Monday, May 9, 2011

8 comments Gregg Easterbrook Hates Specificity, Doesn't Realize It Is Because He Generally Sucks

Last week, Gregg Easterbrook mocked the absurdity of the NFL Draft (teams draft players from cheating college football factories? No thanks!) and this week he breaks down the draft and again has a problem with too much specificity. I agree with him on this. I probably shouldn't be specific in my discussion of how bad Gregg Easterbrook sucks, I could probably be less specific and just write "Gregg Easterbrook sucks hard" in this space and leave it at that. It is tempting, but I won't do this.

Pomp and ritual. Magnificent clothes, flowery speeches. Passionate promises soon to be broken. A ceremony not to be forgotten. I am not talking about the wedding of William Mountbatten-Windsor and Kate Middleton. I'm talking about the NFL draft.

Boom! Gregg Easterbrook fooled us all! We thought he was talking about the royal wedding!

Actually, in his effort to be really funny and clever Gregg is (not shockingly) wrong. There isn't any flowery speeches at the NFL Draft, other than interviews with some players drafted and teams make no promises to the players. They simply obtain their draft rights. So this comparison isn't clever, nor accurate, which is pretty much usual for most things Gregg Easterbrook writes.

Anyone who endured the weekend's draft-a-thon listened to far too much of the pseudo-science of drafting, which is rich in absurd specificity. Touts were excited that linebacker Von Miller, having run a 4.53 at the combine, ran a 4.49 at his pro day. Forget that there is no possibility either time is accurate to the hundredths of a second.

I'm sorry what are "Touts" again? Maybe it is shorthead for "Someone at ESPN should edit columns before they are posted."

The pro day time is less than 1 percent faster than the combine time! A player running at a 4.49 pace will, after 40 yards, be roughly 11 inches ahead of a player running at a 4.53 pace.

Which is a foot. Given that football is often a game of inches, this foot could make a crucial difference. How many times do you see a quarterback throw the ball just as the defensive end gets his hand near the ball? Another inch or two could make the difference in a fumble/incomplete pass and the quarterback getting rid of the ball to his intended receiver. I talk about this every year, yet Gregg Easterbrook can't seem to understand this. There is a difference in a player who can run at a 4.49 pace and a 4.53 pace, even if it doesn't seem like there is.

Being absurdly specific makes you sound like you know more than you do -- or, than anyone could know.

No, being absurdly specific helps football scouts tell the difference in a player who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and a 4.49 40-yard dash. There is a difference in the players and putting times in the hundredths of seconds differentiates between players easier. It tells you something if two players run at a 4.4 pace, but a 4.49 or 4.43 pace gives you more information to compare players.

But don't despair, Tuesday Morning Quarterback aficionados: The TMQ season will happen regardless of whether the NFL season happens.

If the NFL season doesn't happen then 100% of the column will be dedicated to items that are not NFL-related, as opposed to the normal 65% of items dedicated to non-NFL-related happenings. Poor Gregg Easterbrook though. If the NFL season doesn't happen he may have to actually write the column every week rather than cut and paste items from the previous week into TMQ.

Arizona Cardinals: With the league's worst situation at quarterback, the Cardinals passed on Blaine Gabbert in the first round, then passed on Ryan Mallett in the third. Supposedly, the Cardinals hope to acquire Marc Bulger, who's 34 years old and has not started in two seasons. For a team that was in the Super Bowl just two years ago, this is setting expectations mighty low.

The Cardinals had two rookies on the depth chart last year, Max Hall and John Skelton, perhaps the Cardinals think they can develop into starters and didn't want to draft Gabbert or Mallett because they didn't think they could develop into NFL starters. Perhaps the Cardinals are looking at signing a free agent quarterback, but can't because there is a lockout.

Also, the Cardinals did not have the worst situation at quarterback last year. Jimmy Clausen begs to differ.

