Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ThMTMQR: I finally beat Big Daddy Balls to it

He's been running an Easterbrook bit in his Thursday Jambaroo regularly this year. Two or three times this fall I've been all ready to tackle TMQ on Friday, and then been like "Oh... that's right." [/sad Charlie Brown music plays] At least he's pretty good at it. I guess that's to be assumed when he, you know, writes dick jokes for a living. Anyways, this week, I'm back. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Mooooooo … that's the sound the Houston Texans' logo made as the team was roped and branded by the New England Patriots on "Monday Night Football."

That is the sound all cows make at all times. Congratulations. You are a children's book about farm animals. Thank you for the gripping intro. 

The New England defense exceeded expectations in its 42-14 blowout, using a college-style "50 front" to frustrate Houston stretch plays on expected run downs, then rushing five on expected passing downs. 


In 2007, the Patriots set the NFL's single-season scoring record, averaging 37 points per game. This year's New England offense is nearly as good, averaging 36 points per game. By some measures this year's Patriots are superior -- plus-24 for turnovers 

A stat equal parts offense and defense, so good job proving your point so far. I see you have cleverly edited the previous half sentence to not include the word "offense." The rest of the paragraph is about New England's offense, as is your thesis. I have not been fooled. 

versus plus-16 in 2007, 28 first downs per game versus 25 per in 2007. The 2007 New England offense featured quick-strike deep passes; the 2012 iteration is seventh in the NFL in rushing, and therefore controls the ball better. New England is on pace for 444 first downs. The current record, set by New Orleans in 2011, is 411.

But which offense has the best turnover margin?  I will nitpick bullshit like this until I fall asleep on my keyboard. 

Right now, the New England offense rules the NFL. Yet it starts more undrafted free agents (Wes Welker, Ryan Wendell, Danny Woodhead) than first-round choices (Nate Solder, Logan Mankins). The quarterback is a sixth-round selection who ousted the first overall choice in the draft. 

Oh my God, who gives a fuck? Sorry Drew Bledsoe. If only you had been drafted 247th overall, you might have had a chance to make a positive impact in this league. 

Against Houston, the Patriots got long touchdown catches from two players shown the door by the rest of the league (Brandon Lloyd, cut by four teams; 

At the time they acquired him he was a season removed from leading the league in receiving. The fact that the Redskins (rightfully, by the way) cut him in like 2003 means absolutely nothing.

Donte' Stallworth, cut by five teams). 

In one case, because he murdered a man with his car. 

How does the New England offense do it? 

It's a fucking mystery, isn't it? Let's see. They have the best coach in the league. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, who, yes, was a late bloomer and thus was not drafted in the first round. They also have Danny Woodhead, who sucks, and shouldn't be starting anywhere, but fortunately the Patriots only need him to get like five change of pace touches per game. So I think we know who deserves the credit here. 

Watch Patriots line film, and what you won't see is an offensive lineman standing around doing nothing. 

Unless you are watching Bears line film, that statement holds true for every team in the league. 

On almost any NFL snap, even on good teams, there's at least one offensive lineman who brushed his man then just stood there looking at the play. 

No. That is patently untrue. You're making things up and presenting them as fact. I hope you fall down an elevator shaft.

From many years of staring at the New England offense, your columnist is convinced this is its most fundamental advantage. 

Your columnist is a complete and utter diptard. He is a zilch. He knows as much about football as he does about tenths of seconds. 

Everybody runs slants, curls and hitches like the Patriots do; many teams have sophisticated, accurate quarterbacks like Tom Brady; alone in the NFL, the New England Patriots have offensive linemen who never stand around doing nothing. This is an edge any team could seek. Only the Patriots have attained it. 

