Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Little Weekend Housecleaning

I have a bunch of small things I want to go over, so why not throw them all into one post?

First- Check out our newest link, eTrueSports. As the description in the sidebar reads, it's a whole lot like Sports Pickle or The Onion's sports section. Very well done, and good for a light hearted laugh for whenever you don't want to read our overanalytical diatribes here at FireJay.

Second- Almost two weeks after it was originally published, this Gregg Easterbrook explanation for New England's dominance this season still infuriates me:

What is [Patriots offensive line coach Dante] Scarnecchia's secret? It's so, so simple, yet few NFL teams understand it: New England offensive linemen never stand doing nothing, watching the play. On a shocking number of NFL plays, there is at least one gentleman simply standing there doing nothing at all, and often that gentleman is an offensive lineman. New England's offensive linemen never stand around doing nothing. More than anything else, never standing around doing nothing is what separates the Patriots from the rest of the league, and this approach pays the most dividends on the offensive line.

So I decided to take the challenge I levied in my response to that column, and watch a bunch of football while paying specific attention to the offensive line in order to see how often any of them "[stood] there doing nothing at all." Since last weekend, I dutifully sat on my couch and absorbed between 15 and 20 hours of football. My repertoire included all or part of the following games (plus countless highlights from other games not televised where I live):

Florida St. at Wake Forest
Navy at Pitt
Hawaii at San Jose St.
Boston College at Notre Dame
LSU at Kentucky
Oregon St. at Cal
Colorado at Kansas St.
Missouri at Oklahoma

Tennessee at Tampa Bay
Washington at Green Bay
Oakland at San Diego
New England at Dallas

Are you ready for my stunning results? If for some reason you're standing while reading this, sit down. I saw offensive linemen standing around doing nothing during exactly sixteen plays in hours upon hours of coverage. Only three of these sixteen happened during my viewing of NFL action (two by the Raiders, one by Green Bay). So... yeah, unless my definition of standing around doing nothing differs drastically from Gregg's... I was right. He's full of shit.

Third- In an attempt to answer my own question from the title of Thursday's post, I emailed ESPN to ask why Bill Simmons is the only Page 2 writer whose columns don't have ESPN's "Conversation" commenting feature. I'll let you know if I hear back from them. Don't hold your breath.

Fourth, and finally- I'm watching the pregame show for game 3 of the NLCS. Now I definitely don't mind Charles Barkley at all. In fact, I kind of enjoy his zany, disjointed approach to sports analysis. But I really have to ask: why, oh why, is he talking about baseball? It's kind of like some TBS exec said "Well, everyone likes Barkley. The NBA doesn't start for a few weeks. Hell, give him a plane ticket to Denver." I guess it could be worse; he could be Tim McCarver.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to come back a few times this week. We'll be adding a new writer who likes and will probably write about hockey! (If you're into that kind of thing.)

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