Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10 comments TMQ: Gregg Smells An NFL Conspiracy and Comments On Mike Leach

Gregg Easterbrook has decided in his TMQ this week to take on the Adam James situation and he also suspects there is a conspiracy that got the Jets in the playoffs. I still haven't figured out why Gregg refers to TMQ in the 3rd person like he isn't the one writing it or TMQ is a separate entity from him. Either way, TMQ will be taking a few months off soon so we had better enjoy/not enjoy it while we can. Let's see what Gregg wants to second guess this week.

What sinister international conspiracy put the Jets into the playoffs? Must have been a pretty good conspiracy, able to arrange for the Indianapolis Colts to surrender midgame in Week 16, then for the Cincinnati Bengals to roll over and play dead in Week 17.

One part of the conspiracy was the Colts deciding they valued keeping their players healthy over making sure the team had momentum and a perfect season entering the playoffs. The other part of the conspiracy was the Bengals looking horrible on Sunday Night Football against a very hungry Jets team that played the best it could play to ensure they make the playoffs. Even though the Bengals said they came out to try and win the game Sunday night, I have a feeling they sort of gave up at one point and didn't want to show the Jets defense and offense too much of what they will want to do this upcoming week in the playoff game. I think once the Bengals started losing in the beginning of the game, they made the game plan a little more vanilla.

Everyone is talking about Arizona didn't show Green Bay anything, but isn't it possible the Bengals said they would come out and play the game as hard as they could, but in actuality they were planning on doing their best with a limited playbook in an effort not to show the Jets too much? I think this could be the case.

The conspiracy was so effective, even Rex Ryan did not know of its existence -- two weeks ago, he said the Jets were "obviously out of the playoffs." That's what the conspiracy wanted us to think!

I love it when Gregg talks tongue in cheek...actually I don't. My eyes start to hurt towards the end of doing his weekly TMQ, so I wish he would just fill it with his typical partially incorrect second guessing and not tongue in cheek jokes.

In other football news, the playoffs are upon us. Though this is the moment the entire NFL season supposedly is all about -- determining who makes that Super Bowl thing you might have heard about -- paradoxically, at this point every season, interest begins to decline.

This is the point where I would ask Gregg to provide some information as to how the interest in the NFL declines. Unfortunately I can ask all that I want and I won't get any type of statistical evidence of this. A normal journalist would at least throw a few Nielson ratings at me for regular season games versus playoff games to prove his point, but Gregg is not a normal journalist. He likes to make blanket statements that have no evidential backing.

Now for 20 teams -- two-thirds of the NFL's fan base -- there is no next week. In Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, D.C., and many other places, attention is already turning to coaching melodramas and potential draft choices, though it will be many months before such things matter, if they ever matter at all.

This absolutely does not mean that interest in the NFL begins to decline. Under the theory that only a team's fan base is interested in what happens after their team is eliminated from the playoffs, very few people would watch the Super Bowl since it consists of only 2 teams and therefore 2 fan bases. Obviously a lot of people watch the Super Bowl and the NFC/AFC Championship games so I don't think Gregg's "declining interest" theory holds water.

I wonder if this is how Gregg's initial discussions went with ESPN to write TMQ:

(ESPN executive) "Gregg just write about the NFL games of the week and second guess in your own off-kilter fashion the decisions the coaches made. Just keep doing what you are doing and throw in some other stuff you want to talk about."

(Gregg Easterbrook smoking a pipe) "But dear sir, I have no interest in the NFL and really have no idea why coaches make the decisions they make...really I don't understand the game."

(ESPN executive) "You don't need to know about the NFL or football to write for us. Have you ever seen a football game?"

(Easterbrook) "I coach my son's football team."

(ESPN executive) "Perfect, you now have more exposure to the NFL than nearly half of the columnists we hire to write about the NFL. Just write like you do...but be sure to make blanket claims that have no evidential backing. It captures readers' interest and brainwashes them into believing what we say. How do you think it is possible that viewers think that Chris Berman is funny? We brainwashed the public by hiring idiot ex-athletes to do commentary, so when Berman speaks, it sounds creative and inspired."

(Easterbrook) "So you want me to write about a sport I don't know much about and make claims that have no evidential backing, and even if they did have evidential backing don't provide any regardless. The readers will enjoy this?"

