Monday, January 12, 2009

4 comments MMQB: Understanding Parity Edition

What a crazy weekend for pro football. I would never have believed you if you said the Giants, Titans, and Panthers would all lose at home. The funny part is if you played the games again, there may be a completely opposite result, but that is the great part about one game playoffs...anything can happen and mistakes are magnified. This is the reason pro football is the most popular sport in the United States.


We all could have envisioned a Baltimore-Pittsburgh championship game materializing. But Philadelphia-Arizona? With the Cardinals hosting?

This is a lie, there is no way Peter thought the Titans would not make the AFC Championship in early December. He was all over them for millions of weeks, all talking about how great Kerry Collins was and even at one point mentioning him for MVP. He was getting pretty excited. Considering Arizona was a #4 seed and clinched their division in mid-November and the idea they would host a playoff game against a #6 seed was not out of the ordinary.

"You are not only playing in the NFC Championship game next Sunday,'' I said. "You are hosting the NFC Championship game next Sunday.''

"Isn't that great?'' he said. "Fantastic. Four, five weeks ago, who would have believed it?''

Whisenhunt also added, "Who the hell are you?" and "Please stop calling me, I don't want to be your special friend."

• Flacco, no Fluke-o, the rookie QB wins his first two playoff games.

How's Matt Ryan, or Matty Iccccccccccccccccccce 1.0, doing right now Peter? Your boy, the Offensive Rookie of the Year hands down that no one should ever question, is he ok? Still feel great about that?

It's weird, it's odd, it's what happens in the NFL every January. Flacco and Derrick Mason and Santonio Holmes and Larry Fitzgerald and Darnell Dockett and LaMarr Woodley and Brodrick Bunkley are bursting into our living rooms, and we don't know them, but we really like the stories they're writing.

Really? You cover football and don't know Derek Mason, Larry Fitzgerald, and Santonio Holmes? I guess when your entire life focus is on covering Brett Favre's ass, doting on Matt Ryan, and summing up the Patriots franchise tag options with Matt Cassel, you don't have time to focus on other things.

I was looking all over this column today for the salary cap ramifications of the Giants keeping Brandon Jacobs around, Julius Peppers being franchise tagged, and Albert Haynesworth franchise tagged, but alas, there was nothing about it. Funny how he only does this for Matt Cassel.

"Keep picking against us,'' Whisenhunt said.

I might. But I have eyes. I might not.

And those eyes just saw a chocolate donut. Peter will be right back.

Not the most amazing thing of the weekend: Jake Delhomme did throw to two Cardinals for every Panther.

Pretty tough shot at Delhomme there. He threw 17 completions and did not throw 34 interceptions, so I don't understand this. Someone please inform me what I am missing. Is he referring to the double coverage that Delhomme through into?

It's back to the future for Manning ... and don't try to tell a real Giants fan the loss of Plaxico Burress didn't have much to do with the total collapse of the defending champs.

Whoa, whoa Peter. Whatever happened to you waxing poetic about how this is a "team" and the other receivers will pick up the slack left over by Burress? I remember this pretty vividly.

Joe Flacco for president! Recall Obama!

That defeaning grinding sound was the back of the Joe Flacco bandwagon as Peter King belatedly jumps on the back.

"I've said this to a few people,'' Heap said Saturday night. "You look in his eyes at big moments, and you try to read his eyes, and there's nothing to read. He's always the same.''

Joe Flacco is dead behind the eyes. Just the right guy to play quarterback for your team.

• The Steelers have gotten healthy at the right time. I wouldn't call them unstoppable, but I would call them powerfully multidimensional.

I would not call Peter overweight, but I would say that he is rotundly spherically shaped.

Most anticipated championship games of this decade: 1. Indy-New England, 2006; 2. Pittsburgh-New England, 2004; 3. Giants-Green Bay, 2007; 4. Pittsburgh-Baltimore, 2008; 5. New England-Indy, 2003. Next week's Steelers-Ravens matchup won't have the shiniest records, but it will have more intensity than any of the other four championship games on the list-- and that is saying something.

