@ZackTeibloom Looking at the 11 or so Jazz Fest guards in purple jerseys, I felt like I was trying to return a kick against the Minnesota Vikings. Fine, fine I’ll be Devin Hester in this example. The first line of defense was the 7 guards scanning tickets. Behind them a roaming 3-4-man walkie-talkie unit and occasionally a couple cops to … throw a flag? It hasn’t come to that yet. I tried my hand at recreating Successful Crash #30, but the defense had a zone shifted that way and I didn’t have enough blockers.
That’s the key to the kick0ff return. You have to follow your blockers. It’s an odd game when neither your blockers nor the defenders know you’re playing, but it just means you have to be extra perceptive. Let’s start with the basics. You want a big rush of blockers, but it’s not just important that they’re there. They need to make a skinny block where they block the attention of the ticket scanner, but they need to leave enough room between you and the other guard so that you can hit the hole and take it to the house.You can’t be afraid to be patient to find your hole. Hester might only have five or six seconds. I took almost a full hour on this one. Was it a bit excessive? Yeah, probably. But getting tackled for a ten yard loss is not an acceptable outcome. After walking through the bag checkpoint, I was 30 feet from breaking one. I started all the way left, hoping to squeeze right by the out door. The zone was heavy that way, so I reversed direction. I thought I saw a gap open up, but the guard turned around and I had to retreat, shuffling back. I ran backwards 15 yards to follow a large rush of blockers, found my skinny block and took it to the house.
(By the way, this is a video of Hester in college. I found one of him returning a kick against the Vikings, if you want it, but this one vs. Duke is better.)
Crash #33: I’d write a new entry for Sunday’s crash, but it was a much simpler version of Friday’s. I had just put down a tall Red Bull, it was starting to rain and I had to pee. There was no time to dick around. I bee-lined right for the far right VIP check-in. A good lesson here: There were people two people checking in names on a list after two people giving wristbands for VIP. Whenever there are two people doing the same job, if you avoid eye conflict with them and move slowly, they’ll assume you dealt with the other one. Why make more work for themselves?
Another important lesson here is, Red Bull > sandwiches right before a crash. It took about 57 more minutes for Crash 31 than crash 33. I’m not sure security was much tougher. I was just over-analyzing. Finding that spot between waiting for the hole to be there and being too cautious is always tricky.