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The Chargers Choked, but Tony Dungy and Al Michaels were even worse.



Homer wrote here on BTSC right after the Steelers beat the Jags in pre-season that the Jaguars were his surprise team and that they would be a good investment early in the season, when nobody was expecting anything from them. Actually, Homer was impressed by their D, and they didn't really put it all together until late in the season, but it was fun watching this team grow up and prove once again just how awful Urban Meyer was as a coach.

But the purpose of this poast deals with another kind of awful.

Awful doesn't begin to describe the job Tony Dungy and Al Michaels did covering the Jaguars-Chargers wlldcard game.

Granted, the first half was a stinkeroo. Trevor Lawrence looked more like Steve Lawerence or maybe Edie Gormé, throwing four interceptions, allowing the Chargers to jump out to a 27-0 lead at Jacksonville. The hometown crowd sat in stunned silence, and Dungy and Michaels seemed bored. It was funereal.

Of course, it was a Saturday night in Jacksonville, which is not exactly the Paris of Dixie, and it started to seem like Michaels (age 78) and Dungy (age 66) lost interest in the game. Jacksonville scored before the half, to make it 27-7, but, by that time, Michaels and Dungy began to sound like Grandpa Simpson and his friend Jasper Beardsley chatting at the old age home.

The Jags - who had been down by four TD's in the first half, scored early in the third quarter, making it a two score game, but up in the booth, Dungy and Michaels seemed to feel the game was somehow beneath their dignity, so they talked about all kinds of things. Homer was expecting them to talk about the time they tied an onion to their belts, which was the style at the time and took the ferry to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville back then.

While Dungy and Michaels were yammering, the Jags' D held the Charters to only one field goal in the second half, and Trevor Lawerence caught fire, leading Jacksonville to the third biggest comeback in NFL playoff history.

Lawerence leaped into the end zone on a QB sneak to cut the lead to four, and the crowd went nuts. Then they went for two, successfully, and the lead was two points. The crowd was going absolutely insane, but it seemed like Al and Tony were either watching a chess tournament or complaining about how their prostates were killing them. Or, more likely, both. Knight takes pawn. My prostate is killing me.

The dive into the end zone and the game-winning field goal, kicked as time ran out, were both described in matter of fact terms, almost like some guy on the BBC doing play-by-play at the Queen's funeral.

Homer worked 31 years at ABC News, and was working there when Al Michaels made his iconic call, "do you believe in miracles? Yes!" But that was 43 years ago. That's his legacy, and always will be.

Last night, however, they lacked even the basic fundamentals. At one point in the game, the camera showed Trevor Lawrence's hand appeared to be bleeding. It was.But Dungy and Michaels said nothing about it. Player ID's were often non-existent. Foye Oluokon was all over the field, with 8 tackles and 5 assists, according to the stats. Was his name even mentioned? Watching Jacksonville's game-winning FG drive, it becomes embarrassingly apparent what's happening. Lawrence goes back to pass, completes the pass...Michaels says so...then pauses for a moment for the spotter to tell him who caught the pass...and then he says it was Christian Kirk or someone else. Play after play.

The Jags targeted Christian Kirk 14 times. He caught 8 passes for 78 yards and a TD. And yet, in the last two minute drive, Michaels and Dungy had to pause on several plays before identifying him. That pause is when they talk into your headset and tell you who caught the ball and who defended the pass or made the tackle. .

Watching Al and Tony's awful performance reminded Homer of the 1978 Gator Bowl, where Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes threw a punch at a Clemson player. after an interception. The play-by-play crew didn't see the punch, because it happened after the play and they were busy looking down at stat sheets while the truck was preparing the instant replay. No one on the scene saw or said a word about the punch, but Homer and millions of viewers saw it and knew that was going to be the end of the line for Woody Hayes. And it was.

Well, twitter was on fire overnight with sportswriters and fans dumping all over Al and Tony, with videos of the big plays and their matter of fact calls. Homer has the same feeling -- that we won't see the team of Dungy and Michaels again, and that both will finish out their contacts and won't be renewed.

Tony will stay on as an analyst somewhere.

But as a team, they're done. Myron Cope could have done a better job last night- with more life in it - than those two. Myron's been dead for almost 15 years, rest his precious soul, but Myron in Heaven still has more life than Al and Tony did last night. Mmm-hah. And double-yoi.

One of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, yet one of the worst announcing jobs at the same time.

Double-yoi indeed.

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