Thursday, April 25, 2013

ThMTMQR: Greggggggggg returns, continues to write garbage

As the draft approaches, here's an incredible insider tip regarding team needs -- everybody needs everything.

You know, for being such a pretentious know-it-all snob, Gregg is incredibly anti-intellectual.  A lot of his analysis comes down to "The people who make their living playing/coaching/managing sports are complete idiots!  Only I have the recipe for success, and it more or less comes down to putting no thought whatsoever into the way you play/coach/manage."  This bit is a great example.  "You might read some draft analysis that says the Browns are in the market for a QB.  DON'T BELIEVE IT!  The reality is that everyone needs everything!  Trust me, I'm smart."  I think I have made this pretty clear: I find draft analysis to be insufferably tedious and obnoxious.  So you know that if I'm defending the usefulness of draft analysis, Gregggggg must really be acting like a major league butthole.

Those thumbnails of team draft needs? Each one should read, "Needs: QB, RB, FB, WR, TE, OT, OG, C, DE, DT, ILB, OLB, CB, FS, SS, P, K, RS, SPT."


Between the size of NFL rosters, injury risk and salary cap turnover, even the best teams annually seek reinforcements at nearly every position. 

Yes, draft analysis is so much more fun if you take the meaning of the word "need" literally.  Huzzah.

Consider the defending champion Baltimore Ravens. Between old guys leaving athletics (Matt Birk and Ray Lewis), free agents whose contract offers the team lacked cap space to match (Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams), a trade to avoid a cap issue (Anquan Boldin) and departures for personality reasons (Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard), the Super Bowl winners have vacancies at eight of their starting positions. And they were the best team of 2012!

How fascinating!  One might even say that the Ravens have needs at the positions those guys play, but lesser or non-existent needs at other positions, like QB and RB.

What NFL team is totally set at quarterback? 

Probably the Broncos, Giants, Patriots, Ravens, Saints, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, and to a lesser extent, the 49ers, Lions, Redskins, Cowboys, Steelers, and a few other teams.

The Broncos, Giants, Patriots, Ravens and Saints, all with future Hall of Fame starters, are unsettled at backup. 

First of all, lol @ Flacco as a future HOFer.  I'm not a Ravens hater or anything but let's tap the brakes on that one.  Second of all, if by "unsettled" you mean "these teams don't have a surefire NFL starter caliber backup, so there's going to be a dropoff if their starters get hurt," yes, thank you so much for the analysis.  I'm sure the Saints are spending a good chunk of their pre-draft time wondering just how they can find a better backup for Brees than Chase Daniel, because inadequacy at backup QB is why they missed the playoffs last year.

And those are the strongest squads at quarterback -- don't even think about the grim situations at the Bills, Cardinals or Jaguars. 

It's almost like some teams need QB help more than others, making "draft needs" a subject worth thinking about!

Maybe the Forty Niners are totally set at offensive line -- maybe. 

Is that you, Peter King?

Maybe the Falcons don't need anybody at wide receiver -- maybe. 

They don't.

What NFL team is totally set at offensive line, linebacker, running back, defensive back, at any position?

Shut the fuck up.

Annually, even winning NFL teams look to replace many players based on injury, age, the salary cap and the endless search for better performance. So ignore those "team needs" breakdowns. 

Yes, if you are a complete fuckass, ignore those, because deep down you know the Saints will probably trade up in the draft and take Geno Smith.

At draft time, everybody needs everything.


Draft time means such nonsense as NFL scouts and sports radio obsessing over hundredths of seconds. 

Well he's not really wrong about that, except that he's still wrong, because it's not like that shit doesn't matter at all; it just doesn't matter nearly as much as Mel Kiper and the fat guy in the Steelers jacket sitting alone at your local sports bar at 11 AM watching the combine think it matters.

See below for TMQ's annual lampoon of absurd precision. And draft time means the annual Tuesday Morning Quarterback mock of mock drafts. Everyone's got a mock draft -- only TMQ mocks the mock drafts!

Watch out, Andy Kaufman!

