Saturday, August 22, 2009

8 comments Saturday Stuff

It's Saturday, which means I am too lazy to write a really long post today, and you are probably too busy to read a really long post. So I will shorten it out and jump all over the sports world for the day.

-Greg Paulus was playing basketball 5 months ago and today he is the Syracuse starting quarterback. I am not sure if this says more about his ability to come back and play football after 4 years of being an underachieving point guard or says more about Syracuse's complete lack of options at the quarterback position.

"My first thing was to go to the staff and say, 'Who is Greg Paulus?'" Marrone said. "I hate to say that now, but I really didn't know."

No offense to Doug Marrone but if he doesn't know who Greg Paulus is, even if he doesn't follow college basketball, I don't know how well that bodes for him as the Syracuse head coach. Paulus was a pretty highly recruited college football quarterback five years ago and if Marrone was involved at all with football I would think he could remember this. I realize he comes from the NFL and all but I always thought Paulus was a pretty highly recruited guy, especially since he comes from the Syracuse area and Marrone is an alumni...I just thought he would know the name.

I personally am excited to see Paulus start for the Orange but I really am not confident in his ability to win football games at Syracuse because of the talent level of team and the fact he hasn't played competitive football in 5 years. I have to admit I will try to watch a Syracuse game or two though to watch him play. Even if he sucks it will get some interest in Syracuse football this year.

-TMQ is back. I am not going to cover it all for this week, because as was mentioned in the comments, it really did not have a whole lot to do with football. Still, just based on the first and last sentences we have a lot to look forward to this year.

TMQ travels back in time to August 2009!

That is the title of his lastest crap filled entry into sports journalism.

Does anything make sense in football anymore? Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed 57 sacks, rushed for 2.9 yards per carry in the playoffs -- and won the Super Bowl. The other Super Bowl entrant, the Arizona Cardinals, reached the big game despite finishing last in rushing yards.

This man frustrates me beyond belief. Someone needs to inform him there are more facets to the game of football than just random cherry picked statistics. He acts as if the team that wins the Super Bowl every year should be last in sacks allowed, first in rushing, and first in every other defensive and offensive category.

Rookie quarterbacks, who are never supposed to win, were dominant 2008 players, with Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan combining to go 24-12. The previous two rookie quarterbacks to start an entire season, David Carr and Peyton Manning, were a combined 7-25.

David Carr was drafted #1 by an expansion team and Peyton Manning was drafted #1 by an awful Colts team. The team around the rookie quarterback also has something to do with that quarterback's success.

Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan both went to teams that had good players in place, in fact Flacco wasn't even drafted in the lottery, he was just a good rookie quarterback. Ryan went to an Atlanta Falcons team that had a massive hole at quarterback and was actually solid in other positions on the roster. They were able to draft #3 because their quarterback was in jail and they had no backup options...and their coach quit before the season was over. The Falcons didn't really have a horrible season based solely on not having talent on the roster. You have to look at other circumstances in the situation before you start just talking about how things are weird in the NFL.

Why all this strangeness? Because an NFL playbook from the year 2387 came backward in time and altered the football timeline -- just like the spaceships from the future that altered the timeline in the latest Star Trek movie.

I have nothing to say to this, except this has nothing to do with the NFL at all and I don't know how Gregg Easterbrook gets to write a column for ESPN.

"Pip Pip! Cheerio! Trap Press, Lads!" The Boston College men's basketball team beat Duke and North Carolina -- but lost to Harvard.

This was the last sentence of the article, before the preview of next week's article. Boston College beat North Carolina and Duke, then lost to Harvard back in Februrary 2009. That was almost seven months ago and he still finds the need to mention this in his weekly column that is supposed to be about the NFL.

Just based on the first couple and last couple sentences we can look forward to another year of idiocy from Mr. Easterbrook and his column which he refers to in the third person called TMQ.

-Josh Levin has written what is my favorite article of the day. It is entitled, "Sports Illustrated's Peter King Falls Out of Love With His Favorite Source."

