Monday, December 31, 2012

If you think Andrew Luck had a better year than Robert Griffin III, you are a bozo

And ESPN's Ashley Fox is definitely a bozo.

It is award season in the National Football League.
The part of the year where NFL writers and commentators devote 100% of their time to mind-numbing bullshit meaningless analysis of nothing, as opposed to the rest of the year, during which they only devote 90% of their time to mind-numbing bullshit meaningless analysis of nothing.

Can an interim coach take home coach of the year? 


Which dazzling quarterback will win rookie of the year? 

Probably the white one, because even though the black one has vastly superior numbers and had led his team to essentially identical regular season success with a much more difficult schedule, the white one just looks like a quarterback, doesn't he?  I don't know for sure that race plays a part in this, but Jesus, what else would convince Fox (and plenty of other bozos out there) that the guy with the way shittier numbers is the better QB?

Here is how one voter's ballot is shaping up:

Coach of the year: Indianapolis' Chuck Pagano/Bruce Arians.

#CHUCKSTRONG!!!!! My opinion on Pagano has shifted as the year has gone on. That locker room speech he gave after week 6 or 7 or whenever was undoubtedly the douchechilliest moment of the season for me. You know the one, the highlight shows each played it like 12 times that evening.  The one where he was yelling at his team about dancing with his daughters and their wedding.  Look, I have no problem with Pagano and I am glad his disease is in remission, but holy balls. That speech was 80% idiotic football coach bravado and 20% heartfelt emotion, which, at least for me was a horrible mixture. That speech and the praise it got from waterhead ex-player tv pundits made me root against the Colts (not Pagano himself, obviously--I'm not THAT much of a hater).  

Anyways, a few weeks ago I saw some clips of him interacting with cancer-stricken kids, and that actually did warm my heart a little (probably because it was 0% idiotic bravado and 100% heartfelt emotion). So I'm down with the Colts now. But please, could someone please burn that locker room speech clip? Every time I see/hear it, he comes off as a loud version of the boom goes the dynamite kid.

There will be a lot of competition in this category, including Mike Shanahan,

That's rich. I'm pretty sure everything Shanahan has done when his QB was named something other than Elway or Griffin--particularly the job he did in Washington from 2009 through 2011--has solidified his status as a mediocre at best coach/personnel evaluator. If you have Dan Snyder writing checks for you and you go 15-33 over the course of your first three seasons (after the team went 9-7 and 8-8 in the two seasons preceding your hiring), you should absolutely be fired. I'm not sure why he should win an award for stumbling into one of the best pro-ready QBs to come out of college in the last thirty years. He deserves credit for trading up for the pick that enabled the Redskins to take Griffin. He deserves no "coach of the year" level credit for being the guy who walks the sidelines as Griffin wins games for him.

Mike Smith,


Mike McCarthy,


Jim Harbaugh


and Pete Carroll,

Might be my pick, but Pagano/Arians works too.

but no one endured what Pagano and Arians did. Few expected much from the Colts, who finished last season with two wins and the No. 1 overall draft pick. Pagano made the brilliant decision to hire Arians, whom Pittsburgh had cast aside, 

TMQ would not that weasel coach Mike Tomlin did this to deflect blame from himself, and actually, TMQ kind of might be right.

as offensive coordinator and then relied on him to coach the Colts while Pagano took a sabbatical to fight leukemia.

That's all true, but shouldn't we consider giving the award to McCarthy for having more or less the exact same team that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago and won 15 games last year, and coaching them to 11-5 this year?

Offensive rookie of the year: Luck.


339/627, 4374 yards, 54.1% completions, 6.98 Y/A, 23 TDs, 18 INT, 76.5 QB rating, 11-5 record


258/393, 3200 yards, 65.6% completions, 8.14 Y/A, 20 TDs, 5 INT, 102.4 QB rating, 10-6 record

So the difference between them is that Luck accumulated 1000 more yards than Griffin and 3 more TDs on 200+ more attempts, and Griffin was so much more efficient that it's not even worth having a conversation about which of them is better. And this is isn't even factoring in Griffin's large edge in rushing.  Give Griffin 600+ attempts and his numbers would absolutely put Luck's to shame. The difference between them is somewhat similar to the difference between Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers this year-Stafford has way more attempts and thus more yards, and Rodgers is abundantly better in every other way. But yeah, go ahead, tell me about how great Luck was this year.

