Saturday, December 13, 2008

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Props to Fred Trigger and Frigidevil for pointing out this NFL article by Kevin Hench.

Sundays of our Lives: Week 15

Not a regular reader of Kevin Hench. The fact that this is the name of his weekly column goes a long way to explaining why.

Will no industry emerge unscathed from this recession?

The announcement that the NFL would be cutting 150 jobs made it clear that no business — no matter how well run — is impervious to this economic downturn.

That's clear how? I'm no expert on economic theory, but I don't think I'm totally exposing my ignorance when I say I don't subscribe to the "As goes the NFL, so goes the business world" school of Macroeconomics.

But I see his point. After all, major sports are universally tightening their belts.

With that in mind, here are some cost-cutting suggestions for the league, its teams and NFL-related employers. These are the budget-conscious Sundays of Our Lives.

Just a great concept for a column. I'm sure these are going to be feasible, reasonable cost-cutting suggestions, and not anecdotal, sentimental, high-horse grandstanding on the part of some middle-aged white guy NFL fan. Right?

From now on if an official's call costs a team the game he should not be receiving his paycheck.

Ed Hochuli's blown call in Week 2 seemed to set the tone for the Chargers' accursed season. But at least they've won five games. Field judge Mike Weir's bogus pass interference call cost the Lions their Week 6 game against the Vikings and those poor schlubs are going to go 0-16.

Swinging the outcome from one team to the other is pretty much the opposite of doing your job as an official and merits being docked a game check. A carpenter shouldn't expect to be paid for his impressive finish work if he burns down the house on his last day on the job.

Oh. Never mind.

By the way, this is the first year in the history of the NFL that officials have made bad calls that have cost teams games. Officials are understood to be perfect animals, incapable of making mistakes. As a sports fan you have the right to never have to see a bad call. If there is ever a bad call, ever, you ought to just throw your fucking remote through the TV. You got gypped.

After all, that Hochuli call, an unfortunate one to be sure, did EXPLICITLY cost the Chargers the game. After all, they didn't have a chance after that call to stop the Broncos from scoring a touchdown. And after that touchdown Ed Hochuli explicitly refused to let them play defense and stop the exact same play on the two point conversion.

And I'm sure earlier in the game there were exactly zero calls that went the Chargers's way. I mean, it's almost impossible to believe there was a single un-called hold against the Chargers's o-line that could have led to big yards. Or a single poorly called penalty against the Broncos that benefited the Chargers.

Nope. There was one bad call in that game and it led directly to the Chargers losing. Hochuli did nothing right. In fact he misread the scoreboard and gave the game DIRECTLY to the Broncos. The Chargers had actually scored more points.

So yeah, it makes sense. Dock him his whole paycheck.

From now until the economy brightens, NFL players should only be paid when they try. Sure, that would mean some empty stockings for the children of Jacksonville Jaguars, but when the old man hasn't broken a sweat in a month, well, the sins of the father are visited upon the young. Rarely do you get a public pronouncement that a team has quit, but that is essentially what Fred Taylor provided last month and he was right on the money. The Jags have lost four straight by an average of 13.5 points a game.

This is fucking stupid.

Why pay your employees for a whole day's work when the outcome is decided in the first quarter? Take the Thanksgiving Day Massacre as an example. The game was over in three possessions.

By the time the Titans had built a 35-3 second-quarter lead the crowd was filing out of Ford Field, wishing they were in a tryptophan coma (like the Lions appeared to be).

This would also save coaches like Jeff Fisher from the awkward choice of which is running it up more, going for it on fourth down or kicking field goals? Fisher opted for the FGs, sending Rod Bironas out to kick four second-half field goals in the 47-10 rout.

No team has ever come back from a large deficit in the history of the NFL.

I know that Hench is trying to be cutesy here, but I just don't get it. What's the fucking point. Is anyone who reads FoxSports entertained by this?

Christ. I need some goddamned coffee if I'm gonna make it through this article.

