Monday, October 31, 2011

The Otherwise Great Joe Posnanski Goes All Easterbrook On Us

In an ill-advised screed against the intentional walk (a right-minded complaint but with a strange hysteria that seems poorly fitted to the magnitude of the relatively infrequent free-pass), Joe drops this gem on us:

But win or lose is not the point -- I'm really not second guessing the strategy. I'm second-guessing the conviction. My old pal Herm Edwards became famous with his "You play to win the game" classic rant -- it even led to a book by that title. But I don't think many do play to win, not in any sport. You play to extend the game and hope that it works out for you. You play to delay the big confrontation until you have no choice. I don't know if it was ever different. But it sure feels like now coaching and managers try to avoid the big moment as long as they possibly can.

Oh Joe, what's next? A "Buck-buck-a-brawck" award for Ron Washington?

Also there's this:

And the incentives within the game tell you what kind of game it is. If you made pass interference a 5-yard penalty with no automatic first down, well defensive backs are going to mug receivers all over the field. If you made a half court shot worth 20 points, players would practice and practice and practice the half court shot until they could make them a staggering percentage of the time. The intentional walk is a case where the negative incentive simply doesn't work well enough. One base and no advance is not enough of a deterrent for managers, and I think that's a flaw in baseball rules.

I'm a little bit surprised at this given Joe's connection with all-around superhuman Bill James (whom Poz namechecks later in cribbing Bill's suggestion for an intentional walk rule change), who wrote the following in his Historical Baseball Abstract (fanboy alert: probably the best baseball book ever written):

[Walking every time up vs. pitching to a hitter even better than Babe Ruth in his best season with a terrible lineup around him is] not even close. Walking Ruth every time up does far, far more harm than good, even under these impossibly extreme conditions. The team for which Ruth hit .385 with 61 homers a year scored 601 runs per season, and finished with a winning percentage of .326. The team for which Ruth was walked every time up scored 667 runs per season, and finished with a winning percentage of .380. As great as Ruth was, as terrible as his teammates were, he was still nowhere near the point at which it made sense to simply walk him every time he came up to the plate.

So in other words, walking a hitter every time--even in the most extreme example imaginable--is a swing in runs produced of more than 10%. In a more realistic yet still extreme scenario (think Barry Bonds in 2001) where the hitter is not quite as good and the lineup around him is not quite as bad, it probably gets closer to a 15% edge. In a  closer-to-the-mundane example of an Albert Pujols surrounded by Matt Holliday and Lancer Berkman, the edge becomes closer--pulling numbers out of my ass, to 25%. This means that managers don't walk Pujols very often.

And here's Joe arguing that we need more extreme penalties--even though the current system fits to a tee his definition of a self-correcting set of penalties--because....why? He doesn't like it when people intentionally walk people?

Hell, baseball's odd. It's an odd game. Maybe we should get rid of the intentional walk. I don't know. I don't like the INT, per se. In fact, I dislike it. Actively. But if I had to list the things that bother me in baseball, it probably wouldn't crack the top 10:

10. Payroll disparity
9. Mike Scioscia
8. Too many pitching changes
7. Umpires who are huge fucking assholes like Joe West
6. The fact that the above umpires are never held accountable because...I don't know why. Didn't the umpires' union lose their strike?
5. Long running times of games.
4. Even longer running times of games involving the Yankees
3.'s absolutely awful video-clip policy
2. People pissing and moaning about instant replay
1. Joe Buck

Whatever, though. To each his own. Maybe intentional walks happening every three games or so is higher on your list than those. Maybe it's not. But it's absolutely asinine to say that a manager with a poor grasp of baseball strategy (eg Ron Washington) misreading the percentages and making a horrible percentage play in a key game (one of his many poor percentage plays in the World Series) means

a.) Managers don't play. To win. The game. and in fact are really trying to play to prolong the game (say....huh?)

b.) We need a radical rule change

You know what it is? It's downright Easterbrookian!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FMTMQR: Needed to write this to calm myself down after that World Series game

Been a few weeks. Anything change while I was gone? What? Gregg has decided to stop pretending he knows his elbow from his poophole when it comes to football, and simply write about how unrealistic science fiction movies are? Excellent, then my work here is do- Oh. Fuck, should have seen that one coming.

