Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WMTMQR: From a TMQ Column That's Hot Off the Presses

Yeah so I skipped the TMQ from two weeks ago. It wasn't anything special anyways. Certainly not as pathetic as this week's, which in addition to Gregg's regular dosage of mindless bullshit, irrational reasoning, and WRONG included not one but three photos of NFL cheerleaders. Look, I like T and A as much as the next guy. Specifically I am an A man. But Jesus Criminy on a pogo stick, Gregg. Tone it down. You're a fucking weirdo.

McNabb celebrated his deal by throwing three interceptions, one a pick-six, and posting a wretched 69.4 passer rating.

Considering the Redskins were down 14-0 before the opening kickoff and 70-0 at the end of the first quarter, it's not surprising that the Eagles were ready for McNabb to throw a shit ton of passes. He actually was on the verge of getting them back in the game a couple times with big plays. I'm not saying he's not washed up or that he deserved the money, but he didn't really have that horrible of a game when you consider the circumstances.

The situation was so messed up that even though the Redskins' cheerleaders danced throughout the first half in two-piece summer outfits -- despite a cool night and light rain -- 36 gorgeous scantily attired women dancing in the rain could not improve the home team's fortunes.

Yeah, see this is what I'm talking about. Is he a closeted homosexual and overcompensating for it? Is he trying to piss his wife off? Is he just a nerd who can't keep his excitement about good looking broads to himself? Your guess is as good as mine.

And Shanahan's game management! Trailing 42-14 in the second quarter, he had Washington punt on fourth-and-1. Punting on fourth-and-1 when down by four touchdowns!


Hakeem Nicks started to run a slant, then inexplicably stopped in his tracks; Eli Manning threw the slant, Dallas corner Bryan McCann cut in front and returned the pick 101 yards for a touchdown, turning a close contest into what would become a Boys rout. The botched play was sour. So was the call -- can't anybody just run at the goal line in the NFL anymore?

If you watch any amount of football on any given weekend, you'd know the answer to that is "sometimes." I'm a Broncos fan, and at the end of last season I saw a stat that they were stopped for no gain or a loss of yardage when running the ball from the opponents' 1 yard line like 40 times last year. It was something like 2.5 times per game, pretty sad considering how rare it is to have a possession on the 1. For a single anecdote from this season, check out the Bears' possession at 10:37 here.

Scoring to pull within 23-17 with 2:10, Cincinnati onside kicked. Last month yours truly decried "an officiating problem that has been driving TMQ crazy for years. In a scramble for a loose ball, if any player takes possession for even an instant, with a knee down and in contact with an opponent, the play should end. But zebras don't officiate mad scrambles this way. They let the players fight for the ball, then award possession to whoever wins the Darwinian struggle. Often the fighting continues although all players involved have their knees down."

Who quotes themselves directly like that? And it should be so easy for the refs to know exactly when the play ends and blow their whistle right then as 10 players all converge on a loose ball at top speed! Why haven't they started doing that, since there's certainly no way it would ever lead to them fucking up the call and completely changing the course of a game.

That's exactly what happened on the Cincinnati onside kick.

I was watching this game. It's not what happened.

Pierre Garçon of Indianapolis fielded the kick, had control and went to both knees.

He never had control.

The whistle should have sounded -- down over. Instead, the zebras allowed players to fight and pull for the ball for a solid 15 seconds.

Because before the pile formed, no one had possession while down by contact.

Someone ripped the ball away from Garçon -- remember, he was down!

Without control.

-- and possession was awarded to Cincinnati.

Class Gregg- revisionist history used to prove an impractically stupid point. See also: EVERY BLITZ IN THE HISTORY OF ORGANIZED FOOTBALL HAS FAILED- HERE ARE TWO EXAMPLES.

Having the quarterback march around holding the ball, defense not realizing the ball has been snapped, is a longstanding youth league trick. In another variation of this action, the quarterback says loudly, "There's something wrong with the ball." The center hands the quarterback the ball, thus snapping; the offensive line goes Stonehenge; the quarterback walks toward the sideline as if to show the ball to an official, then sprints up the field for a touchdown. Though the snap and the Stonehenge line were kosher, TMQ thinks the middle-school play could be flagged. "No player shall act in an unsportsmanlike manner," says the National Federation of High Schools football rulebook which governs most high school and middle-school play. The NCAA and NFL have similar rules. Trying to trick the defense into allowing an uncontested touchdown doesn't sound particularly sporting, especially if it involves pretending to speak to the officials, since players are supposed to become passive when the officials are involved.

