So yeah, this is the TMQ from Tuesday 10/26. I'm stubborn as hell and refuse to skip one so I'm still playing catchup.
College hoops tip soon, too. Hope you didn't miss this important article on college basketball, showing cheating coaches prosper while the only coaching flaw that's punished is losing. This syncs with TMQ's contention that the structural problem of major college athletics is that coaches are lavishly rewarded with money if their teams win but not penalized if their players don't graduate.
What a novel, crazy, unique contention this man makes. Can anyone else confirm this nasty rumor? Why would coaches be rewarded for winning but not penalized for failing to get diplomas for their players? Is there a bunch of money in college sports or something?
Suppose this simple rule were added to college football and men's basketball: Unless at least 80 percent of a team's players graduate, the coach is suspended for one year. That would add what's missing -- an incentive for coaches to care about education.
Yeah, I can really see the money-grubbing NCAA and money-grubbing universities going along with that one. Surely they'll vote for something that couldn't be more against their own financial interests. Alternately, let's say the NCAA mysteriously stopped being the big gaggle of assholes they are and actually did create/pass/enforce this rule. Boy, you think schools might just go out of their way to make sure athletes got all the "help" they needed in order to graduate? What a great idea. The problem with college sports is systemic- it's the money- and it's never going away. Deal with it. It's an unsolvable problem.
Stat of the Week No. 1: Stretching back to last season, 2009 non-playoff teams Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Tennessee are on a combined 24-6 streak.
What do you mean stretching back to last season? Since July 2nd, 2006...
Cheerleader of the Week: Bryan Law of Independence, Ohio, nominates Christina of the Broncos, who, according to her team bio, works for the Department of Justice as a paralegal in the Environment and Natural Resources Division. This means you could file a Freedom of Information Act request for her swimsuit photo.
Jesus Christ. You are the nerdiest nerd who ever nerded up the internet with your nerd comments about attractive women.
Leading 17-14, Minnesota had first-and-20 on its 24 with 35 seconds remaining in the first half, holding two timeouts, and simply let the clock expire. Huh?
A team wanted to take a lead into halftime rather than taking a relative long shot on getting into field goal range (needed 45 yards or so) by letting the guy who's thrown more interceptions than anyone else in NFL history chuck the ball downfield. Into 4 deep coverage. Does that unstump you?
Turner sent out the field goal team for a 45-yard attempt; San Diego jumped offside, making it a 50-yard attempt; Brown missed. A 50-yard field goal attempt is a 50/50 proposition, and going to overtime is itself a 50/50 proposition -- so as the kick boomed, Turner was essentially putting his chips on a 1-in-4 chance of victory, as opposed to going for it on fourth-and-2 with the league's top-ranked offense.
Love this argument. LOVE IT. First, you have the super basic problem with his math. The odds at the time of the 50 yard attempt were probably around 25%, but what are the odds of converting a 4th and 7? That was the alternative at that point, not a 4th and 2. The odds at the time of the 4th and 2 were higher than 25% because the odds of converting a 45 yard field goal are higher than those of a 50 yard field goal. But I'm just getting started.
Even if you accept his logic that they shouldn't have bothered to line up to kick because the odds of winning at that moment were pretty low, then you get the amazing false alternative that surely, going for it on 4th was a much better idea. What are the odds of converting that 4th down? The league average on 4th downs is about 49% (source: NFL.com- Google it if you don't believe me), and you figure most of those were of the 4th and short variety. Some were on 4th and 5 or 6 or more, but many were on 4th and inches or 4th and 1. Let's be generous and say they had a 60% chance of getting the 4th and 2. So then that leaves them... on them... somewhere around the 20 or 25, with a running clock, still down 3. What are their odds of getting a touchdown before the clock expires? How much higher are their FG odds from 40/35/30 yards? Enough to compensate for the fact that (randomly estimated) 40% of the time, you go for the 4th and 2 and miss and the game ends right there? NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND.
But just ask TMQ- going for it on 4th down is always the right decision, always and forever, and if you don't think so you're a simpleton idiot who doesn't understand football and probably likes to go Christmas shopping in November. Creep alert!
For New England, Turner's ultra-conservative decision was sweet. For San Diego, it was sour, sour, sour.
I LOVE 4TH DOWN ATTEMPTS SO MUCH I JUST WANT TO BE WITH THEM FOREVER.
Unified Field Theory of Creep: Justin Martineau of New Orleans reports, "Starting in January, license plates for the bicentennial of the statehood of Louisiana will become the state's standard. The date of ascension is April 30, 1812. These plates are 16 months early."
Robert Drago of Washington, D.C., writes, "Tonight I downloaded the latest Norton security update, and it was advertised as Norton 2011. Is Norton taking a holiday for the rest of 2010?"
Joost Smets of Uffelte, Netherlands, writes, "Recently, I noticed an advertisement in my newspaper for the joint Dutch/Belgian bid for the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cup. Not only does 2018 sounds like distant future to me, the Netherlands have never organized a World Cup, and already we're looking forward to host the tournament for the second time."