Re: the Dolphins/Broncos pillowfight

Yes, the zany final minutes of that contest were a lot of fun to watch. And the naysayers -- perhaps there is a National Association of Naysayers, with a motto such as, "Saying nay since 1908" --


predicted Tebow couldn't win in the NFL. Now he has.

He actually did about ten months ago too, on Dec. 26 2010. But knowing stuff like that would take effort and research and distract from your incredible naysayers club joke. (Note: I am not standing up for Tebow by pointing this out. Just hating on Greggggggg.)

But Miami, and the officials, aided the comeback. After the first Miami touchdown, Dolphins coach-for-a-few-more-weeks Tony Sparano called timeout to prepare his hands team for an onside kick -- and Denver recovered the onside anyway.

I'll bet the guy who came up with it was undrafted out of Taintgrundle State A&M and has already been cut from four different practice squads.

With 25 seconds remaining in regulation, Tebow hit a well-executed throwback screen to tight end Daniel Fells for a touchdown. Zebras cooperated by failing to notice Denver linemen Chris Kuper and Orlando Franklin downfield before the pass.

Sometimes it's fun to keep it simple and just laugh at Gregg for being wrong about football basics. Linemen cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the ball does or a defender touches the ball on plays where the ball is being thrown downfield past the line of scrimmage. On forward passes that do not cross the line of scrimmage, this rule does not apply and linemen may release immediately. (Full blogging credibility disclosure, or something- I got this wrong the first time and edited it. LOOK AT MR. POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK OVER HERE!!!!!!111) That's exactly what happened here. But it's a whole lot easier to say things like that when you don't actually know the rules (despite writing a column that often focuses on them).

The fact that Tebow is religious had nothing to do with the outcome. God does not care who wins football games.

God singular, or Gods plural as in Football Gods? Because I'm pretty sure they saw Wisconsin beat South Dakota 59-10 a few weeks ago and said "Whoa, fuck that, we're going to let Michigan State beat them on a deflected Hail Mary. Running up the score is bullshit and we won't stand for it." Then again, Michigan State beat Florida Atlantic 44-0 earlier this year so... I dunno. Is there a chance that TMQ leans heavily on anecdotal bullshit to back up his preachy attitude?

Declining Football IQ: San Diego led Jersey/B 21-17 with 11 minutes remaining and had third-and-5 on the Jets' 25. The Jets came into the contest with the league's 28th ranked rush defense. So why not run?

Every play! Don't bother throwing on any given play, it's a waste of valuable running time.


/sitcom crowd makes "disappointed" noise

Five snaps later, Philip Rivers threw another interception in a situation that might have called for a rush.

Great noncommital language there. Hey, I'm not saying they really really REALLY should have run... but maybe they should have. And the fact they didn't exposes what a diptard Norv Turner is. Wait, never mind, Norv Turner's career record exposes what a diptard Norv Turner is.

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk: Green Bay leading 33-27 with 2:37 remaining, the Vikings punted -- and I scarcely need to tell you Minnesota never touched the ball again. So what if it was fourth-and-10? The Vikings were playing at home. They entered 1-5 on the season and 4-9 under Leslie Frazier. A successful conversion on fourth-and-10 could have led to an upset of the defending champion Packers and revived the team's season. A punt made a sluggish defeat likely.

They were on their own 36 and had all three timeouts. A failed 4th down, a few runs up the middle, and Green Bay launches a field goal that makes it a two score game. Sure, the Packers had scored 33 points so far, but had gained only 15 yards on their last three drives (including a pair of three and outs). Punting gave Minnesota the chance to get the ball back with better field position and a fresh set of downs. It's not that goshdarn hard to fucking understand.