Watch the sure-to-be-awful Raiders vs. Chiefs game this Sunday. You will see dozens and dozens of plays in which all five offensive linemen are trying their hardest to block a defensive player. You will see a small handful in which the defense only rushed three, or called a weird overload blitz that the offensively did not properly anticipate and slide towards, and subsequently an offensive lineman was left with no one to block, yes, standing there, doing nothing. (PSSST: this sometimes happens to the Patriots too.)  Try to keep your brains from exploding out of your ears.

The New England offense is so confident and proficient that often the primary receiver isn't covered by anyone. Against the Jets on Thanksgiving, no one covered Welker -- one of football's all-time most productive receivers -- at the goal line. Against Houston, no one covered Hernandez at the goal line. The football gods are smiling on this offense.

No, they are not. The Belichick is a great coach and Hernandez and Gronkowski (UH OH! WATCH OUT FOR HIGH DRAFTED GLORY BOYS!) are completely nasty realities are more important than the football gods.

Sweet College Plays of the Week: The Redskins and Packers continue to use college-style pistol sets. Cincinnati used a pure-college series against the Cowboys. First the Bengals lined up in a pistol and ran an end-around for 37 yards; then threw a quick bubble screen; then ran the speed shovel in which the quarterback takes the snap and immediately flips it forward to a runner crossing in front of him. Touchdown. Was that Cincinnati or the University of Cincinnati? 

I don't know, but I'm sure high drafted megabucks glory boys Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers and Andy Dalton should be ashamed of themselves for some reason.

Colin Kaepernick ran 50 yards for the icing touchdown against Miami off a zone-read fake. Do the Forty Niners play in the NFC West or the MAC? Against Atlanta, Cam Newton

The ultimate high drafted megabucks glory boy! There are so many stories out there about Newton being a royal piece of shit to everyone he meets that they can't all be wrong. I'm surprised Gregg can even bear to type his name.

lined up in a college-style backfield with a tailback on one side and a fullback on the other, faked to the tailback going right on a zone-read, then ran left behind a "wham" block by the fullback, legging it 72 yards for a touchdown.

While telling a cancer-stricken child to pony up $50 if he wants an autograph while pushing a little old lady into traffic.

Sweet 'N' Sour Plays No. 1: Washington trailed visiting Baltimore 28-20, and had third-and-5 on the Ravens' 11 with 36 ticks showing in what turned out to be regulation. Phenom RG III just left the game hurt. Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins saw a defense that was expecting a super-short pass from a confused rookie. Nine Baltimore defenders were close to the line of scrimmage, just two in the deep field. Washington sent out four receivers; Baltimore rushed four, meaning seven to cover four; both Baltimore cornerbacks were in man-on-man, meaning five Ravens to cover the other two receivers. Pierre Garçon ran a down-and-out, touchdown. Then, a surprise quarterback draw for two, the game heads to overtime and Washington victory. Tout sweet!


Sour for Baltimore was that cornerback Chris Johnson, assigned to man coverage on Garçon, simply stood there and let him run past. Johnson was busy making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play, rather than staying glued to his man. But check the opposite side! Josh Morgan ran a down-and-in, and also was open -- because cornerback Cary Williams was making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play. Meanwhile, three Baltimore defensive backs are covering no one at all. Both Baltimore corners acted like they were in short zones, releasing deep routes to safeties; the other Baltimore defensive backs acted like the cornerbacks were supposed to be in man. Whomever screwed up -- tout sour.

Yes, I have sour news for you Gregg, sour news you seem to have anticipated given the way your story changed at the end of that item. Johnson and Williams WERE playing zone. It was probably a blown coverage by someone in the Baltimore secondary--I haven't seen the play enough times to know who it was--but you can take your "peeking into the backfield like a stupid high schooler who hopes to be drafted in the first round one day" story and cram it. Besides, Johnson is a twice cut 7th round draft choice, and Williams is a twice cut 7th round draft choice from small college Washburn! Those guys couldn't possibly be at fault.

Would You Like Fries with That? Science magazine reported the world's adults weigh a combined 287 million tons, which works out to the weight of 17,000 Ohio-class submarines.

