Saturday, September 27, 2008

The A-11 Offense: truly offensive

I know a lot of you are probably screaming: "Less politics, more football and fashion!" Seems lately I have to get riled in order to be inspired, and politics is an easy target (I'm lazy at heart). I almost posted about Kenley's ghastly "hip hop" outfit on Wednesday's Project Runway, but it would've been like shooting fish in a barrel. Finally, I gleaned something from the world of sports that is worthy of my razor-sharp claws.

Some smart-ass coaches at a California high school are playing football in a downright un-American way. They've created "the A-11 offense," which in essence means that on any given play, all 11 players are eligible receivers.

Says Steve Humphries, offensive coordinator for the Piedmont High Highlanders: "Football is so conservative. There's not a lot of strategy if you're just smashing 300-pound guys together in predictable ways. A-11 filters that out so everyone is active and nimble—like soccer."

Soccer!!??? What's great about American football is that it's not soccer.

Well, I don't give a whit about high school football, though I do love their marching bands. So I thought, big deal. Until I read that college coaches and even—gasp—NFL coaches are giving this strategy a looksee. The S.F. 49'ers reportedly incorporated aspects of the A-11 into their punt plays. Anathema! I took comfort, however, in this blogger's comments: "...this is something that can happen in college football and not in the innovation-hostile NFL."

Thank you. That's what I want from the NFL—hostility, not innovation and cleverness, no matter what this mathlete says:

"Anything that adds permutations, but also adds mystery about pattern makes this more complicated to decipher," says John Lindhe, a mathematician at Northeastern University in Boston. "Football has all these gimmick plays—Statue of Liberty, hook and ladder—that are seldom seen because they're very decipherable."

I have a hard enough time following the ball on a TV screen. I don't want to not know where the ball is even more than I do now.

I hope that when I awake from my next nap, this will have all been a dream.


MoneyMouth said...

A-11 is quite brilliant. While we will never see this offense make it to the NFL, it is perfect for small high schools that don't have the size advantage against their powerful opponents.

While it's unorthodox, it doesn't mean we should be banning it.

Henry said...

I am a testy cat. A real hothead. I'm also not a real student of football. After reading my tirade, my "owner" reminded me that her nephew, who is small but scrappy, has moved up to varsity this year. I know that every time he steps on the field, his mother worries about what might ensue when he encounters a behemoth.

While it might be brilliant, I found it disconcerting to watch the video of A-11. I don't know enough about it to say whether it should be banned. I just don't want to see it in the NFL. Out of curiosity, would you?

Henry said...

$, I just checked out your post on A-11 and see that NC has already banned this. So it will have no bearing on Madame's little nephew, as he plays for an NC school.