Frazier knew that if he went for it on fourth down and failed, he would be blamed for the loss; if he ordered a mincing, fraidy-cat punt, the defense would be blamed for failing to get the ball back.

I don't think anyone blamed the defense's inability to stop the Packers before the clock ran out for the loss. Nor would they have blamed Frazier if a 4th and 10 attempt had failed, although they probably could have, because I'm willing to be the percentages favored punting there.

Blame-shifting is a huge factor in NFL coaching decisions.

Making stuff like this up and hoping no readers think about it long enough to realize that it's total malarkey is a huge factor in crafting TMQ every week.

Hell's Sports Bar: Hell's sports bar has 28 wide-screen plasma TVs, although certain blackout restrictions may apply.

One of his least obnoxious bits.

On Sunday, the televisions in Hell's sports bar showed nothing but Seattle at Cleveland, which ended 6-3. The highlight show endlessly replayed Seattle, trailing 3-0 at the end of the third quarter, kicking a field goal from the Cleveland 2-yard line, then never entering Browns territory again.

Followed by one of his most obnoxious recurring complaints.

Put it this way: Jacksonville held the visiting favorite to 7 points, 146 yards on offense and just 2.8 yards per play, yet had to hang on for dear life in the final two minutes. Average out the Saints' 55-point victory on Sunday night and the Jags' 5-point win on Monday night, and you'd have two normal games.

A pair of thirty point wins? If you put those two games together, you also have three offenses that played like shit and one that was awesome. Averaging those out equals two normal NFL games in 1923, not 2011.

Credit the win to Jack of the River going for broke rather than doing the "safe" thing. Jax leading 9-7 'ere the clock struck midnight -- with 1:48 remaining on the clock -- the Jags faced fourth-and-6 on the Baltimore 33. A field goal forces the Ravens to play for a touchdown; a missed field goal gives them possession on their 40, needing only a field goal to win; a punt probably rolls into the end zone for a touchback. Del Rio sent out the place-kicker, whose 51-yard kick was true: Forced to play for a desperation touchdown, Baltimore threw an interception. Often a field goal attempt is the safe course.

A mincing, fraidy-cat field goal!

In this case, it was bold.

Conveniently unmentioned is the fact that Josh Scobee had already nailed two 54 yard field goals that night, so sending him out for a 51 yarder didn't exactly take elephant balls. Also, I love how coaches that make cautious decisions do so to avoid the blame that might come from a bold decision that didn't work out (because coaches are so egotistical!), but coaches that make bold decisions that work out were CERTAINLY not doing so to soak up glory and be credited for the win (because coaches are not egotistical).

Readers including Nora Podolak of Bremerton, Wash., noted that the the Nissan Frontier commercial -- in which a pickup truck races onto an airfield and catches the front wheel of a landing jetliner-- has a tiny-type warning, "Fictionalization. Do not attempt." OK, I won't drive my pickup truck in front of a landing jetliner. But the disclaimer also means the properties of the Nissan Frontier are fictional.

The fake computer-generated aircraft, described by an announcer's voice as a passenger plane, resembles a Boeing 727, which is an obsolete aircraft no U.S. passenger airline has flown in more than a decade. Owing to quirks of this 1960s-era design, such as its flap settings, the Boeing 727 had a high landing speed of 150 to 180 miles per hour. So even if the pickup truck actually could support the nose wheel of a landing jetliner, and even if the truck somehow could drive to precisely the correct spot synchronized with the descending plane, the pickup would need to be moving at least 150 mph. Talk about fictionalization.

And all five of the people in America who didn't think that commercial was just a silly gimmick intended to advertise a truck have just seen the light. Thank you consumer watchdog Gregg.

Consolation for Miami, Indianapolis Seasons-Ticket Holders: Early in the season, TMQ noted this was a good year to be terrible, as two franchise-quality quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Landry Jones, will be available in the draft.

Landry Jones will bust. Just sayin'. /ducks to avoid heavy objects thrown by mouth-breathing Sooner fans

There's a chance of three franchise quarterbacks, depending on what transpires with

Yeah, I know where you're going, Matt Barkley.