Ludicrous. Given that perspective, here are some other things Gregg might find unsporting:
-End arounds
-HB passes
-The triple option (too deceptive!)
-Passing to a WR who is taller than the DB covering him
-Running away from a player who is slower than you while you are in possession of the ball

Instead Chiefs coaches called a pass; Matt Cassel ran backward all the way to the 19, where he was hit and fumbled; Denver's Jason Hunter took the fumble the length of the field for a touchdown and a 35-0 Denver lead that effectively ended the contest. Never panic in the first half; there will be plenty of time for that later!

Unless you're the Redskins on Monday Night Football and it's 42-14. When you're facing THAT particular 28 point deficit, you definitely panic and go for it on 4th down in your own territory.

TMQ in the News: Wednesday, I will be moderator for the Washington launch of the United Nations Human Development Report, one of the world's key documents.


This year's report has a hopeful tone -- it shows that in most cases, poor nations are making decent progress. The report summary is here and the event announcement is here. I became interested in developing world advancement rates when researching


my 2003 book, "The Progress Paradox,"


and have since done what I can to draw attention to the subject, including, in most recent years, helping the report launch.


Steelers, Patriots Meet in Arena League Action: New England got steamrolled in Cleveland, then went to Pittsburgh and steamrolled the Steelers. This must prove that on any given Sunday --

Any team can win in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Jaworski'd. You know, last year I watched MNF almost every week and of course it pretty much drove me batty. Listening to Jaws, Chuckie, and that dumbfuck Tirico will do that to you. Because of my schedule this fall, I've probably only seen a grand total of 30 minutes of MNF. And I gotta say I feel just fine about that.

But a Steelers-Patriots contest in which both teams opened in the shotgun spread, and stayed shotgun spread for most of the game, was a little too postmodern for my taste.

For all your high mindedness and pretension, I'm 95% sure you're not using "postmodern" correctly there.

Trailing 10-0, the Steelers reached third-and-goal at the New England 4, threw an incompletion and kicked a field goal. Wouldn't a couple rushes have yield six points?

Maybe. Maybe not. Wouldn't a pass from an all-pro QB to a talented receiving corps have yielded six points? Wouldn't kicking on third down have been the smarter move, in case the snap got botched? Wouldn't it be great if no one started Christmas shopping until December 22nd?

Then, New England leading 29-18 with four minutes remaining and facing third-and-5, Pittsburgh blitzed seven men, and I don't even need to tell you who won the game.

Shockingly, despite trailing by 11 and not having the ball with 5 minutes left, the Steelers went on to lose. That could have been avoided, however, if they hadn't blitzed on that play. Blitzing fails every time and is a bad idea no matter what. Just ask the 2005 and 2008 Steelers.

Phillips has a low-key coaching style -- he draws up game plans but relies on players to be professionals and prepare themselves physically and psychologically. This approach worked when he was head coach of the Broncos and Bills,

To the tune of two playoff appearances and zero playoff wins in five seasons.

Was the final score poor sportsmanship? Normally the gauge of sportsmanship in football is whether a team with a big lead stops passing in the second half. Wisconsin runs the ball so well that to hold down the score, the Badgers should switch to passing. Wisconsin starters left the game early, and Wisconsin tactics in the second half were bland. The missing sportsmanship touch was that, leading 62-13 at the start of the final stanza, Wisconsin kicked extra points on its three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Badgers should have knelt on the PATs.

Nothing screams "we care!" like forgoing that extra point. A true indication of class. Why be penny wise and pound foolish? If you're going to kneel on PAT attempts, might as well spend your possessions kneeling three times and punting.

In San Francisco, They Know About Sweet-n-Sour: San Francisco looked finished with Les Mouflons leading 17-13 with 2:30 remaining and the Forty-Niners facing third-and-32 in their territory. Troy Smith threw to Frank Gore in the left flat for 14 yards, then on fourth-and-18 threw the same play again in the left flat to Gore for 23 yards, then threw to Michael Crabtree for the touchdown.

BEWARE THE CRABTREE CURSE! Adding talented players to your team makes it worse, not better!

[Referring to the Raiders and their patchwork roster] This is a team after TMQ's heart -- castoffs and who-dats.

Remember that time he suggested that NBA teams stop using their first round picks because every year, some of them don't work out? Yes, I agree with you, that is one of the dumbest things ever written about sports.

