Friday, October 16, 2009

FNTMQR: Gregg Gets All Meta

It's been quite a while since I subjected myself to the moronic ramblings of the tard-tacular Gregg Easterbrook for your enjoyment. But my schedule has calmed down and I'm ready to get back in the ring. Will we hear tales of offensive linemen, literally standing around doing nothing? Will Gregg conclude that a team which lost on a last second field goal would have won if only they'd run up the middle rather than throw an incomplete pass on a play with 14 minutes left in the game? You and me, Easterbrook. Let's dance.

Owing to the remarkable rise in the popularity of football -- and its conjunction with college marketing, an upcoming TMQ topic -- today there are 120 Division I-A football programs and 117 Division I-AA programs. The number of schools fielding big-program teams has roughly doubled in a single generation. More and more colleges want big-time football to please alums and put themselves on the map. This trend is democratizing, as a high school boy now has a much better chance of advancing to big-college football than a high school boy of 30 years ago, simply because there are so many more programs.

Gregg, in all his infinite wisdom and ultra-brainy smarts, seems not to realize that there are probably more high school boys now than there were 30 years ago. Is the ratio of schools to prospective players exactly the same as it was back then? Probably not. He has a point, albeit a small one. This is still a shitty paragraph though.

In NFL news, is there a Crabtree Curse?

No. There is not.

San Francisco broke out of the gate 3-1, in part because management's no-compromise attitude toward holdout diva Michael Crabtree sent the message that nobody is bigger than the team.

That had nothing to do with it. They broke out of the gate 3-1 in part because of the fact that they have a lot of talent, and in part because 2 of those games came against the Seahawks sans Matt Hasselbeck and the Rams.

Then last week, suddenly Crabtree is granted $16 million guaranteed even though he skipped training camp, doesn't know the playbook, and spent the first month of the season relaxing on the couch.

Right, that's the same deal they had been offering him since he was chosen in April's draft. They didn't up their offer, they stood firm. It worked out in the end. You definitely don't want to pass up the opportunity to put that kind of talent on your team.

Suddenly the message sent is that you can jerk the 49ers around and get away with it.

Suddenly the message is the 49ers like to sign players they draft in the first round.

Immediately San Francisco lost to Atlanta 45-10 at home.

You're fucking stupid.

Why didn't Bill Belichick order a punt rush on the final snap of regulation? With 15 seconds remaining until overtime, Denver faced a fourth-and-15 at midfield, with New England holding a timeout. Rush eight men and try to block the punt! You're not going to get a 90-yard touchdown return.

You're not going to block the punt, either- I don't know how often punt blocks happen, relative to how often punt return TDs happen, but it's safe to say that both are very rare. What you risk doing when you send the house after the punter is roughing him, setting your opponent up for a possible game winning field goal. Bill Belichick is the most successful NFL coach of the decade. I think it's OK to defer to his judgment here.

Yet New England dropped its punt team back to block for a return, then knelt to accept overtime. Being toasty warm in his heavy parka kept Belichick from thinking aggressively.

You're fucking stupid.

Sour Play of the Week No. 1: Scoring to pull within 20-19 with 24 seconds remaining in regulation, Kansas City could have gone for two and the win: Todd Haley sent out the PAT unit, and the Chiefs wheezed out in overtime. Kansas City came into the contest having lost 29 of its past 35 games. The team has developed a loser's psychology. Timid calls will not change a loser's psychology!

Classic Easterbrook- why are teams winning/losing? The football gods! Psychology! The way their coaches are dressed! The way their cheerleaders are dressed! In actuality, the Chiefs just suck. If they go for the 2PC and get it, they feel good. If they kick the PAT but win in overtime, they feel good. If they go for the 2PC and miss, they feel bad. If they kick the PAT and lose in overtime, they feel bad. That's all the analysis you need. Last year the Broncos went for 2 when trailing by 1 to San Diego late at home (the famous Ed Hochuli missed call game), converted, and won the game. They also choked on applesauce down the stretch, losing their last 3 games and missing the playoffs. Why? Did they not have a winnerish enough psychology? No, they just weren't that good of a team. And neither are the Chiefs.

The not-hyped Henne also played surprisingly maturely and had a better game statistically than glam-boy Sanchez.

Chad Henne was a 4 year starter for one of the most overexposed college football programs in the country. He was a 2nd round draft pick. Sanchez is riding a wave of media fellatio now, but we're not exactly talking about Apollo Creed vs. Rocky Balboa here.

Quote of the night: After Edwards tiptoed near the back line for his touchdown catch, ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico said, "It looked like one of his feet never came down." Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences will visit Land Shark Stadium on Tuesady and try to get Edwards, still floating above the end zone, to come down.

