Gino's Blog

Myths are hard to break

I read this article today on ESPN.COM by world-famous author Gregg Easterbrook – bemoaning the offensive explosion in NCAA football including last Saturday’s 70-63 West Virginia win over Baylor. As usual, the article includes: (i) the “defense wins championships” myth that the football community tries to brainwash its fans with (ii) the obligatory suggested rule changes that will help defenses stop the new offensive explosion.

Football is full of myths. It’s been going on since the sport was invented. It’s still going on and likely will continue because myths are hard to break. I wrote to Mr. Easterbrook. Here’s what I sent:

Mr. Easterbrook:

I have coached football for 40 seasons. A few comments about your article:

1. defenses don’t win championships. That statement is a myth. I have compelling real-life evidence to the contrary. You’re just repeating the same myths that you’ve heard for decades

2. rule changes will not help defenses. The reason why offenses have exploded is the change in coaches’ mindset. Coaches feared passing because of risk-myths that used to be associated with passing. Offensive coordinators broke those myths. Passing is explosive. The only reason that the good old days of defensive dominance existed is because offensive coordinators let defensive coordinators look good

3. There’s nothing wrong with a 70-63 game. It’s better than watching a rugby game with 50 handoffs per game and a guy running into a wall of bodies. 4. My teams routinely pass for 500-600 yards with lost-cause players, using a warp-speed no-huddle without a conventional playbook (SWAT no-huddle). Why? Defenses have not figured out the simple solution to warp-speed. Rules changes won’t help defenses. I won’t tell you the solution because I’m writing a book about it.

All the best.
Gino Arcaro, head coach – Niagara X-Men