For a decade, one entry on my mock of mock drafts annually read, "Los Angeles Clippers, projected trade. It makes no difference whom the Clippers draft, and it never will." Now the Clips have won their division, besting the cost-no-object Lakers. Didn't see that coming! 

Who would have thought that a team with two all stars and a solid supporting cast could win anything?

What NBA team takes over the mantle of draft futility? See below.

"Can't wait!"
-no one

1. Kansas City. Carl Brewer, mayor, Wichita, Kan. Wichita State made the men's Final Four while the mega-hyped University of Kansas team watched at home. 

Too many GLOREE BOY five star recruits on Kansas's squad!  Not enough walk ons!  That was the reason they lost in overtime to a team that made the championship game.

2. Jacksonville. Errol Flynn, actor. The only person whose mustache is more recognizable than the mustache of Jags owner Shahid Khan. 

More outdated than "Godfrey Daniel!"?

3. Oakland. Lindsay Lohan, former actress. If she did her court-ordered rehab at the Raiders' minicamps, at least the judge would know where she was.

Not to be outdone by Reilly, here's Gregg with an awesome Lohan reference of his own.

4. Philadelphia. Vera Wang, couturier. Already redesigning the micro-fashions of the Eagles cheer-babes, Wang could add an Oregon Ducks look to Eagles' players. Say, 16 different helmet-and-jersey color combinations involving mint, aureolin and vermilion.

Does he think that's a joke?

5. Detroit. Theo Tonin, imaginary mobster. Leader of the Detroit mob, Tonin is the Big Bad of the hit series "Justified." Considering the condition of the Detroit economy, it's hard to see why mobsters would focus on that city. 

Gregg might not know this, but there's been incredible corruption in Detroit's government for years.  There's obviously money to be made.

Plus, Detroit public officials have already stolen everything that wasn't bolted down. 

Ah, ok, he did know about that--he's just a fucking moron who can't connect the idea that people are stealing things in a city to the possible desire by organized crime to be present in that city.

6. Cleveland. Randy Newman, composer. He just made Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, despite not performing rock.

Again, like the Vera Wang thing, not sure if the angle here is comedy, but I doubt it could be anything else.

7. Arizona. Hanna Barbaric, Surly Gurlies. She has the best pun name in the Arizona Roller Derby -- think Flintstones. The listless Cardinals could use some roller derby spirit.

Wichita spirit!  Roller derby spirit!  That's what bad teams need, more spirit!  And an equal amount of help at every position!

9. Jersey/B. Rex Harrison, actor. He could rep in for Rex Ryan and belt out "I Could Have Blitzed All Night."

Errol Flynn's favorite tune!

11. San Diego. A 110-yard field. New head coach Mike McCoy, a former quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders, hopes to surprise opponents by using CFL rules.

Now there's a blurb that is definitely a wretched joke.  No doubt about it that time.

13. Jersey/B. Julie Andrews, Dame.  She could join Harrison in belting out a variation on "The Rain in Spain" with new lyrics including, "The passes by Sanchez fall mainly on the ground."

Holy shit.

17. Pittsburgh. Bruce Arians, head coach, Cardinals. Needing someone to scapegoat for their playoff loss at Denver, the Steelers cashiered offensive coordinator Arians -- who went on to a fantastic season as a fill-in coach at the Colts, then the top job at Arizona. 


P.S.: Steelers haven't been to the postseason since.

Yes, one whole season later, they have yet to return.  A Cubs championship-like drought to be sure.  I mean, fuck the Steelers, but fuck Gregg more than that.

18. Dallas. Undercover Brother, golf cart driver. Things go better if someone is actually driving the golf cart.

Well the joke is horrible and nonsensical, but that video will never not be funny, so points to him for that.  I'm surprised.

25. Washington Wizards (from Vikings, projected trade). It makes absolutely no difference whom the Wizards draft, and it never will.

I hope the Wizards go 82-0 next season.

In 2008, Whizzies management gave Gilbert Arenas a super-lavish guaranteed contract, then almost immediately began desperately trying to unload Arenas' deal. In the NBA offseason, watch for Whizzies management to give John Wall a super-lavish guaranteed contract, then almost immediately begin desperately trying to unload Wall's deal.

