Wednesday, December 8, 2010

13 comments Gregg Easterbrook Solves the Money Crisis At Universities

Gregg Easterbrook is asking the tough questions that many people who watch football want to know...like why are athletic departments so big at college schools? Aren't there some misleading statistics that could be used to show how English departments at schools are 75 times less important than the football program? Screw talking about the bowl matchups or any other issue affecting college football right now, let's talk about the exciting administrative and personnel decisions colleges make while fielding sports teams. It's a Gregg Easterbrook wet dream to do this, so he does. It's as exciting to read as it sounds like it would be.

I find this to be an entire disaster. I probably missed some bad points Easterbrook made but I have to limit my space I write in.

Bowl season is nearly upon us, and college football conferences are reshuffling like mad, with bowl invites,

Bowl season is nearly up on us, but it's not bowl season yet! How can we talk about bowl games if there have been no bowl games yet? It's Bowl Creep!

Was this introduction written in October? Bowl season is here, college football conferences seem to have finished shuffling for right now and all the bowl invites are in. So it's all been done at this point.

College marketers know that in 2008 the University of Texas had $88 million in football revenue while Ohio State had $68 million (Wall Street Journal figures), and football dollars are still going up. The money rush isn't confined to the top, rather it is spread broadly across the higher-education landscape.

How dare Texas and Ohio State attempt to make money that funds all the other athletic programs. This is football-factory behavior at its worst. Gregg is getting ready to go on and on about how colleges make football more important than academics, but I don't get what he wants to do about this. He has no real conclusion he reaches other than schools treat football programs very well.

Despite the cash-grab in big-college athletics -- Texas, already the leader in football revenue, cut an even better deal for itself this fall by threatening to leave its conference -- nearly all universities lose money on sports.

This is pretty old news. Gregg must have had some form of writer's block this week and didn't what to talk about in TMQ's introduction...other than the actual games of football that were played this past weekend.

Gregg goes on and on about how football programs can't support themselves so they have to use student funds and then complains that Texas wants to make more money to support it's football program. Isn't that something he should encourage to take the burden off the students? This is a bit contradictory, no?

Rachel Bachman of The Portland Oregonian reports. Increasingly, college students who don't play sports are charged to support those who do.

So we have gone from paying football players to charging them for playing a sport at a school? Who should be charged to support the sports programs at a school? We have already covered that no athletic programs can sustain their programs without some help and Gregg believes any program that attempts to make money is making a "cash grab."

USA Today reports that in the 2008-09 school year, colleges charged their students $795 million to support athletics.

Again, this doesn't sound good, but if this money doesn't come from the students where does the money come from? Athletic programs can't support themselves as we have heard time and time again from Gregg.

Often this wasn't revealed, with the costs buried in tuition fees that students, and their parents, thought were solely to support academics.

Or on a detailed invoice that college send out each semester that shows exactly what the students are being charged for that semester. At what point should schools stop detailing where the money paid by the student goes? I am sure some of the money in a student's tuition goes to support the Music Department at a school, should a student who has never taken a music class and is in the Business Department have to support the Music Department? It seems Gregg would argue "no." There are a bunch of student fees that go plenty of unknown places and God only knows where the tuition a student pays goes. I am sure some of it goes to support programs that individual student will never benefit from.

Over the years, billionaire T. Boone Pickens has donated nearly $500 million to Oklahoma State, his alma mater -- but most of the money has gone to athletics, not academics. The donation that UNC-Charlotte requires, in addition to the PSL fee? It goes to the booster fund, not to academics. At many colleges and universities, athletic programs cannibalize donations that might have gone to education.

This is a real problem, I won't argue that. I would also argue these donations MIGHT have gone to education. These donations could also go to giving the Public Safety department new golf carts or any of 1,000 other funds a university typically needs funding for.

Big-deal college sports programs need subsidies in part because Division I football and men's basketball coaches are overpaid. There are nearly 100 big-sports college coaches earning at least $2 million annually, most at public universities. More than 200 assistant football coaches in the college ranks earn at least $250,000 annually, with Monte Kiffin of USC, the defensive coordinator, earning $1.5 million plus lavish perks.