In the column Levin documents Peter King and Brett Favre's relationship and includes money quotes like this:

In the beginning, King writes like a proud parent documenting his child's first steps. In recent weeks, he's taken on the demeanor of a father who's forever getting strung along by a drug-addict son

I think Mr. Levin may have missed the irony that Brett Favre did have a drug dependency on Vicodin when comparing Favre to a drug-addict son. I don't ask much of you guys but if you enjoy my MMQB Review every week, and really how couldn't you, then just read the short documentation of Favre and King's relationship. It is interesting to read and even includes links if you like to read Peter's old columns to make fun of him to yourself.

-I swear this is the last time I am going to bring up Lord Favre without prompting by a columnist like Peter King. Mike Florio of, which is one of my favorite sites and has been since it was in its infancy, has broken down the Favre situation and has some interesting thoughts. It shows just how calculating Brett Favre has been through this entire second un-retirement.

I've long believed that everyone connected to the sport of football will lie in the name of obtaining or securing a strategic advantage.

It's true. The NFL basically consists of a bunch of lies being told only interrupted by sporadic playing of football.

In February, Favre laid the foundation to secure a free-and-clear release from the Jets.

Step 1. He knows the team wants to move on without him, so give them a reason to do so. Say you are going to retire, maybe cry a little and you even get a little free coverage where people wax poetic over you? What's wrong with that?

When he got what he wanted in April, Favre said it had nothing to do with any desire to play for the Vikings.

Clearly a lie. We knew that then and we know that now.

Momentum continued to build in that direction until, all of a sudden, Favre told Vikings coach Brad Childress (whom Favre calls "Chilly") that the Second Annual Retirement would not become the Second Annual Unretirement.

Ready for a conspiracy theory that actually makes sense?

The powers-that-be would have us all believe Chilly accepted Favre's decision without any effort to change his mind. Then, Chilly ignored Favre for 20 days, and Favre ignored Childress for 20 days.

Do we really believe Childress would not have tried to change Favre's mind if he truly wanted him to come play quarterback for the Vikings? If Favre is completely on the fence about whether he wants to play or not and Childress needs to save his job, I can't believe he would seem to accept Favre's retirement without a fight.

But Chilly supposedly called Favre on Monday, on a whim. And Favre — who agonizes over every decision in his life — instantly determined without deliberation or debate to re-retire from retirement and relocate to Minnesota for six months.

This is my question. How are we supposed to believe Brett Favre made the decision to come back in one day when it has taken him weeks before this to make a decision?

He didn't just fly to Minnesota to hammer out a contract. He came, he saw, he practiced. All in one day. And he'll play in a game on Friday night.

This was clearly thought out beforehand and the Vikings players knew it, which led to the Jay Glazer report.

So if (when) Cook explained that Brett doesn't want to do the training camp thing, the two sides needed to come up with a plan for pulling the sheet off Favre after the Vikings departed Mankato.

It is just too coincidental for me to believe that Brett Favre decided he wanted to play again the day after training camp ended and Brad Childress let him do this. Everyone knows Favre did not want to attend training camp, so he made up an excuse that sounded like he was being selfless...saying he knows he couldn't make it through the entire season and then just waited for training camp to end.

The only semi-plausible approach was a renewed commitment to retirement, with the express (and top-secret) understanding that the Tuesday after the preseason opener would be the day Favre officially unretires.

If this is true, there is nothing wrong with this. It's not illegal or really unethical. It's just another example of how Brett Favre will lie to get what he wants and he also doesn't seem to care who or what he hurts to get what he wants. I am sure Rosenfels, Booty, and Jackson were not in on this plan so they thought all along they were competing for a starting job instead of Lord Favre's main backup.

I believe this conspiracy theory is true and I am amazed at the lengths that Brad Childress will go to keep his job. He could pretty much have lost all of his team's respect with this effort to get the God of Interceptions on his team.

-I have had a love/hate relationship with Gregg Doyel and right now it is more on the "love" side of the equation.