Jacksonville Becomes the Dillon Panthers of the NFL: Jacksonville has now won games on a final-snap 59-yard field goal and a final-snap 50-yard Hail Mary. You have to feel for Texans defender Glover Quin, who tried to knock the pass to the ground -- exactly what defenders should do to a Hail Mary -- only to see it carom to Jax's Mike Thomas for the winning six.

Hat tip to Jack M: if only Quin had selfishly gone for a stat-padding interception, the game might have headed to OT.

BCS note: Can sportscasters and sportswriters please stop referring to the USA Today and Harris polls as the "human" polls? No other species gets a vote -- the BCS is obviously worried the Klingons would like TCU more than Auburn.

Does he know how the BCS works? He knows that there are computer rankings (admittedly not really true "polls," but still) involved, right?

Stop Me Before I Blitz Again!: City of Tampa leading Carolina 24-16 with 4:40 remaining, the Bucs faced third-and-15 in their own territory. Play straight defense here and a stop is statistically likely ... It's a mega-blitz! Tampa converts and scores the game-icing touchdown on the possession.

Shame on Carolina for anticipating a long-developing pass play and trying to force a sack or turnover. There's got to be some kind of weird childhood incident behind his hatred of blitzing. I don't want to speculate any further than that.

Bonus Obscure College Score of the Week: Bowdoin 26, Colby 21. OK, these schools are not obscure,

Snob alert. I am barely aware of Bowdoin's existence and couldn't begin to tell you where it is- and I had no fucking idea Colby was a school or where it is.

but I make an exception because this was the final college football game for my son Grant, Bowdoin's left tackle. Plus you gotta love a contest that pits the Polar Bears against the Mules. Leading 26-21, Bowdoin took possession on its 1-yard line with 9:17 remaining and staged a 14-play clock-killer drive, closing out the game. Twelve of the snaps were rushes, allowing Grant and his fellow offensive linemen a moment in the sun as the season concluded. Grant's best two college games were

Too long; didn't read. It's funny- Gregg and Simmons hate each other and are usually polar opposites in terms of writing content and style, yet they both hold the incorrect assumption that I give one quarter of one percent of a shit about their kids. Just write about the NFL, jackass. No one cares about your family. Or your book.


Chris W said...

These would be the successive phases of the image:

1 It is the reflection of a basic reality.

(The HB Dive is called as such because it is a halfback diving)

2 It masks and perverts a basic reality.

(The Half Back Counter is a halfback pretending to dive and then going off tackle)

3 It masks the absence of a basic reality.

(The Shotgun is called as such because it is meant to resemble a non-football item [viz. a Shotgun] and its erstwhile properties [viz. launching a projectile a great distance)

4 It bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum.

(The Statue of Liberty is the simulation of a football symbol [i.e. moving one's arm forward signifies a quarterback passing] yet involves the negation of such a play as a pass becomes a run)

GREGGGGGGG was close!!!!

(apologies to J. Baudrillard, who is dead. But what does dead really mean? Question everything!)

Chris W said...

Perhaps something has occurred in the history of the concept of structure that could be called an "event," (BILL WALSH'S WEST COAST OFFENSE) if this loaded word did not entail a meaning which it is precisely the function of structural-or structuralist-thought to reduce or to suspect. (IS WALSH'S WEST COAST OFFENSE REALLY AN EVENT RATHER THAN A COMPLEX EVOLUTION OF A CONCEPT?) But let me use the term "event" anyway, employing it with caution and as if in quotation marks. (MIKE HOLMGREN'S WEST COAST OFFENSE) In this sense, this event will have the exterior form of a rupture and a redoubling.

It would be easy enough to show that the concept of structure and even the word "structure" itself are as old as the episteme (FOUR YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST) -that is to say, as old as western science and western philosophy-and that their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language (football PLAYERS MAKE football PLAYS TO WIN THE football GAME), into whose deepest recesses the episteme plunges to gather them together once more, making them part of itself in a metaphorical displacement. (MAYBE WE DON'T HAVE TO RUN TO WIN?)