I am not sure where to even begin with this discussion. If a school wants to overpay for a coach or an assistant coach that's up to them. Students don't have to go to school at that university if they don't like it. I'm not saying Gregg doesn't have a point, but it just seems like a speculative point more than anything.

Last year the Knight Commission found that nearly all college presidents, even the ones at sports-powerhouse schools, believe salaries for football and men's basketball coaches are out of control.

Naturally college presidents would believe this to be true. They want to pay less for great football and men's basketball coaches. I believe a lot of things are overpriced...simply because I would prefer to pay less for them.

Ohio State lists 458 people in its athletic department. Included are the athletic director (who's also a vice president of the university), four people with the title senior associate athletic director, 12 associate athletic directors, an associate vice president, a "senior associate legal counsel for athletics" and plus a nine-person NCAA compliance office. NCAA rules are complex, to be sure, but does Ohio State really needs nine people who do nothing but push NCAA paperwork?

How do these numbers compare to academic departments at the school? There are 192 faculty members in Ohio State's English department, with a support staff of about 50. Thus the Ohio State athletic department has roughly twice as many people as the Ohio State English department.

I'm having a hard time remembering a famous author that came from Ohio State...but the name Terrelle Pryor rings a bell to me. In short, how much money does the English department bring in to Ohio State compared to how much money the athletic program brings in? It sounds cold but its true. Many people may go to Ohio State simply for the athletics, even if they don't participate in athletics. I don't know how many students go to Ohio State for the great English department while they major in Criminal Justice.

And sports receive more staffing than English, though there is a widespread feeling that many Americans are inadequately educated in subjects such as English, while not one single person in the entire United States believes there isn't enough emphasis on sports.

It is all about money. Gregg isn't stupid, he knows this. It's not a huge mystery why schools focus so much on athletics rather than academics.

All those coaches and mysterious "associate directors of football operations" mean that in football, Ohio State has a 1-to-5 ratio of staff to students: while in English, the staff-to-student ratio is 1-to-280. Divide the latter by the former. In staffing terms, Ohio State treats football as 56 times more important than it does English.

This would be correct if we could assume how many members of the staff a department has correlates completely with how important that department is to the school. I think this would be a pretty speculative assumption.

It's also important to understand students all across the school benefit from the football program while only students majoring or minoring in English benefit from the English department. I would be interested to see how many staff members per English major/minor the English department at Ohio State would have. I think that's a much more fair comparison. It is all about how many people benefit from the department. More students benefit from the Ohio State athletic department than the English department.

Cal has a 27-person staff for football coaching and administration, overseeing a roster of 110 players. That's a 1-to-4 ratio of staff to students. The school's English department has 71 non-emeritus personnel, plus about 50 support staff, serving a student body of 35,843. That's a 1-to-296 ratio of staff to students. Judged by staff, Cal devotes even more resources to football, versus English, than does Ohio State. In staffing terms, Cal treats football as 74 times more important than English.

This is just madness. We get it...colleges have a lot of athletic personnel they pay for. Again, athletics benefit everyone, while the English department only benefits those taking English classes.

Big staffs certainly don't guarantee success. Columbia, with its top-heavy football staff, is 11-29 in its past four seasons. The University of Tennessee, with a 28-person football staff, just finished its season with a 6-6 record. Kansas needed a 23-person football staff to finish 3-9. Most likely these schools could have compiled the same records with half as many people on the football staff, or the athletic department staff.

I'm not sure about this. Like most other staffs, the work could have been done with less people, but possibly not in an as efficient or effective manner. A lot of companies and schools could easily cut the amount of staff they have on hand, but this would affect the quality and efficiency of the work.

Even at a sports powerhouse like Ohio State, perhaps one student in 2,000 will go on to earn a paycheck in professional sports, and then for a "career" that lasts a only couple years. If only one Ohio State science or business graduate in 2,000 ever found a job in any field related to their degrees, Ohio politicians and voters would be angrily denouncing the school.