Probably won't happen, because Arenas was a 26 year old one dimensional shooting guard when he got his deal, and Wall is a 22 year old point guard who can score and distribute and has much more athleticism and raw talent than Arenas ever did.  Gregggggg is not wrong to dump on Wizards management, because Ernie Grunfield is a certified dumbass, but Wall is legitimately good.

26. Green Bay. Kevin Minter, linebacker, LSU.  Possible actual choice thrown in for variety.

/sitcom laugh track

27. Houston. A komodo dragon. These reptiles really bring it, unlike the Texans in their playoff wheeze-out.

"I want to write my annual 'mock the mock drafts' column... better find a way to work in this link about komodo dragons.  Hmmm."  /sniffs own fart

29. New England. Dorian Gray, gothic antihero. Tom Brady is the sole player remaining on the Patriots' roster from the 2002 Super Bowl win. Everyone else has limped away: Brady seems strangely youthful. Could there be a painting hidden in his moated California estate that is aging instead of him?


31. San Francisco. Ivan Pavlov, physiologist. He will attach electric contacts to Jim Harbaugh and administer a shock whenever Harbaugh fails to call runs at the goal line. By their next Super Bowl appearance, the Forty Niners will be ready to win.

The real problem during the last San Francisco drive in the Super Bowl was the Jim Harbaugh was wearing a coat.

32. Baltimore. Anquan Boldin, wide receiver. The Ravens may regret unloading this gentleman for a mere sixth-round draft choice. In the 2013 postseason, Boldin caught passes totaling 380 yards and four touchdowns. But he's 32 years old, get rid of the bum! Expect the football gods to wax wroth against the defending champions.

YES, VERILY THEY WILL WAX WROTH!  Keep in mind that Boldin, if retained, would have been both high drafted AND a megabucks glory boy.  Good move to unload him.

Now, with the mock drafts sufficiently and thoroughly mocked, onto the part of the column that will probably grind the gears of "Justified" fan Chris W more than anything has previously ground his gears.

Freeze! Keep That Script Where I Can See It! The Timothy Olyphant crime show "Justified" just wrapped its fourth season with deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens, the protagonist, having shot and killed at least 20 bad guys during the brief span of the series -- likely more bad guys than killed by all current actual U.S. marshals combined. "Justified" is offbeat and entertaining, 

Like TV shows are supposed to be.

especially episodes based on Elmore Leonard stories. The show deserves its status as a hit.


"Justified" is praised for gritty realism: 

I don't watch it, but I don't think this is the main reason it is praised.  It is probably most often praised for being offbeat and entertaining (hey!), with good acting and good writing.

yet, where is it set? 


Viewers are told Givens works out of the Marshals Service office in Lexington, Ky., and is assigned to Harlan County, Ky. -- which is 150 miles from Lexington. Often Givens is in the office, then minutes later in Harlan County, then minutes later back at the office.

My God!  Somebody think of the children!  Contact the FCC and get this abomination off the air!  How dare the director choose to not show Givens driving for 3 hours every time he goes from Lexington to Harlan County!

Givens makes regular trips to a maximum-security penitentiary that is -- where? 

Oh, you're not going to beLIEve this shit.  If you're anything like Gregggg, which you aren't, it will boil your blood.

There are two federal high-security prisons in Kentucky, one about 140 miles from Lexington and the other about 125 miles away, plus a state high-security penitentiary about 225 miles distant. The prison Givens regularly visits is depicted as minutes from his office.

This is starting to remind me of Keith Law's review of Moneyball.  Keith Law is a dipshit, by the way.  Not sure I've mentioned that in the last few months so there's your reminder.

Of course time sense and travel distance often are distorted on television. 

But of course we can all agree they shouldn't be!  

Consider the midseason premiere of the goofy sci-fi show "Revolution," which posits that all forms of power have stopped working. In one episode, good guys camped in Culpepper, Va., learn of a sinister event about to occur in Philadelphia. They depart on foot to stop the bad guys, and arrive the next day. Culpepper is 215 miles from Philadelphia.

No wonder Revolution got such shitty ratings.  You could probably practically hear remote controls around the country being picked up when that horrible gaffe was revealed.