For the king's ransom the Falcons surrendered to move up from the 27th pick to sixth in the first round, they might have gotten Kate Middleton. Instead they got Julio Jones, This is a make-or-break trade for general manager Thomas Dimitroff, graduate of the University of Guelph. The trade either puts the Falcons in the Super Bowl or breaks Atlanta's winning run.

There is no in-between? The Falcons team last year had the #1 seed in the NFC. This is a team that didn't have Julio Jones on the team last year and the Falcons did not trade any Falcons players that were on that team which had the #1 seed in the NFC. So how is there no chance the Falcons don't make the Super Bowl and still have a winning season? It did happen last year and the year before that. The Falcons didn't give up any pieces of the 2010 team that was successful, so even if Jones busts, it is not like the whole team will bust.

In the second round Buffalo passed on Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and especially Colin Kaepernick, then in the third round passed again on Mallett, who went to New England, where he may torment hapless Bills fans for years to come.

Or he may be the second-string quarterback behind Tom Brady...who will torment hapless Bills fans for years to come as he has done for a decade now. Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't terrible last season and if the Bills don't like another quarterback in the draft, what's the point of drafting one just to say they did?

All elite NFL teams have high draft choices invested in tight ends, and feature the tight end. In the Bills' organization, lessons of what works for the elite teams routinely are ignored.

The Packers do have a high draft choice invested in a tight end, but they won the Super Bowl with Andrew Quarless as their starting tight end. He was a fifth round draft choice. Suffice to say, the Bills aren't an elite tight end away from contending, so perhaps this could wait one more year.

Cincinnati Bengals: Touts assume Carson Palmer will be traded, but what if he truly intends to retire?

Seriously, what the fuck are "Touts?" It is all through this column and I can not figure out if this is an inside-joke from Gregg that I have missed or ESPN and Gregg really, really stink at editing TMQ.

To answer the question of what the Bengals will do if Carson Palmer does retire...that's why the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton in the second round.

Denver Broncos: TMQ is a bit suspicious of second-overall selection Von Miller. He compiled his college sack stats by sprinting too far upfield, well beyond the passer, then using athletic ability to spin back.

This is how Von Miller got a sack EVERY SINGLE TIME HE GOT A SACK. There was no deviation from this. Gregg Easterbrook has seen every game Von Miller has ever played in at Texas A&M and knows this is the only way Miller can get a sack. I will let you decide if you believe this or not.

The much-better offensive tackles Miller will face in the NFL will be only too happy to ride him upfield, then drive him into the ground when he tries to spin back.

This is as opposed to the crappy left tackles Miller faced in the Big 12 like Trent Williams, Russell Okung, and Nate Solder all of whom were first round draft picks over the last two years.

Recent edge linebackers who were sack masters in college, then ineffective in the NFL after being drafted high in the first round -- Robert Ayers, Vernon Gholston, Aaron Maybin -- shared the bad habit of going too far up the field. The upfield rush move works in the NCAA. Against the better and faster linemen of the NFL, it's exactly what offensive tackles want a pass rusher to do.

How about Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, and Clay Matthews? I'm guessing they don't count because it would ruin the point Gregg is desperately trying to prove. Gregg can't provide us with any data that may prove him incorrect, so instead he only focuses on the data that proves him correct.

Green Bay Packers: In the 2005 draft, the Packers chose the last guy still waiting in the green room, Aaron Rodgers. This year the Packers chose the last guy still waiting in the green room, Randall Cobb.

Clearly Cobb is going to sit on the bench for three years, wait for Rodgers to demand a trade and then win a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback for the Packers two years after that, while Aaron Rodgers gets in trouble for texting pictures of his penis to women.

Houston Texans: With the Memphis Grizzlies suddenly a colossus, the pressure is on the Texans to make their first-ever trip to the postseason.


But the Texans and Grizzlies have some sort of rivalry I don't know about?

Shorts became the highest-drafted Division III player since 2002, when the Tennessee Titans used a fourth-round choice on Tony Beckham of Wisconsin-Stout.

