Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simmons and Easterbrook square off in a Thunderdome of inanity

Unless you consider this entire format to be a gimmick (which you probably should), we really don't do a lot of gimmicky posts here.  THAT CHANGES TONIGHT.  THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET SILLY.  I'll bring you some highlights from Greggggggg's and Bill's most recent efforts, but I'll mix them up, switching back and forth, and I won't tell you which one of them said what.  If you've read this blog for more than a month you will have absolutely no trouble assigning blame to the correct party for each logic and/or comedy blimp crash you read.  I mean, it's all kind of pointless because Gregg's column mostly looks back and speaks in past tense while Bill's mostly looks forward and predicts (and gives us example after example of his horrific gambling skills).  But bear with me.  Pretend it's fun.  Lord knows I've been pretending that writing these posts is fun for like three or four years now.

Last week, I hammered Greg Schiano for having his defense charge the offense on a final-snap kneel-down at the end of the Giants-Bucs game. 

So that pretty much gives it away right there.  Still, this is so good that it's worth highlighting even if it's super obvious which nimrod said it.

Schiano has since defended himself by claiming this tactic actually works. Schiano told "Mike & Mike in the Morning" that charging the victory formation "caused fumbles several times" at Rutgers. Schiano told Pro Football Talk the tactic "actually created a fumbled C-Q exchange four times in the past four or five years. It does work."

Schiano did not add: Rutgers never got a turnover. I asked Jason Baum, associate athletic director of Rutgers, what happened when the Scarlet Knights attacked kneel-downs under Schiano. Baum said that four times the quarterback fumbled -- against North Carolina in 2011, against Pitt and West Virginia in 2009 and against Cincinnati in 2007. Rutgers recovered once, but the play was nullified by a Rutgers offside. Any defense can cause the quarterback to fumble by jumping offside and slapping the ball before the snap! The other three times, quarterbacks covered their own fumbles.

So in other words, Schiano was absolutely right, and while he may ruffle some feathers by using this tactic, it seems justified from a "WE DO ANYTHING WE CAN TO WIN FOOTBALL GAMES ON THE FOOTBALL FIELDS OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE OF FOOTBALL" perspective.  Which is the perspective of pretty much every FOOTBALL coach who's ever been successful so I can't really fault him for having it.  Considering the way Schiano's tactic has twisted panties into bundles all over the league, I encourage him to keep doing it.  The kind of people who are complaining about it (both inside the game, as well as among the media) are generally the kinds of people who deserve to be tied to rockets and shot into space.

Atlanta is 8-1 all-time versus San Diego.

GOTTA TAKE THE FALCONS AND THE OVER THIS WEEK, AMIRITE?  Nah just kidding, that's one of Gregg's ever-captivating stats of the week.

Wouldn't you rather have that on Baltimore's résumé than a frightening riot? Let's add that to the "Welcome to Baltimore" sign on whatever the highway is there: "WELCOME TO BALTIMORE: HOME OF THE WIRE AND THE WORLD'S LOUDEST BULLSHIT CHANT."

Yeah, not like anyone who has grew up on the East Coast should know that every big city between Boston and Washington is on I-95, right?  And that's certainly not something Google Maps could help with.  Whatever your highway is, Baltimore (if you even have one!), here's an unclever slogan for it.  NOW, LET ME TELL YOU MORE ABOUT UBUNTU SINCE YOU'VE ALREADY HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT IT.   THE NATIONAL DISCUSSION SURROUNDING IT IS INTENSE, I KNOW.

Twice a year, I stumble across a stupendously good reader e-mail and think about stealing it, then pretending I never saw it, before ultimately deciding against it for karmic reasons.

Could have been either of them, I know, except that Gregg's readers are merely unfunny whereas Bill's are unfunny AND mirror images of their fuckbag columnist (a columnist who loves to navel gaze, at that).  Thus you know he wrote that because Gregg would never dream of stealing anything his readers send him; I'm sure he considers himself much smarter than all of them.

When Detroit reached fourth-and-1 on the Tennessee 7 in overtime, trailing by three, the Lions botched a first-down try, ending the game with a Titans win. The coach was immediately mocked by the sports press: "Jim Schwartz's Risky Call Costs Detroit Lions in OT Loss" read a typical headline. Schwartz said afterward his offense was supposed to try to draw Tennessee offside; failing that, he planned to kick the short field goal to continue overtime. Botched communication between center and backup quarterback caused the ball to be snapped while most of the Lions stood around. (It was a botched play, not an attempt at the silent sneak.) Schwartz had to supplicate in his postgame comments, apologizing for defying orthodoxy.

But fortune favors the bold!  Even if the coach never actually intended to try for the first down, shouldn't the Football Gods have rewarded the team for accidentally going for it anyways?  I'm so confused.

For that matter, the Lions could have gone for the win on the untimed try that ended regulation. A fake kick for two would have been maybe 75 percent likely to succeed -- and then there would have been no overtime.

That's just fucking awesome.  Breaking news, everyone: fake extra point attempts, particularly those attempted with your team trailing by one and with no time left on the clock, are 75% likely to succeed.  Source: SCIENCE.  (Correction: MAYBE 75% likely to succeed.  So, also, maybe only 4% likely to succeed.)