(ESPN executive) "Enjoy it? They will love it. We write or say something and people believe it. The problem lies in if you try to provide some evidential backing for your claims. Just say something and then move on, don't let it linger or try to provide one iota of evidence to prove your point."

(Easterbrook) "Well, I think interest in the NFL declines as the playoffs start."

(ESPN executive) "That's crazy sounding! Perfect! Be sure you include that in your columns."

Since this action might have been addressed by a public apology, TMQ suspects it was a last straw -- that Leach had done other odd things behind the scenes, and Texas Tech had had enough.

Gregg summed it up pretty well here. I am surprised ESPN didn't force Gregg to say Craig James is a genius or personally vouch for him as part of the plan to make sure James and his family are seen as credible.

The lesser question is, if these allegations are true, why did Adam James consent? James is 21 years old. He could simply have said to Leach, "You're nuts," and walked away. The answer here is likely that James feared Leach would toss him off the team unless he followed any instruction from his coach, however inappropriate.

Which doesn't explain why Adam James had never really followed what Mike Leach requested of him previously. In fact, James was famous amongst the Texas Tech team for not wanting to work out or do what the coaching staff wanted him to do. From what I have read and heard Adam James pretty much tried to defy Mike Leach when possible. Why would he all of a sudden become afraid to follow the coach's orders?

College coaches often hold too much sway over athletes -- especially scholarship athletes, who know that being tossed from a team has dire financial consequences. NCAA scholarships are renewed on a semester-by-semester basis, so if you're no longer part of the team, the money flow stops.

The problem with this theory? This doesn't apply to Adam James. His father is wealthy and could afford to put him through school even if he lost his scholarship.

It's hard to believe that Tech administrators had no inkling something was amiss in the football office. Where was chancellor Kent Hance before this embarrassment happened?

Counting the money the school received as income from a successful college football program and then telling the trustees how well he was doing as chancellor. That's what Hance was doing prior to this embarrassment.

The larger question is why football coaches think they should punish players. I don't mean telling players who weren't paying attention to do grass drills -- no one questions that sort of decision.

That's the crux of the problem. Adam James felt he was punished while Mike Leach said he just had the trainers put him in a cold, dark room. Didn't I talk about this at length yesterday? The disagreement is over whether this was a punishment or an attempt to make sure Adam James stayed out of the light and heat.

I mean, why do football coaches want to punish players in the first place -- not prepare them, but punish them? Isn't this behavior a character defect on the part of the coach?

In a weird way the coaches are preparing the players for the world. If an employee showed up to work and didn't do what his employer asked or always had excuses and he/she obviously isn't prepared for having a job in the work place, he/she would be fired. So Mike Leach is teaching responsibility and accountability to a team through sports to use in the real world. If I showed up for work and announced I didn't want to work or had a reason why I couldn't work on a regular basis (as Adam James reportedly did), I would be punished at work. So Leach is theoretically preparing his players by punishing them.

Gregg talks more about Adam James later. God only knows why he feels the need to split up the discussion into two parts, but he does.

And in stylistic news, TMQ's immutable law holds: Cold Coach = Victory. With a kickoff temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit at the New Jersey facility to be demolished, Jersey/B coach Rex Ryan wore a sweatshirt, sweater and regular gloves; Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was dressed for a Denali ascent in a heavy parka, snowmobile gloves and balaclava.

I also have the law: Team with something to gain from winning a game = Victory over team with nothing to gain from winning a game. I think my theory holds true a little more in this situation.

Stats of the Week No. 1: The Colts and Saints opened the season on a combined 27-0 streak, and closed the season on a combined 0-5 streak.

Stats of the Week No. 4:
The Giants opened the season 5-0, then went 3-8.

Stats of the Week No. 7:
After 4-7 Carolina switched to undrafted Matt Moore at quarterback, the Panthers went 4-1 the remainder of the season, including wins over the NFC's first and second seeds.

There were also wins over a #1 seeded team on an 0-3 streak (that didn't play its starters most of the game), a team on (as stated above) 3-8 streak, and a team that won 2 games this year. So, it's not like they beat the 1st and 2nd seeds in the NFC at their very best. This is a bit of a misleading statistic.

Dallas is playing solid defense with conventional sets, rarely blitzing, which is a good sign.