There was ample competition here, with Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson each leading their teams to winning records with a chance to win their respective divisions.

Christ, even Wilson's numbers put Luck's to shame in every category other than total yards and lightness of skin pigment.  Why would anyone pick Luck?  I can't think of any theories other than the depressing one I've already floated.  Anyone got any others?  Plz share.

But look at Luck's numbers running a pro-style offense.

And there's the not-so-subtle dig at Griffin and Wilson--apparently they're not running "pro-style offenses."  I haven't seen a ton of Seattle's games this year but I see plenty of Washington's and it's not like they're in the wishbone.  Griffin probably takes 50-60% of his snaps from the pistol.  Who gives a shit?  The numbers are the numbers.  Griffin isn't just an awesome running QB, he was also one of the best passers in the league this year.  He was a significantly better passer than Luck.  I wasn't aware that "number of snaps taken from under center" was an important input into MVP decisions.

In 15 games, he set the rookie record with 4,183 passing yards. 

On 600+ attempts.

He set the single-game rookie record with 433 passing yards against Miami in Week 9. 

There's a good chance he deserved Week 9 offensive MVP.  I'll grant that.

He set the rookie record for attempts 

Big ups to him for being drafted to a team that really needed a QB, and playing for a coaching staff that likes throwing.

and is within 29 of Sam Bradford's rookie record for completions. 

This was written before week 17--he didn't get that number, because at the rate he completes passes, he would have had to throw 57 times in week 17 to reach it.

Luck's six 300-yard passing games are two better than Peyton Manning's previous rookie record of four, 

Yards yards yards yards yards yards.  Hooraaaaayyyyyyyy MVP!

and his 10 wins are the most ever by a No. 1 overall pick, three better than Bradford's seven. 

That's fine--Griffin won 10, and Wilson won 11.  But did they do it running a PRO STYLE OFFENSE?

Plus, Luck has seven game-winning drives this season, and the Colts are in the playoffs. 


Detractors will point to Luck's 18 interceptions and 54.3 completion percentage as reasons not to vote for him, 

And they will be right, particularly about the completion percentage.

but he has thrown a lot of interceptions because the Colts have asked him to make a ton of throws.  No team has asked more of its rookie quarterback.

Sure, the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch and a great defense, and I wouldn't bet on Wilson being better than Luck in five years, but the numbers are the numbers.  Washington asked a ton of Griffin, given his RB situation (no one expected this from Alfred Morris, and he's helped out mightily by Griffin's play) and the horrid injuries the team sustained on defense early in the year, and the numbers are still the numbers, and Ashley Fox is still a bozo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Contrition

I don't often prognosticate while writing this blog (Greggggggg thinks that's because I'm trying to insulate myself from criticism; in reality it's because I am too busy ranting about writers like Greggggggggg to deal with what the future may or may not hold).  But when I read that "Andrew Luck is a legitimate MVP candidate and the Colts will make the playoffs" article a couple months ago, I couldn't resist.  I should have.  Good for the Colts.  I was absolutely wrong about them--Luck, however, continues to rank 29th in the league (out of 34 eligible) in QB rating, T-1st in interceptions, and 33rd in completion percentage.  Just sayin'.  He's been pretty good for a rookie, and his team's record has improved greatly with him under center, but he's not among the top 50 in the MVP discussion.  If he won it this year, they'd have to rewrite the history books and award it to Tebow in 2011.

I'd also like to clarify that while I am contrite about this particular botched prediction, I am not contrite about anything else I've ever done or said in the course of writing this blog or elsewhere in my life.  Happy holidays everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ThMTMQR: Face, Meet Keyboard, Keyboard, Face

It's a busy time of year, meaning I'm down to about a post per week.  And it's pretty stupid of me to spend back to back weeks dissecting Greggggggggggggggg's tripe.  I apologize in advance.

