And that's really saying something. Hooooooooooooooo BOY. This one is a DOOZY.
Charlie Weis and Bobby Bowden had to go -- Notre Dame and Florida State weren't winning every game! Get rid of the bums! All we heard from sports commentators, and from alums and boosters, was get rid of the bums, we gotta win, win, win.
Well yeah. When you have plenty of talent, as FSU and ND did, winning is certainly expected. Both teams went 6-6 this year. Notre Dame lost its last four games, and had embarrassing close call wins over a few bad teams. Florida State opened 2-4, and eked out wins over a couple terrible teams.
Sorry to interject,
You're not. You're writing this column.
but why? Why does Notre Dame or Florida State or any university need to win every game?
They don't need to win every game. They need to win more than 6 of their games. They need to beat Navy, UConn, and South Florida. They need to not almost lose to Maryland, NC State, and Purdue. It's not asking too much of teams that consistently have top 20 recruiting classes to do so.
Is it now official that big colleges care more about sports than education?
No. It might appear that way if your only analysis of big colleges came from a sports website. But to suggest that the firings of 105 year old Bobby Bowden and can't-coach-his-way-out-of-a-wet-paper-bag Charlie Weis are a result of that made up phenomenon would be dumb.
Don't get me wrong. I attend way too many college football games, and I always like it when the school I'm rooting for wins. But I am not so misguided as to think that a college's winning games means more than a college's educating students, including athletes.
Let's start by getting a good chuckle at the straw man TMQ has built here. Let's build up to a mild laugh by considering his assertion that schools can't care more about educating their students than winning games, and still want to win a lot of games. And then let's just go ahead and let all our inhibitions go, laughing at the idea that firing a bad coach means a school cares more about winning games than educating its students.
Maybe the sports artificial universe won't face the uncomfortable reality that the NCAA system uses football and men's basketball players to generate revenue and great games -- then tosses way too many of these players aside uneducated.
That's very true. That's a real problem; something worth writing about. Unlike, say, complaining about schools which fire their coaches are somehow betraying their students by doing so.
Perhaps you're thinking, first, football players at big colleges are not being taken advantage of because they are being prepped for the NFL; and second, academics-oriented "smart schools" don't do well in sports, so if a college wants to win, standards must be low.
No one with a brain is thinking either of those things. No one. In fact, Notre Dame is specifically not thinking the second one. They want something which is very difficult to obtain- winning a lot, while staying academics-oriented. It's going to be hard to get that, especially in the current era of college football. But should they be criticized for trying? Fuuuuuuuuuuck no. As for FSU, it's a little less serious about its academic standards. But whatever, you can tell TMQ is mostly attacking ND here.
This generated a recruiting disadvantage -- and a recruiting disadvantage caused by high standards, not Weis suddenly forgetting how to coach, is the reason for the recent records of Notre Dame football. Notre Dame alums and boosters should have been proud that high standards keep the school from going 12-0!
OK. Everyone take note of this claim- that ND's recent lack of success is not due to Charlie Weis's lack of coaching ability, but their recruiting disadvantage (which is only a disadvantage against big football schools like Texas, USC, Florida, etc.; ND still has a huge recruiting advantage over 95% of the rest of the FBS). Now, take a deep breath. And read this:
What about the other commonly heard claim -- that "smart schools" can't win in football and men's basketball? Cal, Georgia Tech, Navy, Nebraska, Northwestern, Stanford and TCU -- all academics-first colleges where football players are more likely to attend class -- are on their way to bowl games. Most of them have been in the top 20 nationally this season, and Georgia Tech and TCU even made BCS bowls.
HOLY SHIT. YOU ARE FUCKING STUPID. YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST PERSON ALIVE. NO ONE ON EARTH, NOT EVEN RICKY DAVIS OR JEREMY SHOCKEY, IS STUPIDER THAN YOU. YES, TCU AND GATECH MADE BCS BOWLS. GREAT POINT. YOU THINK NOTRE DAME, ESPECIALLY WITH THE RECRUITING ADVANTAGE THEY HAVE OVER BOTH THOSE SCHOOLS (or at least TCU), MIGHT BE CAPABLE OF DOING THE SAME THING? YOU KNOW, MAYBE IF THEY HAD A COMPETENT HEAD COACH? YOU FUCKING DUNCE. NOTRE DAME WENT 6-6 THIS YEAR BECAUSE THEY HAD A BAD HEAD COACH. IF THEY HAD A GOOD HEAD COACH, THEY MIGHT HAVE GONE TO A BCS BOWL. LIKE TCU AND GEORGIA TECH, TWO OTHER SCHOOLS WITH HIGH ACADEMIC STANDARDS. HOLY SHIT, AGAIN. DOUBLE HOLY SHIT. DO YOU EVEN BOTHER TO READ WHAT YOU WRITE AFTER YOU WRITE IT?