I don't know exactly which jobs they're cutting at NFL headquarters, but they can't be any more unnecessary than kickers.

I words.

Kickers have performed themselves into obsolescence. Nobody misses any more. Chip shots, bombs, tweeners. Everybody has a reliable kicker. Even the Lions (whose Jason Hanson is 7-for-7 beyond 50 and 13-for-13 beyond 40) have an excellent kicker.

The logic here is just so exquisite. "Kickers are irrelevant because they are very good at putting points on the board. If they missed more kicks they would be more relevant and necessary."

Mike Vanderjagt holds the NFL record for career accuracy at 86.47 percent. This season 17 kickers are knocking 'em through at a higher percentage. The league-wide percentage is 83.7. Artis Gilmore holds the NBA record with a 59.9 career field goal percentage. What's happening with kickers this season is the rough equivalent of the entire NBA shooting 57 percent.

Once again, the fact that they're performing incredibly well makes them expendable? Also, this NBA analogy is a fucking abortion. It is a motherfucking coathanger of an abortion.

On 50-yard-plus field goal attempts, they are making 66 percent. C'mon.

Cut Hench some slack kickers. Waddaya say? Can ya give him a break for once. Quit making so many difficult kicks!

By eliminating the increasingly ho-hum field goal attempt, teams will be forced to go for it more often on fourth down. This cost-cutting job elimination will save money and lead to a more exciting product.

Also, if we played every game indoors, there'd be more touchdown passes and big runs. Also, let's eliminate out of bounds. That will bring fans closer to the action, and promote big hits. One more thing--can we play with less people and on a smaller field? That would REALLY cut costs!!!

The plan at $1 billion-plus Dallas Cowboys Stadium is to install 60-foot plasma screens along the facing that separates the seating levels. That's foot. 60-foot screens. In an acknowledgement of tough times, Jerry Jones could scale back to 53-foot screens. Sure, fans might not be able to make out exactly what T.O. is screaming at wide receivers coach Ray Sherman, but we all have to make sacrifices.

This is the point in the article where I question whether Kevin Hench is a staff-writer for Jay Leno.

(nope: "Kevin Hench is a frequent contributor to An accomplished film and television writer, Hench's latest screenwriting credit is for The Hammer, which stars Adam Carolla and is now available on DVD." )

The honeymoon is clearly over for Jim Zorn. So when Daniel Snyder adds Zorn's pelt to his wall, he should cut costs by going without a head coach for a season.

Many of us have wondered what exactly it is a head coach does and this would be a great opportunity to find out if his absence matters. The offensive coordinator calls the plays, the defensive coordinator calls the blitzes, the special teams coach yells. For those few responsibilities that are purely the province of the head coach — replay challenges and fourth-down decisions — Snyder could get a knowledgeable fan to volunteer and come out ahead on both scores.

This is stupid.

The first four running backs taken in the 2008 draft — Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones and Rashard Mendenhall — have combined for 1,428 rushing yards.

Chris Johnson (24th overall), Matt Forte (44th) and Steve Slaton (89th) have all gone over 1,000 yards and combined for 3,199 yards.

McFadden signed a six-year, $60M deal with $26M guaranteed. Kevin Smith, drafted by the Lions with the first pick of the third round and signed to a three-year, $1.79M deal, is one of five rookie running backs that have outgained McFadden. A sixth, Tim Hightower (5th round), has scored 10 touchdowns.

And while McFadden and Jones have showed flashes of brilliance worthy of first-rounders, their fellow Razorback (and former blocker) Peyton Hillis (7th round) was a much better bargain, averaging five yards a carry and scoring five touchdowns for the Broncos before getting hurt.

I love "rookie year hindsight." Seriously.

Look. I'm as big a proponent as anyone of not taking RB's in the first round. I think, by and large, you're better off filling the role of disposable punching bag with late round talent unless the first round talent is supremely excellent (a la ADP or, potentially McFadden).

