Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Under Achieve - Over Achieve?

Both impersonating stones.

Contrasting fortunes for the England Cricket Team and the Kansas City Chiefs.

One has, seemingly, been over-achieving whilst the other is moving, or possibly sinking, rapidly in the other direction.

No prizes for guessing which.

England did more than expected in reaching the semi-finals of the ICC One-Day Tournament in South Africa. Still, in the end they were found wanting. First, South Africa exploded – nothing new there then – and India could not win a match. Pakistan flattered to deceive whist England and New Zealand just moseyed through the tournament doing little wrong, albeit not that much right either. So, an independent view must be that England were lucky to make the semis.

Having just been hammered by the Aussies at home 1-6 it is not surprising that the initial reaction to England's new-found capacity to win in the 50-over format was over-optimistic. Actually, they are still not very good at 50 over cricket. Why?

Primarily because they do not have the right bowlers. Wait a minute, I thought that the shorter form of the game was meant to be just a batsman's glory hunt. You are correct.

Therefore to win you must have bowlers who can both take wickets and stop runs flowing. South Africa had none. Neither did Pakistan. Ditto West Indies and Sri Lanka. Result? England flattered to deceive by getting so far with so little. They were fortunate to play on a few circumspect wickets that suited their bowlers. It's that simple – not a new dawn.

Meanwhile the Chiefs are stuck in a morass of losing and losing badly.

What fans were looking for this season was a new beginning. What we have got so far is not a stutter-start – more of a stutter-slide. True the odd NFL scheduling system (how can the AFL West be matched with the NFL East?) has not helped as the Chiefs were mashed by the Giants, Eagles and Ravens and then, in the only game they really had a chance to win in the first four, stumbled like born losers against the woeful Raiders. Ouch! That one hurt!

Coach Haley is bravely trying to put some sort of face on (perhaps it's a Halloween one so he can't be recognized!) but his coaching staff must be wondering what to do. With a team almost last in team defence and not much better on offence there is not much to cheer them up!

Fact is, when you are not a very good team you must have everything go your way in order to compete and have a chance. If not? Not much hope.

This week the Cowboys visit Arrowhead. I did pick them to beat Denver last week and they just failed. Maybe they don't play well on the road. More likely, they will bushwhack the Chiefs and sentence us to a long wait for a win – any win.

Matt Cassell has been a real disappointment. The running game is poor. Receivers are dropping balls at just the wrong time. The defence is still feeling its way into a 3-4 and cannot make a play when they have to. Too many players are under-performing. It's going to be a long season.

At this rate Coach Haley could be a one year phenomenon.

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