Notre Dame would be headed for a bowl game too, if it weren't for athletic director Jack Swarbrick's bizarre notion that winning "only" six games is something to be embarrassed about.
Notre Dame would be heading to a bowl game, barely, if its own players hadn't voted to not attend one. And yeah, when you have arguably the best QB, two of the ten best WRs, one of the best TEs, an experienced OL filled with heralded recruits, a defense which returned six starters from 2008 and is also filled with heralded recruits, and a fairly soft schedule, winning six games is something to be embarrassed about. At least in an athletic context.
Smart schools dominate the Directors' Cup standings of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. For Division I sports, Stanford has won the Cup 14 times;
No one is arguing that it's hard to get athletes who play volleyball, water polo, cross country, tennis, field hockey, etc., and also want to go to class and get a good degree. No one.
A college can field winning football teams and still have strict academic standards for players;
YES. YES MOTHERFUCKING YES. YOU HORSE'S ASS. THAT'S WHY NOTRE DAME IS FIRING CHARLIE WEIS.
Why does the sports universe shy away from discussing these core points?
Because, right or wrong, the sports universe (and media) only really cares about sports on the field. The NCAA is a terrible organization; many schools exploit their athletes, no question; college sports has a large number of problems which should be addressed immediately before they spin even further out of control. Bringing these issues to the attention of the sports universe is an important pursuit. But it's probably not going to happen anytime soon.
We're supposed to believe that every year for 75 years, the best player in college has been a quarterback or running back -- that a lineman has never been the best player?
This is from a section complaining about the Heisman. And while his general point is correct, even casual NCAAF fans know that Charles Woodson won the award primarily as a CB and KR. (Note: this is something that even casual fans know, or would say "Hey, yeah, that's right!" if they didn't know offhand but were reminded of. Unlike which bowl Notre Dame attended in 1993. Dan-Bob, looking at you.)
And speaking of TV ratings records, what if 18-0 Indianapolis meets 18-0 New Orleans in the Super Bowl? A few people would watch. Tuesday Morning Quarterback continues to think both teams are better off losing a regular-season game -- getting the monkey off their backs, while renewing their competitive drive. A Colts loss could give the starters something to play for down the stretch -- otherwise it'll be a month before the next Indianapolis game that means anything to the Colts.
They have homefield advantage locked up for the AFC playoffs. How does a loss "give them something to play for?" It certainly gives them nothing tangible to play for, which would be the case if they hadn't clinched yet. And I think that they have a lot more to play for at 15-0 trying to go 16-0 than they would at 14-1 trying to go 15-1.
For the final Indianapolis touchdown, also from in close, the Colts had linebackers Glenn and Gary Brackett in as extra blockers. The result was a play-fake, and again no one covered Clark on a simple down-and-out.
When a talented, quick, tough-to-cover player like DeSean Jackson or Dallas Clark gets open, it doesn't mean no one tried to cover them. It means they got open. Which is what happened on this play. But don't tell Gregg that- he's busy trying to establish that everyone in the league (or THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, for all you Dilfer/Jaworski enthusiasts out there) except guys who were undrafted out of D-III schools are too dumb to play.
The CBS announcers gushed about the tackles made by San Diego linebacker Brandon Siler, a well-known player who went to Florida, a glamour college.
They did. Because on San Diego's goal line stand against Dallas, he made some great tackles right at the goal line.
The key to the three stops was that undrafted defensive tackle Jacques Cesaire of Southern Connecticut State perfectly "submarined" the Dallas offensive line, driving underneath to knock down blockers so the linebackers could move in.
That was one of the keys. The other key was the tackling of guys like Siler. It's not that hard to understand.
As for Dallas -- the same play was called four consecutive times.
No. It was not. There were four runs called for Marion Barber, but all four were different plays. All had some kind of misdirection (which Gregg has been claiming for weeks is the key to picking up 3rd and shorts or 4th and shorts), including the 4th and goal play where Barber lined up at fullback and was given a quick handoff as Tony Romo faked a pitch to the guy lined up at halfback. Why do I know so much about this sequence of plays? Because that useless piece of shit Barber is on my fantasy team, and hasn't done shit in about seven weeks. AND I'M UPSET ABOUT IT.