How do you measure this, other than just using your own opinion? Do I find it funny that your top 5 include three New England games and the only NFC championship game is the only game Brett Favre played in? No, I do not find it funny, Peter, you are a worthless hack. You make me sound like I hate Green Bay and the Patriots, which is not true.

OMG, here are my 3 most anticipated championship games and we can see what common thread runs through our lists:

1. Carolina v. Philadelphia, 2003; 2. Carolina v. Seattle, 2005; 3. New England v. Indy; 2003

Both of our lists have our favorite teams in them! Since there is no actual way to measure anticipation, unless you use the Anticipator 3000 which has since been discontinued, I am going to say you just tried to pass opinion for fact.

5. New England (11-5).
6. New York Giants (12-5)
7. Arizona (11-7)
8. San Diego (9-9).
9. Indianapolis (12-5)
10. Carolina (12-5)
11. Miami (11-6).

I agree New England got fucked with not going to the playoffs, but come on, still ranking them ahead of 6 playoff teams who: beat them for the division title, three have better records, and one is in the NFC Championship game is wrong. Power polls are useless, there is really no way around this issue. It's like a goat ate paper numbers and then shit out the numbers and Peter just randomly assigned them to teams. THAT would be a much better power poll than this.

Suddenly, the Panthers might have a quarterback need. And their first choice in the draft won't be 'til sometime in the late fifties.

OMFG, what the hell are they going to do! Good quarterbacks are only available in the first round of the NFL Draft and the Panthers can never settle with going 12-4 (in spite of him or not) with Delhomme as the QB th is year. They need to make this change right fucking now too because the season starts in 8 months. Panic in the streets of London!

Do you know how bad the Panthers were Saturday night? Willie Parker came down from Pittsburgh and ran for 146 yards against them and no one was even able to notice. At least that is what the caption below Parker's picture says.

I see where Brad Childress has opened up the quarterback competition for next year. Good idea. But don't bury Tarvaris Jackson yet.

Keeping Tarvaris Jackson is a great fucking idea though, right? Get rid of the QB who has gone to two NFC Championships but the Vikings should keep Jackson? (Delhomme is old and sucks, I get it, but Akili Smith, I mean Tarvaris Jackson needs to be buried ASAP as well)

I want to mention to Bill Simmons that Andy Reid has made 5 NFC Championships in 10 years. There may still be time to get off his ass about being a horrible coach.

Whisenhunt did something coaches very rarely do this late in the season -- he had his players put on pads and bang each other

That is absolutely disgusting...though I do compliment them for wearing pads and taking the necessary precautions not to spread disease.

Has any quarterback had a worse playoff game than Delhomme's five-interception, one-lost-fumble disaster Saturday night against Arizona?

Brett Favre through 6 against the Rams! Brett Favre threw 6 against the Rams! 6 interceptions is how many Brett Favre through against the Rams.

Brett Favre, in the 2001 playoffs, threw six picks against the Rams, but in that game, Favre was just throwing balls up throughout the second half trying to hit the lottery.

Well, that makes it so much better then! Brett Favre was out there just having a grand old time throwing the ball in the air to see who could catch it. Apparently the Rams could! This has to be the most all time worst Brett Favre apologist reasoning I have ever heard. Nothing can top this. So the fact Delhomme was attempting to hit his receivers at the end of the game is worse than just throwing the ball up in the fucking air to see who could get it? Peter King needs to wipe his mouth and get a real fucking job. This is sad to see him make excuses like this.

Delhomme went 17 of 34 for 205 yards, with one garbage-time touchdown and the five picks, and only one of the turnovers came with the game legitimately out of hand.

I am not going to be a Jake Delhomme apologist, but I will use these things called "facts" to prove a point I have. The game was out of hand at half time and the Cardinals were getting the ball back after half time, it was 27-7 at that point and Delhomme had thrown 2 interception and a fumble. It was also 30-7 with 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and he had thrown 3 interceptions. The game was over at this point and Delhomme was just trying to hit the lottery, just like Favre. Delhomme was horrible but Favre threw more interceptions and regardless of his intent behind them he had just as bad of a game as Delhomme. Sorry, Pete there was equal suckage here.