The United States Postal Service might be losing billions of dollars, but much of the National Football League tried to bail it out by mailing it in this week. 

That's probably the best joke he's ever written.  D minus.

To say many teams mailed it in this week actually is sugarcoating. They didn't even phone it in. They barely bothered to text it in.

DID THEY EMAIL IT?  WHAT ABOUT CARRIER PIGEONS LOL.  OK, you had a decent thing going, and then you got excited, took it too far, and ruined it.  That's fine, it happens to a lot of 5 year olds the first time they discover what jokes are and that it's enjoyable to make people laugh.  Learn from the experience.

Eric Decker of Denver beat Cary Williams of Baltimore for a 51-yard touchdown. Once Decker broke into the clear, Williams came to a stop and watched him, not bothering to pursue. 

Patently untrue.  Watch the highlight.  Horrible coverage, yes.  Stopping and watching, absofuckinglutely not.  God, he really gets off on accusing players of giving up on plays.  What a zilch.

Later, Denver's Knowshon Moreno jogged across the goal line untouched as the Ravens' front seven stood watching.

Fuck you.

Detroit trailed Arizona 24-10 but was still alive with the ball on the Cardinals' 2 in the fourth quarter. Someone ran the wrong pattern, 


as two receivers went to the short left corner of the end zone. 


The pass was intercepted by Greg Toler. Wide receiver Kris Durham, the Detroit player closest to Toler, casually jogged to about the 10-yard line 

No, he was in a dead sprint, trying to catch Toler.  The problem is that he is not fast and Toler is.

and then just stopped and watched as Toler went 102 yards for a touchdown, making no attempt to chase down the play.

This time he is mostly right, everyone stopped.  This is because Toler had a convoy of about twenty Cardinals with him, and is probably faster than everyone on Detroit's offense except first round megabucks glory boy Calvin Johnson.

Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was running for a touchdown with only Buffalo's Da'Norris Searcy between him and pay dirt. At the goal line, Searcy stepped out of Lynch's way so he would not have to exert himself by attempting a tackle. 

Not really.  And what if Searcy had hit Lynch after he was across the goal line?  What DIRTY UNETHICAL play that would have been!  That sounds like something a weasel coach would tell his players to do!  

He goes on like this.  For paragraphs.  It's incredibly tedious.  You know what they say about someone who constantly goes out of their way find a perspective that allows them to indignantly spout off about the on-field character of people who play professional sports for a living (usually without any basis in fact): they deserve to be punched in the testicles.

Philip Rivers dropped back into the pocket and, without being touched by anyone, fumbled. The Chargers gained 164 offensive yards playing at home.

Well, that's actually 100% true.  And enjoyable to watch.

The Giants and Ravens are strong teams that played poorly; 


the Bills, Bucs, Chargers, Chiefs, Jaguars, Jets, Lions and Raiders simply quit. 


And it wasn't just players who quit. Many coaching staffs quit on Sunday's games, too. Norv Turner, job in jeopardy, nevertheless looked bored on the sideline as his charges were embarrassed at home. 

Holy shit, have you watched an NFL game in the last 15 years?  What do you think Norv usually looks like?

The NFL is a year-round enterprise that, for 20 of 32 teams, builds up to only 16 games. Every quarter ought to matter. Thousands of hours of offseason preparation, then teams simply quit when the playoffs become out of reach. Even if 

DIE DIE DIE DIE.  You are atrocious.

In other football news, TMQ maintains that sports stars who hold records should be honest about hoping their records stand. Thus it was refreshing to hear that Eric Dickerson does not want Adrian Peterson to break the single-season rushing record. Dickerson says he wishes Peterson well, just hopes he pulls up shy of the mark. This is being honest. It's great to hold a record. Why should any athlete root to be bested?

And why should anyone write in the vernacular of 17th century England?

Sweet Defensive Plays of the Week: The score tied with 1:34 remaining in regulation, the visiting Steelers had first-and-10 on their 46, holding three timeouts, and seemed ideally positioned to drive to a winning field goal. Dallas showed an unusual blitz alignment 


and got a sack. 

/Larry B faints

Because the Broncos yield the tiebreaker to New England, Denver needs at least one more victory to attain a bye week. 

