the ball either, so Columbus sets up shop on the Dallas 4. One play later, Damien Groce scores.
Destroyers 42, Desperados 38.
Just like that, 52 seconds destroying what the Desperados worked to accomplish for an entire season.
"You can't control some of the things that happen in Arena football," Dolezel rationalized. "I don't get it, what can you do? Going 15-1 means nothing, absolutely nothing."
Oh, how 'bout one more, and this the Desperados could have controlled. They drive right back to the Columbus one on the next possession, and of all things, on a running play they fumble the ball into the end zone. Touchback.
The team that set the AFL single-season scoring record, averaging 63.3 points a game, sets a record for futility of their own: The first time in playoff history the Desperados were shut out in a quarter, turning a 38-28 halftime lead into a 45-38 deficit heading into the fourth quarter - but without the football.
Now give Columbus credit. While the weird bounces got them in the lead, the Destroyers went on to score every single time they got their hands on the ball after that. No stops for the Desperados' defense. No recovered onside kicks, and there were two. No nothing.
But tear drops in the end.
Desperados head coach Will McClay stood at midfield and answered all the questions. And while this was bad in itself, the loss was compounded by last year, when the Desperados finished once again with the league's best record (13-3) and were eliminated from the playoffs right here in the conference title game.
Two years in a row they had to swallow hard.
"Arena Football, you can't account for all the bounces," McClay said.
But all season we did the things to come back and win the game, and we didn't do it today."
And he would say, "I don't know, we lost."
He gave Columbus credit. He never made an excuse. He took it like a man.
Then, when all the other reporters walked off, our eyes met, he put his head down, heading toward his wife and kids, and he finally groaned, "ehhhhhhhh," verbalizing the bad taste that was in his mouth, as if he had a serious case of acid indigestion.
Enough to make you sick.