AND WHERE HE IS NOW? Where is this lowly regarded Division III player from a non-football factory school now? Hasn't he made 143 Pro Bowls like all lowly-regarded Division III players tend to do, according to Gregg Easterbrook? Where is he? He is out of the NFL. If this were Gregg Easterbrook talking about a highly drafted player from a football factory, he would use this as empirical proof all highly drafted players from big colleges are overrated and "glory boys" who are lazy and this one example is exactly why undrafted or lowly drafted players are better than highly drafted players.

Jersey/A Giants: Since Tiki Barber says he's coming back, why couldn't the Giants draft him again?

Because the Giants already have his rights and don't have to draft him to acquire his rights.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs got a free one-slot bump-up in the first round when Baltimore, drafting in the next slot ahead, failed to complete a trade with Chicago in its allotted time. The Chiefs used their chance to draft wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin, a choice most touts didn't like, noting Kansas City already has Dwayne Bowe.

I don't recall reading an instance where a "tout" didn't like this draft pick for the Chiefs because he is a wide receiver. Mostly, they may not have liked it because Baldwin had personality problems at Pitt. I am not sure it had anything to do with his ability or the receiver needs of the Chiefs, mostly because scouts do realize a team needs more than one wide receiver on the roster. MOST scouts didn't really seem to mind this selection, other than the fact they thought it was a reach for Baldwin. So if a scout didn't like it, then it wasn't because of the actual choice, but because of where the Chiefs took Baldwin.

Back when the Colts already had Marvin Harrison, draftniks scoffed at them spending a first-round choice on Reggie Wayne -- and perhaps you recall how that worked out.

"I am going to make up a lie that most scouts didn't like the Baldwin pick so I can compare the Chiefs draft to the Colts in an attempt to prove that I am right about something."

"Most draftniks scoffed when the Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton first in the draft, but the Rams chose Sam Bradford first in the draft last year -- and perhaps you recall how that worked out."

"Most draftniks scoffed when the Patriots traded Tom Brady and handed the starting quarterback to Brian Hoyer, but the Packers did this with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre three years ago -- and perhaps you remember the Packers won the Super Bowl last year."

I can play this game all day.

For three consecutive drafts, Belichick has traded down and/or out of the first round to stockpile lower picks and choices in the next year's draft. In doing so, Belichick has passed on impact players -- moving out of the first round in 2009, for example, cost him the chance to select Clay Matthews, Hakeem Nicks or Eric Wood, all of whom would start for the Patriots.

I find it deeply ironic that the same guy who spends the entire Fall and Winter telling us how great undrafted players are and how lazy highly drafted and paid glory boys are, happens to spend the Spring criticizing Bill Belichick for not keeping draft picks to draft an impact player in the first round of the draft. So during the season, these first round draft picks have a sense of entitlement and don't work as hard as lowly drafted players, but when it comes time for the draft the first round picks are the impact players on a team. This is a bit of a contradiction isn't it?

It's all fine to criticize Belichick for trading away chances to get impact players, but this criticism rings hollow when the person criticizing Belichick then spends the rest of his column telling us how undrafted and lowly drafted players are just as successful as highly drafted players. Of course, Gregg doesn't realize this.

Perhaps Belichick, being Belichick, feels he would rather work with lower-drafted little-known players than with high choices who might have swelled heads. In that case, he should sell his high picks and use the money to scour the nation for the next Danny Woodhead.

NFL teams can not sell their draft picks.

Through first-round trade-downs and banking of its choices, New England has exercised nine second-round selections in the past three years -- triple the expected number. The result? Rob Gronkowski and Sebastian Vollmer are the only clear successes as starters.

Shouldn't we factor in the two second-round picks from this year hasn't had a chance to play football on the field and be judged quite yet? I would also call Patrick Chung a success at this point. So at the very worst 3 of the 7 players are successes.

A couple of others are promising, and this year's selections have yet to tape their ankles. Overall, the results don't seem much of a testimonial to the Massey-Thaler theory that lower picks are better than high picks.