A basic grasp on tiebreaker rules, or the ability to look them up on the internet machine, would reveal that Denver most likely has to win both of its remaining games to keep the second seed and the bye.  Or, if New England somehow loses its last two, Denver could also keep the bye even if they also lost their last two.  He's wrong in two different ways here.  Nice.

The Broncs' final regular-season foes are Kansas City and Cleveland, combined record 7-21. This puts Denver in the driver's seat for resting starters in the regular-season finale, 

If both Denver and New England win in week 16, that will not be happening.

followed by a week off -- the very situation in which Peyton Manning tended to falter in Indianapolis.

OHHHHH.  Now we see why he went down that road--it helped him preach a tired old narrative about heart, and effort, and gloryboyship, or some bullshit like that.  PS-which round was Peyton drafted in?  Thought so.

Sweet 'N' Sour Play of the Week: Dallas leading Pittsburgh 3-0, the Boys had first-and-10 on the Steelers' 17. Little-used safety Robert Golden entered the contest. Tony Romo noticed and audibled to a seam route for tight end Jason Witten to run directly at Golden. Touchdown: sweet.

Perhaps you assume Golden was the sour player on this down. 

But you would be wrong, because he was signed as an undrafted free agent and has never made a mistake in his life.

Veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons ignored Witten, letting him run past; veteran defensive back Ryan Clark ignored Witten, letting him run past. 

Probably because that was what the defensive play called for.

Timmons and Clark are experienced performers. They knew a green guy had just come in and was likely to be targeted, yet ignored the receiver heading toward the green guy. Sour.

Yeah, it would have been better for them to abandon the scheme and leave giant holes in the defense by triple covering Witten.  Classic glory boy move, not bending over backwards to accommodate the undrafted player who doesn't really belong on the field.

Unified Field Theory of Creep: John Denny of Big Rapids, Mich., reports, "Just read the January 2013 issue of Car and Driver, which featured a review of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, a car that won't be available in the U.S. until 2014." 

A magazine?  Reporting on topics of interest to its readers?  What next?!?!?!?!

Matt Coombs of Lynn, Mass., reports the 2014 GMC Sierra went on sale Dec. 13, 2012.

OK, I will admit that that's a little dumb.

Brees complained angrily to officials when City of Tampa defenders didn't hustle to get back to the line as seconds ticked down before halftime. So just snap the ball, and the Bucs are offside!

And already in the offensive backfield, ready to concuss you a quarter of a second after you get the snap!

The Falcons leading the defending champion Giants 34-0 just inside the two-minute warning, Atlanta reached first-and-goal. Mike Smith had his backups in and had them kneel. Now that's class.


Offseason Blame Game Starts Early: What exactly was accomplished by the Ravens' firing Cam Cameron -- known to this column as the Crafty, Clever, Cunning Cam Cameron -- 

/projectile vomit into nearby houseplant

By firing Cameron now -- rather than this past offseason, when the offensive coordinator position could have turned over in an orderly manner -- Ravens coach John Harbaugh sent the signal that he expects yet another playoff collapse and wants an excuse lined up. At the postgame media event following the playoff collapse Harbaugh/East appears to expect, he can blame Cameron for the team's troubled offense. Firing an assistant coach just before the playoffs isn't a bold move to invigorate the team. It's a desperate move about blame shifting.

If the Ravens had fired Cameron after the season: "By firing his offensive coordinator now, rather than during midseason when something might have been done about the team's offense, Harbaugh sent the signal that he wants to shift blame away from himself."  Don't get me wrong, it was a dumb move, but you can just smell Gregg's insincere posturing coming right off the page.

Your columnist put himself through college, doing so partly by taking extra classes so I earned a bachelor's degree in three and a half years, 

Here's your fucking sticker.

cutting out one semester of expense. 

And not being liked by anyone.

Jiminy Cricket: 


Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk: Its season on the verge of implosion, Philadelphia faced fourth-and-goal on the Cincinnati 1, score tied at 10, in the final minute of the first half. 

You know what's coming: just remember, going for it on 4th down always works, because even if you fail and lose the game, you have inspired your team and when they win a Super Bowl 15 years later, it can all be traced back to that gutsy call.

