Sunday, September 30, 2007

Armchair Quarterbacks

It's Sunday evening which means that all over the country NFL fans are rehashing today's games and playing armchair quarterback. Woulda done this, coulda done that, shoulda did it like so... I'm not a huge NFL fan so I don't follow it close enough to play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game... usually it's on TV only as a distraction while I'm catching up on the weeks grading.

I did, however, get a chance to watch the World Championships unfold on so you'll have to indulge me with a little armchair quaterbacking of my own... Other than having different riders on the US squad there are a few things I would've done differently.

Early in the race the group split and about 50 riders went clear. Hincappie was in the group with one teammate, Bobby J. The Itallians were well represented, albeit without Bettini, the Germans had good numbers as did the Spanish. The only strong team not represented was the Dutch, and they were chasing. Bobby J was working, but not very hard. Hincappie was sitting on as he should have been. The Itallians were not chasing for Bettini. Had I been in the car I would have had Bobby bury himself. It would have been a long shot, but perhaps if he could have held off the Dutch long enough he could have made believers out of others in the group and found some allies to help with the work, thus eliminating some of the big names and springing George... but it wasn't to be and it all came back together.

A few laps later Julich goes clear again with about 25 riders. He is isolated, no teammates in the group yet he is the work horse, spending an inordinate amount of time on the front. Why? I would have had him covering the move but sitting in, especially since there were no big names in the group and no squad had numbers... the move wasn't going anywhere. Alas, the group gets caught and Bobby J is done... DNF

Would have been nice to have Julich on the last lap when the decisive move went clear on the first climb. Hincappie was caught out of position when Bettini dragged a select group clear. Every big squad is represented by their respective leaders except the US. And Hincappie only has Vandevelde to support him. Immdediately both US riders should have been on the front. Nobody else is going to put their heart into the chase except maybe Hushovd and a few other isolated riders. Instead, from what I could glean from the brief camera shots of the chase, both Hincappie and Vandevelde were sitting in... maybe they were cooked, but at least make a go of it...

Just my thoughts, and I didn't have the inside knowledge about how riders were feeling, etc, so it's just armchair quarterbacking. And, the squadra azzura played the race perfectly. Bettini couldn't have asked for better support. They were probably unbeatable on the day.


While I was grading papers and watching football on TV, AWfoSho was working on his homework. A little video that goes along with a paper he'd written for English class... you might want to check it out.

The things they teach kids these days!

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