Sunday, July 8, 2007

i'm low on material so i'm going to pick on an easy target

as usual, dr. z is full of nonsense as usual in his latest mailbag.

Our E-mailer of the Week is JP Wieske of Green Bay for his suggestion that there should be a space for assistant coaches in the Hall of Fame. Yes. Take the case of Monte Kiffin, for instance. He's been the defensive coordinator for the Bucs forever. Never wanted a head job. Terrific in what he does, innovative, etc. There are quite a few like that. In '98, when the Chargers, run by Ryan Leaf, finished 5-11 but led the NFL in defense, my Coach of the Year was Joe Pascale, the defensive coordinator. "You can't pick an assistant," my editor told me. "Where's the sign that says that?" I said. So we got into this big argument, and surprise, it was one of the few that I actually won.

the joke here isn't that this is bad or dumb analysis... i just think it's funny that the "e-mailer of the week" isn't someone who writes in with a thought provoking question, or provides some interesting analysis about a currently relevant topic in the NFL; rather, it's some guy who agrees with dr. z about a very minor point. next mailbag it'll be a guy who writes in just to let dr. z know that he, too, finds the music kids listen to these days to be vulgar and outrageous.

The bell is ringing, which signals the start of our weekly show, Goofytime Frolics. From Steve of Minneapolis: "If you aren't going to give the city of Minneapolis your worst five players, then can the Flaming Redhead give us hers?" Sure, and remember, you asked for this, and with quotation marks to show that she is actually saying it at this moment -- "Tom Frank, Dean Patrick Snopek, Joe Pesci, Al Sharpton, Taheru Kobayashi (DQ'd for reversal)."

i'm not a regular enough dr. z reader to understand what this means. i'm speechless/confused.

Justin of Bloomington, Ind., wonders if he's the only one who isn't thrilled by the Patriots offseason acquisitions, which already have made them the Super Bowl front-runners. No you are not, my lad. I, too, wonder. What I think you are seeing is people projecting these players into the Belichick Instant Success factory, which will immediately transform them into wonderboys.

kind of stupid, but worth examining. let's break down the acquisitions one at a time and see if we can come to any conclusions about whether or not the patriots have done much to improve their team.

Randy Moss? Jury's out.

about what? whether or not he'll catch 100 balls for 1500 yards and be exactly as dominant as he was during his best years in minnesota? sure. but what about something more in the 75 balls for 900 yards range- is the jury out about whether or not he's fully capable of doing that? it shouldn't be, not for people with brains.

I know that a few years ago neither Belichick nor Scott Pioli would have touched this guy.

irrelevant. they "touched" him this offseason, and paid basically nothing to do so.

Adalius Thomas? A perfect fit for the Willie McGinest role, play it up, play it down, everything done from a platform of high intelligence and superior athletic ability. A terrific pick-up.


Wes Welker. Fine return man, could fit in as a third or fourth receiver. Smart. The kind of guy BB likes.

alriiiiiiight..... soooooo.........

Donte Stallworth? Can be a tremendous downfield threat. At other times you lose track of him. Not sure.

his last two full seasons (2004 and 2005) he averaged 66 catches, about 850 yards, and 6 TDs. now he'll be playing alongside moss and thus not have to square off against other teams' #1 corners. i think he's PROBABLY a pretty good acquisition.

Finally, Kyle Brady. I can't remember the last pure blocking TE they've had. Now they've got one.

not that brady is anything special, but ok, he'll probably help. soooo here's what we've got- one "jury's still out" when in fact it is not; one "terrific pickup"; one "smart"; one "not sure" when in fact people should be at least mildly sure; and one "now they've got one". now don't get me wrong. i HATE the patriots. but i've gotta admit- they had a really good offseason. on paper, of course, they have drastically improved their team. no two ways about it.

So yeah, I guess this is a pretty impressive bunch, and maybe I should be higher on them, and maybe I just don't want to run with the herd, but something's holding me back, same as you.

worst analysis ever. i think that "something" is probably "being stupid." this is the kind of skepticism old people express about new-fangled inventions like the horseless carriage and telephones that fit in your pocket.

From Michael of Perth, Western Australia -- Why didn't I mention Coryell as a coach who should seriously be considered for the Hall of Fame? Because I did it too quickly, which covers the question of Ryan of Durham, N.C., who is pushing for Mike Shanahan. They're both worthy. My problem was that I was trying to finish the column in a hurry so I could catch the start of Matango, Fungus of Death, on Japanese TV.

is... is... is that... a joke?

Thanks to Martin of San Diego for the almost hysterical praise. He refers to the impact of fantasy football. Personally I hate it. And I'll tell you why.

ok, dr. z, i'm all ears.

Last year an SI editor foolishly suggested that I donate some extra work to his fantasy football section. I hung up the phone. He never called back. Every time the phone rings I tremble. When I was a kid I used to play Ethan Allen's Baseball Game with a spinner and individual player cards. So what?

but dr. z, you never told us why you hate fantasy football. you just equated it to an old board game you used to play, which is stupid because in the board game there were no real-life players doing actual things that affected the outcome of your personal competition. also, i really like how un-tough that "so what?" he throws in there at the end sounds.

Matthew of Toledo asks whether I see any connection between the canceling of NFL Europa and Mark Cuban's plans to start his own league? No. Rich guys' tax writeoffs don't interest me.

almost an answer to the question, and almost a good joke. almost. not really.

Robert of Toronto has a long, involved question about Eli Manning. Basically, does he have it? Will he ever? Seems like I answer this every week. The thing I like best about him is that the players seem to like him and respond to him in certain situations. He can get hot. The thing I like least is that he's a low percentage, scatter arm, most of the time. Will be a bigger bust than Ryan Leaf? No, because Leaf was a jerk and this guy isn't.

should i go into how horrendously dumb that is? i'm not sure i'm capable. let's just put it this way- if ryan leaf wasn't a jerk, he would still be remembered for being exactly as "bust-ish" as he is now. no one would be cutting him a break in that category. he would simply be remembered as an epic bust, instead of both an epic bust and an epic asshole, which is what he is now.

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