But Bill Belichick needs to stop trading back in the draft and accumulating picks because he is missing out on impact players in the first round! Don't you remember saying this Gregg?

Now the Flying Elvii go into the 2012 draft with a bonanza of extra choices -- just like they went into the 2010 and 2011 drafts, only to defer the picks to the future. Will Belichick ever actually use his extra choices?

Yes, he will. I have a theory and I am pretty sure this is true. Bill Belichick knows a great football team requires a great quarterback. So who is to say he isn't saving all of those picks in order to draft a quarterback (Andrew Luck?) in future years once the Patriots need a new one? My theory doesn't just involve quarterbacks, but any impact player at an important position. I think Belichick is saving all these picks for a rainy day so he can use them to rebuild the team or trade up for an impact player. He knows if he keeps a few picks in the early rounds of the draft then he has a better chance of turning the Patriots around quickly or drafting an impact player that may fall to the Patriots.

When the Panthers have the #1 pick again next year, do you really think they would turn down an offer of two 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks (not saying the Patriots would do this, I am not even sure what the #1 pick is worth now)? Depending on where those picks are in the 1st and 2nd rounds that would be an interesting trade. So that's my theory. Belichick is saving the picks to either (a) get an impact player or quarterback or (b) begin to re-stock the Patriots when necessary.

New Orleans' move triggered a draftnik debate about whether teams should select for needs or take the "best available" regardless of position.

This debate, a draft perennial, skips the premise that, nine times out of 10, no one knows who the "best available" is.

It doesn't matter who knows who the "best available" player is, it matters who the team drafting thinks the "best available" player is. The "best available" player is based on a team's draft board, not a unanimous selection among NFL GM's.

If a team on the clock knew for sure that any particular person was the best available, the team would just draft him -- there'd be nothing to discuss.

Unless they were drafting for a need. For example, AJ Green or Patrick Peterson were the "best available" player in this year's draft, but the first three teams didn't choose them because they didn't need a wide receiver or cornerback at that spot. These three teams drafted for need.

But because most of the time no one is sure who is the best available, drafting for team needs makes sense.

No. Because a team may have a glaring need and that's why drafting for need makes sense in many cases.

Pittsburgh Steelers: A couple of linemen, a couple of cornerbacks -- the Steelers couldn't have had a less interesting draft. That seems to be the way they like it in Pittsburgh. Every year for the past several seasons, the Steelers have seemed to be running out of gas. Then it's back to the Super Bowl once more.

When did the Steelers seem to be running out of gas over the last several seasons? I'm not sure over the last three seasons the Steelers have seemed to be running out of gas at all. They may not have been chosen to go to the Super Bowl every year, but I don't know how many people have counted the Steelers out over the last couple seasons. Where do Gregg's thoughts come from?

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks had 17 people in their draft strategy room -- two staffers for every one prospect selected. Does it really take 17 people to make a draft selection?

No, it doesn't take that many people to make a draft selection. Those in the world who know about the drafting process and how teams scout players could safely assume the reason there were 17 scouts in the room is so they could all give an opinion of players on the Seahawks draft board. Scouts give a General Manager their report on a player prior to the draft, but when the time comes to choose between Player A or Player B in a short time span, the GM and head coach may want the opinion of the scouts who have seen these players play. Rather than have to call them, it makes more sense for these scouts to be in the room already. So the short time span between picks and the unpredictability of the draft causes a team to need many scouts and other knowledgeable people in the draft strategy room.

I think Gregg enjoys asking questions rather than using logic to get the answer to questions. I believe he feels smarter when he is asking questions about why things happen, when sometimes it just makes him seem less intelligent.

And keep your eye on sophomore St. Louis pass-rusher George Selvie, a seventh-round draft choice who's evidence of TMQ's contention that although first-round bonuses should decline, late-round bonuses should rise.

All late round bonuses should rise because one 7th round pick last year had 21 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his rookie year. Yeah, this makes sense to Gregg.

