Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This is not a WMTMQR; I'll try to put up a TMTMQR tomorrow. But I need to make a post tonight, and one part of this week's TMQ is so flagrantly bad that it's worth its own post.

First, the setup: from his September 15 column, written two days after the Broncos scored a late touchdown to pull within one of the Chargers and then went for two and the win rather than kicking the extra point and playing for overtime:

Sweet Play of the Week No. 3: What play did Denver use for its winning deuce? Almost exactly the same play it employed a moment before to score the touchdown on fourth-and-goal. Tight trips left, rookie receiver Eddie Royal ran a "stutter in" -- stopping and chopping his feet for an instant, then cutting over the middle. Stutter moves are chic this year; they seem to hypnotize defensive backs for about a second. Plays that just worked, and plays that just failed, are the ones defenses don't expect to see on the very next snap. Denver called the play that just worked -- sweet.

Emphasis mine. So let's move on to this week's column. The Chiefs found themselves in a completely identical situation last Sunday. Trailing the Chargers by seven, they scored a late TD and decided to go for two and the win rather than play for OT. Gregg's thoughts:

Sweet 'N' Sour Play: Scoring to pull within one point with 23 seconds remaining at San Diego, Kansas City did the manly man thing by going for the win. About 60 percent of deuce tries succeed, whereas taking the game to overtime is strictly a 50-50 proposition. Plus, deciding the game then and there meant fans would have to watch less of the woeful Chiefs. So the Herm Edwards decision to try for two was sweet -- though not exactly a profile in courage, considering Kansas City had botched a regular PAT kick attempt earlier in the contest.

TMQ is not a fan of Herm Edwards, as regular readers well know. Now, here's the part that proves Gregg is a self-contradicting douche:

Here's the sour part: Kansas City's touchdown to pull within one with 23 ticks remaining came on a pass to Tony Gonzalez in the middle of a trips set. The deuce attempt was also a pass to Gonzalez in the middle of a trips set. This time three San Diego defenders were covering the Kansas City tight end. Not only was the Kansas City second play predictable, somebody else must have been open.

Emphasis mine. Anyone see the problem here? So a good idea is a good idea, except when it's not. Or more specifically, calling the same play twice in a row on a touchdown and game winning 2PC is a great idea, except when it doesn't work, in which case it was a bad idea.

Oh, and then there's this, which I will complain about again tomorrow. Easterbrook has a new item:

Wacky Wine of the Week

I wish I were making this up. I can almost feel the pretentiousness oozing across the internet and into my apartment.


Chris W said...

That's exactly Easterbrook's MO:

"If something works I'll mention what a good idea it was. If something doesn't work, then I'll mention what a bad idea it was. Unless it BARELY worked. Then it was a bad idea but they got lucky!"

What a dip

Angelo said...

...and they can only get lucky if he can attribute it to something completely irrelevant, like cheerleaders or football gods.
Also, martin's comment from sunday's post was so spot-on I think he might actually be gregg.
Seriously, knowing that Gregg is semi-respected outside of his TMQ articles and is a fellow at Brookings, does anyone else wonder if his TMQ column is intentionally illogical and contradictory? I mean, he can't actually be that stupid, right?

Bengoodfella said...

I think Gregg actually is that stupid. It would take a lot of work to make a column this illogical, useless and contradictory. There is no way he could remember to write in so much of the contradictory shit from week to week, I think he is just a smart guy who writes a bad weekly football article. Whereas the rest of ESPN's columnists are dumb people who write horrible bi-weekly articles.

Larry B said...

Scoop Jackson does not appreciate that last sentence, Ben.

Bengoodfella said...

Scoop Jackson's work speaks for itself as further proof of what I am talking about.

Why does ESPN have such bad writing? I actually enjoy reading some of CNNSI's writers, especially Stewart Mandel who can be a little pretentious, but at least when you read his column you feel like he is providing you with some sort of information he has looked up and did not wake up and realize he had to shit out 700 words so he just makes something up.

I just think it is interesting the WWL has such an intrepid writing staff.

Bengoodfella said...

I meant putrid writing staff.

Though they are intrepid in their constant putridness.

Jeff said...

My comment just got lost so this may end up being a duplicate.

When something good happens, Easterbrooks just makes up a reason why it happens.

When something bad happens, he makes up a reason for that. Sometimes his reason is truly made up and sometimes it's obvious to everyone.

Anyway, as Larry just showed, those reasons can be in direct conflict with each other. Which brings me to my conclusion: It's easy to sound smart about sports, or think you're smart, when all you do is tell people the cause after the effect has happened.

CHart said...

I'm not sure what Easterbrook was talking about. On the TD play, Gonzales was the inside receiver with trips left. On the 2pt play, he was the slot guy on the right with 2 receivers on that side. So no, they didn't run two identical plays, they didn't even run two identical formations.

Also, Gonzales was triple covered? I think I know why Greg doesn't trust things down to tenths of seconds... it's because he already has a tough time with integers. There was one guy firmly covering Gonzales and another safety making a late run over to the corner. At BEST, he was double covered.