Monday, October 16, 2017

Anatomy of a Blown Call

The banner I went and retrieved in the dark after Saturday's game
I messed up a call on Saturday.

The most pivotal moment in the most pivotal game of this (possibly) special Greenwich football season, and I called the wrong name.

The Cardinals led the New Canaan Rams 29-21 late in the fourth quarter at Cardinal Stadium.

The Rams, if you don't know, are coached by Lou Marinelli. Lou is the winningest coach in Connecticut history.

The Cardinals are coached by John Marinelli. Lou's son.

This was the third time the two had met, although for me, that whole "Marinelli Bowl" thing was in the past. I'd had enough of it after the first meeting (2015). The Rams won the first two Lou/John showdowns.

This time, the Cardinals built up a 22-0 lead on the strength of their outstanding junior quarterback, Gavin Muir, and his collection of excellent receivers. Senior Jael Negron had snagged two touchdowns as Greenwich extended the lead to 29-14 with 10:27 to go.

Tysen Comizio, the Cardinals bruising back, had done his part, though the stat sheet wouldn't show it. He rumbled for 72 yards on 16 carries.

The Rams were led by their super sophomore quarterback, Drew Pyne, who threw for 280 yards, and running back Owen Shinn, who ran for 123 yards.

Pyne got the Rams close again with 2:08 to go on a quick drive that resulted in a JR Moore touchdown. It was now 29-21, and the Cardinals were looking to run out the clock. New Canaan, of course, had other ideas.

Up in the booth, Chris Erway and I were on the play-by-play. Ian Barto and Chris Kaelin were patrolling the sidelines. Sean Kilkelly was in the studio. It was the most complete broadcast we've had on WGCH in some time.

I'm proud of the whole thing.

But oh God. I blew it, and I'm not afraid to say so.

The ball was at the Greenwich 28 yard line.

This is where having a great partner makes all the difference.

Clearly, Comizio, as I said (three times) did NOT run down the left sideline. Muir took the snap and faked a handoff to Comizio. Tysen did his part -- running to his right, towards the line -- while Gavin escaped to the left.

The fake worked. On me.

Chris Erway pointed to Muir. No panic. No tapping my shoulder. Just a point. I quickly picked Muir up on the sideline, but sadly my brain and mouth didn't work in concert. I kept saying "Comizio."

It's otherwise an OK call. Exciting and, as always, I wish there was more. More detail and, in this case, more accuracy.

Chris, without missing a beat, waited for the crowd to subside a bit before jumping in. He didn't got for the embarrassment. He instead said "And Gavin Muir! We talked about the read option the entire time..."

I screwed up. He let it go, didn't embarrass me, and carried on.

The Cardinals went on to win 36-21 (this is my story on the Greenwich Sentinel).

When I cut the highlights up later, I was mortified, but grateful.

As I'm often told, I'm way too hard on myself. So it goes.

All I can do is acknowledge it and move on. So I will.

Westhill comes to Greenwich Saturday at 3pm, and the game will be live on WGCH (and

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