But since "Justified" strives for authenticity, 

I really don't think that's the case, any more that it is for any cop show (someone can correct me in the comments if I'm wrong and Justified actually does advertise itself as HYPERREALISTIC), but even if it is, fuck you.

time distortion stands out more in this series. 

Experts on Kentucky geography are rightfully livid.

In one episode Raylan, protecting a prisoner from the mob, must stall for 30 minutes until backup arrives. The structure of the episode is: Can Raylan hold off the bad guys for 30 minutes? In that half hour, Raylan drives the prisoner from an isolated country house to an old high school in town; then drives back to the country house; then drives back to the high school; then gets a railroad dispatcher to stop a coal train in precisely the right place so another marshal and the captive can board, meaning the prisoner is long gone via rail when the mob attacks. Raylan accomplishes all these things in 30 minutes.

At this point I'm out of snark and am just going to let him ramble.  Scroll through as you see fit.

Raylan needs to stall for 30 minutes because, viewers are told, "six Kentucky State Police cruisers are on their way" but cannot reach the town for half an hour. Is there really any location in Kentucky that has a high school but is 30 minutes from the nearest police car?

In the climactic sequence of "Skyfall," Bond rescues M in London, hops into his antique Aston Martin and drives to the Bond family castle in Scotland, there to make a last stand against the cackling super-villain. Scotland is a 450-mile drive from London. During the many hours Bond motors north toward the land of Scots, MI6 never sends backup to the castle, nor simply orders police to assist in protecting the head of a major British government agency. It seems all law enforcement officers in the entire United Kingdom have vanished. Maybe they were on their way to Kentucky!

The first season of "Justified" offered episodes in which actual Marshals Service activity was depicted. Then the semi-indie movie "Winter's Bone" -- launching pad for actress Jennifer Lawrence -- was released to acclaim for its depiction of modern hillbillies. "Justified" shifted toward the movie's aesthetic. Since "Winter's Bone," "Justified" has presented the Marshals Service as intently concerned with investigating rural drug dealing. This is a worrisome crime, but not one the agency has jurisdiction over. Protecting judges and courthouses, primary mission of the Marshals Service, has vanished from the show.

Season 4 of "Justified" depicts the events of about two weeks. In that short period, Raylan kills a fugitive who murdered Raylan's former lover; catches several other fugitives; exposes a corrupt FBI agent; rescues a kidnapped woman while killing the kidnapper; rescues a kidnapped woman while killing three kidnappers; is beaten by a thug and shot with a beanbag shotgun; is captured by hillbillies; kills a mob hit man by winning a fast-draw situation; arranges the death of a mob underboss by luring him into a trap set by a rival; has sex with two incredibly attractive women; finds and rescues a man whose foot is cut off; claims his father's body for burial; and locates a man whom law enforcement and the mob have been chasing for 30 years. That's some two weeks!

Can you imagine how little joy and fun this man gets out of life?  Living with him must be insufferable.  I don't wish ill on the man (other than that he be fired from ESPN), but seriously, what a depressing existence he must lead.  I kind of feel bad for all these posts at this point.

Absurd Specificity Watch: Americans seem to love hyperbolic claims of precision -- perhaps it makes us feel that science is more efficient than it really is. 

More anti-intellectualism, headed your way.

When Nate Silver of The New York Times forecasts, as he did on the morning of the 2012 presidential voting, that Barack Obama will win re-election with "314.6" electoral votes to "223.4" electoral votes for Mitt Romney, such numbers are received with gravitas -- as if the decimal places made them deep, rather than silly. 

Not at all the case, but go on.

In just two days, Obama's chance of re-election increased from "80.8 percent" to"83.7" percent . A claim of a "83.7" percent chance rather than "a good chance" 

Is something voters, observers and analysts might be interested in knowing?

is seen as turning the speaker into Mr. Spock, when actually ought to make readers giggle.

Oh, how we all shall cackle at the idea of being turned into Mr. Spock!  What the fuck?  TMQ just stinks.  It really does.  I'm going back to Simmons.


jacktotherack said...

