Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gregg Easterbrook: Wrong like always

Zack Galifinakis has this bit called "The Pretentious Illiterate." In the bit, Galifinakis listens to an argument about literature, then responds by slowly taking off his glasses and saying "And I already told you, I can't read."

That's essentially how Easterbrook responds to all the logical fallacies of his punting/field goal theory.

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk No. 1: With Carolina leading 13-7, New Orleans faced fourth-and-2 from its 39, and punted; three snaps later, Carolina was leading 20-7. The Saints have the league's No. 1 offense statistically, averaging 6.3 yards per snap. What's the point of having a high-powered offense if you're afraid to try for 2 yards? Toward the end of the contest, trailing big and desperate, the Saints twice went on fourth-and-short and twice missed. A small gamble when the game was still close might have changed the outcome.

Yeah that might've helped. Just like if they'd gone for it on 4th and 2 and didn't convert, it might've helped to punt it away there. Congratulations on knocking over that straw man.

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk No. 2: With Les Mouflons leading 24-7 in the third quarter, Dallas lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the St. Louis 24. The Cowboys jumped offsides, and the TV announcers immediately said, "Now Dallas has to kick." No you don't, go for it anyway! So what if it's now fourth-and-6 on the 29, Dallas needed to recover the momentum and create some hope. Instead, the Boys' field goal unit came on and the football gods, disgusted, pushed the try wide. Before the kick was launched, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.

FACT: Gregg Easterbrook constantly bandies about the average NFL play from scrimmage gaining 5 yards. Now he says Dallas should've gone for it needing 6 yards.

FACT: Dallas was down 3 scores. Regardless of whether they kicked a field goal or scored a touchdown, they would be down by 2 scores.

FACT: The footbal gods had nothing to do with Nick Folk's missed field goal.

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk No. 3: Scoring to pull within 48-34 of Chicago with nine minutes remaining, Minnesota did not onside kick, but rather kicked away. Scoring to pull within 48-41 with three minutes remaining, Minnesota kicked away again. Needless to say, the Vikings lost.

Kicking away with 9 minutes left clearly hurt Minnesota's chances to win because they'd pulled to within 7 points with 3 minutes left. In addition, Minnesota got the ball back with 1:06 left, and would've had nearly a full 2 minutes if their defense had held Chicago to only 4 downs.

Conversely, if Minnesota kicks onside and Chicago recovers, they're about in field goal range already, and even if they don't get a field goal, the Vikes are going to be pinned somewhere behind the 20 yard lune.


Sportsmanship Watch: Luke Thompson of Winfield, Kan., notes that last month, Tulsa led Central Arkansas 55-34 with a minute remaining yet was frantically throwing the ball, trying to run up the score. On Saturday, Tulsa beat UTEP 77-35, frantically running up the score: ahead 63-35 Tulsa was still throwing deep, and ahead 70-35 in the fourth quarter, continued throwing. Tulsa wants the media to notice its team. Hey Tulsa, here's some media notice -- for bad sportsmanship. Here's how it is done with class: USC was leading 48-0 at the end of the third quarter against Washington State, and did not attempt a fourth-quarter pass.

1. The BCS system rewards teams for lopsided victories you fucking asshat.
2. USC had a shut out going against WAZU and had a bigger lead than Tulsa had on any of those opponents. Also, USC intercepted a pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left and tried to run it back for a touchdown.
3. USC was beating Ohio State 35-3 in the 4th quarter and attempted 7 passes. Eat shit.


Anonymous said...

Man, TMQ sucks at writing and analysis BUT if he's been disparaging the coaching, in any way this year, who could argue? TMQ's writing is repetitive and predictable but the coaching has been downright incompetent. That must be the reason why I had to change my number and move out of my apartment to avoid the, umm, local guy who takes wagers. Yeah, that must be it...the coaching.

Tonus said...

Yet another column where the writer makes a point and then immediately undermines it. The Saints should've gone for it on fourth down. Later in the game they tried twice and failed. Oh yeah, there's a compelling argument for going for it on fourth down!

Besides, if the Saints average 6.3 yards per play, how'd they wind up with a fourth down to begin with? *rimshot*

PS- I have always hated the idea of running out the clock, as if it avoids embarrassing the opponent. Right, I'm sure that the other team really feels great when you tell them "hey, we're beating you so badly that we're just going to stop trying, okay? We'll just bring all of the scrubs off of the bench and have them run off-tackle for the next two quarters, because we wouldn't want to demoralize you or anything. Even though we both know that if we had kept playing, the score would be 88-3 instead of 45-3."

Yeah, that would make me feel a lot better. Really.

Bengoodfella said...

What is the deal with referring to himself in the third person as TMQ? As if he is not the only one that is writing the column. It is irritating. The Saints were only losing 13-7 and they do have a high powered offense, so there was no need for them to panic and give Carolina great field position. He is stupid.

Chris W said...

re: Tulsa

You think maybe a team whose defense is so iffy that it gives up 34, 35, and 35 respectively in games they dominate offensively might try to put as many points on the board as they can?


Oh and USC? Yeah that's a good example of a school that doesn't run up scores. What a dumb cunt GregG Easterbrook is.

Anonymous said...

"1. The BCS system rewards teams for lopsided victories you fucking asshat."

Nope. The BCS doesn't use margin of victory.

"2. USC had a shut out going against WAZU and had a bigger lead than Tulsa had on any of those opponents. Also, USC intercepted a pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left and tried to run it back for a touchdown."

What, they had a team meeting and decided to try to return it for a TD?

"3. USC was beating Ohio State 35-3 in the 4th quarter and attempted 7 passes. Eat shit."

Ohio State was ranked #5 in the polls at the time. You take your foot off the neck of a ranked opponent, even if they're probably overrated, at your own peril.

And seven passes, eh? Wow, that works out to like 28 or something for a whole game. That's so totally unsportsmanlike!

Jack M said...

@ Anonymous

1. While the computer system itself doesn't account for margin of victory, pollsters favor large margins of victory. The polls factor heavily into the BCS calculations. Hence, "the BCS SYSTEM" rewards blowouts.

2. I'd argue that a team that's well coached on sportsmanship wouldn't do this, but I'll concede this point to you.

3. Yes, because it's really common for teams to come back from 35-3 in the 4th quarter if they're ranked #5 at the time.

Also, 7 passes is a lot in a quarter for a team Easterbrook lauded for throwing 0 passes in a quarter when they were up by 48 points.

Thanks for the attempt at snide meta-analysis, jackass.