Archivo de la etiqueta: decision

A Catch Outside the Rulebook

They say God works in mysterious ways, and so seem to do the referees at last Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.

With close to four minutes to go at Lambeau Field the Dallas Cowboys had to go for it on 4th and 2 since they were trailing by 21-25. Probably running the ball was the safe bet with DeMarco Murray on the field but you also had Jason Witten who almost never fails to catch a ball and the “X Factor” named Dez Bryant.

Tony Romo would have thrown an interception if the game was happening in any of the past four seasons. But  a solid performance despite a heavily injured back and knees plus having some of the best stats in the fourth quarter around the league this season suggested otherwise.

The ball was snapped and Tony looked for his target. Number 88 was running full speed down the left sideline and jumped into the air to make a catch of a ball that seemed almost impossible to go after. Even harder, to control it considering the momentum of the run and the man to man pressure that Sam Shields was creating.

Viewers around the globe saw Dez coming down with the ball as one of the most impressive plays a football player has ever made. Unfortunately the Green Bay coaching staff, referees in New York and on the field saw otherwise. They believed Bryant did not have complete control of the ball. Days later #IStillThinkItWasACatch.

Here is why. Dez grabbed the ball mid air and came down with it with full control. He took three steps with full control of the ball before trying to reach for the endzone. After those three steps he lunged for the goal line instead of playing it safe but that is just what Dez does. Here comes the part I never understand.

If Mike Pereira, FOX expert analyst for officiating says the refs made the right call, even if Obama said it was the right call I would not agree. When did the ball touch the ground? His knees did, his elbow did, his hands did, but the ball never ever did. The referee closest to the action never saw that ball touch the ground. I’ve seen the videos and I’ve seen the pictures. That ball did not pop loose because of contact with the ground. How is that considered losing possession?

Obviously if you are falling with your hand below the ball and just grabbing it with one hand the force that the ground has on your hand will be greater and anything might move. That was the case. The ball popped but it never touched the ground. Even after it came “loose” he recovered it in the endzone.

Mike Pereira did not agree it was a football move to stretch out his arm and reach for the 1-yard line. He simply did not because he might have never seen something like that. No one had, it was a catch that maybe only Dez Bryant can do. Even Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants considered that a catch, and he knows a thing or two about big plays.

Apparently It was a catch too good to be true. Even the Green Bay Packers know it but by not admitting it their chances to win the game and make it to the conference final grew exponentially. Both teams had played a great game that did not deserve to end in controversy.

If it was ruled a catch we would be looking back at Romo’s most clutch throw, Bryant’s best ever catch and a possible win by the Dallas Cowboys to play the Seahawks at Century-Link Field.

Remember the Feeling

Once again it took guts, once again it took pain, but once again I reached for glory. It definitely never gets easier, you just start to believe in yourself a bit more every time you do it. I am now a six time marathoner and even though it was my slowest one, I can end the year having done something I had forgotten about in 2013, cross a marathon finish line.

When I ran my first 26.2 mile race back in 2009 I had no idea what I was gettig myself into. Exactly five years later I am fully aware of what it takes to do something like this. Different to the past five experiences, due to my long hours at work and school I had stayed away from running for a long time (on my standards). Running two-three times a week was a miracle and going over five miles was not that easy. With that being said, I had a lot to work on when I got back to running back in July aiming to run a marathon by the end of the year and dreaming of a Boston Qualifier performance.

I don’t choose race for their prestige, I come up with the decisions based on the weather, the altitude, the size of the field, if there are pacers and the type of course, hoping it is as least boring as possible. The California International Marathon met most of my requirements but what made it shine among other options was that is was considered one of the top B.Q. races in the country.

Little did I know about Sacramento except for it being the capital of California. When I watched the video of the course I saw rolling hills and a flat end. It would be my first point-to-point marathon so that would make it interesting. I tried to keep some element of surprise alive by the time I got there so I kept my research on the place once the decision was done to a bare minimum.

Training started well but it had an abrupt pause at the beginning of October when I tore my left hamstring and groin at the same time. That really put into question if I would be able to participate in what I considered my last big goal of 2014. Fortunately I was able to push through and declare myself ready but I did have to give up on my idea of going for Boston.

Once race weekend approached and I arrived to Sacramento I was happy I was there but really nervous of how my body would react to a big race after a very irregular training. I was not nervous about finishing, I was nervous about how I was going to finish. I liked the scenery, so I tried to feed off that and I also liked it that it felt like a small marathon. Going to San Francisco for a short visit two days before the race trying to make the most of my trip to the heart of California.

Race day came and for me it started at 4:20 am. At that moment I woke up, changed into my running gear and my extra layers to stay warm and headed out the door towards the bus stop that would take me to Folsom, where the race would start. I tried to sleep during the 30 minute ride but ended up just daydreaming about what was ahead. Once we got there you could feel the beginning of the end. This journey started even before I signed up, it began the same day training did.

The race started just a few seconds after it was scheduled but the distance ahead stayed the same. The first mile went by quickly and that was good news, the worst thing is to have the first mile feel like three or more. I clocked the first 13 miles within five seconds of each other. I was feeling good and enjoying the rolling hills. My injury did not bug me for the first third of the race. Once I reached the middle miles I was extremely confident I would finish and that I had a chance to run my fourth fastest time. I just had to keep pushing.

I believe it was around mile 18 when it sank in that I was running in a fast marathon. I had not seen many people walk or cramp as I had seen past the halfway mark in other races. It was just a matter of about an hour to get done. I passed mile 20 and halfway through I thought it would be a good idea to walk and recharge energy for the last five. Huge mistake!

It was impossible to regain a solid pace for the rest of the race, it took me forever to run again and when I did I cramped twice in the same leg. I now think I should have kept running even though I was already over the 8:00/mile mark. That would have saved me at least ten minutes and probably a sub 3:40 finish. 3:52 was my finish time. A race I was proud just like any other marathon to finish but upset I did not try my very best. I was glad my injury did not come into play as bad as I thought it would.

Just like any other race there are many lessons learned from this one that will help me for the next one. I now remember what it feels to run a marathon, to get to the halfway mark feeling good and to get to the wall still with some energy. Yes, the next one will be much harder. My halfway split needs to be ten minutes faster and my marathon time almost an hour faster. For now, enjoy the accomplishment, let my legs rest and get ready because in 81 days I will do it all over again. Maratón LALA 2015, you are next!