There is an incredible huge difference in a person having a career in a sport, which is based a lot on natural talent and has a more limited number of spots where a person can be hired, than a person having a career in a science or business field. Comparing a person trying to make a career out of a sport based on talent in a limited field and a person trying to make a career in their chosen field of major where jobs are more plentiful is pointless. There's just not an effective comparison to be made.

Top-heavy staffing in college sports is far more troubling for higher education than some football player who sells a jersey on eBay. Yet bloated staffing, which benefits the well-off and comfortable, continues, while God forbid some recruit from a poor family should eat an unauthorized cheeseburger.

Yet again, these are two completely different issues where a comparison being made serves no purpose. I'm not sure I see the connection between NCAA rule violations as they pertain to how many staff members should be on the football team. They seem to be two completely, non-comparable things.

This discussion is a great example of how Gregg Easterbrook has a semi-point but he makes a terrible case to defend his point.

In other football news, last month TMQ took considerable flak for saying it was time for Brett Favre to carry a clipboard while Tarvaris Jackson played. Jackson "holds slightly fewer records than Favre, but he's a mobile quarterback, which may be what Minnesota needs at the moment," your columnist wrote.

I'd love to know who gave Gregg flak for saying this. Was it his co-workers at ESPN who worship the very ground that Brett Favre has walked on, is walking on or may walk on? Because I know a lot of people who would agree with Gregg Easterbrook on this issue...including myself.

Stat of the Week No. 1: The Oakland Raiders outrushed the San Diego Chargers by 230 yards -- in San Diego.

Stat of the Week No. 2: The Jacksonville Jaguars outrushed the Tennessee Titans by 201 yards -- in Tennessee.

How does it really matter where the Raiders and Jaguars outrushed their opponents. It's not like this is baseball or some other sport where a homefield advantage makes a difference in how hard it is to rush the football. The Chargers don't have a field that makes it easier to pass, which makes the Raiders running the ball effectively more impressive than if this was done on the Raiders home field.

while undrafted free agent Chris Ivory rushed for 117 yards, undrafted free agent Jabari Greer had a terrific performance at corner against Cincinnati's mega-hyped wide receivers and little known rookie tight end Jimmy Graham caught a 52-yard pass.

Carson Palmer was 23 for 33 with a 101.7 passer rating against the Saints, which was his third highest passer rating of the season. Chad Johnson had 90+ yards receiving and Terrell Owens had a touchdown. I am not sure who Jabari Greer was matched up against but I am not sure if the performance was terrific or not.

Also, Jimmy Graham is little known only to those who don't follow the NFL close enough to not know any of the players who aren't stars. We discussed this last week with Gary Brackett.

New Orleans used a late third-round draft pick on Graham, who didn't do much -- and often was confused -- in his one season of college football.

He had 17 receptions and 5 TD catches in 2009 as a Miami Hurricane football player and played in every game. Not sure if I would call that not doing much.

He's going to be the next Antonio Gates, also a basketball player in college. Gates wasn't drafted: we now know he should have been a first-round choice.

What the hell? Graham has 19 catches for 265 yards and 1 TD catch in about as many games as he played in while in college. His numbers are nearly the exact same in the NFL as in college when Gregg says he "didn't do much," yet in the NFL Gregg says he should be a first round pick. Do some research, then post a column.

Plagued by injuries and interceptions, the Colts were in danger of a second straight home loss, a drop from first place and questions about whether their tremendous decade-long run is coming to an end. Trailing Dallas 35-28, the Colts scored to pull within 35-34 with 33 seconds showing in regulation. Don't kick -- go for the win!

Apparently Gregg has never heard the adage "go for the win on the road, play for the tie at home." That's what the Colts did. There were about 35 other factors that led to them losing in overtime rather than them winning in regulation.

