RUTS was nuts for Favre when schooling Cowboys


POSTED: Thursday, January 21, 2010

I've liked every student, coach, administrator and graduate I've ever met from University High — and that remains true after yesterday's visit with the UHS freshman class. The students were intelligent and attentive. Not one complained about my obvious scam of getting them to help me with my work. Can you think of a better place to conduct an experiment than the “;lab school?”;

I wondered what young people think about running up the score (RUTS), specifically that late touchdown Brett Favre threw against the hapless Cowboys in the NFC playoffs. Here's the one-question survey I gave them: “;Was that cool?”;

The results were 19 yes. five no, and four undecided.

I gleaned from this sampling that some things haven't changed in the 34 years since I was a ninth grader: The Dallas Cowboys aren't as much America's Team as they are the team Much of America Loathes. And teenagers aren't immune to man crushes on NFL quarterbacks.

As one of the pro RUTS Junior 'Bows wrote: “;Yes, because Dallas sucks and I hate them. Go Brett Favre.”;

This next one made me think the lopsided vote is part product of video games — where you don't win or lose as much as you just blow things up and amass as many points as possible: “;Yes. If you can destroy them more, do it.”;

Matthew Ganibi provided one of the more articulate analyses: “;Yes, it was cool because the Vikings are that great. The Cowboys should not complain about Brett Favre running all over them because they just can't stop an explosive offense and a defense that was lights out.”;

Several other answers were along the lines that Favre and the Vikings were just doing their job the way they're supposed to do it. Hard to argue with that, although if it is true, the “;job”; has obviously changed.

RUTS has long been common practice in the college ranks, deemed necessary to climb rankings. As more NFL offenses find success with passing offenses, it's no surprise that throwing for the end zone might replace taking a knee.

I also asked some slightly older folks what they think.

The perspective of former Hawaii receiver Dylan Linkner, 23, is quite relevant, since he got in at the end of games UH was winning big — and had the ball thrown to him. “;It's about confidence, the fans and momentum going into the NFC championship,”; he said. “;Also, players are signed up to play the entire game, not just three quarters.”;

Another UH receiver, of less recent vintage, Kyle Mosley, 47, said the TD was “;classless.”;

“;But the bottom line is that it's the defense's responsibility to stop them.”;

Alan Miya, 27, KKEA sports radio producer, shared these thoughts: “;The fact that it was Brett Favre and the first stringers in leaves a little sour taste in your mouth. However, Dallas is in no position to complain about something like this when in the past they have been known for taunting and showboating.”;

For an old-school opinion, I went to one of my senior advisors, retired Star-Bulletin scribe Jim Easterwood, 73: “;It was bush league. But it's a sign of the times.”;

My take? Tacky, and not very smart. What if Favre gets blindsided and injured? Bye-bye Super Bowl. And I know this: If he isn't retired again the next time these teams play, the Cowboys will go beyond normal effort (and probably the rules) to force Favre to the rocking chair, permanently.


Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at, and