WHOA. WHOA, GREGG. NOT COOL. ONLY WE GET TO DO THIS KIND OF THING. YOU DO NOT GET TO CRITICIZE THE MEDIA. You're only here to tell us about how unrealistic science fiction TV shows are and complain about clocks that use tenths of a second. Stay out of our territory and we'll stay out of yours. Also, even a complete dumbass would be able to easily figure out what Tirico meant by his comment. Not that I'm sticking up for Tirico- he's abysmal. But I don't see anything wrong with this.

Who Looks This Stuff Up? "The 11 teams that are either unbeaten or winless represent 34 percent of the league, the highest such percentage four weeks into the season since 1998" -- The Washington Post.

Is this another shot at the media? Does Gregg think this is a dumb or meaningless statistic? Is he actually asking who at the Washington Post looks this stuff up? Is 34% a figure that's too "hyper-specific" for him? Hard to tell. Trying to understand his brain is like trying to exercise when you're drunk.

Immutable Law Update: Normally the immutable law Cold Coach = Victory doesn't come into play until November; a surprise October winter storm in Denver changed that. Certainly, this law has never previously come into play indoors.

Never previously because Gregg didn't have the opportunity to apply it! But wait, I can smell the anecdotal bullshit already. Here it comes.

But sharp-eyed reader Thon Morse of Austin, Texas, noticed during last week's big Packers at Vikings game, held inside the Metrodome -- kickoff temperature 68 degrees -- Brad Childress was wearing a polo shirt, while Mike McCarthy had on a zipped-up varsity jacket. Needless to say, McCarthy's team did not win.

I'm introducing a "law" which runs opposite Gregg's. Mine reads Warm Coach = Victory. I will now pay attention to how coaches are dressed in games I watch, and when the more bundled up coach's team wins, I'll talk about it here on the blog. When the less bundled up coach's team wins, I'll just ignore it, because I'm a dipshit like that.
My item on automated speed cameras drew this response, which combined two TMQ hobbyhorses: automation and absurd specificity. Ben Cohen of Oberwil, Switzerland, writes, "In Switzerland, there are many traffic cameras.

Pretty sad that people around the globe read TMQ and thus probably take it as a representative example of how American football fans think. No wonder everyone fucking hates us.

I recently received a camera-generated citation in the mail, charging me a fine for running a red light. The citation said I had missed the light by 0.67 seconds. It's a good thing I didn't miss it by 0.7 seconds -- the fine might have been doubled!"

Fuck that, tenths of a second??? What is this, hypersuperdupermegaspecificland? I think all time, for all purposes, should only be expressed in hours. Minutes are just too small an increment of time to be perceived by the human brain. Either you made the light by 4 PM or you didn't.

Tune in next week when Gregg reminds us that the football gods don't appreciate teams that punt!


Anonymous said...

So if it's 68 degrees and you're only wearing a polo... how can you possibly consider that to be "cold" weather...

I think my immutable law of better team = wins is a much more viable alternative. Of course, the football gods hate talent, so you have to be mindful of that.

TMQ is like what would happen if Joe Morgan and Bill Simmons had a kid. Incredibly self-satisfied, completely retarded and so very, very wrong.

Martin said...

Haven't looked it up, but I bet there are more punts returned for touchdowns each year then are blocked and returned for touchdowns, or blocked and then succesful 50 yard Hail Mary's are completed.

The best part of his column was when he said that the Bengals went 14 quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown. They'd actually scored 7 in those 14 quarters, but what the hell is a few accurate facts when you're trying to make a point? Right BumbleGregg?

He's gone from ok, to absurd, to bad, to fucking atrocious in about 4 years. Absolutely amazing.

Adam said...

Boy Gregg really hates Michael Crabtree. He wrote two weeks ago about how Crabtree better sign soon to avoid becoming the Maurice Clarett of wide receivers. So by presumably missing a year you automatically become a fat and lazy criminal? Also Gregg, Clarett missed a year a football because he tried to enter the draft earlier, not because he was a holdout you dolt.

He also fails to completely understand the concept that the NFL has absolutely no slotting system for paying draft picks. Matt Ryan as a rookie was given the 4th largest contract in the NFL, but he was only the 3rd overall pick. So by Gregg's logic, Matt Ryan: total shithead.

Crabtree was the most talented WR in the draft and I don't blame him for wanting to be paid as such. Besides, the only reason he wasn't the highest selected WR is because the Raiders are incompetent.

Coming tomorrow:

Flying Elvii jinx next three seasons and Gisele's baby for running up the score on Flaming Thumbtacks.

Biggus Rickus said...

Hasn't Henne had a full year to try to learn how to play in the NFL, whereas Sanchez is a rookie? That's comparing apples and not quite ripe apples.