Late in every NFL season, there's a team that won't make the playoffs but that nobody wants to play. Last season, it was the Bucs. In the second round of the draft, they landed Da'Quan Bowers, who might have been the first choice overall were it not for medical questions. Maybe Bowers has serious injury problems. If not, look out for Tampa.

The "medical question" regarding Bowers is the offseason knee surgery Bowers had which led to some teams taking him off the board for fear the knee would be a continuous problem. So yes, if you take away the biggest issue facing Bowers he could be a great player. Of course if you take away the biggest issue facing every draft prospect (For example, Blaine Gabbert played in a pro-style offense in college and excelled) then that prospect could excel.

Absurd Specificity: Here is the annual TMQ review of absurd specificity.

Get ready for a headache.

This ranking found that Blaine Gabbert is six-tenths of 1 percent better than Cam Newton and Ben Ijalana is one-third of 1 percent better than Rodney Hudson.

Would it have been easier for CNNSI to just put 3.1 for both Newton and Gabbert? That way it looks like both quarterbacks are graded out the same when this isn't true. It would not be helpful and actually misleading if CNNSI just graded them out the same. The hundredths of a point tells us which QB they find to be better using their grading system.

In January, CBS Sports said Jim Brown had the best-ever rushing yards per attempt at 6.4 yards and Jamaal Charles of Kansas City was close at 6.38 yards per attempt. The difference is less than an inch per carry.

Yes, it is less than an inch per carry, but to differentiate between the two players their yardage was carried out to the hundredth of a yard. The purpose of statistics is to be accurate and determine the difference in a certain number of items/people that are being compared, so criticizing statistics that try to be as accurate as possible in determining the difference in these items or people is stupid.

Arizona versus Memphis in the March Madness tournament, Arizona took possession with a two-point lead and 0.1 showing. Officials reset the clock to 0.4 seconds, essentially claiming they can sense thirds of seconds.

BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MUCH TIME WAS LEFT ON THE CLOCK! This isn't the officials guessing, they looked at the replay and saw there was 0.4 seconds left and reset the clock to that point. They don't sense seconds, they can see the replay and see the little fucking clock in the left hand corner of the screen and think, "Holy shit, the ball landed at 0.4 seconds, so let's set the clock at that point."

Son of a bitch, has Gregg EVER watched a game of college basketball? The officials have access to a slow motion replay, they don't sense anything.

In the Butler-Pitt March Madness game, Butler took a lead with 2.2 seconds remaining. A Pitt player caught a pass and ran to midcourt, where he was fouled. Officials huddled and reset the clock at 1.4 seconds -- suggesting you can catch a basketball and run half the length of the court in four-fifths of a second. With the score then tied, Pittsburgh missed a foul shot with 1.4 showing. A Butler player rebounded and was fouled. Officials again huddled, then reset the clock to 0.8 remaining. A shot hit the rim, bounced off, fell, was grabbed and a foul committed in three-fifths of a second?

I don't know how long these things take and neither do the officials. Again, they looked at the screen and looked at where the fouls occurred and stopped the clock at that point.

Also, it is completely obvious Gregg doesn't understand how the clock works in college basketball. The clock DOES NOT START until a player touches the a foul can easily be committed in three-fifths of a second. Read up on what the hell you are talking about and then comment so you don't sound and look like an idiot. What irritates me is a certain percentage of Gregg's readers don't know this and will join him in thinking this is stupid managing of the clock by the officials.

In the March Madness game between Texas and Arizona, officials called a turnover on Texas on the five-second inbounds rule. Replay shows the call came after about 4 seconds. Although basketball officials claim an amazing ability to sense fifths or even tenths of seconds, when you put the stopwatch on them, they have trouble counting to five seconds.

I give up. The officials don't sense time, they have a replay to help them out with a clock that counts down the time when looking at the replay. On in-bounds plays the officials don't have the benefit of a slow-motion replay or clock. In this instance, they counted time (incorrectly) in their head.