Nevertheless, up until the event which I wish to mark out and define, structure-or rather the structurality of structure (SINGLE WING OFFENSE) -although it has always been involved, has always been neutralized or reduced, and this by a process of giving it a center or referring it to a point of presence, a fixed origin. (WISHBONE!!!!) The function of this center was not only to orient, balance, and organize the structure-one cannot in fact conceive of an unorganized structure (I-FORMATION!!!!)-but above all to make sure that the organizing principle of the structure would limit what we might call the freeplay of the structure. (WHAT'S A FORWARD PASS???)No doubt that by orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the center of a structure permits the freeplay of its elements inside the total form. (I RUN SIX PLAYS, SPLIT VEER, IT'S LIKE NOVOCAIN. JUST GIVE IT TIME IT ALWAYS WORKS) And even today the notion of a structure lacking any center represents the unthinkable itself. (OLIN KREUTZ?)

Shotgun offense!

Point, Gregg.

(Apologies to J. Derrida, who is dead. But what does dead really mean? Question everything!)

Chris W said...
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Chris W said...
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Chris W said...

...fucking Blogger

Angelo said...

1. Gregggg was definitely being pretentious about computer rankings not being polls.

2. I actually liked his reference to Friday Night Lights this week (Jacksonville winning on two last-second plays = TV football), but I love that he thinks Quin did exactly the right thing. How about you realize where other players on the field are, and not smack the ball ten yards forward (and three down with gravity's help).

3. I had the exact same thought when he tried to tell me those schools weren't obscure.

4. Scoring a touchdown and then forgoing the extra point is a double slap in the face. I can't believe he thinks that the solution is to win 80-20 instead of 83-20 to show some sportsmanship by saying "hey, we don't need that extra point. Just take the ball."

5. Chris W what the what?

Chris W said...

These uncertain postmodern times, Angelo

Anonymous said...

Jesus, that shit about Wisconsin kneeling on the extra point is the final straw. How is this man allowed to write about the NFL for ESPN? His fundamental lack of understanding about all things football pisses me off, but it's the know-it-all tone with which he spews his fucktardery that really makes me want to punch him in the face. You just know Gregggg is that dipfuck parent at Bowdoin Polar Bear games loudly second-guessing the coaches and telling all the other parents how blitzing is a mistake.

Oh and I watched the Seven Squared (fucking shoot me) vs. Rams game. Gore did not run the exact same play on 3rd & 32 and then again on 4th & 18. The first play was a dump-off in the flat, Gregg is right about that. The second pass to Gore was at least 15 yards down the field, since when is that area defined as the flat?

Fuck the fuck off Gregggggg!!!!!

Biggus Rickus said...

It seems far more insulting to me to completely stop trying to score with a big lead. I'm not saying you should run trick plays and shit when you're up 30+ points in the 4th quarter, but just running standard plays shows more respect to the opposition than purposely not scoring. Take the Georgia-Vandy game earlier this year. Georgia was up 43-0 at the start of the 4th quarter and ran their big slow fullback at the tailback position all quarter. That shows a complete disdain both for the other team's ability to score and their ability to stop your normal running backs. As a coach or player that would be far more insulting to me than a team putting in their backup QB and letting him try to throw the ball some.

Tonus said...

Yeah, I never understood how it was "sporting" to stop trying when you have a big lead. I'm sure the other guys feel really good about themselves when you tell them "we're fucking you up so bad that we're just going to phone in the rest of the game and still beat you by 35 points, pussy."

The idea that kneeling on PATs would make you the bigger man has to be one of the downright stupidest things GreGgGGGg has ever said.

PS- if you'd tuned in to MNF this week for 30 minutes, you'd have listened to 30 minutes of the MNF booth sucking Vick's cock. That was fucking embarrassing to listen to.

Jack M said...

I actually have to agree with Greggg on the issue of the middle school trick play. In that situation, the offense wasn't trying to deceive with regards to the intent of the play, they were just running such a lame and cheap trick play that the defense didn't think it was possible that a real play was actually going on. The defense should have known that once the ball is taken off the ground the play is live, but the quarterback talking to the refs was meant to intentionally muddle that issue. I don't know if it's legal or not by Gregggg's standards, but I, for one, think it's not very sportsmanlike, and I'd be embarrassed if I played on a team that could only score using amateur hour shit like that.

Elliot said...

If you're not cheating, you're not trying. That middle school coach obviously has a bright future as a defensive coach for Cal.

Frigidevil said...

Agreed Jack, there's running a cheap play and there's being a douchebag. If a high school got away with that, that's their fault for not paying attention. Middle schoolers aren't taught to go after the qb even when he's innocently wandering over to the sideline.

Aside from that, another perfect storm of bullshit from Greggggggg.

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