Thursday, October 6, 2011

12 comments Banging My Head Against the Wall Again

I'm still amazed Bleacher Report is taken seriously as a web site by many in the media. It is also amazing to me how lists and slideshows that are completely the author's opinion can be taken so seriously as sports journalism. There is some interesting stuff written on Bleacher Report by some authors, I won't doubt that, but then there are the massive amount of lists and slideshows which seem to serve no purpose. A great example is the following list/slideshow of NFL frauds for 2011. There are 50 frauds on this list/slideshow. 50. How can a person reasonably expect any type of accuracy with a list so large? You can't, so the list needs to be narrowed down. As always, I will assume it is all for pageviews because rather than put the list on one page a person has to flip through a separate web page for each "fraud." There are two things I find interesting about this list/slideshow:

1. The author of his list of frauds wrote nearly the exact same list/slideshow on September 13. These were "overrated" players and not frauds, yet many of the same players appear on the list of overrated players as appeared on the fraud list. It's like he writes a column of 50 things and just substitutes a different noun in the title.

2. Does the author even understand what the word "fraud" means? A fraud is:

A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

In his brilliance, the author puts Jimmy Clausen on the list of frauds. What has he deceived NFL fans into believing? What type of accomplishments or qualities has been presented to Clausen that he doesn't really have? He was a highly recruited college quarterback? That was 5-6 years ago when he was highly regarded like that. He was a fairly underwhelming quarterback (compared to the hype around him out of high school) and been a terrible quarterback in the NFL so far. I'm not sure there are too many people who can believe he is a fraud anymore than any player who tries to make it in the NFL and doesn't succeed at the level he is expected to succeed is a fraud.

So just keep in mind as we view the list/slideshow, we are playing loosely with the word "fraud" in describing these 2011 NFL frauds.

There are plenty of teams, players and coaches across the NFL that I don't believe in, and I'm sorry that you will agree as well.

You mean "certain" that you will agree as well? Why would you be sorry someone agrees with your opinion? How about "the 4th largest sports media site with 20 million readers" hire an editor or two for this guy?

Here are 50 teams, coaches and players we don't believe in.

So if you don't believe in someone, then that makes them a fraud? Interesting way of looking at the definition and intent of the word. Basically this is going to be a long list of the author's opinion with little factual support passed off as fact. Not one of Bleacher Report's better showings.

Randy Moss

Moss may put up stellar regular season stats, but when it comes playoff time, he rolls into the fetal position.

Moss has 47 catches, 865 yards, 10 touchdowns in 12 postseason games. That comes out to 63 catches, 1153 yards, and 13 touchdowns for a full season. What a fetal position he rolls into during the playoffs.

For an example, during the 2007 playoffs with the New England Patriots, Moss played in three games and only caught seven passes for just one touchdown—five of those passes coming in just one game.

I didn't realize he had one average postseason, that changes my opinion not at all. The game during that postseason where Moss didn't roll into a fetal position and caught five passes? The Super Bowl. That's a pretty important time to come out of the fetal position. If we are going to pick small sample sizes and base an entire conclusion on those, then how about the 1999 playoffs where Moss caught 14 passes in two games for 315 yards and three touchdowns? Wouldn't that make him a wonderful performer in the playoffs?

What a terribly cited and backed conclusion that Moss is a choker in the postseason and therefore he is a fraud.

Eric Mangini

Thank God that Eric Mangini is no longer a head coach in the NFL—he's nothing but a fraud.

Does Mangini's career 33-47 record impress you? I hope not.

What's fraudulent about Mangini? He isn't a good NFL head coach. Everyone knows that.

San Diego Chargers

You can probably label every single play and coach to be a San Diego Charger a fraud—

Just as background, the guy who wrote this is a big Patriots fan. I just want you to have this information in order for you to decide if it is relevant or not.

LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson was once the league's best running back, but at this point of his career, he's nothing but average.

So Tomlinson's entire career is a fraud because he has declined as he has gotten older? That's what I don't get. So is Tomlinson a fraud now and will cease to be one upon his retirement or is his entire career a fraud? This is never explained.

In fact, despite LT's dominance in the regular season, he has never performed well in the postseason.

Again, we are struggling with the definitions of words. "Never" means he hasn't ever performed well in the postseason. This isn't true. Tomlinson's 133 total yard performance in 2004, 187 total yard two-touchdown performance in 2006, and 99 total yard two-touchdown performance in 2011 speak a bit differently to this claim.

John Fox

Was John Fox ever a good head coach? I mean, his career 73-71 record is average at best.

That's it. That's all that is written about why Fox is a fraud. It's sad to think some people may read this article and believe they have received any type of knowledge from it as it concerns John Fox's coaching career.

Cam Newton

I know, this is simply just a prediction, but it's a bold one.

Really, is this a bold prediction? I would say more people expect Newton to bust than expect him to become a great quarterback.

Tony Dungy

I hope that Tony Dungy never returns to the NFL to be a head coach—he's a fraud and a choke artist.

It certainly sounds like this is an opinion not affected by a personal distaste of Dungy at all.

Sure, Dungy has an amazing regular season career record of 139-69, but he's just 9-10 in the playoffs.

Peyton Manning has a 9-10 career record in the playoffs, so I would imagine he is a fraud as well.

Mark Sanchez

Is it just me, or does a career 54.4 completion percentage not impress?

