Friday, November 23, 2007

I Can't Believe I'm Dignifying This With A Post

It's shooting fish in a barrel. But as usual, when it comes to this particular quasi-journalist, I just can't help myself. From Bill "My ESPN.com Profile Picture Makes Me Look Like A Used Car Salesman" Simmons's 2007-2008 NBA Preview:

As far as I'm concerned, Duncan is the greatest power forward ever and the most underappreciated superstar since Moses Malone. But what if KG rolls over him in the NBA Finals? What then? Doesn't that open the door for a lifetime of, "Yeah, Duncan was good, but if KG had his supporting cast, he would have won seven titles!" arguments? Just the chance that we might settle this once and for all makes me happy. I love when things get settled. You know, kinda like how the "Brady vs. Manning" argument was settled over these past 11 weeks.

Really? We can put that one to bed now? Great. I'm all for it. I mean it's not like before their showdown a couple weeks ago Manning had won the last three matchups between the two, including last year's AFC title game. Or that Manning has a higher career yards/attempt, completion percentage, and quarterback rating. Or that even with how good Brady's been this year, that Manning still has thrown more TDs per game over the course of his career.

Am I saying Manning is definitely better? Absolutely not. Assuming he doesn't get hurt, Brady's 2007 is going to end up being better than Manning's 2004. Brady has thrown fewer interceptions per game during his career, has won more of their head to head matchups, and trails Manning only slightly in those three metric categories I listed above. (7.7 vs 7.2 yards per attempt, 63.9 to 63.1 completion percentage, and 93.9 to 92.9 QB rating.) What I AM saying is that the issue is not "settled." It probably never will be, even after both guys wrap up their careers. Who's better, Montana, Marino, Elway, or Favre? Depends on where the person you ask grew up. Montana has the rings, Marino has the yards (not for long, admittedly), Elway was great for years with a terrible supporting cast, and Favre has the TDs. Although I'm from Colorado, it's hard for me not to choose Marino after his performance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. But if you want to say there's a clear cut winner in that debate, you must have invented some kind of "magical impossible debate settling machine" that you should patent and start selling. Lord knows I'd buy one.

Anyways, barring unforeseen circumstances, in about 10 years we'll throw Brady and Manning into the debate. People from Indiana will all hype up Manning and people from New England will hype up Brady. People from Northern California, Colorado, Florida, and Wisconsin will disagree. The argument will escalate. Someone will imply (or possibly state directly) that they had sex with someone else's sister. The first punch will be thrown. Bar stools will be broken over heads. Beer bottles will be shattered on pool tables and used as stabbing weapons. The bouncers will kick everyone out so that the fracas can continue in the street until all but one person is arrested or killed. The end. But still, even that one person won't be right. It's just not possible to "settle" that debate.

And don't get me started about how Brady has more rings than Manning. There's exactly one reason the Patriots won those three Super Bowls and will probably win this year's. He goes by the name of Tedy Bruschi. (Did you know he had a stroke and missed part of the 2005 season, but ended up making a triumphant return on Monday Night Football? I heard that somewhere. What a fuzzy, warm, cuddly story! Where was ESPN when this happened? They really dropped the ball.)

Final "food" for thought (food, because it's Thanksgiving... GET IT?): Who had/has the better supporting cast? 2004 Manning or 2007 Brady? You've got Harrison, Wayne, Stokely, Clark, E. James, and a great offensive line versus Moss, Stallworth, Welker, Watson, some capable RBs, and another great offensive line. If you're Bill Simmons, this debate has already been settled. If you have a brain, it's just another great unanswerable question.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Other debates put to rest by Bill Simmons:
Larry Bird was better than Magic.

Boston Roger Clemens was better than N.Y Roger Clemens.

Bobby Ore was better than Gretzky.

Boston is better than your city.

Jeff said...

Also, if another writer tells me that Tim Duncan is under-rated / underappreciated, I will snap. I've addressed this in posts before. WE FUCKING KNOW HOW GOOD TIM DUNCAN IS...just because he's quiet it doesn't mean we need columnists to continuously point it out to us.

pnoles said...

Yeah, the Duncan thing is ridiculous. Just because he doesn't rape anyone or make his own music albums or win ridiculous bets in practice with teammates involving shooting 1-handed college 3-pointers while eating a sandwich....doesn't mean that people don't think Tim Duncan is an awesome player. I guarantee that he's the first thing teams and fans think about when the Spurs are the next opponent on the schedule.

larry b said...

Debates I'm settling for Bill right now:

1) Besides those located in the deep South, Boston is the most racist city in the US

2) House, J-Bug, and Hench are only friends with you out of pity

3) If David Ortiz met you in real life, he would be very creeped out

Anonymous said...

Larry, you missed Bill's (correct) point. Before Peyton won a ring, everyone considered Brady better than Manning because Brady had played well in big games but Manning couldn't... now, that Manning has one ring, the tide has shifted and a lot of people are saying that Manning is better because of his stats in the regular season.

But now, in the past 12 weeks Brady has shown that if he had a good receiving core like Manning has had, then he could be just as great statistics-wise. Bill (this time) is correct, and Brady is the better QB.

larry b said...

Anonymous- assuming you're the same anonymous posting a very intelligent defense of Gregg Easterbrook's work in the post above this one, you've really disappointed me here.

No. Brady is not the better QB. Neither is Manning. It can't be settled, and probably never will be.

Larry said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but it's not only about the offensive cast that surrounds a quarterback that determines whether they win a Super Bowl or not. Yeah Manning may have had a better offense around him in the past then Brady, but the reason Brady a HUGE part of winning the Super Bowl for the Patriots was the fact that their defense was so damn good. You can't say Brady is the better QB just because he won Super Bowls when he has had a much better overall team during the last 5 years.

Anonymous said...

larry b, the fact is that there are two ways to determine which is the better QB.

1. Which is better in the playoffs?

2. Which has better stats in the regular season.

Manning has always underperformed in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. His td/int ratio in the playoffs is 21:15. Brady's is 22:9. Manning's ratio in the Super Bowl is 1:1. Brady's is 6:1. Brady's the better playoff/clutch game performer, that can't be argued.

What CAN be argued is who's the better regular season player. Manning has Dominated this category, but Brady backers (like Bill) have said that it's only because Manning had the better weapons. There's never been any evidence to back those claims up however... until this season.

What Brady is doing this season is showing that he would have at least been on par with Manning if he had better receivers. Look at Brady's numbers now... better than Peyton's ever were. So, even if you say that Brady and Peyton would be Equal if they both had offensive firepower, then Brady is still the better QB because of his performance (22:9) in the playoffs.

If both QB's were given the exact same team, all evidence points to Brady being the better QB.