The post about how he doesn't like Jay Mariotti is good stuff, but in the comments he lists the writers that he actually enjoys reading...

Best writer in the business: Jason Whitlock
Most talented writer: Posnanski
Guy I don't read: Posnanski
Why: Too nice
Other must reads, other than our fine writers here at of course: TJ Simers, Dan Wetzel, Mariotti (like watching a train wreck; I can't stop looking).
Peter King? Hell no.
Bob Ryan? Sometimes. Why not.
ESPN: Look, some day ESPN will own everything. Including healthcare and Iraq. So let's be nice to ESPN.

He said "hell no" to Peter King. I thought everyone liked Peter. I may be on the "hate" side of the equation with Doyel soon, and it appears he actually enjoys it when people hate him, so he may enjoy that. He is even running for the school board in Ohio. Seriously.

-I do have to say for a guy who doesn't like Jay Mariotti Gregg Doyel certainly writes a column 12 days AFTER Jay Mariotti writes a column that are very similar...even to the point it's almost a rip-off of Mariotti's column. Let's look at them side-by-side briefly.

Doyel's (August 18th - in black type)

Mariotti's (August 6th - in red type)

Those headlines are from years ago, but we can never forget. The first happened in 1920, when Chapman became the first, and still only, major league batter to die after being hit by a pitch.

A baseball, I'll remind you, is a lethal weapon. It's a rock-hard, tightly-wrapped object with a cork center that has killed one player and ruined the careers of others. In 1920, Ray Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch and died 12 hours later in a New York City hospital.

And that brings me to the other headline I saw, the one from the future.

Second major leaguer dies from beanball

Impossible, right? Nobody's going to die on the baseball field.

Call those rare occasions, if you insist. I'd say it's historical evidence that we're long overdue for another tragedy, especially if the sleepy lords of Major League Baseball continue to poo-poo the potential consequences of purpose-pitch retaliation.

Players throw at players until the umpire starts throwing them out of the game, and even then, it's not over. After a game earlier this month in Los Angeles, Milwaukee's Prince Fielder lugged his 270 pounds under the stadium, all the way to the Dodgers' clubhouse, to confront the pitcher who had hit him that night -- as retaliation, presumably, after the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez had been hit by a pitch two innings earlier. Fielder never got close to reliever Guillermo Mota, but the next night the Dodgers posted nine security officials outside their clubhouse door.

But what made this episode so surreal -- and frightening -- was the sight of the 275-pound Fielder barreling through the underbelly of Dodger Stadium and trying to bust his way into the home clubhouse, where Prince wanted to crown Mota in front of 24 teammates who I'm fairly certain would have turned the scene into bloody-Octagon-meets-Evander Holyfield's ear.

Just to make sure he was in control, the Dodgers tightened security at Chavez Ravine. When Fielder took batting practice Wednesday evening, nine guards -- again, nine -- stood watch outside the visitors clubhouse. Throughout the night, there were no fewer than eight outside the Milwaukee clubhouse and five outside the home clubhouse.

Even if Bud Selig doesn't get it, the courts know: In the wrong hands, a baseball isn't a baseball.

But Selig's men have shown no interest in a cleanup, preferring to let a little-boy, tit-for-tat mindset run rampant.

Dangerous enough to a kill a major leaguer? Let's hope not. But don't act like the textbook case of retaliation -- a baseball buried in a hitter's back -- is as easy as it sounds. Major league pitchers routinely fail to hit something as large as the strike zone, but they can be trusted to hit something as small as a batter's back?

Neither was the victim of a purpose pitch, but it's amazing that today's ballplayers don't understand the life risk if a baseball thrown at 100 mph from 60 feet, six inches away strikes a man in the face, eye or skull.

"I have to protect my teammates," Santana said. "You can call that whatever you want."

I call it assault. One day, I'll call it murder. Right now, I call it inevitable.

I'd like to see Selig dabble in reform. I'd like him to tell managers and pitchers to stop throwing at batters with a lethal weapon.

