FIRST - The RULE as a rule
Yes, The Mercy Rule (TMR) is indeed a rule and must therefore be enforced by the officials. I see your point that it is not optional.
SECOND - The CONFUSION
The quote “Officials should step in when a game has lost it’s competitive nature and end it at a logical stopping point.” does not reflect the feelings of TLT. TheLongTalk cares not for The Mercy Rule!
This quote is part of a list of logical steps that TheLongTalk assumes took place during the conception of TMR, probably in some lonely alley behind a liquor store.
THIRD and LONG - The 100 POINT GAME
TheLongTalk agrees that the Coach involved in #12’s described 100-0 game should probably be asked to hand in his/her whistle. However, TLT feels as though their is someone who holds even more responsibility for the disgraceful 100-0 game… and that would be the schools Athletic Director.
The Athletic Director that scheduled these two teams to meet either had no idea what he/she was doing or was intentionally planning a blowout. When one team scores 100 points and the other doesn’t even get 1 – you’ve created a very, very bad match-up.
A good Athletic Director should be planning for competitive games, with the exception perhaps of Homecoming when it’s customary to pick the opponent with the most suckatude in order to provide for the best chance of winage.
FOURTH and INCHES - The FINALE
TheLongTalk thinks #12 might have missed the point of the post.
The Mercy Rule’s flaw is not its mercy. Ending a 100 point blowout while it’s only a 65 point blowout might be the best thing for everyone involved, not sure that’s true… but it might be.
But imagine for a moment a Perfect Storm of Stupid Behavior (like the 100-0 game)
– Athletic Director sets up a slaughter
– Coach refuses to pull the team’s best players when the win is assured
– The superior team’s players refuse to hold back or take their foot off the gas
– Officials have no predetermined Mercy Rule so they are powerless to avoid the blowout
– The inferior team has nothing in its makeup to turn this into a real game
Even in this downpour of stupid, TheLongTalk feels as though The Mercy Rule is lacking. Using TMR in this scenario only stops the bleeding, it doesn’t cure the patient.
Here’s TheLongTalk’s solution – minus TMR
– Athletic Directors should look for good matches
– Coaches should pull their top players when a game has been decided
– Superior players should request removal from the game or should at least take it down to 75% when the score board reads 65-0
– Officials should pull Coaches to the side and suggest that if they do not remove their best players from the game… perhaps fouling out will do the trick!
– The inferior team should keep it’ chin up and readjust… picking a more realistic goal than winning. Perhaps something like, “Let’s go out there and score 10 points before the end of the 3rd… Team on 3!”
I know this might seem like a perfect world, but in most cases this does happen (on one level or another) Most teams do not win 100-0 nor do they even come close. Most times The Mercy Rule isn’t needed… just some real, heartfelt compassion.
With rose colored glasses firmly in place,