"Last Resort" Update: 

Finally!  Why not lead off the column with this item?

Giants at Ravens on Christmas Eve Eve might in effect be an elimination game both ways.


Public-company boards of directors approve this kind of insider luxury because most boards rubber-stamp whatever the CEO wants. Supposedly boards of directors are keeping watch on management. In practice they are lapdogs concerned with maintaining the lavish fees they receive for practically no work. 

BREAKING SCANDAL ALERT!  SOMEONE CALL THE SEC!  I've got another new one for you: sometimes, people cheat on their taxes.

If boards of directors are selling out workers and shareholders to pamper the CEO, are they also pampering themselves? 

YES, YOU MORON.  Holy moly.  Why are you presenting this like you just discovered the cure for polio?

San Francisco is 3-2 versus clubs likely to make the playoffs and next faces the surging Bluish Men Group. San Francisco will hold Seattle to fewer than 50 points.


Good Seats Were Available: Facing Arizona in the season's first bowl game, Nevada gained 659 yards on offense, made 39 first downs and lost. In the Florida 8A state title game, Cypress Bay scored 50 points and lost.

We are not in 1930.  No one is amazed by this.  No one.  And yet, every week, there it is.

For the Bills, their performance was what looked bad. The Bills now are 1-4 in "home" games at Toronto and seem to save their worst for what ought to be an important marketing opportunity. 

Your grasp on the nuances of the possible Bills relocation is really impressive.

On Sunday, there was more derisive laughter from the Rogers Centre crowd than cheering. Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly opined, "Caring about the Buffalo Bills must be a real downer. Glad we don't have that problem." One doesn't encounter many sports columns with a reference to August Strindberg.

HO HO HO, INDEED!  No, I don't know who he is either.  But enough about August Strindberg, is the new Star Trek movie going to portray intergalactic travel accurately or not?

In the Miami-Jacksonville collision, 

Even your attempts to use slang come off sounding pretentious.

Bonus College Score: Marian (Ind.) University 30, Morningside (Iowa) College 27 (NAIA championship). Located in Indianapolis, Marian of Indiana 

OH MY GOD WHO GIVES A SHIT.  There has to be a local newspaper in central Montana who will hire this guy away from ESPN and have him cover nothing but Division III football year round.  Please.  I'll chip in to buy the plane ticket for his interview.

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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Twitter : sports analysis :: Twitter : solving world poverty

No time for a long post tonight, although I certainly owe everyone a substantial one (in whatever sense someone providing free content to fifteen or so people, most of whom are already his real life friends and would rather hang out with him in person than read his stupid sports blog, can owe that sort of thing).  Tonight's throwaway post comes courtesy of the Pro Football Talk Twitter feed.

If you click on that link, which you shouldn't, it'll take you to a blog post that is essentially a word for word transcription of Larry Fitzgerald's dad's Twitter feed.  Fitzgerald Sr. spent most of the afternoon bitching about how bad the Cardinals are.  Apparently we should pay attention to Fitzgerald Sr. because he's a sportswriter (for a weekly newspaper catering to Minnesota's African-American community, but still!  A sportswriter I guess), but I'm having a hard time taking his thoughts on the Cardinals seriously.  Problem #1 is that he has a dog in the fight which might cloud his objectivity.  Problem #2 is that his thoughts include the following pieces of "analysis":

Humbling embarrassing frustrating angering disappointing painful.What happens when u quit!


Definition of team quitting?9 losses n a row.9th loss 58-0!Injuries handling of offense worst nNFL.Adrian Wilson&Darnell Dockett situations!

How very expository.  But anytime you can tweet about a blog post about some angry helicopter parent's tweets, you've got to do it.  Someone needs to drive pageviews and keep the lights on at the offices of the NBCSports blog network.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hey! Here's a Guy Who Has Managed To Write the Dumbest Article About Steroids and the Hall of Fame Ever!

