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Some running commentary on running it up

So how, exactly, do you define running up the score? And is it unsportsmanlike?

That's the hot topic now on the heels of Wisconsin's 83-20 blistering of Indiana and Denver's 49-29 evisceration of Kansas City the next day, which some say prompted Chiefs' coach Todd Haley to snub the traditional postgame handshake with Broncos' coach Josh McDaniels.

Here's what I think:

I don't think Wisconsin was trying to strap 83 points in Indiana, in the first instance. I think the Badgers shouldn't have been throwing deep with a 50-point lead, but most of the damage they did was on simple running plays. It's not their fault Indiana responded by simply lying down. What do you want the Badgers to do in that instance, just fall down?

Then you're really humiliating your opponent.

(And for the record: Let me clarify what I wrote on the Blob a couple of days ago, when I said Bill Lynch wouldn't survive this. I still think that, but I also think, with only a year left on his deal, he might survive until the end of next season. But when inevitably Indiana doesn't re-up him, the date on his walking papers will be last Saturday).

As far as Kansas City's concerned ...

Boo freakin' hoo, Todd Haley.

Look, it's entirely different when you decide to pile on an opponent in Pop Warner or high school ball, or even college. But in pro football, there's no such thing. That's why the most famous score in NFL history is 73-0, which is how badly the Bears whipped the Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship game.

The bottom line is, in the NFL you're dealing with professionals who are paid enormous sums to prevent what happened to the Chiefs on Sunday. If they don't, all it means is they didn't do their jobs. So quit cryin' and do 'em next time if you don't want to get 49 points dropped on you.

Ben Smith's blog.