Dwight Peck of Phoenix reports, "On October 15, I received the spring 2011 catalog from Eddie Bauer."
OK, see, now THAT'S actual creep. The rest of you emailers can go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.
The Steelers kicked for a 23-22 lead and a moment later stopped South Florida's fourth-and-6 pass attempt when tackle Vernon Carey, a first-round draft pick, failed to stay with his man despite the Dolphins having five blockers for three Pittsburgh rushers.
We all know Gregg hates first round picks (except Peyton Manning, because what media member doesn't want to blow Peyton Manning?), but this is an unusually flippant shot at one of them. It was one damn play. If a guy with a big ego and a big contract who was drafted in the first round has a bad game, a bad season, a career that never gets off the ground- sure, have at him. But sheesh. This guy had a bad play. You think Jonathan Ogden or Frank Matthews ever had a bad play? This is like some random flippant racist comment, like "Oh I got cut off on the highway the other day by this guy who was talking on his cell phone, and wouldn't you know it, of course he was a _______ to boot." It's so irrelevant what round a guy who has one bad play was drafted in that I can barely express it.
If Richmond, UC Santa Barbara and Wofford also had reached the Sweet 16, that would have brought in the Gauchos, Spiders and Terriers. TMQ thinks fans of the Wofford Terriers should chant, "Here boy! Here boy!"
Crickets. Who is he writing for? Who is his perceived audience? Four year olds? Family Circus fans?
Until such time as there might be an age-21 minimum for the NBA, Adande contends, teams should ignore the draft, concentrating on preserving cap space to sign players drafted and developed by someone else. Teams seem to be taking Adande's advice, if perhaps unintentionally -- there's a clear trend of NBA clubs simply discarding high choices.
Sure, that's somewhat true. And then we see this hilariously bad string of examples used to try to prove that fairly legitimate point.
Miami used the second choice of the 2008 draft on Michael Beasley and in July traded him to Minnesota for essentially nothing, just to get rid of him.
Because he was an asshole. They tried like hell to get him to play well for two seasons before then.
Washington traded the fifth choice of the 2009 draft for Mike Miller and Randy Foye, then a year later waved goodbye to both, netting nothing.
That one's pretty fair.
Minnesota used the sixth choice of the 2009 draft on Ricky Rubio, who won't play in the NBA until 2011, if he ever does.
They desperately wanted Rubio to come and play for them. Rubio is an asshole who doesn't want to play in Minnesota, so he held out. This might be their fault for not doing their homework on him but it's not them "discarding" a draft choice either.
Memphis used the second choice of the 2009 draft on Hasheem Thabeet, who ended up with the Dakota Wizards of the D-League.
Same story as Beasley.
Why not simply open the window and throw first-round draft choices out?
Because teams often use them to take awesome players, such as dozens and dozens of awesome current NBA players who were taken in first round (Or gasp- sometimes in the lottery!).
Banning teens -- isn't there a "right" to play in the NBA at age 19? There's no right to be a 19-year-old airline pilot. Courts have ruled that professions may impose "bona fide" occupational requirements. Requiring NBA players to be at least 21 years of age would pass the test of bona fide, since that would improve the league's quality of play.
Most oversimplified legal argument ever, and one that would take months or years of litigation to settle if the NBA actually made the restriction. It's amazing that this guy's brother is a famous federal judge.
LeBron James was an exception; as a group, basketball players in their early 20s are much better performers than basketball players in their teens. The WNBA requires players to be either college graduates or 22 years of age, and there have been no legal problems with this.
Probably because there is no money involved with the WNBA whatsoever.
A similar example is Shaun Livingston, who jumped from high school to the NBA as the fourth choice of the 2004 draft. He's bounced around to six teams, including the Tulsa 66ers, and never been close to what he might have become with a few years in college.
Shaun Livingston was quickly developing into a pretty badass player with the Clippers when, in 2007, he suffered more or less the most grotesque sports-related injury you will ever see. Youtube it if you want- it's not for the faint of heart. That season, at the ripe old age of 21, he was averaging 9 points, 5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in about 30 minutes per game. He was well on his way to being a solid starter, if not a star. The injury (to his knee) was so devastating he essentially missed two full seasons recovering. He's still not back and may never be, but before the injury, he was great ammunition for the advocates of letting high schoolers into the NBA.
Worst. Example. Ever.
Last spring Livingston declined a contract offer from the Wizards, saying he didn't want to share the spotlight with Gilbert Arenas and John Wall -- so in six years of bouncing around, he hasn't learned anything.
Translation: he wanted to get more than 7 minutes of playing time a night, so he told the Wizards he'd look elsewhere to revive his spiraling career. WHAT A SELFISH SALLY!
See you again next week, where I'll comment on today's TMQ. Man, I am pathetic.