Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WMTMQR: the wednesday morning tuesday morning quarterback review

i think i've made myself clear in the past about my feelings re: gregg easterbrook, aka the tuesday morning quarterback. i definitely look forward to his columns. i appreciate the asides he includes in them, particularly the political ones. his football analysis is sometimes very insightful.

on the other hand... sometimes he writes a column like this week's and includes the kind of bullshit i'm about to bring up. this could easily become a weekly posting for me if he keeps spouting off nonsense. it's too bad. but hey, i have to take a little time off from complaining about simmons, pearlman, and the assorted idiots over at cbs sportsline every once in a while. to begin:

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk: Jersey/B made a nice comeback against the rugged Baltimore defense, but the comeback was doomed in this wise. Trailing 20-3 with 10:08 remaining, the Jets faced fourth-and-goal on the Ravens' 3. Eric "Double Agent" Mangini took the field goal. Yes, down by 17 you need three scores. But two must be touchdowns, and here you are just 3 yards away! At the endgame, with a minute to play, Jersey/B had first-and-goal on the Baltimore 7, trailing 20-13, and threw desperate passes until the icing interception for the Nevermores. Had the Jets gone for the touchdown earlier and succeeded, at the endgame they could have kicked a field goal and caused overtime.

no. wrong. horrible reasoning. if the jets went for it on 4th and 3 when they were down 17 and failed, the game would effectively be over. they probably wouldn't get the ball back until there were eight or fewer minutes on the clock, and they'd still be down 3 scores. as it was, they got themselves within 2 scores (just as the situation would have been if they scored a touchdown) and... lo and behold... ended up having a fantastic opportunity to tie the game with a minute left. which would you rather have- 1 shot to get in the end zone from the 3, or 4 shots to get in from the 7? hindsight is 20/20, easterbrook, and you sound stupid when you write paragraphs like that.

Head-Scratcher of the Week: "Eli Manning is really showing today that he has become a leader," Howie Long said on Fox, halfway through the Giants' ninth loss in their past 11 games.

yes. the giants are losing for one reason and one reason only- because eli manning isn't being a good enough leader. it has nothing to do with their ATROCIOUS defense (29th in yardage allowed this year, 25th last year) and spotty offensive line.

Rule Change Needed: Oakland appeared to beat Denver in overtime as Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 52-yard field goal, but officials ruled the Broncos' sideline had called timeout an instant before the kick. The Raiders missed the rekick, then Denver scored the other way. Until a few years ago, timeouts had to be called by a player on the field. The rule was changed to allow the sideline to call time. Coaches are misusing the rule by signaling time just as the ball is snapped, and officials are allowing those timeouts: It looked to me as though the Raiders snapped the ball just as Mike Shanahan formed a T signal, and the kick should have counted.

"looked to you"... how? i watched this game live, watched CBS's postgame show, watched the halftime show of sunday night football, watched sportscenter multiple times on sunday night and monday morning, watched around the horn (i know, i know... i'm unemployed right now so i was home, and the remote was really far away so i couldn't change the channel) and pardon the interruption on monday afternoon, and finally watched the halftime show of monday night football. not once, combining the live broadcast and subsequent replays with about ten later rounds of highlights and anaylsis, was a splitscreen view of shanahan and the action on the field shown. there's no way to tell whether or not the timeout was called fairly, other than to take the officiating crew's word for it. when a team is about to kick a game winning field goal, here's a list of things they're looking for:

1. twelve men on the field
2. false starts
3. defensive guys in the neutral zone
4. timeouts

i'm pretty sure they can handle that list, and, you know, comprehend whether the play started legally or not. not once did any of the analysts i saw commenting on the unusual ending during the 30 hours after it happened mention that the timeout might not have been called in time. they all talked about whether or not it was "cheap" or "ungamesmanlike," but this is the first time i've heard/seen someone say "it looked to them" like the officials blew it. could this be because TMQ has access to magical one-of-a-kind tv feed that showed the action in split screen, one camera on the denver sideline and one on the raiders' center? or because he likes to write things that have little or no reasoning behind them?

Best Purist Drive: Score tied at 20-20, the Arizona (Caution: May Contain Football-Like Substance) Cardinals took possession at the Seattle 46 with 1:48 remaining. Did the Cards go pass-wacky? Arizona simply ran the ball up the middle four straight times until it reached the Seahawks' 24, from which the Cards kicked the winning field goal as time expired.

yes, it's fun to wax poetic about the virtues of simply running the ball up the middle. easterbrook does it all the time, in a variety of contexts. in this case i definitely have to call shenanigans. the cards picked up a very decent 5 and a half yards per carry on this game winning mini-drive. that's not "simply running the ball up the middle." that's "possessing a dominating running attack." you might as well run up the middle all four quarters every game if you have that kind of offense. i really don't think "going pass happy" in that situation, despite it not being as gritty and gutty and grindy and old-school and purist as running up the middle, would have been a bad move.

Wide Receiver Runaway Ego No. 3: Chad Johnson's nonstop on-field and sideline shenanigans at Cleveland -- could that just possibly have had something to do with the Bengals' lack of focus and overconfidence? Why do so many NFL wide receivers get away with considering their stats more important than the team's fortunes?

i love this. yes. let's blame cincy's loss on johnson, who had 200+ yards receiving and 2 TDs. johnson has been a ridiculous personality for years, while the bengals have enjoyed mild success and one playoff berth, along with a couple near misses. he's been an integral part of their rise from league laughingstock to semi-respectability. but, yeah. i think it's totally reasonable to say his team's defense allowed 51 points because he likes to do crazy end zone celebrations. get off your soap box, TMQ.

one last complaint before i go- has anyone else noticed how it's becoming more and more common for analysts during highlights or while blabbing away to refer to "football players", "football games", and "football fields" instead of just players, games, and fields? how many times do you hear things like "albert pujols is a just a great baseball player" or "clutch shooting- this is how you win basketball games" or "if you expect to win, you need to put out more effort on the soccer field"? this is really starting to bother me, and it's becoming more and more common. crap, sounds like my angry personality is going to affect my enjoyment of sports yet again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

greg anthony is king of attaching the name of his sport to everything about it