Observations: Rams-Chiefs cover more ground than Russian army

By HAL McCOY

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while applauding Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes for saying, “I put ketchup on everything.” So do I, Pat, so do I. Well, Mahomes doesn’t put ketchup on the football. He puts a lot of mustard on the football when he passes.

—As expected, the Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Rams Monday Night Football game was a point-piling extravaganza (106 points). Amazingly, neither defensive coordinator was immediately fired.

And who would ever think, as offensive-minded as the two teams are, that they would score more than Ohio State’s 52-51 win over Maryland on Saturday. That game, though, went overtime. It was the first NFL game in history where both teams scored 50 points.

And, no this wasn’t flag football or touch football, because most of the time neither defense could touch a pass receiver until he gained about 20 yards.

Despite the Rams and Chiefs offenses covering more ground than the Russian army (a combined 1,001 yards of total offense), two Rams interceptions in the final two minutes preserved the victory.

And three defensive touchdowns helped decide the game and save the defensive coordinators. First, there were two defensive plays by Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam that was the early game-changer. He scored two touchdowns on a scoop-and-scurry fumble recovery and on a deflected pass interception.

Ebukam was born in Nigeria but came to the U.S. at a young age and played high school football in Portland, Oregon. He received only two scholarship offers and played in college obscurity at Eastern Washington.

Fortunately, this Samson never met a Delilah.

Nevertheless, the two quarterbacks were as advertised. LA’s Jared Goff threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw for 478 yards and six touchdowns. And lost.

—QUOTE: From former NFL coach Dick Vermeil: “We took the ball away and won the football game. If we don’t take it away, we don’t win the game.” (LA coach Sean McVay could say the same thing in the same exact words after his team took it away five times.

—The early going in the LA-KC track meet was a litany of penalties. And the thought occurs. Why do teams on offense get to replay a down when they get penalized? If it is first-and-10 and they get caught holding, the next play is first-and-20. Why not lose the down, too, and make it second-and-20? Why give a penalized team the benefit of getting to play the down over.

Every offensive penalty should also be loss of down.

—QUOTE: From former college basketball coach George Raveling: “When I went to high school in Philadelphia we had one coach for football and basketball. He took us who tried out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were placed on the football team.” (Sounds as if George was un-Raveling.)

—Wright State University’s ultra-successful baseball program keeps losing coaches to the Big Ten, prompting WSU athletic director Bob Grant to say, “I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, ‘Give me 23 months and I’ll get you a Big Ten job.’”

Grant, by the way, used to run around my house when he was a kid and friends with my sons, Brian and Brent. He loved to rummage through my baseball memorabilia.

—QUOTE: From poet/humorist Ogden Nash: “Basketball is a game which won’t be fit for people until they set the basket belly button-high and return the giraffes to the zoo.” (Nash probably was 5-foot-5.)

—Remember when the Cleveland Indians wore all red uniforms, tops and bottoms, in the mid 1970s? They looked like runny tomato paste. Well, the Tribe is returning to red uniform tops for some home games next season. But they won’t resurrect those hideous red britches, to the delight of every player on the roster.

And, of course, Chief Wahoo and his contentious toothy grin is gone, put on irrevocable waivers by MLB because The Chief is politically incorrect, like so many people in Washington.

—My great friend and unpaid chauffeur, Ray Snedegar, has far too much time on his hands. He posted on Facebook that, ‘Dammit I’m mad’ spelled backwards is, uh, ‘Dammit I’m mad.’ I need to find more places for him to take me.

—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame Big Red Machine catcher Johnny Bench: “I was thinking about making a comeback after I retired until I pulled my back vacuuming.”

—Chewing gum you may have stuck under a chair that no longer exists: Blackjack, Clove, Teaberry. Do you miss Certs and Clorets? Gone. How about candy bars like Mars Bar, Marathon, Payday and Powerhouse? No more.

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