Russell Wilson.

BWAHAHAHAHAH. If Russell Wilson ever starts for a full season for a team that finishes with a winning record, post your address in the comments of this post and I will mail you a dollar. Wilson is a good but not great college QB who is listed at 5'11". There's a chance he's Drew Brees, but there's a much bigger chance he's a tiny guy who will never succeed at QB in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. If Wilson is a "franchise-quality QB," Jimmy Clausen was too.

The last time quarterbacks went 1, 2, 3 in the NFL draft was 1999. This is a really good year to be terrible.

Two of those quarterbacks were Tim Couch and Akili Smith, so yeah, it's probably about as bad a year to be terrible as any.

Adventures in Officiating: Scoring on a pick-six against Oakland, Brandon Flowers of Kansas City briefly put his foot on the ball and flexed his muscles. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for "using the football as a prop." Celebration penalties have become ridiculous. Taunting should be penalized, but what's wrong with celebrating?

Who wrote that, and how did neither Gregg nor his editors catch it before publication?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's the less obnoxious alternative here:

Red Sox make the playoffs, or we spend three or four weeks after the season ends reading about whether or not a few resting starting pitchers having a few beers caused the whole team to tank down the stretch? On September 28th I would have chosen the latter but now I'm not so sure. Jiminy Fucking Christmas on a pogo stick. LET IT DIE, ESPN. LET IT DIE. It's especially irrelevant since the person whose job it is to keep the team focused has since been canned. Of course, the series of articles about BEERGATE 2011 did give us this great Joe Torre quote:

"It's something we're going to look at and find the best way to approach it, let's put it that way," he said, according to the paper. "That's one thing where I feel comfortable, the fact that I played and I managed. I have no problem talking to someone in regards to baseball, whether it's behavior or otherwise."

That's a lot of words to say "I guess my job is to fix problems for MLB or something. Not sure how to do it though."

TMQR later this week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tom Verducci's Figures of Speech Stretch Further Than Reed Richards

Look, I love Tom Verducci. I don't say that with much caveat. He's probably my favorite traditional (read: Old-fashioned) sportswriter working today. He manages to let the game's story tell itself without romanticism or the curmudgeonliness that seems to typify non-advanced stats sportswriters. But man oh man, in this week's print SI, his World Series writeup (I can't find its counterpart online) is chock full of--as Hawk Harrelson might say--streeeeeeeeeetch(es). Observe:

One night last week, due to a lengthy rain delay, the ALCS preempted the Fox talent show The X Factor. Some viewers might not have noticed though, especially the way Rangers manager Ron Washington habitually went all Simon Cowell on his starting pitchers and showed them the door.


Baseball's equivalent of the Geneva Convention, the established protocol of postseason engagement, has been suspended until further notice.


Small ball? Great starting pitching? Big payrolls? The might of the Northeast Corridor? None of these supposed October truisms matter in 2011, a prime number year that lacks divisors (other than 1 and itself) and logic.


Speaking of prime numbers, [Ron] Washington and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa combined to make a whopping 53 pitching changes.


Ok. Whatever. Some brutal and/or overwrought metaphors/analogy/similes in there. But this one is my absolute favorite (read: spit take quality hackery):

For La Russa, the founding father of the modern specialized bullpen, running an eight-man relief unit with a day off every two or three is like Dennis Kozlowski throwing a birthday party or Charlie Sheen on the company dime in Vegas: There is no such thing as excess.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Roy Johnson raises the stakes in the race-baiting game

ESPN employs some dude named Roy Johnson who I hadn't heard of before finding this article. As far as I can tell he's here to pick up where Jemele Hill left off. Because I've seen some people play the race card inappropriately over the years, but this is a whole new deal right here. Roy is raising the stakes. He's not fucking around. The article is actually more than a month old, but it's plenty relevant now because of the ol' QB shuffle going on in Denver.

Tim Tebow ought to go out and get a big ole tattoo.