Jim Caldwell, the Indianapolis coach, may have sent in the PAT unit merely because "that's what we always do" -- many people who run organizations don't think much beyond that. But he knows if he tries for the win and fails, he will be slammed with criticism; whereas if he kicks and heads to overtime and Peyton Manning throws an interception, the players will be the ones criticized.

Or he may think the Colts could win the game in overtime. I guess he could have been thinking about that option too.

Trying and failing would have been better than what happened -- it would have sent the message that Indianapolis was determined. Instead, the message sent by the overtime wheeze-out is that Indianapolis is unraveling.

Going for the two-point conversion may have been the right move, but going for two sends the message he has no faith in his defense to stop the Cowboys if they lose the coin flip.

And the Dolphins -- who in the past five years said no to Drew Brees at quarterback, then invested five second-round draft choices in Henne, John Beck, Daunte Culpepper, Pat White and A.J. Feeley -- yet again are headed into an offseason with quarterback issues.

I am so, so, so, so, so tired of this revisionist history being put forth by the media. The Dolphins DID NOT say no to Drew Brees as their quarterback. He said no to them because they wouldn't guarantee him as much money as the Saints would. The Dolphins wanted Brees as the quarterback, but didn't offer him enough guaranteed money, so Brees went to New Orleans. This story gets told incorrectly pretty much every time its told.

Trailing Oakland 21-3 at the close of the third quarter, San Diego faced fourth-and-12 on the Raiders' 15. Norv Turner -- who has a history of sending in kickers when trailing big late -- motioned for the field goal unit. Before the kick, San Diego was down by three scores. After the field goal, at 21-6, San Diego was down by two touchdowns and a deuce: in effect, still down by three scores.

No. Not in effect still down three scores. The Chargers are down two touchdowns and a two-point conversion...not three scores. That's like saying a team with an eight point lead is up two scores.

Sure, fourth-and-12 is a long shot, but you're at home, you have the league's No. 1 offense.

Exactly, which is why it makes sense to get within 15 points and have the entire fourth quarter to use that No. 1 offense to score two touchdowns. A failed fourth-and-12 here pretty much ends the game. Don't forget the Chargers were on the Raiders 15 yard line, so they had to work with a shorter field being that close to the end zone so it would have been harder to get 12 yards for the first down due to less space. Gregg doesn't think about this of course and just blindly criticizes the Chargers because it feels good to him.

Buck-Buck-Brawckkkkkkk No. 3: Trailing defending champion New Orleans 27-19 at home with 10 minutes remaining, Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis sent in the punt unit on fourth-and-short at midfield. The Saints lined up with 12 men, giving Cincinnati a first down, and the home team scored a touchdown on the drive.

The football gods liked this move!

It's hard to believe a team could punt on fourth-and-inches from the opponent's 36-yard line and go on to win the game -- but the Steelers did that Sunday at Baltimore.

No, it's exactly not hard to believe that at all. There is no real proof that a team which doesn't go for it on a single fourth-and-inches will go on to lose the football game. It is not hard to believe that any of Gregg's fictional theories ever come up false, because they are just fictional theories.

Teams with a power defense, such as Pittsburgh, are most likely to benefit by kicking on fourth-and-short.

Really? So this is the reason it was okay for the Steelers to punt, they have a "power defense?" I'll remember this. Also, this "power defense" is the 3-4, which Gregg called a "fad" earlier this year and features a lot of "blitz-crazy" packages, which Gregg also doesn't like and says leads to losses for teams.

When it works, one rusher comes through the line unblocked. Announcers and fans see that action and think, "He made a great play." Actually he's done the easiest thing in sports, simply run straight ahead. It is the rush choreography -- happening before the snap and resulting in a rusher who isn't blocked -- that's impressive.

The player hasn't done a good job in disguising he was blitzing?

A quarterback who sees the blitz coming usually has a man open -- all that's needed is for blockers to slow the rush for an instant. For a blitz to be devastating, somebody's got to come unblocked -- otherwise the ball will be gone.

I have no idea how Gregg Easterbrook gets paid to write this crap every week. If he cut this column down and only included the intelligent and good points he had it would be a much smaller column, but also a 1000 times better column.

