Yep, New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini actually made a decision that should have taken his team's preseason matchup against the Washington Redskins into overtime. That's right, overtime—in the preseason!
Down, 13-10, third and goal at the Redskins 5-yard line with five seconds remaining, Mangini called a timeout. Presumably to decide on the "game-winning play."
Instead, inexplicably, unbelievably, incredibly, he chooses to attempt a field goal to tie the game at 13.
The snap is good, the hold is good, but—DOOOIIINNNKKK!!!!—the kick bounces off the left upright and back into the end zone: NO GOOD!
Most people involved with football would say that preseason is a necessary evil. With talent at such a premium for most teams, and depth a concern with limited rosters, preseason games are handled with extreme care, working hard to make sure all players stay healthy.
Of course, players need time on the field to prepare for the regular season. But most coaches, players, and team executives agree that, in preseason games, the No. 1 priority is to get the game over with as quickly as possible, and without injury.
By adding overtime to a preseason game, "Mangenius" (Mangini) would have put his players at continued risk. Sure, more playing time means more film to study for player evaluations, more time to work on specific packages and test his players, but overtime just isn't done in the preseason.
An additional issue would be the possible harm Mangenius could have done to his kicker, Mike Nugent.
Now, this kick is from the 5-yard line, only two yards longer than an extra point. Does anyone think such a miss, costing his team the opportunity to win a game, will have no effect on Nugent? To his credit, Nugent is a pretty good kicker, and will likely feel no ill effects from this, but what must Jets players be thinking?
I know it shocked me; how about you?