The Dolphins threw incomplete toward the sidelines three consecutive times, then kicked a field goal and went on to lose in overtime. But Miami had all three timeouts, why not throw down the middle? The Dolphins acted as if it was critically important to stop the clock, despite holding three timeouts. At least the unused timeouts can be donated to charity.

That joke is so bland and non-awful, you can be sure Bill didn't write it.

Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are 2-9; Kevin Kolb is 3-0. Norv Turner is guaranteed to end this September with at least as many wins as Bill Belichick, and probably one more. The NFC West is in the conversation for the best division in football. And fans are talking reverently about the real NFL referees. Does anyone doubt the Mayans anymore?

CURVEBALL MOTHERFUCKERS.  That's actually one of Bill's readers who happens to sound a lot like Gregg.  BEWARE THE MAYAN NON-FOOTBALL GODS; THEY ARE VENGEFUL.

I'm feeling good about the Seahawks pick and see this week being "The Russell Wilson Breakout You-Wouldn't-Want-Him-In-Fantasy-But-At-Least-You'd-Halfheartedly-Look-Up-His-Stats-On-The-Waiver-Wire Game."

A week after having a not very good game against a nothing special Green Bay defense, Wilson went for 160 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs against a nothing special St. Louis defense.  

Suppose you were a father and mother who knew all technology was about to stop working -- you'd buy more than one bag of groceries! You wouldn't wait until the last conceivable instant to draw water or copy the magic software. 

Hmmm... is this Bill using a tortured analogy to make a point about what Aaron Hernandez means to the Patriots' offense, or is it Gregg pointing out that characters in a TV show or movie do not behave exactly like a perfectly rational person would?  Of course it's the latter, you knew that.

Here's my theory on the day after Thanksgiving in 2009: I think Jack Nicklaus heard the news, went out and bought a bottle of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle, found an antique shotgun with 300 rounds of ammo, then drove to a secluded spot in the woods 25 miles away from any other human being. He got out of his car, started jumping around and screaming like he won the Super Bowl, did this for 20 solid minutes, then started swigging whiskey and shooting at things while whooping it up. Eventually, he drank the entire bottle, got back into his car and just started happily ramming into trees until the car stopped moving. Then he passed out in the driver's seat, woke up the next morning and walked home.

Bill Simmons: somehow, not employed as a Hollywood comedy writer.

Canceled by Christmas; lucky to make it to Thanksgiving.

If only that were an internal ESPN memo referring to the employment prospects of both these clods.

Sportsmanship note: Leading 24-14, Buffalo reached first-and-goal on the Cleveland 1 at the two-minute warning. Bills coach Chan Gailey ordered his charges to kneel. The football gods should reward this.

New England beat them by 24 today, throwing the ball long after the outcome was in question.  Conclusion: the Football Gods will definitely have their revenge on the Patriots at some point!  Probably!

Democrats would have been happier had Romney claimed every possible deduction, lowering his tax rate even further and embarrassing him politically. Unspoken in all this -- not claiming deductions is admirable behavior!

Holy shit, I definitely do not want this blog to get political, but I will say this: only someone as sheepfucking clueless as Gregg could fail to connect the dots and realize that it's very likely Romney didn't claim all his available deductions because he anticipated a Democratic attack on that point, not because he wanted to be Mr. Charitypants.  Christ, Easterbrook fancies himself some kind of Beltway Insider.  Simply pathetic that this is his take on the situation.

But the need for higher tax rates on the rich should not stop anyone from being impressed that Romney voluntarily paid more than current law requires. Voluntarily paying more than required is not being a sucker. It's being civic-minded.

No, in this case, it's neither.  It's being an image-conscious politician.  Holy Christ, Gregg.  I think someone wrote "gullible" on the bottom of that swimming pool over there.  You should go check it out.

Sorry again, I just couldn't let that one slip.  Let's end on a lighter note.

I would NOT advise taking kids to this week's Giants-Eagles game … especially if it goes the way I think it's going to go. You realize the Giants are 33-17 in their last 50 regular season road games, right?

Road performance of the 2006 Giants: definitely relevant in 2012. With the Monday night game still to come, Bill's picks ATS are 6-8 this week, and he's now 30-31-2 on the season. ESPN pays this man millions of dollars per year. Other than his somewhat substantial number of NBA columns, these NFL pick columns are pretty much the only writing that is actually about sports. You would have lost money by following his picks nearly every year for the past decade. I will now light these copies of "Now I Can Die in Peace" and "The Book of Basketball" on fire.


BR said...

I have never been motivated to read Greg's blog, in fact, I never heard of him until I read the colonoscopies he gets here and at Bottom of the Barrel. He appears to be a true fuckwit and clod and I would think easy pickings. On the other hand, Bombastic Bill is the epitome of the American success story as girl-shy sports geek perseveres to become poster boy for "new" sports journalism. I find it incredible that he gets away with mailing it in so very often. Kudos LarryB as I feel your rage.

Gulag said...

Isn't "Thunderdome" a proper noun?

Larry B said...

I'll take your word for it.

BR- Easterbrook, while just as dumb as Simmons (in different ways), is also certainly just as legitimate a writer. He's got a pretty sizable following and has written several books (all of them undoubtedly full of garbage).

BR said...

So you think I should start reading Gregg? Secondly, are you and the other bloggers here writers who object to hacks in the realm of sports reportage or just dislike morons with publishing gigs?