One of the biggest reasons why a weak Monday Night Football game can out-rate game three of the ALCS in New York: Fantasy football.
While Cliff Lee was dealing, fantasy owners across the country were hoping to squeeze a few more points out of Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew. Johnson’s owners prayers were answered when Johnson broke free for a 35-yard touchdown on fourth down with under two minutes remaining.
That led to some (silly) questions about why Johnson was still in the game. Why were the Titans still trying to score?
Titans coach Jeff Fisher indicated that it was largely ESPN’s fault. The network still needed more television timeouts and apparently asked both coaching staffs to take timeouts late.
“Jack [Del Rio] used his timeouts,” Fisher said after the game via Terry McCormick of Titans Insider. “My understanding is they needed
network timeouts, and that’s why Jack used his timeouts. They came over
and asked me to do it, but I said, ‘I was hoping to get a first down and
kneel on it.'”
Of course, you can also thank Del Rio for actually listening. Fisher was happy to end the game at 23-3, but Del Rio didn’t let him.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard of it,” Fisher said about a network request for timeouts. “I just said I
would have a hard time using them, because I’m ahead. Honestly, I have
no issues with Jack or how he managed the end of that game. It’s just
what it was, and I don’t think he would have an issue with me handing
the ball off.”
UPDATE: Video of Fisher’s comments.