What happened to home-field advantage in the playoffs?

The new stadiums is the problem! Ask Bill Simmons, he will tell you.

My three guesses? One: Coincidence. Two: It has something to do with quarterbacks on the road becoming so accustomed to playing entire games with silent snap counts, practicing them during the week and playing many games totally with the silent count. Joe Flacco has played two entire playoff games with the silent count. Three: "Parity,'

Whatever Peter, those are stupid answers. I think Simmons' "New stadiums are causing everyone to be quieter and losing the soul of being a fan so the team is playing worse and not covering the spread theory" a whole lot more. It also makes sense as opposed to your stupid coincidence and "parity" theory. There's no parity in football. It's not like there is a #4 and #6 seed playing for the NFC Championship and a #2 and #6 seed playing for the AFC Championship.

I wrote that Young was rebuffing Collins' attempt to take him under his wing and show him how to rebound from adversity and become a better player. From what I saw this week, Young's still not willing to listen. A shame.

A huge shame. If you can't learn anything from a racist, underachieving, alcoholic quarterback who sings country music songs, who can you learn from?

Seeing Loretta Lynn sing "Coal Miner's Daughter'' at the Ryman Auditorium in the Grand Ole Opry ... well, I can only imagine it's something like someone seeing the Cubs-Cards at Wrigley Field on a sunny July afternoon. And then doing a show-finale duet with Vince Gill ... very, very cool, and that comes from someone with no love for country music.

I would bet Peter sent Brett Favre a picture of himself wearing chaps, a cowboy hat and stirrups on his camera phone.

The Eagles traded the 19th pick to Carolina for second- and fourth-round picks in '08 and the Panthers' first-round pick in '09 ... and then still got Jackson with the 49th overall pick, in the second round.

That sound you heard was me banging my head on my desk repeatedly.

I know why Cleveland owner Randy Lerner made the call to hire Eric Mangini. He's a smart, young guy who will do well with in his second chance and who didn't deserve to get fired from the Jets.

Just last week Peter thought this was a risky move. His opinions are changing at a greater frequency now.

Shanahan helped John Elway and Steve Young become great NFL players. McDaniels has had the same hands-on influence with Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. In his last year in the NFL, Elway called Shanahan "brilliant.'' In November, Cassel told me that McDaniels was "brilliant.'' Starting to see a trend?

Brad Pitt got complimented last night at the Golden Globes and someone referred to his tuxedo as "looking really good on him." Last week I got complimented and I wore a green shirt with a lime green tie and it was said to "look really good on me." Starting to see a trend?

a. Keith Bulluck burst through the line on the last play of the third quarter and tripped up Willis McGahee for a loss of three. Seems like he's been doing that ever since Jeff Fisher coached this team.

I know! Keith Bulluck is always bursting through the line and tripping up Willis McGahee for a loss of three. It seems like every game he does this. You would think he would trip up another player, but alas, it's always McGahee.

d. Here's how long Matt Stover has been kicking clutch field goals for the Browns/Ravens: The man came into Cleveland in 1991, the same year Bill Belichick did. Eighteen years with the same franchise!

Bill Belichick. I am from the planet Earth, the same place Bill Belichick is from! Bill Belichick.

g. Most underrated Eagle: Quentin Mikell.

Bill Belichick. Quentin Mikell plays in the NFL, the exact same league Bill Belichick coaches in! Bill Belichick.

k. Darren Sproles, 11 carries, 15 yards. That sends a chill or two up the spine of the Ravens' backs.

Everyone still think it is a brilliant idea to back up the Brinks truck to his house? I would not bet the house on him quite yet.

c. Third quarter, third-and-10, Baltimore ball at its 20. Tied, 7-7. Joe Flacco fits a bullet into a tight hole, right into Todd Heap's gut, with two defenders around him. Huge play. And Heap drops it. Very, very big play in the game. Good thing for the Ravens it didn't cost them later.

