Monday, April 30, 2012

Mailbag? More like mailBAD, Part 2

In which we hear about how Kobe is a bad person for wanting to win rings and score points.

Q: Hey Sports Czar — what's your fix for NFL kickoffs? You can't run for Sports Czar if you are sitting this one out.
— Jeremy, Omaha

You also shouldn't be able to run for Sports Czar (what a depressing title, not sure I like the choice of words there) if you know a medium amount about one sport, pretend to know a lot about 50% of the teams in another when in fact you have your head up your ass with regard to the entire sport, sort of like a third sport but only for gambling purposes (and you suck at gambling on it), and have no further sports knowledge whatsoever.  That list of qualifications should definitely prevent you from running for Sports Tyrant.

SG: We can't get rid of kickoffs entirely, right? 

Actually, you pretty much could.

/ducks to avoid tomatoes thrown by Bears fans

The problem from a strategic standpoint would be doing away with the opportunity for onside kicks.

For such a violent sport, we can't suddenly start picking which violent parts make more sense than others. 

I'm not saying the league should do away with kickoffs, just that the small amount of variation in outcomes among KORs and the degree to which they generate full speed ahead helmet to helmet hits makes them different than any other play in the game.  Saying "durr all plays are violent, we can't pick and choose" is like saying "in theory a batter can hit any pitch with the right swing, so why have a strike zone."  Insert some nuance into your thinking you fucking clod.

At the same time, this seems like a good chance to tweak the sport so there's more incentive to go for touchdowns instead of field goals. Why? Because fans perk up when they hear the words "fourth down and they're going for it!" and lose interest when they hear the words "and here comes [fill in any kicker] to try a field goal." 

That's a reasonable thing to think.  Now watch him completely fuck the dog trying to find a way to make it work by messing with kickoff rules.

So, what if we tweaked the rules …

• No more kickoffs to start the first and third quarters. Instead, each team gets the ball on the 25-yard line and we go from there.

WE CAN'T JUST CHOOSE WHICH KICKOFFS ARE MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS!  THEY'RE ALL VIOLENT!  What about onside sneak attack kicks?  They rarely happen, but can be pretty fun.  Super Bowl XLIV?

• After any successful field goal, you kick off from your own 25-yard line.

• After any touchdown, you kick off from your own 40-yard line.

Dumb, every one of those is either going to be in the 10th row of the stands or an onside attempt, meaning the return team would simply line up in onside recover formation every time and DURRRRRR SPORTS CZAR AT WORK EVERYONE, GET OUT OF HIS WAY.

The end result (hopefully): fewer field goals, more touchbacks, more "fourth down and they're going for it!" situations, and (most important) more decisions that will get screwed up by mentally overwhelmed coaches and eventually turn into comedic fodder!

The ironing.  So tasty.  Also, I like that he thinks that losing maybe 10 or 15 yards of field position at the start of the next possession is going to get teams to start going for it on 4th like gangbusters.  It's the 2nd quarter of a 10-7 game, or some other similarly low leverage situation.  You're a head coach.  Congratulations, you're already more qualified for your job than Josh McDaniels ever was.  Your team is facing 4th and 6 from the other team's 25.  Or maybe it's 4th and 9 from the 18.  Or maybe it's 4th and 4 from the 32.  Are you going to spend more than a second thinking about going for it there due to Bill's rule?  I mean, if it existed and I were a coach, I'd probably start going for every 4th and 2 or less inside my 15 during the first three quarters of the game.  And that's about it.  How in the world would it change your strategy in a close game in the 4th quarter?  Even on 4th and inches from the 5, any sane coach is still kicking the FG if it's a tie game, or they're down by 1 or 2.  Probably if they're down by 3 as well.

I'll concede that it might inspire more coaches to go for the knockout blow; i.e., if you're facing 4th and inches from the 5 and you're up 2 with a minute to play, might make more sense to go for the TD to end the game than to get a 5 point lead and give the other team the ball around their own 35.  But still, come on man.  You're dumb.

Let's apply the revamped rules to a game situation. 


It's Sunday night and San Diego is playing Philly. 


The Eagles are trailing by four points with seven minutes to play. They're on San Diego's 22-yard line. It's fourth-and-four. If they make the field goal, they're still trailing by one, and they have to kick off from their own 25 (conceivably, giving San Diego excellent field position to finish off the game). But if they get the first down? Better chance of scoring the go-ahead touchdown coupled with an overwhelming chance of a touchback kickoff (and San Diego starting their next drive from their own 20).

Yeah, sort of makes things interesting when a team is down between four and eight points in that situation.  Doesn't change a damn thing with any other margin.

So what would Andy Reid do? (Thinking.) Well, he'd waste a timeout to think about it —

That's fine, but I liked my McDaniels joke better.

and if he could waste a timeout by challenging the previous play, then spend a second timeout to think about fourth down, even better. 

You had it, then you lost it.

Then he'd probably decide on kicking a field goal because that would be the dumbest move. Then we could poke fun at him the next day for the entire sequence. See what I mean? We need more decisions in football; there's just no downside. 

