Sunday, October 13, 2013

MMTMQR: This analysis is as stale as a Teen Wolf reference

That's right, I'm covering last week's TMQ on Sunday night.  Sue me.  Before I do though, first, I wanted to respond to the anonymous tearing down Magic and defending Doug Collins in the comments to my last post.  My point wasn't that Magic is a great analyst (like I said, he's sort of kind of good--agree to disagree there) or that Collins is a bad analyst (I agree that he's good, better than Magic).  My point was that Magic also brought cache and a "wow" factor to NBA Countdown.  Collins can't do that.  Can he be entertaining and insightful?  Sure.  But it seems like a downgrade to me, on balance.  The best move would have been to just replace Wilbon with Collins.  But like the Deadspin post speculated, it sounds like Magic left because Simmons is a cunt.  And who would blame him?

Second of all, I'd like to revisit a few of the audible turds that slithered out of McCarver's mouth during tonight's ALCS broadcast.  In discussing Austin Jackson's strikeout problems, he noted (in a tone of voice that suggested he was dispensing Super Important Insider Knowledge) that one problem a lot of hitters who frequently strike out have is that they tend to chase pitches out of the strike zone.  Thanks Tim.  Later on he identified Miguel Cabrera as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, which, hey, I'm not a Cabrera hater and he certainly looks destined for the HOF at this point, but let's not get ten years ahead of ourselves in anointing him the next Hank Aaron yet.  

Anyways, here's your TMQR, only five days late.  Here's how he opened his column:

Is there any end in sight for the upswing in football offense?

And for the 50th column in a row, Gregggggggg feels compelled to let you know that a lot of teams are racking up a lot of yards and points these days.  FASCINATING.  Very fresh information.  Maybe one of these weeks he'll take time to investigate the rumors that some athletes use steroids.

Denver and Dallas played a contest with 99 points, 1,039 yards of offense and one punt. At 46 points per game, the Broncos are on a pace to score 736 points, which would pulverize the NFL season record of 589 points. At 490 offensive yards per game, they're on pace to gain 7,840 yards, which would best the league record of 7,474.

But wait--what about college football?  Is the same trend happening at that level as well?  I MUST KNOW!

And the Broncos are staring at the taillights of the Oregon Ducks and Baylor Bears! Baylor is averaging 71 points and 790 offensive yards per game; Oregon, 59 points and 


The NFL scoring record came in 2007 (New England), the yardage record in 2011 (New Orleans). The NFL's three best performances ever for first downs were in 2012 (New England), 2011 (New Orleans) and 2011 (New England). How many records will fall in 2013?

Aside from CBS and FOX producers who need to make sure their broadcasts are filled with a constant stream of uninteresting graphics about this topic, who gives a shit?

Also important are Manning's confident, quick release; constant small changes in the game plan; nearly error-free communication of rapid play calls (this factor is more than meets the eye); 

Only a brainiac like Gregggg understands the importance of Manning's play calling and audibling, topics that have been discussed to death by every single football analyst in the world for the past 15 years.

and defensive backs who play scared because they are worried about being torched. As the postseason approaches, defensive backs may start jamming Denver receivers, reducing the Broncs' gaudy numbers.

Wouldn't that theoretically open them up to getting burned deep?  And why would they start doing it later in the season if it were the best way to defend Denver's offense?  Again, questions which only the world's smartest man can answer.  (Hint: the world's smartest man also knows that blitzing never works.)

Eagles at Giants, Philadelphia was called for offensive holding. Jersey/A coach Tom Coughlin's choice was to give Philadelphia fourth-and-4 on the Jersey/A 47 or let the visitors repeat the down as third-and-20 on their 37. When Coughlin chose the latter, Fox announcers Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick practically passed out. "The Eagles were short of the first down, which would have forced Philadelphia to punt," Brennaman said. Philadelphia converted and scored a field goal on the possession. After commercial, the camera did a close-up on the announcers, who at this point had enjoyed five minutes to think about what occurred. "Philadelphia had to punt, why did the Giants not force them to punt?" Brennaman asked his partner. "The only explanation I can offer is that Tom Coughlin was confused about the situation and did not realize the Eagles would have to punt," Billick declared.

Look, Billick is a card carrying waterhead of an analyst.  And generally, Greggggggg is right about the fact that teams should go for it on 4th down much more often than they do.  But I am so fucking tired of his "coaches punt to deflect blame" horseshit.  Listen to the crowd any time a home team passes up a 4th and short near midfield.  They boo the shit out of the coach's decision.  Easterbrook is correct that announcers tend to have super conservative points of view on coaching decisions, but it's not like fans do too.  People understand that coaches are dumb.  Despite what this pretentious cumstain would have you believe, very few fans say "Dur, well, we punted on 4th and 2 from the 50 while down 7 with 4 minutes to go and never got the ball back, that was the defense's fault!"

Sweet 'N' Sour Play: Leading 10-0 at Tennessee, the Chiefs had their backs to the wall as the Titans reached first-and-goal on the 1. Kansas City staged a classic goal-line stand: run no gain, pass no gain, run no gain, run no gain. The Chiefs' offense took the ball 94 yards the other way for a field goal and a 13-0 margin; the visitors went on to victory. Sweet.

Wait, if they took the ball 94 yards after a goal line stand, that means the line of scrimmage for the field goal was probably the Titans 5!  That's a mincing, fraidy cat field goal!  Reid should have challenged his team by going for it on 4th and goal, or 4th and whatever it was!  By sending in the field goal unit he told them he didn't expect them to win.  I'm surprised no one scribbled game over in their notebook at that point.

Another sweet goal-line stand occurred when Dallas, jumping to a quick 14-7 lead over Denver, reached first-and-goal at the Broncos' 3. The Boys went penalty, incompletion, incompletion, sack, field goal. Holding Dallas to a field goal in this situation helped kick-start the Denver comeback.

