In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, who beat Notre Dame on a wonderfully idiotic fake field goal in overtime and then survived a "minor" heart attack.
Not long after the game, Dantonio announced that "he wasn't feeling right," and with a matter of hours he was being fitted with a metallic stent to open up a blocked blood vessel. His prognosis is good, though for now he's tossed the keys to the team's offensive coordinator, and now we have yet another reminder that coaching football is really just a job for masochists who prefer headsets over ball gags.
Now, the play. Down 31-28 in OT and facing a fourth-and-14, Michigan State lined up for a 46-yard field goal. Then this happened:
By any measure, Dantonio made a terrible call. It's not just that Spartans needed the improbable to happen to keep the game alive; it's that they needed at least 14 yards of the improbable. The play succeeds only if the defense loses its underwear the moment the holder rises out of his crouch. But watch the clip again. Notre Dame had the Spartans dead to rights, and the fake worked only because Michigan State's initial intended receiver, Le'Veon Bell, got tangled in coverage, then tripped and proceeded to turn the right side of the defensive backfield into a Ritz brothers routine, freeing up Charlie Gantt for the game-winner. It was a bad gamble, but the kind of gamble that coaches never make — not when they're crucified for even the smart ones. I like it. This is the sort of stupid I can get behind. If the choice is between irrationally ballsy and irrationally constipated, I'll always take the guy who's grinning big and hitting on 17. Get well soon, coach.