Doesn't that seem impossible? I mean, really--impossible? The HOF steroids issue has reached critical mass this year with like 5 or 6 guys on the ballot whom baseball fans strongly suspect used steroids. Given that is the case, everyone with a BBWAA card and a sense of strangely positioned moral righteousness has decided to sound off about this, that, and the other thing in an increasingly cacophonous cipher full of sound and fury signifying blah blah blah. And a lot of those articles are really really dumb.

But this article by some knucklehead named Dominic Genetti really takes the cake for terrible, terrible articles about steroids and the HOF. Let's dive right in.

Well the moment has finally come, players wrapped around steroid controversies are on the baseball hall of fame ballot.And it includes three guys who have their supporters and their haters — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. Out of the three it appears only Clemens has the only route to enshrinement. Despite trials and accusations and this and that, there has been nothing that points to Clemens using anything but water. But the accusations and negativity around Clemens is too fresh, there hasn't been time for the haters to take a moment and see the light of truth. Plus, there hasn't been time for Clemens himself to get out and be a coach or be involved with a major league club to refurbish his reputation. Trust me, the day he becomes a pitching coach for a competitor, the love for Clemens will come back. 
So far so...whatever. I mean, me personally, playboy, I don't give a fuck about steroids in the hall, not with dozens of known amphetamines users snugly secured in the plaque room, but if one did, this isn't the worst beginning to some polemic against their enshrinement. Par for the course. Of course, Genetti is not content to just blandly moralize. No, he has to drop the stupid on us with the force of an H-bomb:

The best thing for the baseball writers to do is elect Craig Biggio unanimously and show those who took steroids — and send a message to those considering using them — that going against the game's rules, not playing naturally can, and will, hurt your career. It's clear Bonds had his issues with steroids and Sosa came forward confessing he used them during the peak of his career. 
Lol wut? That's the best thing for baseball writers to do to send a message about steroid? Is elect a guy unanimously who is far from exempt from steroids suspicion?

Also, I'd like to call attention to the last clause of this snippet regarding Sammy Sosa confessing to steroids use. In the words of "kids these days": Link plz!

Biggio is just the best choice of the top four popular names on the list anyway because no one played with more effort, more heart and more dedication than him. Clemens was a great competitor, so was Lee Smith — who had a great career as a closer and is also highly favored on the ballot — but Biggio did everything but pitch.
Hey, look--I'm not necessarily here to tear down Biggio, and shame on Genetti for putting me in the position to do anything resembling that, but this is unadulterated horseshit. Let's break down the idiocy here:

1.) To the extent that Biggio is a deserving HOFer (and he absolutely is), reducing his qualifications to "playing with effort and heart" is the equivalent of building Derek Jeter's case around him playing for one team his whole career. Matter of fact, I'm surprised jackass didn't bring that up here for Biggio.

2.) There are a lot of players on the ballot who played with heart and intensity. Like for instance, all of the serious candidates. You don't have a HOF career without playing with intensity unless you're Greg Maddux or some shit. But hell, let's reduce it to players who played with excessively visible intensity and are equally qualified as Biggio. Like, for instance, Tim Raines who isn't suspected of using any performance ENHANCING drugs, and comes up zero times in this article. Or Roger Clemens, the only evidence of steroid use for whom comes from a guy with the credibility of...well...Domonic Genetti

3.) I am getting real sick of Lee Smith as a legitimate HOF candidate. Shut the fuck up, BBWAA and elect the deserving candidates before you get to the Jim Rices of the world.

4.) Biggio did everything but pitch? I mean...most position players do that. It's kind of the definition of position players. Or do you mean he was a complete player who was able to seamlessly move positions? That has serious value--but only because he put up great numbers while doing it. Otherwise you have Brandon Inge. VOTE HIM UNANIMOUSLY PLZ KTHX BYE

Biggio was the kind of guy who made pitchers take deep breaths before every pitch because they really had to concentrate to face him. He did everything to beat you offensively. He made hitters and runners groan when he snagged the ball defensively because he very rarely messed up. And when he did he made up for it on the next play or at-bat. 
Number of times pitchers worried about what pitch to throw Jeff Bagwell: Zero

Number of times Bagwell made a mistake and made up for it on the next play as if he were Carl Lewis in the middle of a national anthem: Zero

Biggio's 3,000-plus career hits are more than enough to get him into the hall his first time on the ballot and the efforts he made in the field everyday should make him a unanimous choice.
Relevance of Biggio's 3000 hits to hall of fame qualifications: 100%

Relevance of Biggio's effort in considering his qualification as BEST BASEBALL PLAYER EVER OR AT LEAST MOST DESERVING OF BEING FIRST UNANIMOUS ELECTEE TO HOF: I don't 0.25%?