Dallas is rarely blitzing over the past couple games? I don't even know if this is true or not. I am pretty sure they run a 3-4 defense. Does that mean they are rushing 3 people on every down? Or does Gregg not count one of the LB's rushing the passer as blitzing? These are the things I would like to ask Gregg. Also, I don't know why rarely blitzing is a good sign.

There's no point in second-guessing Bill Belichick's decision to play starters against the Texans. Belichick wanted to win the third seed, the third seed was worth winning, and Welker has been hit so many times before -- why worry about a few more hits?

Exactly. When a player has been hit as much as Wes Welker has been hit, we can't say for sure that one more hit is going to put him out for the season. It's always a possibility, but teams can't play football in fear of injuries occurring.

What would their chances be if they hadn't traded away Richard Seymour and Ellis Hobbs? In exchange for these players, the Flying Elvii received Oakland's first-round draft choice in 2011, reserve O-lineman Rich Ohrnberger and long snapper Jake Ingram. Seymour was so-so in 2009, and Hobbs was placed on injured reserve by Philadelphia in November. Long-term, New England may be better off, owing to those transactions. Right now, if the trades had not been made, the Patriots would look much stronger going into the postseason.

So the Patriots would look STRONGER right now if they had a player who played above average this year and a player who was on IR for half the year still on the roster? I can buy the Seymour argument (though the 1st round draft pick is going to benefit the Patriots down the road because the Raiders stink), but how the hell would having Ellis Hobbs taking up a roster spot at the beginning of the year and eventually landing on IR make the Patriots a stronger team in the postseason? Gregg realizes Hobbs could not have played for the entire playoffs and the Patriots would likely have to find a player to replace Hobbs, right? He also realizes Hobbs would most likely have taken up a roster spot for a player that now has a full season of experience to take into the playoffs because Hobbs wasn't on the roster all year, right?

The Texans have become fun to watch. But trailing 10-7 in the second quarter, Houston reached third-and-goal on the New England 1-yard line and went incompletion, incompletion. You don't belong in the playoffs if you can't rush for a single yard at the goal line.

The Texans won that game. Regardless of how they looked on third and fourth down (they went for it on fourth down, weren't the football gods supposed to be smiling?), they won the game. If the Texans beat the Patriots to go 9-7 then they may potentially deserve to be in the playoffs, regardless of whether they can rush the ball in the end zone on the goal line.

Unified Field Theory of Creep:

James Brady reports, "My wife and I went to our northeast-Ohio Lowe's the week before Christmas and what did our eyes find in the aisle at the front of the store? Lowe's already had the Burpee seed display out. According to the packaging on the seeds, they should not be planted in northeast Ohio until April."

You can take the seeds and store them in this contraption called a "garage" (Adam James doesn't know what one is either, so don't feel bad...rim shot!) and then plant the seeds when it is April. It is not really that odd for a store to sell a product that can't be planted until the spring. Stores sell lawnmowers year-round even though many people can not or do not mow their grass in the winter. I get the "creep" thing Gregg does and it sometimes has its merits, but Lowe's selling seeds in January that can't be planted until April is not "creep" since normal human beings may purchase the seeds, not complain about when they can plant them, and then store the seeds.

The Packers head into the contest on a 7-1 run, with the sole loss coming against the Steelers on that game's final play. The Cardinals are completely under the radar, just as they were when last year's playoffs began.

The Cardinals are under the radar except for the fact everyone says the Cardinals are under the radar and has predicted the Cardinals may go on another run this year in the playoffs...so other than this, the Cardinals are under the radar.

Now here are some guidelines created by Gregg to help prevent more concussions in football. I told you he talked about the Adam James situation later in his column.

First step: Mandatory coach training in symptom recognition for heat stroke and concussions. It's astonishing this is not already universal.

I absolutely agree. Though it may be hard for only the head coach to recognize the symptoms, all coaches should be able to recognize them.

Second step: Colleges require a neutral monitor present at practice, state high school associations require a parent or teacher present at practice.

Not a bad idea, but I don't know what kind of neutral monitor a college could find. It couldn't be someone who works for the school for example...and what kind of authority would this person have? Would a parent watching football practice in high school have the authority to do something if the coach mistreated a player? Or would the parent tell the principal or school board and they would take action (hopefully). I would need to know more about the logistics of this before I could say it is a good idea.

