Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Worst

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Continuing "The Best, Worst, and the One that Defined it All" for the Norries Wilson era.

Today we look at the worst.

There's a big split among football fans when it comes to what they consider the most painful losses.

Some really remember the absolute routs as being the toughest to take.

Others can't get the games that just barely got away out of their heads.

But this is a look at what I consider the worst coached game of the Wilson era, not the worst played game or the worst game to watch.

Just to get those questions answered however, I will say that the 37-0 loss to Dartmouth this past fall was the worst rout of the Wilson years.

And the toughest "one that got away" loss was easily the 23-22 loss to Yale at Wien Stadium in 2009.

But my choice for the worst coached game of the Wilson era has to be this past year's 27-20 heartbreaking Homecoming loss against the Penn Quakers.

Columbia would go 0-6 against the Quakers during Wilson's years, and there were some close losses. But no game presented the Lions with a better chance to finally beat Al Bagnoli and co. than the game last October.

Of course the defining moment of the game, indeed the defining coaching moment of the game, came with the Lions trailing 20-17 and knocking on Penn's end zone with a 2nd and 3 at the Penn 4.

Then the wheels came off the Lion bus for everyone to see.

In front of a national TV audience watching on Versus, Columbia committed two straight false start penalty, and then a delay of game infraction before finally having to settle for a game-tying field goal with 1:31 remaining in the game.

Penn went on to march down the field after an ill-advised squib kickoff and win the game with a Billy Ragone TD.

It was a ridiculous way for the team to lose in front of the big Homecoming crowd and it showed how ill-prepared the team was for the most crucial aspects of any game.

I truly believe the decision to fire Norries Wilson came after that game, (even though I called for his ouster just a few days before).

1 comment:

Old Lion said...

Bags out coached us. He egged the refs into calling those three motion penalties when we had a first down at the three. He did it by noticing head movement on the OL, which is usually never called. But the worst play call of the season was by Marino at the end of the first half at Fordham, when he called for a pass on first and goal at the two, which of course was intercepted and run back. That one play lost the game and sent us into a spiral. But enough of the past. Norries and Marino are gone. Let's talk about recruits. Any news?