Pittsburgh showed mega-blitz, with seven men walking up to the line and shifting positions twice. At the snap, five actually rushed; Troy Polamalu came through unblocked and tomahawked the ball out of Joe Flacco's hand. Elegant blitz choreography!

I wonder what the difference in the Steelers' defenders shifting defenders for the blitz choreography and the Buccaneers defenders shifting and looking confused last week was (where Gregg criticized them for this)? Oh yeah, the result of the play, which is how Gregg judges everything football-related. In a sport where the idea and execution can still be great, but lead to failure Gregg only focuses on the failure or success of a play.

Then Gregg spends a lot of words criticizing the science-fiction show "Fringe." Naturally, he criticizes the show for not being realistic enough and having unanswerable questions and continuity problems, obviously forgetting the "science" and "fiction" part of the genre the show is a part of.

Tom Brady had a clean pocket and threw with precision -- and threw down the middle most of the time, which involves less wasted motion than throwing toward the sidelines, as Mark Sanchez mainly did.

I am sure Mark Sanchez intentionally wasted his motion (who cares about this?) and completely ignored the players down the middle of the field. Perhaps Gregg has thought that maybe, just maybe, there weren't any players open in the middle of the field for Sanchez to throw to?

On a very amusing play, Woodhead at 5-foot-8, 189 pounds and Welker, at 5-9, 185 pounds, lined up as blitz-blocking backs! The Jets believed this, ignoring Woodhead as he snuck through the offensive line for a 35-yard reception.

Danny Woodhead is a running back. He has to be able to pick up the blitz to block for his quarterback. The Jets believed he would be in the backfield picking up the blitz because that is part of his job duties as a running back.

Rex Ryan talks, talks, talks. Trailing 24-3, he ordered a punt on fourth-and-1 from midfield. Dozens of readers including Peter Weis of Mt. Hermon, Mass., e-mailed at that instant asking if I was writing "game over" in my notebook, and of course I was.

I think Peter Weis may have been mocking Gregg for writing down the completely obvious "Game Over" in his notebook at this point.

Jax leading 14-0, Moss dropped a pass at the Jacksonville 5, Tennessee failing to score on the possession. His virus spread to Bo Scaife, who dropped a pass at the Jax 4, Tennessee ending up with a field goal on that possession. It's not so much that Moss is not making receptions -- one catch for 13 yards Sunday. A wide receiver can have a good game if he blocks and pulls the safeties away from other receivers. But Moss plainly isn't even trying, and this virus has spread quickly to other Titans.

It has nothing to do with the quarterback for the semi-state of flux the team seems to be under. I am sure it is all Randy Moss's fault though. Maybe Moss is quitting on the team, but one wide receiver quitting on the team doesn't result in the entire team playing poorly...unless Randy Moss is the master of poisoning a locker room and Jeff Fisher doesn't care.

Both playing at home, City of Tampa and San Diego wore throwback uniforms, and both their cheerleader squads donned throwback outfits suggesting the sweater-and-skirt look of generations past. In other words, both sets of cheer-babes were tastefully attired, rather than displaying the contemporary cheesecake look. The football gods were angered, and both home teams lost.

I guess Gregg just assumes the football gods are perverts like he is and are the type of people who fawn pathetically over young girls in their early 20's that were skimpy clothing.

Jim Faxon of Wading River, N.Y., writes, "On Dec. 3, when I checked an e-mail account I use for fantasy football, I found an e-mail from Linens-N-Things touting 'last minute gifts' for the holiday season. I realize Hanukkah is under way, but for most people Dec. 3 doesn't classify as last-minute."

Are you that incredibly stupid that you don't understand how advertising works? Linens-N-Things wants to create a sense of urgency for you to come in and buy something. It's called advertising, not "Creep" of any kind.

As former NFL star Rodney Harrison has noted repeatedly on NBC, players laugh at fines -- only suspensions are taken seriously. By constantly saying there will be suspension for vicious hits then never imposing them, the NFL front office has revealed itself as a paper tiger: all talk, no action.