Third step: Mandate use of professional society safety guidelines such as this one, especially guidelines regarding young people and concussions and heat -- teens are more prone to concussions and heat illness than adults -- and then make coaches who violate the guidelines legally liable.

Legally liable? I am always nervous when a suggestion to a problem is to bring more lawyers into the discussion. I don't know if legally liable is the solution, simply because a student may have heat illness and not show any outward signs or not report the signs. This is possible and I don't know opening up certain legal liability for the head coach is the solution to fix this problem. It sounds nice to make coaches legally liable in theory.

Buffalo note: The Bills completed their third consecutive sold-out season. That's 73,967 tickets sold per game for three years despite a weak western New York economy and a Bills club that was 20-28 in that span. Jacksonville and San Diego can only dream of having local support as strong as is enjoyed by the Bills.

So naturally the NFL is having Buffalo play some of its home games in Toronto as a big "up yours" to the fan base.

Of course I may be reading these attendance numbers incorrectly, but it shows the average Bills attendance was 70,128 which was at 95.9% capacity. So they sold out but I would really count the support among those who showed up for the games. Even if the Bills sold that many tickets they had a few no-shows that need to be accounted for as well. The support in Buffalo is not bad, but the no-shows have to count when determining Bills support in Buffalo wouldn't they?

Now Bowling Green leads 42-41 -- an Idaho singleton kick sends the game to overtime, and a deuce wins the contest. You know what TMQ would do! Announcers called it a "huge gamble" when Idaho coach Robb Akey went for the win.

It was a huge gamble because playing for overtime would have been the much safer bet. Maybe it wasn't a "huge" gamble, but it was a pretty big gamble.

But actually it was playing the percentages -- going to overtime is at best a 50/50 proposition, whereas one gain of 3 yards means victory.

That's actually one of the worst comparisons of playing the percentages I have ever seen. Gregg includes one actual percentage and then a statement that includes no percentages. Again, I will ask...how does ESPN let him write crap like this? There are no percentages being compared.

It's like me saying, "Being offered $1,000,000 to shoot yourself in the face with a gun that has 3 bullets in a chamber that holds 6 bullets is at best a 50/50 proposition, whereas jumping out of an airplane at 20,000 feet without a parachute instead means you immediately get the money!"

A good comparison of the odds would be where Gregg actually gives the odds of converting a two point conversion and comparing it to a 50/50 proposition. Maybe that's too much work for Gregg and he didn't want to do it, but comparing these two figures using the odds of converting a two point conversion with a team's odds of winning in overtime would come out with a much better comparison.

Go win the game! The play was sweet, too, with plenty of misdirection, which is essential on goal-line downs. A shift turned an apparent strong-left formation into a tight end and tight wide receiver on the right; then a second tight end came in motion right; the tailback ran into the right flat waving for the ball, causing the safety to come up; two of the three receivers on the right cut left, the third started right and then spun back left, and was unguarded when the conversion pass arrived. The play is here.

All that writing just to state what happened. Bowling Green seems to have been running a zone and no one guarded the back of the end zone and left a man wide open over the middle. It's easier to just say this.

On the night, Bowling Green averaged 7.5 yards per offensive snap. Had they gone for it on fourth-and-inches, the final result might have been very different.

Gregg continues to boldly ignore the fact it is useless to compare how much yardage Bowling Green got on the average offensive snap since it was fourth-and-inches. The proper measure to use in this situation would be to use Bowling Green's conversion ratio on fourth-and-less-than-one during the season to make this call.

Tactics Note: Bowling Green rushed only two on the play, with four seconds remaining, that became the 16-yard touchdown to bring Idaho within one.

I am always confused by Gregg's thinking. So Gregg doesn't think Bowling Green should have blitzed, because blitzing is never good, but he also doesn't think Bowling Green should have rushed two people. So rushing three or four people at the quarterback would have been the only correct way to run the defense here?

Gregg also talks about in this very TMQ column about how Kansas City was faking an all-out blitz and that helped them make an interception. I just wonder how a person who doesn't like blitzing, thinks faking a blitz is a good idea? Just from a realistic perspective...If a team NEVER blitzed, which is what Gregg essentially advocates, faking a blitz would never work. So Gregg's Utopian world of never blitzing couldn't work out because teams would know his team doesn't blitz so they wouldn't fall for any fakes regarding blitzing. I hope I didn't confuse you because this makes sense in my head.

