In my many years of writing about sports, I've seen my share of head-scratching oddities.
But except maybe for UConn's one-second, 94-foot miracle that beat the Tigers in the NCAA East Regional semifinals at the Meadowlands in 1990, C.J. Spiller getting eight touches of the football in the Buffalo Bills' 15-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday is the strangest thing I've ever heard of.
What, everyone who follows the NFL is asking, is Chan Gailey thinking?
Gailey said something Sunday about the Rams 'stacking the box' to stop Spiller, and how he felt Fred Jackson would be a better option. A two-second scan of the boxscore lends not an iota of credibility to Gailey's explanation.
Spiller carried the football seven times and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Jackson got nine chances and netted 14 yards. He had one 14-yard run, meaning that on his other eight carries, he gained nothing.
More than two months into the season, Spiller was on NFL record pace for yards-per-carry, surpassing numbers posted by Jim Brown and Mercury Morris decades ago.
He currently leads NFL running backs in yards-per-carry, averaging 6.6 per touch.
The problem is, Spiller is averaging just 11 carries per game.
On Monday, Gailey mentioned that Spiller "gets winded and he comes out" as an explanation for his time on the sidelines.
Buffalo News reporter Tim Graham isn't buying Gailey's explanation:
"As far as we know, Spiller is a finely tuned professional athlete without a Marlboro habit," Graham wrote.
Asked about his conditioning on Monday, Spiller told Graham he's not going to engage in a war of words with his head coach about 'if I'm winded.'
"I'm in shape. Let's just put it like that," Spiller said. "I'm in shape. If I wasn't in shape, then I shouldn't be on the field. But I'm in shape."
Spiller admitted he didn't understand Gailey's comment.
"I'll sit down with Coach and just get a better understanding," Spiller said. "I'll see what he meant because I don't know.
Spiller is nearly certain to get more touches this week because Jackson is injured again, and will be sidelined for the next 2-3 weeks.
This isn't a Fred Jackson problem, however. It's a Chan Gailey problem.
C.J. - always the gentleman in his comments about what must be an excruciatingly frustrating situation - needs, and deserves, a new team.
Or the Bills need to keep Spiller and make another change.