It's possible by "efforts in the field" he means "fielding." So...given that the only players elected to the HOF solely for his fielding (Bill Mazeroski, Ray Schalk) had to wait for the Veterans Committee to put them in....relevance of fielding to Biggio's unanimity? Like 12%

I can remember when he would start games at catcher and finish the game at second base. He was made of concrete and bricks, it seemed like nothing could stop Craig Biggio and because of him the Houston Astros — the team he spent his entire career with — had successful runs into the postseason becoming the second team in the history of the NL's Central Division to win the pennant in 2005. The Cardinals were the first to do so in 2004. 
Hey, yeah! Biggio was a great player. I agree. And hey, the Astros had a great run in the 2000's. That's absolutely relevant to Biggio's HOF qualifications, I would agree as well. If only there were another player on that team equally un-implicated by any objective source in the steroids scandal to whom this Astros success would apply!!!!

Oh and the 2005 Astros? Weird year to pick to talk about how Biggio didn't benefit from PED's. Let's imagine that the psychic abilities of Genetti and other likeminded fools are right and Biggio never used but Bagwell did. How would the success of a team with three steroids superstars (in Bagwell--in this bizarre hypothetical--Pettite and Clemens) be a testament to the CLEAN MACHINE CRAIG BIGGIO?
A franchise can only have so many faces as each baseball season comes along and Biggio is certainly one of Houston's many — and in most eyes he is the only. 
I'd love to see some sourcing on that, Genetti. A team who had a gimmick called "The Killer B's" celebrating a number of superstars whose last name started with B--one of whom besides Biggio played for the Astros for nearly 20 years. That sounds like a team with only one face of the franchise. I'm really curious who these Astros fans are who are like "Forget Berkman and Bagwell--all we needed was Biggio." I suspect they number in the one's and their names all rhyme with Vomit Dick Richard Petty.

There are a number of players waiting for that opportunity to get "the call" with the voice on the other end telling them they've been elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame and Biggio should be the one who gets it this year. A lot of folks will say that if he doesn't get in now, he'll get in eventually. Well okay, I get their logic, but if he's going to get in eventually, let's just put him in now and not someone who needs to work his way back in to the hearts of baseball fans after a steroid controversy. 
The petty asshole in me wants to point out how poorly constructed that last sentence is from a "not writing like an 8th grader" standpoint so...I will.

If it were up to me, I'd like to see both Biggio and Smith go in. That'd be quite the induction class to go along with former Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion, who seems to be highly considered by the Veterans Committee. 
One of the most stacked ballot in years, only three players from which have any substantial stink of steroids on them and he hopes three people get in--one very qualified, one who would become one of the 5 worst pitchers in the hall...and Marty Fucking Marion.

The last thing I'll say is this: I understand people are suspicious of people with strange numbers in the steroids era. I'm not going to argue whether steroids users deserve to get in, that steroids do or don't help performance, or what the standards of the HOF should or should not be (except to say Lee Smith shouldn't sniff the HOF until every single holdover including Jack Morris is inducted). But I will say this:

No matter what standard you use, Craig Biggio is every bit as circumstantially guilty of steroid use as Bagwell. Same team with Caminiti, Clemens, etc etc. Same longevity. Same late career spike in power numbers. These can all be explained rationally, but I'm not interested in that, since  these writers aren't--no matter how rational or irrational you want to be, to argue that Biggio is THE CLEAN SAVIOR OF BASEBALL AND THE HOF and Bagwell is a DIRTY USER WHO USED AND CHEATED WHILE USING AND I JUST KNOW absent anything beyond the evidence available to every baseball fan makes you a moron, a hypocrite, and a piece of shit. Or in other words, Domonic Genetti