That's the short answer, but since that wouldn't merit a diatribe I'm going to give you the long one.
On Friday night, Kyle Brotzman missed a 26-yard game-winning FG attempt at the end of regulation only to follow that up with a missed 29-yard attempt that ended up being the nail in Boise State's BCS hopes. The next day, something strange happened: analysts, bloggers and sportswriters starting coming to Brotzman's rescue. "Oh, he's not to blame for the loss"..."one guy didn't lose that game"..."you can't put it all on one guy"...so on and so forth. I, personally, don't agree.
But my alma mater, Texas, has a head coach in Mack Brown who is known for saying, "players win games, coaches lose games" so maybe I should agree. Maybe I should join everyone else and say Brotzman isn't to blame for Boise State's 24-win streak being ended before they had a chance to make Gordon Gee look stupid. Maybe it was Boise State head coach Chris Peterson's fault. Or the special teams coach.
But, sorry, I just can't. No matter how much I agree with most of my fellow Longhorns - Greg Davis is more to blame for Texas' futile season than any one player, Garrett Gilbert included - I can't get myself to let Brotzman off the hook just because he's a player.
Haven't we learned anything? Didn't any of you watch The Wire? Well, don't answer that...I know most of you weren't, which is why it never won the Emmy it deserved. If we've paid attention to the handling of Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill in the Gulf or the ineffectiveness of our Congress for year after year.
Players are ALWAYS to blame! Players are on the field making the real-time decisions, not the coaches! Kickers, corporate execs, members of Congress...they're all the players. They are the ones hired/recruited/paid/scholarshipped/rewarded/revered for their ability to make plays.
So, yes, I do blame Brotzman for ruining Boise State's chances to play for a BCS title. Not so much because he should've made at least one of those two kicks, although he should have. No, mostly I blame him because people are standing in front of the blame that is rightfully being directed his way.
It reminds me of people who hate Congress, but continue to vote for their crappy Congressman. It's easy to blame the team (Congress) and coaches (House and Senate leadership), but it's harder to blame the players.
I could care less if Brotzman's feelings are hurt by criticism not because I'm a mean person out for his head, but because I'm a realistic person who knows everyone really really hates Brotzman for what he did. Or what he didn't do.
That's why everyone is jumping in front of him trying to say it's not his fault. It was a team loss. One player didn't lose that game. Bullshit.
One Congressman can be blamed for poor legislation and poor government. You know how I know? Because everytime many of them get a chance to do something really meaningful for the greater good of America, they miss their opportunity to kick it through the uprights. Usually more than once, too.
Most of them can't handle the pressure of being the hero. And most of us can't handle the idea of needing one and seeing him (or her) fail.