Monday, October 29, 2007

How Do You Write a Really Bad NFL "Week In Review" Column?

If you're CBSSportsline's Clark Judge, you approach this challenge by simply copying Peter King's "10 Things I Know" format. And somehow, through pure determination and perseverance, you manage to do an even worse job than King himself.

1. If the NFL can move the regular season to London, it can move the Super Bowl to November. And it just did. Because that's what next Sunday's Patriots-Colts game is.

Awful, awful segue.

Forget about the NFC. It doesn't matter, and New England and Indianapolis just reminded us. They just torched two of the conference's top clubs by a combined score of 83-14. Uh-huh, the Colts and Pats are that much better than everyone.

This week the Panthers and Redskins got their balls handed to them by the Colts and Patriots. True. Unfortunately for Clark, neither the Panthers or Redskins are among the 3 best teams in the NFC. (Cowboys, Giants, Packers, not necessarily in that order.) Sure, Indy and New England look leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. But beating up on maybe the 4th and 5th best (with Seattle in the mix) teams in the NFC doesn't prove that the Super Bowl will be a joke. NE's win over Dallas two weeks ago is more telling, but that game was closer than the final score indicates. Let's not go writing off the biggest sports television event of the year more than 3 months before it happens just yet.

(Besides, everyone knows you only watch it for the commercials anyways! Those commercials are so clever. I love it when animals act like peoples.)

2. So the Patriots leave Tom Brady in the fourth period to throw another touchdown pass, this time making it 45-0 with nine minutes to go. Great. My only question is: Why didn't they try an onside kick afterward?

Incorrect- the dumb joke we were looking for was, "Why didn't they go for two?"

4. That, folks, is not how you create interest in the NFL overseas. (That's all Miller includes for this item)

Want to elaborate on that? No? Do you mean because the game involved one of the worst teams in the league? Because it was played in a torrential downpour? Were either of these factors, which amount to 95% of the reason the game was boring, under the control of the league office? Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the idea of trying to force football (no, real football... not dumb footvaginasoccer) on European people. It's a bad idea. I really don't think they care. NFL Europe folded for a reason. Still, this particular game mostly sucked because the Dolphins sucked and the weather sucked. If the Jacksonville/Tampa Bay thriller had been played in Londonville instead of the pissbucket of an excuse that was New York/Miami, Scott's campy little one liner wouldn't work nearly as well.

6. This is why passer ratings are overrated: The Tennessee Titans' Vince Young ranks among the league's bottom feeders when it comes to quarterback numbers. Except this one: Wins. All Young has done is win 10 of his past 13 starts. I keep saying it, and I'll say it again: Not a great quarterback; a great leader.

Where to begin, where to begin... shall we start with the fact that Tennessee's defense is 5th in the league in yards per game allowed? That they're 7th in points per game allowed? What about the possibly significant fact that they're 3rd in takeaways? No, I'm sure none of that has anything to do with their 5-2 record in 2007. How about we break down their offensive production instead: They're 3rd in rushing yards per game (only a small portion of which is due to VY... his rushing is way down compared to last year). But what's that? They're 29th in passing yard per game? Young has 3 TDs and 6 picks? And averages less than 6 yards per attempt? Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. This is all about correlation, not causation. The Titans have won a lot of games recently; Vince Young is their QB; therefore, Vince Young is a great leader. Makes sense to me! Screw you, Titans defense and RBs. You're a bunch of tiny-dicked pansies.

To explain Clark's reasoning in baseball terminology: Vince Young = David Eckstein. Carson Palmer = Alex Rodriguez. Which one would you rather have on your team- the guy who just flat out wins, or the selfish guy who only cares about regular season stats? I thought so.

7. New England's Mike Vrabel scores a touchdown, has three sacks and forces three fumbles. Any chance he can be the AFC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week?

With a whole whopping 1 catch for 1 yard, he's going to have a hard time pulling down the first of those awards.

9. There is nobody worse than St. Louis, and I'm not talking about the Rams' winless record. I'm talking about their record of guarantees. The way I see it, Randy McMichael, Steven Jackson and Isaac Bruce are forbidden from dressing as Nostradamus on Halloween. Oh, and remind me not to consult them for predictions on Indy-New England.

Buh-ZING! Facial on you, St. Louis players who have been trying to fire up your teammates by predicting wins. I also really like the "There's nobody worse than (subject)... and I'm not talking about (what you expected me to be talking about)!" style of joke. Truly the work of a master comedic craftsman. I think the last time I saw one of those pulled off well, it was in a Jackie Harvey column. And he did it completely by accident.

11. No, I don't think the Eagles will press Dallas or the Giants in the NFC East, but this is why I would be careful before burying them: There is no one better at overcoming adversity. They won two division titles without Donovan McNabb. They won the NFC Championship Game without Terrell Owens. They were 5-6 a year ago and went on to win the division.

"I am burying the Eagles. However, I hesitated briefly before doing so because of things that happened in the past with different players on the roster and under different circumstances." Nice job by Judge hedging his bets here- if the Eagles fade and finish 4-12, he told you so. On the other hand, if they suddenly catch fire and finish 10-6, he told you so.

12. Al Davis, move over. If New England wins another Super Bowl, the Dolphins' Randy Mueller can be measured for a ring, too. He's the genius who traded Wes Welker to New England. It's bad enough to deal him within the division, but to deal him to the division champ? I would like an explanation.

Welker in 2006: 67 catches for 687 yards, 1 TD
Welker so far in 2007: 56 catches, 613 yards, 6 TDs

Hmmmm... I wonder what's responsible for those numbers getting bumped up so much? Could it be that there are massive talent and coaching discrepancies between the 2006 Dolphins and 2007 Patriots? No, that's a silly dumb fart of a thought. I'm sure Welker would have those exact same numbers were he still in Miami, running routes for Cleo Lemon.

Side discussion: If Tom Brady and Derek Jeter had a baby, hot would he/she be? How clutch? Which one of the two of them would actually carry the baby during pregnancy? Discuss in the comments.

15. From the You Had to Be There Department: The Chargers had 21 first-half plays and 35 points. What's more, they led 28-3 after 20 minutes after running off 11 plays and holding the ball 5:35. Yes, you can start taking these guys seriously again.

I have no idea why this is from the You Had to Be There Department. I read about the game, looked at the box score, and got a very good understanding of how great San Diego played. Furthermore, with wins over the Bears, Broncos, Raiders, and Texans (combined record: 11-19) and losses to New England, Green Bay, and Kansas City (who stack up at 17-4), I don't think it's time to climb back on the Charger bandwagon just yet. Let's see how they deal with Indy and Jacksonville before we start dry humping them.

Well that's about it for this week, but Clark's little column here has the potential to be a regular feature here on FireJay. Gregg Easterbrook's ego is so crushed from the abuse I've been giving him all season that he didn't even publish a TMQ this week! (So far.) That's why I'm excited Judge is stepping up to the plate for me. I mean... I've got to bitch about someone's bad NFL analysis, don't I?


Jarrett said...

There is no worse columnist than Clark Judge. And it's not because of his articles. The way I see it, his bio is written like the joke book from the Arby's Kids Meal. Oh, and remind me not to consult him for my wedding toast.

larry b said...

There's no bette comment than the one you just left. And not because it made fun of Clark Judge in a funny and clever way! I was referring to the fact that it has 45 words, because 45 is my favorite number.