On the San Francisco side, the Squared Sevens tried an interesting defensive trick -- barely rushing the passer.
They also rushed the passer pretty intensely on several downs, bringing five or six guys. But blitzing is always bad (except when it works, and then Gregg doesn't write about it), so Gregg didn't write about it.
many of the NFL's officials, who unlike MLB and NBA officials are not full-time, haven't memorized the rulebook.
They may interpret the rulebook oddly at times, but on the whole they're miles ahead of MLB and NBA officials in terms of quality. The favoritism shown by both those groups to star players is flat out embarrassing at times. Oh yeah, and isn't there some kind of gambling problem swirling around the NBA officials these days? I feel like I've heard something about that.
Shameless Self-Promotion: My next book, "Sonic Boom," about the pluses and minuses of the evolving global economy, is in stores on Dec. 29.
Buy it any of your friends who happen to be both braindead and huge elitists.
Robert Goetz of Bend, Ore., notes Major League Baseball's annual winter meetings ended on Dec. 10 -- 11 days before the solstice that marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.
CREEP! SUCH CREEP! They should be called the late fall meetings! That's so much more accurate, we should totally change it. Actually- better yet- let's call them the Christmas meetings.
Football snobs may look down their noses at the Wildcat -- it's not "real" offense like constant passing!
No one looks down their nose at the Wildcat. No one. No one on TV, no one on local sports radio, no one in the blogosphere, no one I've talked football with in the last year. No one. It seems Gregg's stupidity is in part fueled by his vivid imagination.
Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk: Trailing Baltimore 10-0, and coming into the contest on a 2-26 stretch, Detroit faced fourth-and-goal on the Ravens' 3. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz sent in the field goal unit, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook -- even though it was the second quarter.
Ah, interesting. Trailing San Diego 10-3 late in the second quarter, Dallas went for it on 4th and goal from the 1. As described above, they failed (BECAUSE OF A GUY FROM SOUTHEAST RHODE ISLAND STATE! ONLY BECAUSE OF THAT ONE GUY! NOT BECAUSE OF ANYONE ELSE ON THE DEFENSE!), and went on to lose by 3. Hmmmmmm. Innnnnnteresting.
Trailing 19-0 in the third quarter, City of Tampa punted from the Jersey/B 42. Still trailing 19-0 in the third quarter, City of Tampa kicked a field goal on fourth-and-5 from the Jersey/B 25. The Bucs went on to lose 26-3 -- but kept a shutout off the résumé of Raheem Morris.
It's back! Yes! He must've noticed I complained about this a couple weeks ago! The accusation that coaches kick field goals when they're being shut out stictly to "keep shutouts off their resume"- as if anyone cares how many times their team has been shut out vs. how many times they've been held to three points- is back! Finally! I may be wrong but I don't think he's used it this season until now.
I derided LaRon Landry for wearing a wristwatch on the field -- the zebras should make him take it off, and how can the Redskins' countless assistant coaches not have noticed that he wears a watch on the field? John Martin of Dallas reports that the Redskins' many assistant coaches not only know Landry wears a watch, they encourage this. Supposedly the watch reminds him that "it's time to shine." After the New Orleans game, he should wear a wristband that says in bright letters, "It's time to cover the deep man."
No sarcasm- probably the best line I've ever seen from Gregg. Just wanted to give some credit where credit is due.
There can be fantastically well-played, hard-hitting football games in which no harm occurs to any player. Boxing is about causing harm. The sport is barbaric, and the sooner it's banned the better.
Hooray for paternalism! Also to be banned when Gregg takes over as Supreme Commander- rugby, cigarettes, alcohol, fast food, staying up late, and watching TV.
The Lakers (a Division II NCAA football team, not the NBA team) exchanged a roughly 50 percent chance of a touchdown (at the fourth-and-2 point) for a roughly 10 percent chance of recovering an expected onside kick. Football coaches at all levels typically make the wrong decision in this situation, kicking from point-blank range and then facing a length-of-the-field problem at the end. TMQ thinks coaches do this -- even in championship games! -- because they are more concerned about being able to say the final score was close than going all-out to win.
Right. Coaches in championship games, with their legacies and pride on the line, not to mention potential contract extensions or more lucrative jobs, are more concerned with the potential margin of defeat than winning. Winning a championship game. Welcome to the mind of TMQ. It's like smoking peyote while eating asbestos.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
And that's really saying something. Hooooooooooooooo BOY. This one is a DOOZY.