In this case, "huge play" is defined as "a play made that has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the game." Apparently, it is only a huge play in that if the result had been different, the outcome of the game would not have been different.

d. There's no way Jake Delhomme will get over that game 'til March. April, maybe.

Give me until August. Everyone within a 200 mile radius of Charlotte needs to take a 15 minute breather and not say/type/write random stupid shit that makes no sense. Bill Cowher is not coaching the team next year, 12-4 does not count as underachieving, and the coaching staff is as much to blame as Delhomme, just like the coaching staff in the Giants game needs to take a little blame for losing to the Eagles.

h. Special-teamer Steve Tasker. No surprise he didn't make the finals. Just sad. We have to realize sometime that special teams is a major part of the game (not a third, the way some people say, but a significant fifth), and Tasker was the best ever to play them.

Hydration is also an important part of the game, so should we let the best water boy of all time into the Hall of Fame? If so, welcome in Stan Livingston, you are a Hall of Famer!

j. Running back Roger Craig. Ditto. Probably belongs in the Hall of Very Good.

Hahahahahahhahahahahahaha...Hall of Very Good! Actually there is one and it is located in Upyourassville, Montana.

I will bet a lot of money that when Tebow comes out, he won't get past New England in the second round; as much as Bill Belichick is around Urban Meyer and that program, I bet he's become a huge Tebow fan as a football player -- quarterback, goal-line back, something.

Bill Belichick. The only time Bill Belichick does not draft a great player is when he wants to give the other teams a decent shot to beat him. Bill Belichick. Tim Tebow and Bill Belichick are unstoppable, they are like Batman and Robin, but only if Batman and Robin were more manly and had the only super power that was necessary...being a fucking badass. Bill Belichick.

I don't consult the other voters to see who they're voting for, so my vote has nothing to do with anything other than the guy at the position who I thought was best in 2008.


But this bothered me because I thought Suggs was one of the best four outside rushers, and one of the most versatile defensive players, by far, in the league. So I made a few calls that week, asking people I trusted about Suggs versus Peppers, and when I filed my team for SI four days later, I gave the defensive end slot to Suggs,

Sounds to me like you ask others their opinion Peter. Please don't lie again, Peter. Got it, Peter?

Harvey Dahl did make me cringe against Arizona, but the definition of cringing is not "I want that pick back," and Dahl gave the Falcons a mean, brutish attitude up front, leading the way for one of the best rushing seasons by a back in the NFL this year.

A mean, brutish attitude trumps actual performance any day of the week. This is one of the main reasons Albert (Joey) Bell is in the Baseball Hall of Fame right now.

Peter was the only person to vote for this player.

There are a bunch of great defensive tackles, but Robbins is long overdue to be recognized for his versatility (5.5 sacks three straight years, excellent run-stopping).

So it was just his time...much like dying. Peter was also the only person to vote for this player.

with Bradley, now they have two, and his athleticism has really made the Eagle D better, as he showed catching a speedier Derrick Ward from behind on a little swing pass early in Sunday's game, preventing a Giants' TD. I thought he had a better year than Jon Beason.

The numbers back this up as well:

Beason- 138 tackles, 0 FF, 0 Sacks, 3 INT, 8 passes defensed

Bradley- 108 tackles, 1 FF, 1 Sack, 1 INT, 6 passes defensed

Unfortunately the numbers disagreed with Peter's assessment of Bradley's year. That was a really, really important forced fumble Bradley had though. Bradley got his only All-Pro vote from Peter King.

Wes Welker's caught more balls than anyone in football over the last two years, and he's done it playing with two quarterbacks when everyone on defense knows he's going to be the target 10 to 12 times every game.

One of those QB's was Tom Brady so it is not like he had a Rohan Davey throwing to him and I am not saying Welker may not have deserved it, I am saying you can't base it on the last two years, but base it on this year.

Speaking of American cities, read Jim Dwyer's "About New York'' column in Saturday's New York Times about the Yankees' request to the city for $370-million in additional taxpayer financing, on the heels of already getting $942 in prior financing; in addition, the city has committed $660 million to replace the open spaces used by the next stadium and for parking improvements. On the heels of a superb ESPN report last summer on the vanishing play spaces for Bronx youth because of the stadium, this is more of the same. For improvements to the video and sound systems in the stadium, the Yankees want $34 million. This is a team that just spent $423 million on three players? What unmitigated gall.