Thank you so much. I now have a line to use to get laid this weekend.

America's dietary habits cannot be blamed on "food deserts" -- places where fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be obtained -- since the food desert theory turns out not to be true.

Doubly laid.

Maybe Khan Thought the "Punter" Is Like the "Bowler" In Cricket:

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Nothing like HAHA THEY CALL THINGS DIFFERENT THINGS IN BRITAIN humor.

Despite entering the contest 2-10, the Jaguars sold out Sunday's game against the Jets. The obvious reason was the return of hometown boy Tim Tebow, who dressed but, recovering from a rib injury, was a DNP. If a packed house in the Jacksonville area would pay just to watch Tebow wander around the sideline, imagine if he were a member of the Jaguars.
This makes it worth bearing in mind that in the offseason the Jaguars, perennially low in NFL attendance, passed on a chance to trade for Tebow. He was available for Jacksonville's third draft choice, which instead was spent on punter Bryan Anger.


He's playing OK. But a losing team that lacks support really needed a punter more than the most popular local football player in a generation? New owner Shahid Khan was billed as a master of sports marketing. 

Attendance matters less in the NFL than in any other pro league, because of the national TV contracts and revenue sharing that guarantee every team a shitload of money no matter what. I don't disagree that Jacksonville maybe should have traded for Tebow to keep the team from being relocated to Los Angeles in the near future (or maybe Khan wants to move them, who the fuck knows), but at the same time, it's pretty likely that punter has done more to help them win than Tebow could have done. He would have been like a less accurate version of Blaine Gabbert.

But why were the Seahawks throwing deep in the fourth quarter, leading 51-0? Why did they throw deep to the end zone on fourth-and-23 with a 51-point margin? The spot on the fourth-and-23 was at Arizona's 32 -- too close to punt, and a field goal is a bit insulting. The sportsmanlike gesture would have been to run the ball up the middle. Is there some history between Pete Carroll and Ken Whisenhunt? Otherwise Carroll was a sore winner, and that sort of thing comes back to haunt you.

One of Gregg's old favorites. Seattle will not win the Super Bowl this year, and when they bow out in the divisional round, the story Gregg will pitch to white Christian men over the age of 50 is that things happened that way because they ran up the score on a team that was going to allow garbage time TDs even if Seattle tried taking a knee. The real reason would be that the Seahawks aren't good enough to win the Super Bowl. If you are a moron, you nodded in silent agreement when you read Gregg's theory, and you probably like the smell of your own shit.
Be patient with this next one. It's a doozy.

And on the Seventh Day, God Asked for a Refund: Since Washington politicians want to avoid dealing with the federal deficit, why not use time debating the origin of the universe? Republican bright light and possible 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently said about the origin of the cosmos: "I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. There are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that." This caused commentators to recall that in 2008, Barack Obama, then a presidential candidate, said, "I believe God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it. It may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe."
Obviously a politician asked a question like this is trying to come down firmly on both sides, seeming to endorse science and religion both. Saying that the six days of Genesis may be a metaphor for a far longer period seems a reaction to a sense that an entire universe could not have been created in just 144 hours.
But why not? 

Lots of reasons.

If God is omnipotent, there's no barrier to a very rapid creation.

If God is omnipotent, he does not give a shit about time as we know it.  It does not apply to him.

The Bible is best understood as an accurate record of actual events -- 

Parts of it, maybe. I don't think Genesis is one of those parts.

it may not be, 

Most of it is definitely not.  The rest of it is pretty much not.

but that's the way the Bible is best understood. 

UNLESS YOU'RE A JEW! Oops, anti-Gregg joke doesn't really work here, but the point is that Gregg likes to say anti-Semitic things. 

Other biblical references to days are to regular 24-hour days. Why shouldn't the six days of the creation also be regular 24-hour days? 