In December, the Celtics beat the Knicks after a New York basket, on a play that began with 0.4 seconds showing, was waved off. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni contended the shooter "could have made it with 0.5 seconds, but 0.4 seconds wasn't quite enough." All he needed was another tenth of a second!

Because D'Antoni saw a replay and was able to see when the ball left Amare's hand, is this really hard to understand for Gregg?

Reader Betsy Garner of Portland, Ore., reports The Wall Street Journal said that the Oregon Ducks need "as little as 9.9 seconds" between plays and that Boise State averaged "32.0 seconds" between snaps.

How crazy the Wall Street Journal used a stopwatch to measure how much time went off between plays run by each team, write this number down, do this for every play during a game for either team and then divide the total by how many plays were run by each team! It's insane to do basic math to get a result!

Reader Jason Cheung of Summit, N.J., writes, "Check this estimate of hot dog sales at ballparks in 2010. Projected sales aren't 21 million but exactly 21,233,839 hot dogs."

Is refusing to leave off 233,839 of anything from a projection being hyper-specific? That's a lot of hot dogs (or anything) to just round up or down.

Next Week: Next week comes in August, when this lockout nonsense had best be over.

Yes, please have this lockout resolved so I don't read Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ every week when he talks about non-football items. It is bad enough I end up reading the 35% that is about football when there isn't a lockout.


JR Ewing Theory said...

Boy, you guys are right. Bleacher Report sucks.
ESPN, you say??

Rich said...

For three consecutive drafts, Belichick has traded down and/or out of the first round to stockpile lower picks and choices in the next year's draft.

Oh no! You mean Bill Belichick traded out from the mid to upper 20's and got additional picks to do so?

Sorry, but if you're drafting in the mid to late 20's, is there really a substantial difference between your pick and say an early second round pick?

New England has exercised nine second-round selections in the past three years

Will Belichick ever actually use his extra choices?

How else do you draft nine times in the second round? Does Gregg even read his own questions?

Does it really take 17 people to make a draft selection?

No, but it takes 17 people to scout the several hundred players in the draft and each one needs to be there. What happens if a particular player comes up that you're not expecting? Wouldn't it be nice to have the scout there to debate whether the guy should be given a shitton of money?

Late in every NFL season, there's a team that won't make the playoffs but that nobody wants to play. Last season, it was the Bucs

Weren't they eliminated in the week 16? So they were scary to play... b/c they had something to play for. This wasn't exactly a 5-11 team pissing away in mediocrity that found its step.

Jamaal Charles of Kansas City was close at 6.38 yards per attempt. The difference is less than an inch per carry.

It's also almost 20 yards when you consider he had 230 carries.

Gregg is a fucking idiot when it comes to numbers. They're not going out there measuring carries in tenths of yards, they're just saying that the average per carry can be carried out beyond tenths. If it a calculation can be accurately made to a certain point, why not give the full value? It's why you can buy something that costs $2.11 without the cashier saying "that's too specific, so it's $2.20"

There's also a significant difference b/w 6.38 and 6.4 and Gregg clearly doesn't realize this.

For example, what would happen if an electrical component in your phone was off by 0.02 units? Sometimes nothing would happen, sometimes it stops working altogether.

Hell 6.4 is pretty close to 6.5, so why not?

All he needed was another tenth of a second!

Absolutely. This is true no matter what though. At one point the ball is in a guy's hand, one tenth of a second later, it's not.

Projected sales aren't 21 million but exactly 21,233,839 hot dogs."

Because a fucking equation was used to gain these results. It's not like some guy just sat up scratching his balls and said "21,233,839 and not a hot dog more!" No, it was an equation that spit out 21,233,839, why change it? In fact, changing it would would cause problems b/c you're now predicting something the model doesn't.

Also, at 4 bucks a pop, that's over a million fucking dollars in revenue that you lose by leaving off that extra 233,000 hot dogs. I'm pretty sure that's a lot of money to the guy who asked from the estimation.