Then Gregg begins to question "Avatar" with his typical act of questioning the authenticity of the movie. If you go see a movie about blue beings who live on a habitable planet that has a mineral humans who are capable of having avatars want for some reason (I haven't seen the movie), is it really necessary to question the authenticity of the movie? Isn't it pretty well understood the movie is fictitious?

If I were a military man or woman, I would find "Avatar" insulting. With one exception, the helicopter pilot played by Michelle Rodriguez -- her character is twice referred to as a Marine, suggesting the military personnel are regular military, not mercenaries -- all the people in fatigues are brainless sadists. They want to kill, kill, kill the innocent. They can't wait to begin the next atrocity. It's true that the U.S. military has conducted atrocities, in Vietnam and during the Plains Indians wars. But slaughter of the innocent is rare in U.S. military annals. In "Avatar," it's the norm. The bloodthirsty military personnel readily comply with the colonel's orders to gun down natives. No one questions him -- though in martial law, a soldier not only may but must refuse an illegal order.

Yes, because if there is one thing Hollywood has done well prior to "Avatar" is accurately and correctly portray the United States military. Up until this point, everything has not exactly been spot-on.

Films that criticize the military for its faults are one thing: When did watching depictions of U.S. soldiers dying become a form of fun?

You want the Sarah Palin answer, Howard Dean answer or the moderate answer? Two of which are incorrect?

Sarah Palin answer: Because Hollywood hates everyday Americans and especially hates the military.

Howard Dean answer: Because our military has been responsible for more human deaths over the last 200 years than any other military force in the world.

Moderate answer: Hollywood is uncreative and thinks the military is an all-knowing group who wants to rule the world. The industry doesn't get why someone would join the military and just assumes people will join up to kill other people in cold blood.

Eric Bilinski of Fort Wayne, Ind., notes the Russian space agency is contemplating a mission to test changing the course of an asteroid. The rock in question is extremely unlikely to strike Earth, making it a good choice for testing, and could not approach Earth until 2036. Bilinski writes, "File that under Armageddon Creep."

Obviously if Russia is going to change the course of the asteroid that possibly could be headed towards Earth, they need to make this a last minute decision.

"In section 3.C.4, covering supplemental compensation, Texas Tech agreed to pay $25,000 if his football team achieves a 65 percent graduation rate. Texas Tech under Leach is relatively high in graduation rates for football-factory schools, high enough to win Leach his bonus -- so, this incentive worked...Leach gets an extra $100,000 if the Red Raiders win eight conference games, an extra $250,000 for winning the national championship. Thus if 'put your money where your mouth is' reveals Texas Tech priorities, the school cares four times as much about a winning season, and 10 times as much about a national championship, as it does about academics."

No, Texas Tech cares 4 times as much about compensating the head football coach for the football team having a winning season as they do about compensating the coach for the player's academics. There is a small difference, but it is important to note the players on the Texas Tech football team do not encompass the entire student body of Texas Tech so the concern Texas Tech shows to compensate the football coach in regard to academics doesn't reflect the school's entire concern overall of academics. It's a bit unfair to base Texas Tech's concern for academics on how they compensate the head football coach in his contract for graduating a certain percentage of players.

You had to feel for the Cincinnati players. First weasel coach Brian Kelly walks out on them on the eve of the school's biggest-ever bowl appearance -- please, for your personal safety, do not stand between Kelly and a wad of cash. Then assistant weasel Jeff Quinn, who said he would coach the Sugar Bowl in Kelly's stead, also accepted another job a few days before the contest. Why didn't Quinn have the dignity to leave and hand the reigns so someone who
wanted to coach the Bearcats?

Here's another instance where Gregg shows a bold disregard for actual facts. Quinn wanted the Cincinnati Bearcat head coaching position, but was beaten out for the spot by Butch Jones, so then Quinn took a job with another school AFTER he didn't get the Bearcat position. Why should Gregg let facts get in the way of his argument that Quinn was a weasel coach? Quinn coached the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl because he actually wanted to keep the commitment he made to the players, not because he was a weasel and didn't want the job.

