You’re leading your cross-town rival, 21-7, and you have the ball with 54 seconds to go. The game is won, so what do you do? You call for your quarterback to take the ball from center and knell—“taking a knee” in football talk.
Your opponent calls time out, honoring the age-old sports imperative to not quit until the final gun. Now there are 52 seconds left. Your opponent still has two time outs remaining. He’ll surely use them.
So if you’re a coach teaching and practicing sportsmanship you call for the quarterback to take a knee again. But if you’re Pete Carroll, coaching the disappointing 7-3 USC Trojans against the UCLA Bruins, you call for the quarterback to fake a running play, then throw a 48-yard touchdown pass. Then you exchange high-fives with players and coaches on the sideline.
My question, Coach, is “What were you celebrating?” You’re better than that, Pete.