I have asked this many times, but who exactly is Gregg's intended audience?? There has to be some group of people who slog threw his 10,000 words of horseshit each week and actually enjoy it, right? He can't stay employed merely from people reading it just for the sake of mocking how fucking terrible it is.

His jokes are outdated or just plain awful. His football analysis is non-existent. His gripes about realism in TV shows and movies is just completely fucking annoying. His obsession about "cheer babes" and "beef cakes" is creepy as fuck. I can't find one redeeming quality to his work other than the fact it is so completely terrible it sometimes has a little unintentional humor value. Who reads this shit?

Chris W said...

I think it's probably people who are kind of nerdy and feel the need to get into sports to "fit in" or whatever. They see this guy being pretentious about sports, talking about Errol Flynn and Salmon Roe and Botticelli's Venus or whatever the fuck and they're like "Here's a guy like me, not any of this X's and O's shit. He must be smarter than all those meatheads who watch sports because they enjoy it. I agree! Those black people who play should be loyal to their white owners. Now off to the Bolshoi."

So basically pencil-necked douchebags who need a swirlie and/or purple nurple

Tim N said...

I wanted to get through the article, but I had to drop out after the "Jersey B" line. LITERALLY painful to read this shit.

Chris W said...

I hope it goes without saying that his opinions on Justified are as twisted as his ear, Magnus

jacktotherack said...

I think you are exactly right Chris W, it's just shocking to me that there are enough of those types of casual sports fans that would enjoy Gregg's "work" to keep the man employed for this long.

Snarf said...

Regarding those that read his columns for enjoyment...

I have looked at the comments on his articles and you would be surprised at how many defend him against negative comments. Often, if someone calls him out on his BS football analysis, there is a chorus of replies along the lines of "must have been too many big words for you" and similar. As others have mentioned, probably pretentious dbags who want to follow sports but don't really want to follow it.

Chris W said...

Easterbrook is a B-Hole

HowardR said...

This is truly a train crashing into a giant pile of shit article but calling Flacco a hall of famer isn't so crazy. Yes,if he retired today his career would be too short but if he posts good numbers for ten more years his epic 2012 playoff run could put him over the top. Joe Namath, Lynn Swann, etc. got in for less.

Ice Cream Jonsey said...

Nate Silver is just about the last person on the face of the planet that Easterbrook should try his smug, anti-intellectual, dick-wristing act on.

Chris W said...

It's true that if Joe Flacco has all-pro numbers for 10 additional years he'll get into the HOF. I suspect the same goes for anyone drafted in the 2013 NFL draft.

HowardR said...

Sure, if they also throw 11 TDs w/o an int in a playoff run. Also the fact that at 28 Flacco already has had several good seasons makes him more likely than a 2013 draft to have ten more. And I didn't write "all-pro". There is a big difference between "good" and "all-pro". Any all-pro player for ten years will be an automatic hall of famer. A player who is merely good for ten years would need something extra like a great playoff record to get in. I'm not saying Flacco is a lock just that it's not crazy to think he'll be in one day.

Larry B said...

I never said it was crazy, just that we should tap the brakes on assuming he'll be in. Five seasons, good not great numbers, some playoff letdowns and one ring should not put one in the discussion with Brady and Manning.

Larry B said...

Besides, even though he is from small school Delaware, he started his career at Football Factory Pitt, was drafted in the first round, and is now definitely a megabucks gloree boy.

Jack M said...

departures for personality reasons (Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard)

If by "personality reasons," Greggg means the Ravens didn't like the fact that Reed and Pollard had the personal preference of being paid market rates for their services, then he's absolutely right. Otherwise, he's completely wrong on account of his usual lack of research on a topic.

Also, re: Flacco in the HOF. I think basement dwelling stat heads like us would all agree that Flacco is a middling HOF candidate. However, we're not the ones who vote on the HOF. The actual voters--like Peter King--will look at Flacco's top 3 playoff run of all time, his overall playoff record (has yet to have a season where he hasn't won at least one playoff game), he's outplayed Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (2x) in away playoff games, and the fact that he's (so far) never missed a game. Again, we know those shouldn't be the criteria for HOF admission, but we're talking about voters who are impressed by those sorts of things.