The Bearcats did hand the reins (not reigns) over to a coach who WANTED to coach the Bearcats, he just didn't get hired for the job. Of course Gregg and his dipshit ESPN editor completely ignored this point. I guess it is too hard to even search their own site for information about this. What's the point of getting facts right when you can just guess and no one calls you on what you type?

I would just like to also add that even though Urban Meyer isn't a weasel coach under Gregg's definition of the term, he has left Bowling Green for more money at Utah and then he left Utah for more money at the University of Florida. I am sure in some people's eyes that is sort of weasel-y. His team won the Sugar Bowl handily, so Gregg's "weasel coaches get punished by the football gods" theory sort of takes another blow here.

What did the Cincinnati players do to deserve not one but two weasel coaches?

They did nothing, which is exactly why they got one weasel coach, Brian Kelly. Nothing annoys me more than when a sportswriter is absolutely wrong about a fact like this. It's fine to be critical of a coach, but at least know for certain you are in the right when criticizing the coach. It takes 2 minutes of research to find out Butch Jones got the Cincinnati job over Jeff Quinn, who was more than willing to take the job. Therefore it is incorrect to say Quinn didn't want the Bearcats job and to call him a weasel coach.

When people ask me why I have a problem with Gregg Easterbrook, I always tell them it is because I don't mind his second guessing, I just don't like that he second guesses and doesn't always know what he is talking about. How does his editor not catch some of these mistakes?

10 comments:

Dylan Murphy said...

Regarding the Patriots trades, I think Belichick realized that the team he had was probably not a Super Bowl winner. Even with Welker, their team is not elite. Obviously they can still make a run, as some team proves every year. But realistically, I think he sacrificed a good shot a championship this year for a great shot at a championship for the next 5 years. Especially since Oakland's 2011 pick will be high.

Bengoodfella said...

Dylan, I think your analysis is spot on. Belichick knew he was going to have to take a step back this year to build up a great team for the next 5 years. Really, can you turn down a potential Top 5 draft pick for Richard Seymour? Even if the Patriots get stuck with the pick and can't trade it they should get a good player. At worst they trade the pick for more picks.

I love how Belichick does his drafting. He thinks outside the box sometimes and accumulates draft picks for players he has no real want to re-sign anyway.

I take issue with Gregg suggesting the Patriots would be stronger this year, because they still could make a Super Bowl run, but they have to re-sign some players and it never hurts to accumulate picks for the future.

rich said...

Second step: Colleges require a neutral monitor present at practice, state high school associations require a parent or teacher present at practice.

The problem with this is how many parents/teachers/observers know how football practices operate? I know some stories were shared yesterday, so a legit question is how would those be viewed by a "neutral" third party? I have to think that this would be a terrible idea if say an overprotective parent were present and coach had the gall to yell at their kid.

The other huge issue with this: how would this limit concussions or other injuries? How many people know more about concussions/injuries more than a coaching and/or training staff? If coaches (who deal with this sort of stuff more often than parents) can't tell, what's a parent going to do?

I know I'm probably beating a dead horse with this, but like I said yesterday: coaches know their players (and more importantly their limits) better than a "neutral third party."

But actually it was playing the percentages -- going to overtime is at best a 50/50 proposition, whereas one gain of 3 yards means victory.

Possible outcomes: Team 1/ Team 2
0/0
0/7
0/3
3/0
3/3
3/7
7/0
7/3
7/7

Notice team 1 wins only in 3 out of 9 times. So it's not 50/50, it's actually only a 33% chance of winning, 33% chance of more OT and 33% chance of losing. But as PK might say, that's an 'illegitimate' 33%.

Eric Bilinski of Fort Wayne, Ind., notes the Russian space agency is contemplating a mission to test changing the course of an asteroid. The rock in question is extremely unlikely to strike Earth, making it a good choice for testing, and could not approach Earth until 2036. Bilinski writes, "File that under Armageddon Creep."

You know why testing when it's far away is a really good thing? Because they're testing. In terms of physics you can predict how the asteroid should react, but at the same time, you don't know. What happens if they're successful and bump the asteroid off course and changes it's trajectory that it will actually hit the earth once it passes around the sun? Or if it gets bumped into a planetary gravitational field and gets slingshoted towards Earth? What if somehow the Russians mess up and actually push the thing into a collision course when we were relatively safe before?