In the sense that they started scoring a bunch of touchdowns right after that stand, yes, it did.  In the sense that the Broncos have a really awesome offense that is always going to put up a shitload of points every game, their comeback had not a fucking thing to do with that sequence of plays.  But narratives!  So much fun.

Maybe Zombies Are Writing the Scripts: Erg ... arg. "The Walking Dead" new season kicks off in a few days, hard on the box-office success of the Brad Pitt zombiefest "World War Z."

Yes.  He's still doing this.

One must suspend disbelief to watch a Superman film, a sci-fi movie and almost any kind of action flick. 

One must suspend disbelief to watch pretty much any movie in any genre.  Why don't you take your own advice and work on doing that more often, Gregggg?  BUT MOVIES ARE UNREALISTIC is the only thing I can think of that's even more boring to read about than SOME TEAMS SCORED 60 POINTS LAST WEEKEND, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THEM.

But Superman is presented as a space alien whose biology is different from human, so perhaps different biology allows qualities such as wingless flight. "Star Trek," "Star Wars" and other sci-fi movies are set in imagined societies that have imagined technology. Zombie movies, by contrast, involve Homo sapiens and occur in the present day. In "World War Z," "The Walking Dead" and other recent zombie hits, there's not even a hint of how the zombie transition could be possible.

If carbon dioxide was going to create zombies, this would have happened to Australopithecus. OK, it's a movie.

I hate you. 

One must suspend disbelief to watch a Superman film, a sci-fi movie and almost any kind of action flick. 

One must suspend disbelief to watch a Superman film, a sci-fi movie and almost any kind of action flick. 

One must suspend disbelief to watch a Superman film, a sci-fi movie and almost any kind of action flick. 

Maybe it will sink in eventually.

New England Falls from Ranks of Unbeaten: Cincinnati sacked Tom Brady on third-and-2, sacked him on third-and-8, sacked him on third-and-10 late. The Patriots' no-name receivers were not open on critical downs. On the third-and-10 sack, Cincinnati blitzed six.


Gregg comes up with a can't-miss solution to gerrymandering:

Since any redistricting based on political arm-twisting will be tainted, the solution is computer algorithms that generate districts. A panel of experts representing a mix of ideologies could check the algorithms for neutrality, then let a mathematical formula draw the lines.


Fortune Favors the Bold! Hosting Georgia, underdog Tennessee kept the offense on the field on fourth down three times in the fourth quarter, resulting in two touchdowns and a late 31-24 lead. The rest of the contest went the favorite's way.

Somehow, the idea that there are football gods that reward certain coaching decisions and punish others is not borne out by the sequence of events that took place during that game.

Untouched Touchdown of the Week: No Dallas player was within 15 yards of Peyton Manning as he jogged into the end zone on a naked bootleg on third-and-goal. How monumental will the point spread be for next Sunday's Jacksonville at Denver contest? With Jax 0-5 and barely putting up a fight, for the remainder of the season, this column will call the team Jaguars A&M. Maybe next Sunday's pairing will be Jaguars A&M at Broncos University.


Weather Channel even announces its storm name picks in advance, mimicking National Weather Service policy on tropical storms. TMQ hopes the channel gets to Storm Kronos, then the weathercasters can dress as Klingons. If only Storm Xenia were instead Storm Xena!

Tip your wait staff, folks.

Ron Rivera, Pack Your Bags: Cam Newton was 25-1 as a starter in college, and is 14-22 as a starter in the NFL. But football is a team sport.

Fair enough, but in this same column:

The king's ransom in draft choices paid two years ago for Julio Jones led to talent depletion of the Atlanta roster. The king's ransom in money paid this offseason to Matt Ryan led to free-agency dilution. (It was unrealistic for Atlanta to put so many chips on discount free agent Osi Umenyiora -- in 2012, Osi's Giants were 31st in defense.)

Football is a team sport, unless Gregggggg wants to throw someone under the bus, in which case it's their fault that the Giants were terrible last year.  Seriously, this guy is a fucking moron.  Please, ESPN, I know you check this blog (by which I mean: no one other than my friends and a few of you nice strangers who have found us via Google or a really old Deadspin link checks this blog).  I'm begging you: fire this guy.  He sucks.  He's awful.  He knows next to nothing about football.  He's not funny.  He's not insightful.  He likes pointing out that science fiction is fully of scientific inaccuracies.  He's a sanctimonious, pretentious cunt.  Fire Gregg Easterbrook (dot blogspot dot com)!


jacktotherack said...

Gregg's constant bitching about Julio Jones is really confusing. While he is partially right about the Jones trade being part of the reason the current Falcons roster has depth issues do to the draft choices they gave up, his comments lack any sort of perspective (shocking, I know). The trade to draft Jones turned Atlanta into one of the most feared offenses in the NFL and instantly validated them as a Super Bowl contender. Jones is at worst one of the Top 5 WR's in football, these types of talents don't come around often. And to appease Gregg, Jones isn't a flashy GLORY BOY who plays through injuries and "acts like he's been there before" when he scores (Gregg would probably tell you that the pick Julio's new dance commerical is why Jones is out for the year).

That offense got within a few yards of the Super Bowl last year, largely because Jones had an absolutely monstrous game in the NFC Championship. The Falcons saw the Championship window, they went all-in with the Jones trade, and it barely missed working out for them. It happens. Now they are suffering the consequences of age and attrition ravaging the roster, but it doesn't mean it was the wrong move to do everything possible to win a title while they had the talent in place to do it.

Tim N said...

I'm not sure which pompous assbag makes watching their sport less enjoyable - Tim McCarver or Johnny Miller.