I know this blog stretches the credibility of superlatives on a regular basis, but I'm pretty sure that's the stupidest thing Gregg has ever said.

The Football Gods Chortled: New Orleans gained 487 offensive yards, and lost by 25 points.

Such chortling! You have a horrible defense, New Orleans!  Ho ho ho ho!  The football gods suck taint.

In addition to being a promise-breaker, Bielema speaks of himself using the royal We, saying as he slunk out of Wisconsin, "We gave them three straight Big Ten championships." He wasn't referring to the Badgers, he was referring to himself. Right ho, Your Majesty!

Yeah, no one likes a self-important pretentious person!  Especially not Gregg "Kettle" Easterbrook!

As for the University of Arkansas, it hired Bobby Petrino, a known promise-breaker. Petrino signed a new contract with Louisville, then walked out; he signed with the Falcons, then walked out; he broke his vows to his wife. Bringing in a promise-breaker in Petrino led to fiasco at Arkansas.

Petrino's problem at Arkansas was stupidity, not weaselness. If he had the brains to keep his affair properly under wraps--a feat that I'm sure dozens of big time FBS coaches manage to accomplish every single year--he'd still be at Arkansas. He'd still be a huge piece of dog shit, but he'd be successfully coaching. Just saying.

Bielema broke his word to his previous employer, so what makes anyone think he will keep his word to Arkansas?

Because Arkansas is in the SEC, and is happy to pay its coach more than anyone else (except NFL teams, I suppose) can?

TMQ's Law of Weasel Coaches holds: When you hire a coach who's only in it for himself, you get a coach who's only in it for himself. When will the University of Arkansas learn to hire someone of character? 

How's that whole weasel coach hiring working out for you, Notre Dame? What about you, Alabama? Thought so. Maybe next time around each of you will learn your lesson: nothing good comes of hiring a coach who walked out on his last job to take yours.

TMQ has always liked that the Book of Mormon, pace the King James Bible, is published in 17th century English, a language no one spoke in the times being depicted. Though, maybe angels speak 17th century English. 

AT LEAST IT'S NOT IN HEBREW. There we go, I think that one actually works.

Beware of Armored Locusts -- Sorry, Wrong Prophecy: In a sign that the Mayans were right about December 2012, the Washington Wizards, worst team in the NBA, beat the Miami Heat, best team. 

And a few weeks after Gregg's wholly and utterly idiotic dissection of everything that's wrong with the Wizards. He knows less about basketball than he knows about football, which is wild when you think about it.

The Football Gods Chortled No. 2: A month ago your columnist warned, "The Bears have been winning on turnovers, and turnover luck has a way of changing."

Except that Chicago has been winning on turnovers for nearly a decade now, placing in the top quarter of the league in takeaways seven out of the last eight years. But thanks for the football analysis version of WELL YOU CAN'T WIN NO BALLGAMES WAITING FOR THE DANG THREE RUN HOMER.

Now Chicago has lost four of five, and in that span not scored a defensive touchdown. Turnovers are great, but contain a hefty quotient of luck. 

Unless you have one of the best defenses in the league, anchored by one of the best pass rushes in the league. But let's go ahead and pretend/be to fucking dense to realize that the Bears have been losing because their offensive line is a complete abomination.

On the list of Most Disappointing is "Prometheus," which was so poorly done there's nothing to be gained by making fun of it.

What? No 4,000 word explanation of all the parts that are not scientifically realistic? Gregg is getting lazy.  Glory columnist.

Azzan Yadin-Israel of Highland Park, N.J., notes that the San Francisco-Miami game was Bush versus Gore "and very close at Bush 65, Gore 63. At least the Supreme Court did not decide the winner."

The political gods chortled!

Next Week: Shahid Khan calls the Jaguars' 2-11 record "a bit of a sticky wicket."

Kill yourself.


Chris W said...