Hopefully you can already tell where this is going. What if Mike Vick were white? What if Tebow were black? WHAT IF DANNY WOODHEAD WERE AN ALIEN???

And have his ear pierced while he's at it. (Better yet, some other much more intriguing body part.)

His butt?

Heck, he might as well do something a few NFL owners (or at least one) seem to believe is associated with some fan-unfriendly aspect of black culture.

Assuming you're talking about Jerry Richardson, look, Jerry Richardson is a cunt. It's unfair to bring him up in an article like this because Richardson's actual racism is shocking enough to most educated people in the year 2011 to lend false credibility to your completely insane point. It's a classic red herring. "Hey, here's a bunch of mindless bullshit about how people unfairly hate on black QBs, BUT KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE IS ONE VERY RACIST OWNER OUT THERE."

Because the way he's been talked about in recent weeks, you'd think the Denver Broncos' third-string (or 2.5-string) quarterback was black.

Oh brother.

"He can't play. He can't throw. … What [former Broncos coach] Josh McDaniels saw in him God only knows. Maybe God does know -- because the rest of us don't." -- Former NFL QB and current radio host Boomer Esiason

Which is exactly what people say about black QBs? Look, Tebow can play (inasmuch as that means that he can stay on the field, not fuck up too much, occasionally succeed, etc.), but he can't throw (not against this level of competition), and yes, only God knows why Josh "Hey Denver I'm just here to ruin your football team for the next five to eight years don't mind me" McDaniels made him a first round pick. Boomer is being plenty fair there.

And that's just a dab of the criticism/hate-ism spiraled at Tebow throughout this labor-truncated NFL offseason. (You should see what my editors took out.)

Your editors didn't take anything out and we all know it. Actually it would be pretty sweet if an editor made Johnson remove someone else's quote that was like "TEBOW IS A NO-GOOD CRACKER" but I doubt that happened.

Was any single player more debated, dissected and derided as all the prognosticators assessed the goings-on leading us to Week 1 of 2011?

He was debated and dissected because he's a lightning rod for attention and has been since 2007. He was derided because 1) there are plenty of knowledgeable people out there who say he can't play QB in the NFL, yet he was on the verge of being given the starting job in Denver and 2) people like seeing players who are lightning rods for attention like Tebow fail. Here's why he wasn't debated, dissected, or derided: because he is white, or not black, or secretly Mexican.

The only ones who come close are black:

Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, and Ben Roethlisberger! Of course!

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam (the tattoo-less) Newton

Who was scrutinized like noted black QB Sam Bradford before him because Newton was the #1 overall pick in the draft.

and Oakland Raiders QB Terrelle (no priors) Pryor -

Who wasn't scrutinized; the Raiders were merely laughed at for using a supplemental draft pick to make Pryor the most predictable and typical Raider in the history of Raiderdom.

both of whom are rookies and thus expectedly subject to the kind of annual pre-draft what-they-can't-do scrutiny typically reserved for the privacy of your doctor's office.

The same kind of scrutiny white rookie QBs get.

You might add to the list Michael Vick, whose biggest "SportsCenter" offseason move was signing a $100 million (but not really) contract extension that prompted many to debate whether the resurrected and rehabilitated Philadelphia Eagles quarterback deserved to be the highest-paid QB in the world not named Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Oh come fucking on. First of all, 90% of the offseason press about Vick was positive. Second of all, any debate about whether the contract was a good idea for the Eagles had to do with only one of the two following questions. See if you can identify it. Can Vick stay healthy? Have you noticed that Vick is black?

Vick's new deal coincided with a firestorm of a story in ESPN The Magazine that carried the headline: "What if Michael Vick were white?"

Which was a pretty simple and overplayed article that mostly hammered home the idea that most black kids in America grow up in a different environment than most white kids, and as a result they encounter more obstacles and challenges. Didn't really have anything to do with Vick's playing style or the non-existant criticism thereof that Johnson seems to want to make us believe exists. In fact, the "What If?" article can be best summarized by these two passages:

But after his arrest for dogfighting, so many people asked: Would a white football player have gotten nearly two years in prison for what Vick did to dogs?