But this is just jackassery.

a.) Using a rookie season as a measuring stick for a first round pick is fucking stupid

b.) Using the aggregate yard totals of a first round class that has suffered through injury all year is fucking stupid

c.) Using the YPC of backs running in the best system in the NFL (like Peyton Hillis) is fucking stupid

d.) It's not like Chris Johnson and Steve Slaton have been such no-doubt studs this year that it's worth mentioning. They've had solid rookie seasons. Great. That doesn't mean most teams in the NFL wouldn't prefer McFadden to Johnson going forward. Don't be fucking stupid.

"rookie year hindsight" is fucking stupid. Just ask Rick Mirer.

Every spring as the English Premier League soccer season is winding down, there are two races being followed feverishly: the battle for the top spot and the mad scramble to stay out of the bottom three.

The teams with the three worst records in the league are essentially sent down to the minors, replaced by the three best teams in the highest minor league. The fight for 17th place — teams 18, 19 and 20 get relegated — is sometimes followed more closely than the race for the crown.

You want to create some excitement (and paying customers) for the Bengals (1-11-1), Rams (2-11), Seahawks (2-11) and Chiefs (2-11) remaining three games, just have two of them joining the Lions in the Arena League next year.

What's your favorite minor league football team? Mine's the one that is made up of people who weren't good enough to be drafted by an NFL team! What's yours? Oh the other one made up of people who weren't good enough to be drafted by an NFL team? They're pretty good too. I think they could give that third team made up of people who weren't good enough to be drafted by an NFL team a real run for their money in the "real fucking mediocre Di-aa graduates" bowl of shitty players.

The only thing this column's missing is the claim that USC could beat the Lions. Come on Hench, humor me with that claim?

Well it's not there. Darn. Too bad. It could have been a brilliant swan song to an illustrious career.


Larry B said...

A referee's job is to be perfect.
If they are not perfect they should be docked pay!

Tonus said...

I think Kevin Hench should refuse to accept payment for this article.

Unless that payment comes in the form of a pink slip.

Chris W said...

Kevin Hench has been POSTERIZED

cb said...

Yes, the Lions got killed by the Titans because the Lions weren't trying. It had nothing to do with being completely outclassed in terms of talent. They just didn't give a shit; hence the blowout. I had never heard of Kevin Hench until a couple minutes ago; he needs to just quit writing articles.

cs said...

Is it any surprise Hench is best friends with Bill Simmons? And, in terms of his writing, he's like the poor man's Bill Simmons. Yes, the POOR MAN'S BILL SIMMONS.

I can't wait for their future NFL collaboration:

"What if Ralph Machia officiated the Chargers-Broncos game? ...and other ramblings of two stupid cunts"

pnoles said...

Thanks to this wonderful article, a new stat is being created in the football world: "VORK"

And let me tell you, folks, Jason Hanson's VORK is off the motherfucking charts!

Andrew said...

"That doesn't mean most teams in the NFL wouldn't prefer McFadden to Johnson going forward. Don't be fucking stupid."

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE name for me one NFL team not run by a corpse that would prefer Darren McFadden to Chris Johnson (not even taking into account McFadden's ungodly contract.) Johnson is everything at the NFL level that McFadden was in college, except even faster. Also, both Slaton and Johnson will almost certainly make the Pro Bowl - you know who the only other RB to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie was this decade? ADP - and you seem to think he's pretty otherworldly. So I guess you'd have to consider them kind of "no doubt stud rookies" no?

Chris W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris W said...

I guess because you say it's true in a really aggressive manner, it must be true.

Chris Johnson gets to split time with Lendale White behind an excellent line.

McFadden has been hampered by injuries all year on a lousy team.

But it is totally an open and shut case after one year that Chris Johnson is "everything that the Raiders could have hoped McFadden would be".

Also, of all the things that make ADP a freak of nature, "making the pro-bowl as a rookie" is pretty far down the list.