Martin F. said...

In college basketball it's a "5 count" not 5 seconds. That's why you see the ref motioning with his hand. it might not be 5 seconds, but he's giving a clear indication of the count.

For a guy who constantly bashes 1st round picks as being uncoachable, he sure bitches about the Pats trading theirs away. Oh wait, he has that unreasoning hatred of Bill from the Spygate incident which he's never got over.

Also, in the other comment I made about the death of sportswriting, I should have been more hyper specific :) I meant death of traditional sportswriting, via newspapers and magazines. I've been able to go from Bill Plaschke to Joe Posnanski, because one understands that Albert Pujols is the reason the Cards have been really good the last decade, and the other thinks it's all been about Eckstein.

Martin F. said...

Also, just starting to read your review of Simmon's book, JR. Interesting so far!

JimA said...

A tout is a guy who gives advice on betting horses for a fee. That's his dig at draft experts.

Remember, this is a guy who thinks the timers at the Olympic swimming events cannot be as precise as they appear.

Bengoodfella said...

Jr, no kidding huh? This is not one of Easterbrook's worst outings either. It is almost embarrassing when he actually starts talking football. He brings up good points sometimes and then ruins them.

Rich, I didn't even notice Gregg was complaining the Pats don't use their picks while he was also complaining the picks they have don't do anything. Can't believe I missed that.

Gregg's ideal draft room is one guy who bases the picks on whether the player went to a football factory or not.

He kills me with the numbers thing. There's no reason to overcriticize numbers like that. If you can be specific with a calculation to differentiate b/w two things then why not do it? Isn't that a lot of the reason for calculations to gather pertinent information? So why not gather pertinent information to where you can tell even the slightest difference in two things? He has never made a good point about numbers being hyperspecific. I am glad he isn't my relative, I would have constant battles with him over this. You know he talks about it all the time. I would use hyperspecific numbers in examples where they made a huge difference just to irritate him.

When doing projections, being off by 200,000 is a lot of anything to be off by. It is off by nearly 1% on a projection that is in the millions and as you said it is a good amount of revenue. In his eagerness to be critical he overlooks this and will not respond to any rational person who points this out.

Martin, good point. The player should be able to see when the five count is over or coming to an end. It's not a surprise b/c the official gives a visual signal.

Easterbrook just likes to criticize Belichick. If he uses his picks then they aren't good enough, if he doesn't use his picks then he should have used them. He just wants it both ways all the time and it is irritating. He wants Belichick to use all of his picks and then have everyone of them be a Pro Bowl player.

I figured you probably were talking about traditional sportswriting. It is easy to transition from one to the other when you open your mind and don't react to Eckstein playing well in a short series and can see Pujols has been better for them over the long haul. Traditional sportswriting favors overreacting to events and players in order to gain readers and sell papers. They write what they think everyone wants to read, so sometimes they make an issue black and white and forget any grey.

I am reading the Simmons information too. It is interesting and I like how JR is shining light on some things I haven't been able to put into words quite yet about Bill Simmons.

Jim, thank you. I don't gamble and I had no clue what he was talking about. I thought maybe the "S" got edited out at some point. I forgot about his Olympic timer rant a few years ago. Did he ever figure out there is a touchpad that determines the exact time?

Dylan said...


I've started to read your posts as well. I've also felt especially guilty because my posts here have gotten shorter and less frequent of late, similar to a one Bill Simmons.

Also, speaking of arbitrary college basketball rules, did anyone know that there actually is a charge circle in college basketball? It's just not marked, but it's supposed to be 2 feet that the ref is supposed to judge. That might be the single hardest call in all of major sports (not that it's ever called anyway).

Bengoodfella said...

Dylan, I did know there was a charge circle in college basketball. The officials do a generally mediocre job of judging when a player is in that circle. They call charges when a defender is under the basket. It's ridiculous. It is a tough call, I will give them that, but still there needs to be a point where they quit calling charges under the basket.