Pickens' Perspective: 50-point rule a joke, but not unnecessary
Published 3:07 pm, Thursday, October 7, 2010
If you've followed high school football in this state in the past decade, you know that the 50-point rule is a pretty big deal.
By now, you've heard all about the absurdities that have come from it. You've heard (or seen, in Ludlowe's case) about Bridgeport Central punting on first down. You've heard the arguments, especially the vociferous ones from the Hilltoppers' coach Dave Cadelina.
I've heard, seemingly, all of the arguments as well. I over heard people talking about it on the Metro-North train this past weekend. Cadelina has been campaigning on every forum necessary to outlaw the rule. I agree that it is absurd that coaches will be suspended if their team beats another by more than 50 points.
However, this rule is only in place because it was deemed necessary. I'm not one to jump on the CIAC bandwagon for everything, but if Jack Cochran hadn't beaten teams into oblivion when he was coaching, such a drastic measure would not have been facilitated.
I agree with the people who argue that the 50-point rule takes teams out of their element. There is something to staying fresh and getting reps and allowing the junior varsity get reps. I remember getting reps in blowout games as a sophomore and junior, and thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
However, in this age, kids, evidently, need to be protected from everything. Heaven forbid a team lose 64-0 in a high school football game to a team who was actually 64 points better than them.
I highly doubt there is a big difference between losing by 49 or losing by 64. In fact, I imagine that kids get more embarrassed when teams are forced to change the rules by punting on first down, or taking knees, than by actually competing and losing by more than 50.
But, let's also be fair, there are coaches who, if given the opportunity, would win by 70 every week if it were an option. The coaching logic says "make them stop me" and easing up is not an option for certain coaches, and even certain FCIAC coaches.
I've seen starting quarterbacks in games in the fourth quarter when a team is up by 40. Would this change if they were up 50? I doubt it.
Is the 50-point rule ridiculous? Yes. Are there ways we can deal with it? Yes. How about mandate that when the difference reaches 40, the clock automatically runs. This is becoming normal anyway, but it isn't mandatory, it is simply suggested. There's a rule in every other timed sport that when the game reaches a certain spread, the clock runs. The same should be for football, no?
The fact of the matter is that blowout wins and losses have been kept "in check" is admirable, but at some point kids have to deal with losing and being blown out.
It happens to all of us at some point.
Another 2-0 week that was made possible by lopsided scheduling. Cheer up, Ludlowe fans, the worst is over.
New Canaan (3-0) at Warde (2-1), Tetreau/Davis Field, Friday, 7 p.m.- Here it is folks, Homecoming week at Warde. The No. 2 team in the state coming onto your field. I had a high ranking Warde official tell me that he thinks this team will win 14-7. I think that's a bit ambitious, but I do think that Warde will play well and compete with the Rams. I think this means a game that is close for the first half and gets out of hand late. No 50-point rule problems here, but New Canaan's second-stringers will see action. Lou Marinelli doesn't want to lose to his protégé, Duncan Della Volpe. Pick: New Canaan 31, Warde 7.
Ludlowe (0-3) at Harding (0-3), Harding-Hedges Field, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.- The best is yet to come for the Falcons, who have allowed 122 unanswered points, since their first quarter touchdown against Central on opening night. Harding has been outscored 113-26 in three games. But the Presidents haven't won a game since Nov. 20, 2008 and haven't won an FCIAC game since Nov. 11, 2006 so they'll be hungry for a win, but I think Ludlowe takes care of business. Pick: Ludlowe 21, Harding 0.
Last week: 2-0, Year-to-date: 6-1