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VOL. 130 | NO. 22 | Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Even Rob Lowe Knows Seahawks Made Wrong Call

By Don Wade

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Before Super Bowl 49, all the talk was about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady and what they did or didn’t know in regards to “Deflategate.”

New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette (83) during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

And while the NFL still is investigating the under-inflated footballs from the AFC Championship Game, future discussions of this Super Bowl will begin and end with one question.

What was Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thinking?

Or with one declarative statement, such as this one in the headline over a column in the Seattle Times read:

“Seahawks lost because of the worst call in Super Bowl history.”

Trailing 28-24, Seattle had the ball on the Patriots’ 1-yard line after a 4-yard run by running back Marshawn Lynch. He was certainly going to punch the ball into the end zone on the next play and give Seattle a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl victory. A great, powerful back, in a big-time situation, even Brady knew this was about to end badly.

Instead, the Seahawks called that ill-fated pass play. Quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted by an undrafted rookie named Malcolm Butler. After the pick, Brady was jumping and grinning on the sideline like a kid given an extra Christmas.

At least Carroll didn’t blame his offensive coordinator for the call.

“There’s really nobody to blame but me,” Carroll told his players in the locker room.

Yet Carroll also insisted passing was the right play call, said that running it there was “not the right matchup.”

Well, how about this: For a defense, it’s never the right matchup when Lynch just needs one yard.

A small sampling of reaction to the play call:

Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin: “We had it. I don’t understand how you don’t give it to the best back in the league on the 1-yard line.”

And of course, Twitter provided plenty of reaction:

Emmitt Smith (@emmittsmith22): “That was the worst play call I’ve seen in the history of football.”

Deion Sanders (@deionsanders): “How stupid can you be?”

And the funniest tweet of the night, from Michael D. Fuller (@michaeldfuller): “Hi I’m Rob Lowe. And I’m ‘I forgot I had marshawn lynch on my team’ Rob Lowe.”

The University of Memphis not only lost 82-64 at No. 3 Gonzaga last Saturday night, the Tigers suffered their seventh double-digit loss the season.

Now 13-18 overall, the only time the Tigers have not lost by double-digits this season was when they were upset at home by Tulane 74-66. To this point, the Tigers’ 63-50 victory at home over Cincinnati has been considered the best win of the season. But that victory lost a little of its shine over the weekend when the Bearcats lost in the final seconds at East Carolina; the Pirates are 9-12 overall, 2-6 in the American Athletic Conference.

Memphis is 6-3 in the AAC, behind Tulsa (9-0), SMU (9-1), and tied with Cincinnati and Temple. Connecticut is 4-4.

The Tigers lost 73-55 at Tulsa and 73-59 at SMU. Temple comes to FedExForum this Saturday and the Tigers still have two games left with UConn, home games with Tulsa and SMU, and a road game at Cincinnati. The Tigers play the Owls just one time.

Junior forward Chris Hawkins, who was injured last week, was to have an MRI on Monday. But the fear was that Hawkins had a torn meniscus and is lost for the rest of the season.

Jacksonville State comes to FedExForum for a 7 p.m. game this Wednesday, the Tigers’ last non-conference game of the season. JSU is 9-15 overall, 2-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference and 1-12 on the road.

The Memphis Grizzlies were to play at Phoenix Monday night, the start of a three-game road swing that will also take them to Utah and Minnesota.

The Grizzlies then play the East Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks at FedExForum at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, and receive a visit from the Brooklyn Nets and former Graz coach Lionel Hollins on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

After playing at Oklahoma City on Feb. 11, the Grizzlies don’t play again until Sunday, Feb. 22 at Portland because of the way the schedule fell and having a week off for the All-Star break.

Well, everyone gets that time off but center Marc Gasol who was voted to start for the Western Conference team.

The Grizzlies carried a 35-12 record into Monday’s game with the Suns. They also were 21-5 at home and 14-7 on the road.

So they’ve already played 26 of their allotted 41 home games, 28 after playing the Hawks and Nets. After the All-Star break, they will have 29 games left – 13 at home and 16 on the road.

And the first week after the break features four of five games on the road. That’s why backup center Kosta Koufos said recently that the last few games at home were so crucial.

“We want to maximize as much as possible before the All-Star break,” Koufos said.

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