Rodney Harrison says that from the point of view of a highly paid player. Sherrod Martin of the Carolina Panthers was fined $40,000 for a hit on a Browns player. That means he is essentially playing one game, maybe two games without pay this year. I am pretty sure he wasn't laughing when he heard this news. So all players don't laugh at the suspensions. That's what I think is the biggest problem with the NFL fining players for hits. The amounts of money affect some players much more than others. Players like Rodney Harrison laugh at a $40,000 fine, but for Sherrod Martin this is a big financial hit.

Next Week: Comet the reindeer coach caught up in a recruiting scandal when he offers inducements to get Fireball to attend the Reindeer Games.

How about next week TMQ just doesn't get written? Is that too much to ask.

Comment away. That entire section about college football programs was just an overwhelming disaster. There's no way around it. I could have spent all day on that section and still not gotten to all the points that could have been made.

13 comments:

rich said...

USA Today reports that in the 2008-09 school year, colleges charged their students $795 million to support athletics.

I haven't seen the study (and frankly I don't care to), but I'm guessing that at least part of that 795 million is charged as a "recreation" fees that allow students to use the gym and sports facilities.

Even if no, that 795 million is also spread across a ton of students. A quick wiki search shows that there were 18 million college students in 2007, so what college charge 50 bucks a year to the average student? Compared to book prices, tuition and housing, that's a steal.

Just to repeat Gregg got upset that colleges charge on average 50 bucks a student. No mention that universities charge well over 100 bucks for certain textbooks. At Penn we used a "special" version of the book (it had two extra chapters) and ended up paying 250% retail value for the book b/c we had to buy it through the school.

Americans are inadequately educated in subjects such as English

I'm sorry, but if you're not educated in English by the time you reach college, you don't deserve to be in college. If more people want to play sports and it recoups some of the associated losses, why would the school spend that money on an another department.

Moreover, just because the football program gets more money than the English department doesn't mean that the English department is underfunded. It could just be that the English department doesn't need that much money to fund or that the football program is overfunded.

while in English, the staff-to-student ratio is 1-to-280
That's a 1-to-296 ratio of staff to students

Another fail in logic. This would be a good comparison if English professors had to teach all 280 kids at the same time. Football has a high staff to student ratio b/c all of the students basically practice at the same time. Unless it's an introductory course, the odds of having more than maybe 30 kids in a class at a given time is slim.

Adding to your argument about how many kids benefit, sure Cal has 30,000 kids, but how many of them are taking those classes at any given time?

You can't say the football staff to football ratio is lower than the English staff to the entire student body, they're comparing two vastly different things. If you use those numbers, Cal has a football staff to student body ratio of 1 to 1200 or so. Now it doesn't seem so insane does it? No, which is why Gregg makes up his own statistics to prove his points.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, that doesn't seem like a high price to pay at all. Compared to nearly every other charge at a school it is a massive steal...especially when compared to books, which are related to academics, and not sports I believe. Where's Gregg's outrage at that?

Gregg has a lot of logic problems in this argument, one of the biggest ones being that the English departments need more help. You are right. It should not be a college's responsibility to adequately train a person in English. That's a high school issue.

Gregg has to make up statistics or else he has no point. What it is all about is who benefits from the services to how many instructors there are. The idea of the football program is that a greater amount of people benefit from it, while like you said, all of the students are taking English classes at the same time.

It's just a bad argument.

Cory said...

I have been reading TMQ for 10 years, and never ever has it been worse than it is this season. Honestly. I don't if its his opinions or his arguments for those opinions, but something just isn't clicking with him this year. I'm surprised Gregg didn't come out and say "There should be one person who does everything. They are the coach and the general manager and the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator. If I can do it with my middle school pee-wee team then it can be done in college. And they damn well better have a salary of five figures or less and no body guards or an entourage in any way, because by doing that they only care about themselves, the miserable sons of bitches that they are."