This is the second time I've seen Greggggggggggg bring up Brandon Lloyd as a "gritty gluey dirt dog grindy grind grind who if you didn't have to look at his nappy hair you might assume was white."

Dude was a primadonna at UIUC, SF and CHI. He was a big money glory boy with a million dollar whatever and a 5 cent brain until...what? He got cut by all the teams that didn't like his glorrrrrreeee boy attitude and then he became a grindgame gritdog?

Chris W said...

Also, re: Bret Bielema, Greggggg has a great point about the royal we. College coaches definitely work alone to coach the team, and when they switch schools they definitey go totally alone, not taking any staff members with them--i mean, cuz staff members don't exist. After all, college coaches definitely work alone to coach the team

Chris W said...

One more thing about Bieleman: What "word" to the Badgers? I heard Alvarez in an interview with VAAAAAN SMAAAACK say he was welllllll aware that BB would be looking to change schools this offseason

Anonymous said...

Woodhead doesn't even start, does he? Ridley starts at RB. Also, the Pats didn't sign Welker or Woodhead out of college -- so let's not give the Pats credit for finding these "diamonds in the rough." They did, however, sign Wendell as an undrafted free agent. But is he even good? The point is that Greggg doesn't have a sniff.

jacktotherack said...

"Sweet 'N' Sour Plays No. 1: Washington trailed visiting Baltimore 28-20, and had third-and-5 on the Ravens' 11 with 36 ticks showing in what turned out to be regulation. Phenom RG III just left the game hurt. Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins saw a defense that was expecting a super-short pass from a confused rookie. Nine Baltimore defenders were close to the line of scrimmage, just two in the deep field."

Maybe the reason all the Ravens defenders were close to the line of scrimmage is because THE REDSKINS WERE AT THE FUCKING 11 YARD LINE!!!! What a goddamn dunce! How can he not grasp the most basic concepts of football???

Snarf said...

Regarding the Bielema press conference and the royal "we:"

I just read through the transcript and definitely agree with Cris W here. He actually uses "I" numerous times leading up to that sentence, then uses it repeatedly in the following parts of his response. This leads me to believe that he was intentionally using the "we" to refer to his coaching staff, the team as a whole, maybe his family, etc. It's ironic, his use of "we" appears to be giving credit to more people than himself, which is the opposite of what Easterbrook is implying.

Where did he even come across this comment to put in his article? I mean, looking at the transcript, I'm seeing a lot of "we's" that don't seem royal at all.

"Around the bowl week their players had a great amount of passion and a great amount of respect for them and we played a very hard-fought game. Of course for us at that time, and for me who was on the other sideline, we won that game. Now to come full circle and have an opportunity to lead this program is truly exceptional. To the fan base and the alumni, I can tell you from this day forward we will do everything as players and coaches to try and give you every win that you deserve. We will take it one game at a time and I am not going to promise anything, but I will tell you I am here and I want to give you something you have never had. We will take it one day at a time and pursue that thing together."

I mean, seriously, how did this even come up?

Anonymous said...

Another things Gregg fails to realize is that the reason the Pats offensive line is so good is because Brady calls out all the blitzes before they happen, so their offensive line has time to adjust. This is easy to see if you only the game against the Texans, as they play man coverage and blitz a lot. The Texans would show their blitzes with 10 seconds left on the playclock on almost every play (which is monumentally stupid) and Brady would use those 10 seconds to change the coverage. It's basic football and something Brady is lauded for all the time.

Tim N said...

Show me a play where the Bears linemen are standing around doing nothing.
Falling down, holding, flailing their arms uselessly - sure. But doing nothing?

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you missed this:

"... this year's Patriots are superior -- plus-24 for turnovers"

"The Bears have been winning on turnovers, and turnover luck has a way of changing."


CHart said...

I think you missed another chance for a Jew joke when he featured an email whose last name is ISRAEL.

Adam said...

Wes Welker - " one of football's all-time most productive receivers" ???