Charlie Weis, after his son threw out the first pitch for his fifteenth birthday (a real man-child of the people, clearly), gets the royal treatment during the Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field, from fans who know from losing:
Say this for Weis: he kept his cool, kept doin' what he do, and seemed to generally win the crowd over by the end -- or at least prove more persistent than the vocal critics. So it's not all fun and games: it's practice, too.
Hat tip: the ever-vigilant Wizard of Odds, who also points readers this morning to more substantial business, namely a couple overlooked elements in this year's rule changes involving instant replay. Most of the attention on the rules changes has revolved around the changes in clock rules, whose effects were touted at all of last week's media day proceedings but basically remain unknown. The changes to replay, on the other hand, might have just as significant an effect:
For the 2008 season, the replay official can review if a player fumbles even if the on-field officials ruled the ball carrier down without fumbling. Also, if the officials rule a player steps out of bounds on his way to the end zone but replays show the player stayed in bounds, the officials can rule a touchdown.
- - -
I have mixed feelings about the first change -- it makes practical sense in terms of correcting mistakes, but I've always thought the consistent, fair thing to do about fumbles, because players will naturally stop when the whistle is blown and possibly not pursue a loose ball after that point, is to just go slow on the whistle. If there's any doubt, it's a fumble. This eliminates the need for that judgment, but opens up a whole new can of worms when players are saying, "But the whistle blew! The whistle blew!" The lesson: ignore the damn whistle!
Ohio State, at least, is all for it:
The lesson of the second rule change, again: ignore the whistle, ignore the sideline and hammer that son of a bitch, anyway. If he can still score, you've got no choice, son.