Go Red Sox!

There are millions of hungry people in Boston and the Red Sox had the gall to spend millions of dollars on Brad Penny, Rocco Baldelli, and John Smoltz. How horrific. Teams should not spend money on new players until every corner of the city either has a playground or a Starbucks.

Starbucks has it figured out -- or did, until they started building stores across the street from each other. Get kids hooked on tasty caffeine early, and it'll last a lifetime.

Says the guy who dedicates part of his weekly column to the newest coffee flavor and tastes.

f. My one and only piece of wisdom for the week: Go to the Grand Ole Opry before you die. Preferably in downtown Nashville. It is a slice of Americana that there's far too little of in our lives.

Those simple Southerners, so modest and just as wholesome as apple pie, what an example of main street American with their small shops, horses on the street, and country music playing from every window. I love how Peter has a stereotyped vision even after seeing the city.

I think I am actually ready for baseball now.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe it either when I saw King claim Delhomme's day was the worst ever, and then to make it worse by trying to defend Favre's 6 picks!

In that 2001 game, Favre was so good, that he threw more TDs to the Rams than Kurt Warner did! When Delhomme faced the Cardinals, he didn't throw a single TD for Kurt Warner's team. Clearly Delhomme's day was worse.

What makes Favre so good is that he is able to place the ball where the receivers can run after the catch. When Favre throws a pick, it's for 6 points. Delhomme just isn't good enough at finding the completely wide open corners.

Bengoodfella said...

Delhomme had one of the worst days I have ever seen by a quarterback, just simply because he had INTs in the end zone and they were right to the other team. There is no defending him.

I just found it petty and stupid for Peter to talk about Delhomme's day being worse than Favre as if in some way it will absolve Favre from having the worst playoff game every by a QB. Favre is able to hit everyone in stride for touchdowns offense and defense. I think they had equally bad days but Delhomme's day really had nothing to do with Favre and Favre's interceptions can not be written off as him just trying to hit the lottery because that is more careless than trying to actually complete a pass and being unable to.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, it's like this guy doesn't watch football anymore. He waits until the games are over, reads snippets of the game summaries on yahoosports, checks his Blackberry for VM's or texts from several QB's, orders up a latte and a donut and regurgitates random shit. What a jackass.

Look, Car and the NYG played awful. In both cases, QB's gave them little to no chance to win. In the NYG, play calling and some coaching moves could be second-guessed (take your pick). The Car coaching job, to me, seemed much worse. I can see a good team having a clunker at the wrong time but they just seemed SO unprepared.

Either way, I am quite sure both Fox and Coughlin could easily better Peter King in a journalist contest.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't think Peter watches all of the games, even when there are very few of them. I think he catches highlights of a couple so he can have a story to lead off his column and then makes up the best he can based on that. I swear if I hear Bill Belichick's name in his column for no apparent reason again, I am going to scream.

As far as Car and NY, at least the Giants had a plan of some sort, they just did not execute it very well, and honestly, they missed Burress, he was pretty important to the team. Not to take away anything from the other receivers but none of them are Burress. Carolina had no offensive/defensive game plan to be seen. They did nothing to neutralize the Cardinal's biggest threat (Fitzgerald) and did nothing to get their biggest weapon (Smith) the ball. Unlike 99% of the world, I blame the coaching staff as much as Jake because right play calls were not made. If the defense does not give up 5 straight scoring possessions, maybe the offense would not have pressed like it did. They went in panic mode when it was 14-7, which is never good.

Peter King is setting new records in my world for shitty journalism. His All-Pro reasoning was bad, especially when a reader called him out on it and he defended his picks, but used no actual reasoning, just called Bradley "a defensive QB," Dahl "a brute," and Robbins "versatile," as if these characteristics mean someone should be an All Pro. He is not good and I wish more people would recognize this.