This question makes me cringe. It is so facile, naive, shortsighted and flawed that it is meaningless. Whiteness comes with great advantages, but it's not a get-out-of-every-crime-free card. Killing dogs is a heinous crime that disgusts and frightens many Americans. I'm certain white privilege would not be enough to rescue a white NFL star caught killing dogs.

Yes. And:

And to those who believe we should judge a man by how he responds when dealing with the worst life has to offer -- with how he climbs after he hits rock bottom -- Michael Vick has become heroic.

And that has nothing to do with race.

Exactly. Trying to lump that article in with this one is a fucking farce.

(The piece was accompanied by a brilliant, if somewhat pale, photo illustration portraying what Vick might look like as a white man. As I said, brilliant.)


Well, what if Tebow were black?

Nothing? I think that's the answer to this question. "Nothing" if Tebow were black.

Now before you get all fired up and start rolling your eyes over yet another story tainting our precious sports landscape with "race" droppings, relax: It's all in fun.

Ah my bad, I thought we were playing for keepsies.

/takes back money and bag of own blood from center of table, puts into pocket

It's also very hard to throw around the idea that a white QB is being criticized for playing like black QBs for get criticized for being black and say that "Hey now, just messin' around. Don't get all hot under the collar, country that kind of sucks at dealing with racial issues."

Tebow, the Broncos' 2010 No. 1 draft pick (25th overall), just may be the most popular human in at least two states (Colorado and Florida).

And for good reason: He's probably the second-best college football player in history (behind Herschel Walker) or maybe third (Lord, I wish there was film of Jim Thorpe).

At the University of Florida he: (A) stayed four years; (B) generated 9,286 passing yards, 2,947 rushing yards and 145 touchdowns; (C) played on two national champion teams; and (D) won the Heisman as a sophomore.

He's also the guy your momma wishes you were: a devout, God-fearing young man who does missionary work in foreign orphanages, for goodness' sake.

Which makes him absolutely identical to someone... another pro athlete.... who am I trying to think of?

If he were black, he might have been … Tiger Woods.

Yeah! Tiger Woods! That was it! He stayed in college for two years and really didn't have an off the course reputation until late 2009 when he revealed himself to be kind of a scumbag, but yeah, Tebow's just like that. Except more whiter.

But, uh, never mind.

Shut up.

Tebow's leadership talents and personal integrity are unchallenged.

His football skills?

Now that's what riles people up -- especially those folks who say he's already an NFL bust. Ryan Leaf with a halo.

Ah yes, exactly. A draft bust of a QB who couldn't cut it in the big time, like Leaf, or Joey Harrington, or Cade McNown, or Kyle Boller, or David Carr, or Tim Couch, or dozens of other guys who AREN'T BLACK.

Or maybe Troy Smith, Vince Young, Jason Campbell, or Josh Freeman -- black QBs whose skills at times have been diminished because they didn't fit the mold of an elite NFL QB, an image that has been handed down and cherished since Johnny Unitas first struck the passing pose by which all subsequent quarterbacks are still measured.

Oh boy. This is where it gets rich.

Each of the four aforementioned quarterbacks have, to varying degrees, responded to their critics.

Yes, to varying degrees. Freeman has responded by being pretty good. Campbell has responded by being just good enough to kind of keep a starting job. Young has responded by basically washing out of football after five years, and Smith has responded by never being relevant in the first place. So, to summarize: all four of these guys have faced criticism, just like dozens of young white QBs over the years. One of the four has responded. Another has kind of responded. The other two suck balls. But let's hear about how wonderful they all are, because surely this has something to do with Tebow and race.

At 6-foot, Smith, the 2006 Heisman winner and 2007 fifth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens simply wasn't NFL "big."

Yep. Correct. (Rest of praise for Smith omitted because he is a "never was" and any attempt by a sportswriter to make it sound like he's anything else will make you laugh out loud while you read this at work.)