The downsides are that you're effectively getting rid of onside kicks after a team scores a TD, and also fixing what isn't broken in a moronically complex way that will ultimately have little effect on anything.

We win anytime Andy Reid, Norv Turner, Mike Smith or whoever has to make a decision with multiple variables in the spur of the moment.

Onion headline for this:  Mouthbreathing idiot enjoys idiocy of other idiots in other professions

Q: Any chance we can get Bobby V. to make some pro-Castro comments sometime soon?

— @sethrobbins77 (via twitter)

God, Red Sox fans are such cunts that they almost make me want Valentine to be successful.

SG: Good one. 


You got me thinking about Boston's equivalent sore spot to pro-Castro comments in Miami — what's the one thing Bobby V could say that would potentially get him driven out of town?

I think we all know some things Bobby could say that would make Boston real upset.  I'm not going to say what they are, I'm just saying we all know what they are.  Joel Ward.

It could go one of two routes. Either he'd have to make the following 10 points in the SAME interview …

[list of 10 things that would make Valentine totally awesome if he said them]

OR …

He'd have to answer a question about Boston's busing riots in 1974 by saying something like, "I know that stuff happened almost 40 years ago, but I don't care — I'll always believe Boston is a racist city and you'll never be able to tell me differently." Every city has one sore spot. For Miami, it's Castro. For Boston, it's the racism thing.

That's a great parallel.  Lots of people in Miami hate Castro so you can really piss them off if you compliment him, and lots of people in Boston are racist so you can really piss them off if you point that out.

Q: Billy, how come you didn't do a post Super Bowl mailbag when you're supposed to do a post Super Bowl mailbag? My husband cannot fucking throw the ball and do a mailbag at the same time!

— Gisele, Boston

Hope that person was a Giants fan trolling him, although it's totally possible that it's some jackoff Patriots fan continuing to try to blame Welker for Brady's bad throws.

SG: Gisele just reminded me of something: If there was ever a week for Tom Brady to give an interview and say, "You know, I'm 35 years old, I'm at the tail end of my prime, I don't know how many years I have left here … man, I wish we'd stop rolling over these no. 1 picks to next year's draft and just bring in a couple of blue-chippers once and for all," isn't this the week? 

Like Belichick gives a shit about Brady's legacy.  He might not even know Brady's name.  MUMBLEROBBLE HEY QUARTERBACK!  YOU!  NUMBER 12!

Speaking of aging superstars facing the tail end of their primes …


Q: What are the odds that Kobe isn't really hurt, just sitting out the last few games because he doesn't want to lose the scoring title?

— Crooney, Miami

SG: Are you crazy? Don't you realize that every time Kobe misses a game, he thinks to himself, I just lost 29 more career points? I wouldn't be surprised if his office at home has a wall covered with some sort of Beautiful Mind–type scribbling that calculates in great detail every single scoring checkpoint he needs to hit from now until 2018 to catch Kareem. Kobe cares about two things and two things only: winning a sixth ring (to tie MJ) and breaking that scoring record (which would make him immortal, and he knows it). Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Surprisingly non-bitter answer.  He tried to make "he cares a ton about winning another championship and obtaining the all time scoring title" sound like a backhanded compliment, but unfortunately for him, it's just a regular old compliment.

Q: I already saw it as I commuted into the office at 8:00 am … I could sense it as I popped up out of the State Street stop … the abnormal warmth, the pep in the step of the women who passed by, the smiles … today is the day! it's "Halter Top Day!!! Expected high of 87 on Marathon Monday … a bevy of beautiful women roaming the city in sun dresses or booty shorts and yes halter tops! Will there be sunbathing in Columbus park and the Common? Oh yes, because in this year of 2012 remember April 16th as Halter Top Day in Boston!

— Brandon, Boston

Only super old dudes are allowed to say shit like that.  Unless you're over 85, step in front of the first moving cement mixer you see.

SG: The greatest Boston day (Patriots' Day) merged with the second-greatest Boston day (Halter Top Day)???? And the Red Sox lost??? How could the Red Sox lose on Halter Top Patriots' Day???? We're headed for 72-90, I'm convinced.

It's a patented triple non-reverse double jinx!  I'd laugh harder, but I get the impression he really feels like these things work.  He's like the 9 year old kid who thinks his favorite team wins or loses because he did or didn't wear his lucky hat.

That's enough for tonight, my blood pressure is plenty high already.  Will try to finish this off later in the week.  What's that, you say?  There's more?  Of course there is!  There's yet another love letter to Steve Nash, a disaster of an answer related to The Hunger Games, and--you're never going to believe this--a breakdown of whether or not Bill and the Sports Gal are planning on having another kid!  Try to contain your exuberance.


Alex said...

You asked for some suspect hockey writing? Here you go.

It was posted in the Montreal Gazette which itself employs a terrible "sports" writer. A writer so lousy I can only describe him as a cross between Easterbrook with a Lloyd Christmas bent and Chaucer with a lobotomy.

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Anonymous said...

Don't insult the nine-year old kid. It's only weird if it doesn't work