Rolling Up the Score

Monday, January 5, 2015

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Sports fans should resist the urge to condemn professional players and teams for performances that dominate the scoreboard.

There were several events on the sporting calendar last fall that caused me to ruminate on the issue of a dominant performance resulting in an overwhelming disparity on the scoreboard. My view is that in all professional sports, as well as in Division I college football, the allegation that another team “ran up the score” and thereby disrespected an opponent should rarely be hurled. For example, TCU’s offensive effort in its 82-27 win over Texas Tech was so explosive that it ran out of explosives—literally. TCU sets off fireworks after each touchdown, and in this game exhausted its supply. Imagine that: a shortage of pyrotechnics in Texas. But TCU did it against a worthy opponent, a team that had gone 8-5 the year before, including a win in the Holiday Bowl.

Even though I’m a fan of the Chicago Bears, I disagreed with the Green Bay Packers’ recent decision, after Aaron Rodgers had thrown six touchdown passes in the first half in a game at Lambeau Field against the Bears, not to try for a seventh to tie the NFL record for touchdown passes in a game. The Packers and Bears are fierce rivals. The fans who pay to see the game deserve a full effort from both teams at all times, and, if they are lucky, a record-setting performance.

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