Like Tebow, Campbell was the 25th overall pick in the draft (2005) and was largely said to lack the arm or the pedigree (his alma mater, Auburn, is no QB factory) to succeed at the get-paid (more) level. Yet he's started 64 games for Washington and Oakland, and will start for the Raiders on Sunday.

At this point he has started 70 games and won 31 of them while completing 60% of his passes and compiling a QB rating of about 83. In related news, the Raiders are now talking to David Garrard and Carson Palmer.

Young, for all the lows of recent seasons, hit the league like a lightning bolt -- despite those who scoffed at his awkward delivery and propensity to escape from the pocket like it was on fire when he still had time to throw. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year and became a two-time Pro Bowler for the Tennessee Titans before his career spiraled downward due to problems on the field, and off.

He did hit the league like a lightning bolt. And then about three seasons later, the league had adjusted to him and he failed to return the gesture. As soon as the Eagles cut him,you can find him spending the rest of his life starring in car dealership and legal services commercials in the greater Austin/Dallas area. He's like a version of Troy Smith who was big enough to succeed in running people over for a couple years.

Freeman? Please? Just about any team other than New England or Philadelphia would take the rising young third-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller who slipped to No. 17 in the 2009 draft despite a 124.73 passing rating at Kansas State.

Any team other than New England or Philadelphia or Green Bay or Pittsburgh or San Diego or Dallas or Detroit or Atlanta or New Orleans or St. Louis or maybe three or four other teams like the Giants and Chiefs would kill to have Freeman, I agree.

Look, what's the point of all this? Those four QBs took their lumps from the press when they entered the league. Tebow took his lumps from the press when he entered the league. Every single fucking quarterback takes their lumps when they enter the league and for the entire duration of their stay in the league. It's how things work and it has not a fucking thing to do with the color of their skin. Yes, Young and Campbell took their lumps for not having NFL-quality arms, as Tebow has. But those criticisms aren't racial in nature and if you can't see that you should be fed to bears. White QBs might usually face a different brand of criticism, but it's criticism all the same. Sheesh.

This isn't the Alphas, Kappas, or any of the other proud black national fraternities, but Tebow is unquestionably a member of this frat. He's just still being hazed.

Like Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder once he gets on the field, Jake Locker once he gets on the field, etc., etc.

Now, some of his critics have a slight point. Tebow is a football freak, a 6-foot-3-inch, 245-pound force of nature who doesn't fit the textbook description of the QB position but scores touchdowns and wins football games anyway.

Clichce cliche cliche mindless bullshit that means nothing

He defies every convention and bowls over every coaching rule of thumb as if it were a teeny defensive back.

He runs first and throws with uncertainty.

He's a leg-QB, not an arm -- at least not an NFL-accurate one. Yet.


Each of those shortcomings has been levied as criticism for some black quarterback in recent seasons. Now, it's brother Tebow's turn.

And when white QBs who have good arms but no pocket presence and no ability to anticipate and avoid the blitz are criticized for that, uh... something.

I believe Tebow, in time, will indeed overcome his shortcomings and become a solid, capable NFL quarterback.

He has been a leader at every level.

And he has won at level.

Black or not, those attributes count more than any words -- as many of his brothers have shown.

Hoo hoo! HEY-OH! I see what he did there. But seriously, this is such fucking garbage. If Johnson's point were that black QBs tend to face a specific kind of criticism while white QBs tend to face another, and that Tebow's critics sound more like they're criticizing a black QB than a white QB, he'd be right. But that would be a pointless article and wouldn't give Johnson a chance to not-so-subtly whine that black QBs face more criticism than white QBs. What's maddening about the fact that he's sipping exactly that whine in this piece is that he defeats his own purpose by admitting that Tebow kind of sucks at throwing the ball right now.

There are so many layers of dumb to this that I can't spend any more time trying to parse it. Suffice it to say that Mike Vick is black and really good, Tim Tebow is white and not very good, Jason Campbell and Colt McCoy are different races but are both kind of shitty, and that 100% of NFL fans who are not racist fuckhats don't care about race.