They're testing so far off b/c:

1. It takes time for spacecraft to you know travel through space.
2. In case something bad/unpredictable happens, having time to, you know, not doom the planet, is probably a good thing.

And more importantly,

3. If it fails, wouldn't you like to have time to come up with a better plan? Like when we still have time to think of one?

HH said...

In Gregg's defense [I know!], I think he's right about a low-blitz offense generally being good. If you can get away with it, it means you're playing good defense and pressuring the passer without having to send extra guys and weaken your coverage. Which I would imagine is an advantage.

Also, from my experience playing, a blitz is generally defined as any play where five or more guys rush the passer, while anything 4 and under is not a blitz. In a 3-4, one passrushing LB would then not be a blitz.

brent daniels said...
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brent daniels said...

Tennessee's Chris Johnson -- who is 5-foot-11, 200 pounds -- set the all-time record with 2,433 total yards from scrimmage.

2,509 is his actual total. That took 4 seconds to look up.

The special effects were great -- though yours truly increasingly finds computer-drawn special effects boring, since they are so obviously fake.


Not me when I saw a blue guy I believe he actually does exist. I'm not smart like Gregg.

Keith Lofton of Houston writes, "Last week my office started a Super Bowl pool that gives winnings based on the final and quarter-by-quarter scores. How can I make an accurate wager on Super Bowl scores when we still don't even know which teams are in the playoffs?"

Keith you are a moron or have never been in a superbowl pool before. You pick squares and they then randomly give you numbers. I could get in the next 100 superbowl pools and I would have the same chance as anybody else. I guess they should wait til the day before the game so you could expertly write your name in a square with all your genius intellect.


Boy I'm angry today lol. TMQ does about zero research for his articles and it gets on my nerves. I think I only still read him just to make fun of him.

KentAllard said...

Where was he when Northwestern faked field goal against Auburn in overtime to try to win it? Auburn won, which is curious behavior for the ol' football gods.

And isn't he criticizing Quinn for not doing what he criticizes Kelly for? I hate to break it to him, but a lot of people change jobs for money or other reasons. I'm sorry for Cincinnati, but this happens to everyone eventually.

Fred Trigger said...

"He also realizes Hobbs would most likely have taken up a roster spot for a player that now has a full season of experience to take into the playoffs because Hobbs wasn't on the roster all year, right?"

He does also realize that Ellis Hobbs sucks even when he is healthy, right? Seriously, the pats corners get shit on a lot, but I think its less of them being bad, and more of them having to cover receivers for 7 seconds because the D-Line cant get any pressure on the QB. I think the Seymour trade was good because he was looking like a shell of his formr self the past couple of years. I still cant believe they got a 1st rounder for him.

rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I had similar questions about the neutral observer idea. It's not like the neutral observer would really know what was going on with practice or if they did would they really know more than the football coaches about concussions.

I didn't even question his "50% chance of winning in OT" statement. I sometimes lose the energy to deal w/ all his numbers issues.

I hope that Armageddeon Creep was a joke because I am with you. I want a chance to have a backup plan, if necessary.

HH, absolutely. You are right, if you can get pressure on the QB w/o blitzing it's a good thing, but Gregg sees things in black and white and tends to hate blitzing most all the time. So you are right but I think Gregg tends to look at it more extreme. I wasn't sure what constituted a blitz, thanks for clearing that up. I just assume if 5 or more guys come at the QB then it is a blitz.

Brent, I thought about one time second guessing all the numbers Gregg put in his TMQ and then decided I don't have time for that.

I actually LOL'd at the Super Bowl pool comment. I am embarrassed for myself but still enjoyed the comment. Gregg really doesn't do a whole lot of research and then to make matters worse he for some reason wants realism in Hollywood movies.

Kent, yes Northwestern did try to be bold and it didn't work out for them. Where were the football gods? Also, he is just criticizing Quinn to criticize him. He couldn't win. If he stayed with the team then Gregg says he didn't want to be there and if he leaves the team then he is a weasel coach.

Fred, the Patriots also have some young corners if I am not wrong, so I am sure they are going to improve, which is the idea...and the defensive line can be improved with the buttload of draft picks the team has. I didn't think Hobbs sucked that bad, but I will take your word for it since you know better, but I do know the Seymour trade was a good one and having Hobbs on the roster would not have made NE better since he is injured.