It's not like the two articles are completely the same but there are enough similarities to where I almost felt like I was reading the same article. Maybe Gregg Doyel should start reading Jay Mariotti's columns more carefully.


Martin said...

Joe Flacco had about as much to do with the Ravens having a winning record as I did. Hand teh ball off, go go defense, throw an accurate pass a few times a game. The kid might become a fine NFL QB, but he had a minimal amount to do with the Ravens success last year. Seriously, Chad Pennington, Jeff Garcia, I'm positive either one could have done the same thing.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, he didn't have a bad year last year but he certainly wasn't the reason the Ravens had a good year. For some reason I consider Matt Ryan to be a better QB. I see Flacco as more of the game manager who needs a running game and good defense to do something, while I see Matt Ryan as a guy who can make plays happen. I could be wrong and Flacco did have a good year but I don't put him in the same realm as Ryan.

Stafford looked bad last night. I don't think he will be a bad quarterback in the NFL but it pretty much brings up the questions I had about him coming out of Georgia. He just never showed me too much there.

Martin said...

Jeff Franceour...TRIPLE PLAY!! Attaboy Frenchie! That man truly belongs on the disaster that is the Mets right now.

The Casey said...

What I don't understand is that no sportswriter/analyst seems to get that a team can win in spite of the quarterback, not just because of the quarterback. Certain teams are built to minimize the importance of the quarterback position because they feel they can win with the running game and their defense. But no, Trent Dilfer 'led' the Ravens to the Super Bowl.

Jeff Francouer - Still killing the Braves.

The Casey said...

Also, the thing that gets me about the triple play is that they say it's the second time an unassisted triple play has ended the game (Link here), and that the other time was by a first baseman. I want to know how that happened? Did somebody fall down? Was the first baseman pissed at somebody else in the infield and wouldn't throw them the ball? I want to know.

AJ said...

Peter King's MMQB is up, and I decided to send him some more questions cuz he is an idiot.

Here are my two "questions", which are really comments:

I’m going to assume there is no way to get you to understand the business side of any company, let alone hotels. You want hotels to change the way they run their business just because you got “screwed”. Even though the President of the chain called you personally to explain the policy you still don’t understand it, even though a 6th grader could. Have you ever called up and canceled a hotel reservation at the last second? You do realize that is lost business for the hotel, money that they were counting on having. They base their policy on simple statistics (a class you must have skipped in college), just like every other business. Next time show up early so they don’t give your room away, or better yet call ahead of time if you know you will be showing up later in the night for your reservation. Most of the time I think you write these illogical complaints to get free stuff, which is quite pathetic. You complain about a $250 hotel room (that I’m sure SI pays for) that doesn’t offer you free internet while millions of people struggle to pay their mortgage to have a place to sleep at night. Get over yourself.

Jeter, best player of your lifetime? So better then Mantle, Kaline, Mays, Aaron, etc. etc. etc.? Did you just start watching baseball in 1996, or do you just not follow the sport outside of New York and Boston? Even then, how is Mantle not number 1? I’m sure Brady is the best football player of your lifetime as well, right?

KentAllard said...

The sad thing about Favre's indecision this off-season, is it kept us from every having a special Brett Favre Retirement Issue from Sports Illustrated with a sobbing Favre in a Jets uni on the cover. It would be nice to have a whole set to commemorate each of his retirements.

Bengoodfella said...

Casey, I love that comment. Yes, if Frenchy had done anything positive like get a base hit it would have allowed the Braves to get another game on the Phillies. He is still killing the team even when he isn't on the team.

They explained how the unassisted triple play happened last night on Sunday Night Baseball. The first baseman caught the ball, tagged first and then ran to second and tagged the runner/bag.

AJ, great questions but it has a -32% of chance of being posted by Peter. If you do get posted, you will get a prize in the form of food sent to your domicile...I promise.

Kent, I think Favre should just spend a year with every team in the NFL and have a retirement issue with every team. It just seems fair.