them.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com