I know there’s an old saying that statistics are for losers, however, sometimes they can be very insightful. With football, both collegiate and professional, finally underway this past weekend, I was dumbfounded by the quality of play between the two. One team, having played two games thus far, had a grand total of five penalties enforced against them. Another team, having played one-half of one quarter, had a total of six penalties enforced, plus another declined, including one against their bench for knocking down a referee.
The two teams in question were the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns. Ohio State had three penalties in their first game against Akron and another two this past Saturday while playing Toledo. The Browns were the team that had seven penalties actually called against them during the first half of the first quarter when playing the Bengals, finishing the game with a total of eleven penalties enforced against them.
Isn’t it ironic that a professional team, earning hundreds of millions of dollars and having played four pre-season games can have so many penalties called against them while a collegiate team having played no pre-season games can have so few? Besides earning plenty of money for NFL team owners, what purpose do these pre-season games serve, as they obviously do little to prepare a team for league play?
Steven H. Spring