I'm thinking next week Gregg will go on a 20,000 word intro that is basically an extended "Unified Theory of Creep" or why politicians who use bodyguards are fucking assholes. That would be so terrible it would be good.

Gregg has to be the biggest moralists I've ever known to exist. He just doesn't want to understand the an athletic department makes big bucks for a school, just because it does not directly apply to every single student (but they still have to pay for it).

And one could make an argument that Americans are inadequately educating in nearly every subject.

Bengoodfella said...

Cory, I really believe maybe Gregg has run out of ideas. I feel like he has started repeating himself and is bringing up issues that not only aren't interesting but also aren't supported by very good points.

I agree with you. I don't know how big of a staff he suggests, but most staffs are bigger to be more efficient and get the work done. You pretty much sum up his entire attitude in that one paragraph.

Gregg has his pet issues and loves to beat them down our throat. What's most interesting is when he latches on to stupid or boring stories and then beats them down our throats.

Yeah, math and science seems to be the biggest problem for American students, not English.

HH said...

A quarterback who sees the blitz coming usually has a man open -- all that's needed is for blockers to slow the rush for an instant. For a blitz to be devastating, somebody's got to come unblocked -- otherwise the ball will be gone.

What a great example of how simplistic Gregg's football thinking is. Yes, if a quarterback sees a blitz coming, there is usually a hot route with a receiver who looks back immediately to receive the ball. You know who else knows that? The other team. Which is why when a defense calls a blitz, they also call coverages that clamp down on receivers immediately, to prevent the outlet pass. It's a risky proposition: if you close on a guy near the line, you leave a lot of room behind you to be exploited if the blitz is picked up. However, if you can prevent that hot route pass, you buy your rush some time to get to the QB even if they're "slowed down for an instant." I simply cannot understand how someone who gets paid to write about football can't think past the simplest initial idea. "Blitzes are bad!" "Hot routes never fail!" "It's good to have good players!"

Bengoodfella said...

HH, of all the things I complain about concerning TMQ and Gregg, I think that's the worst. He is just so simplistic in his thinking. He says,

"If A happens then B will also happen. If A does this, then B will do that, which will always lead to C. So A is bad and should never be done."

He thinks when a blitz comes there is always an open man, so QB's love to get blitzed b/c that means there is an open man. Which isn't true. He has a Super Tecmo Bowl view of the world and it irritates me.

Defenses know this stuff a/b blitzes, which is why they use strategy to prevent the hot read from immediately being open. This is why great QB's sometimes like to be blitzed b/c they can identify where the blitz comes from and find the open man. That's also why disguising coverages is so important when facing a guy like Peyton Manning.

Anonymous said...

Actually Woodhead blocked quite a few times in that game.

Bengoodfella said...

Gregg Easterbrook doesn't believe this to be true. He believes sust like there are pass-catching tight ends that can't block, Danny Woodhead is a running back that can't block.

It's idiocy. If Danny Woodhead is to play AT ALL he has to be able to block. The Jets believed he would pick up the blitz because he can do this.

Anon, you are right. I remember Woodhead picking up the blitz one time that I know of.

Jeff said...

Rich - great point on the ratios.

Easterbrook gets paid to second guess and pontificate what it takes to run a football team or a university. He's probably never had a role in an organization that left him with real responsibility to make real decisions with outcomes that have impacts on people and the organization.

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

Jeff, that was a good point wasn't it? I should pay Rich for that information. I will send him a full case of Sun-Drop in return.

I would assume Gregg doesn't know what it takes to run an athletic department or why there may be a need to have so many people working there. I don't know either, but what I do know is a comparison to the English department isn't a great comparison to an athletic department.

Martin said...

If the O-Line can hold up the blitz for just an instance...

Would that be .15 seconds of an instance, or .50 seconds, or would we be talking a full second as part of an instance? And maybe that's why they time these guys at the combine to the hundredths of a second...

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that's great. That's all I have to say. Very few things Gregg Easterbrook says are consistent and that's one of them.