What I find just delightful is the changing criteria on how the author measures a player or head coach when it comes to being a fraud. When it useful to point out a head coach hasn’t won many games in the playoffs then that coach is a fraud. When he runs into a quarterback with a 4-2 career record in the playoffs, then that doesn’t matter because it is his completion percentage that is the problem. Using playoff wins to determine whether a coach or player is a fraud or not is useful until that information contradicts what the author wants to write, in which case the career playoff record becomes irrelevant and completion percentage becomes super-important.

Sanchez's completion percentage isn’t very impressive, but using the same small sample size criteria used to criticize Moss and Tomlinson, Sanchez has a 60.5 completion percentage in the playoffs with 9 touchdowns to 3 interceptions and a 94.3 quarterback rating. That doesn't make him a fraud, right? He plays well in the playoffs. I hate using smaller sample sizes like this to prove something, but I do enjoy beating the author at his own game of cherry picking statistics.

Mark Sanchez is a fraud, end of discussion.

Of course he is. His completion percentage is below average. That makes him a fraud.

Alex Smith

Again, I would ask who among us think Alex Smith is a good quarterback? He’s not a fraud if we already know he isn’t very good.

Philip Rivers

This is actually double-counting Rivers since earlier the entire San Diego Chargers team were revealed earlier to be frauds.

Rivers has a career 55-25 regular season record but has done absolutely nothing in the playoffs.

What about Rivers’ 63.8 completion percentage for his career? I thought that meant something? It did a minute ago concerning Mark Sanchez.

See? It is hilarious how the standard a player is judged up on moves around based on what the author is desperately trying to prove. It is hilarious, but it is also terrible writing. Rivers has a career 3-4 record in the playoffs, which is apparently “doing nothing” in the playoffs. The author has a preconceived notion of what he wants to write and doesn’t care if he uses a changing standard or has to cherry pick one thing that player did poorly in his career to prove his point.

Steve Slaton

After Steve Slaton's amazing 1,282-yard rookie season, he has done didley-squat—he's just fallen off of the map.

I think this is the appropriate time to mention Steve Slaton has been in the NFL for two full years. He played behind Arian Foster last year, so he didn’t get a big chance to perform well after he lost his starting job. Slaton will probably never be a good NFL running back, but he isn’t a fraud because I am not sure huge numbers are even expected of him anymore.

Chad Henne

Henne has a career 75.3 quarterback rating and has yet to solidify as the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback.

Apparently Henne hasn’t solidified yet and is still a liquid or gas-based quarterback for the Dolphins.

Derek Anderson

2010 proved that Derek Anderson is, without a doubt, a fraud.

Derek Anderson had one good year in 2007. No one thinks he is a good quarterback. He’s not a fraud because he isn’t deceiving us into believing he is anything but that which we already know he is.

Andy Reid

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has had his fair share of success during the regular season but has yet to win a Super Bowl.

Reid has a career 118-73-1 record in the regular season and just a 10-9 record in the playoffs.

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to title this list/slideshow “NFL athletes/head coaches with bad postseason records?” That’s pretty much all it contains.

Matt Hasselbeck

Matt Hasselbeck may have won a few games in Seattle, but he was never able to take his team deep into the playoffs and win it all.

See a trend? Once again, this article/list/slideshow can’t even stay true to its title. This isn’t a list/slideshow about players or head coaches that are frauds. This is a list/slideshow of players who haven’t performed well in the postseason. It’s just incredibly lazy to call a player or head coach a fraud because he has a near-.500 or slightly below .500 postseason record.

Lovie Smith

Smith may have a career regular season record of 63-49, but has been awful in the postseason.

Not sure I would consider 3-3 to be “awful,” but then again I am not a Patriots fan. Compared to Bill Belchick, who I am guessing is the head coach our author is measuring all head coaches against, Lovie Smith has been awful in the postseason. Perhaps the author should get some perspective on playoff records and how they reflect on head coaches. It’s not easy to have a great postseason record and that’s why the all-time great coaches (i.e. Belichick, Lombardi, Walsh) are all-time great coaches.

Matt Leinart

At this point of his career, Matt Leinart is a big-time bust—he's not even a starting quarterback!

OMG! For realisies?

How is Leinart a fraud? We all know he isn’t very good at playing quarterback.

Jim Caldwell

I actually agree with this. What’s interesting is when calling Tony Dungy a fraud, the author mentioned that both the Colts and Bucs went to the Super Bowl the year after Tony Dungy retired, insinuating the teams performed better with a better coach at the helm. Then the author names Dungy’s successor as a fraud as well. So he essentially somewhat undercuts his point about Dungy by saying Dungy's successor as the Colts head coach wasn’t actually any good either. Either that or he thinks pretty much any Colts head coach is a fraud.

Eli Manning

I'm sorry, but when you throw 25 interceptions in a season, you should not be considered a great NFL quarterback.

No, I’m sorry, who considers Eli Manning to be a great quarterback? You can’t just make up the perception of a player in order to debunk this perception by calling the player a fraud.

“Chris Johnson is a fraud. You shouldn’t be considered the greatest running back in the history of the NFL if you haven’t won a single playoff game in the NFL.”

Seattle Seahawks

Houston Texans

So at this point, the author has named 3 NFL teams that are frauds. 10% of the NFL teams are frauds. I can’t help but wonder if they are frauds this year or frauds in every single year? It's hard to tell because the author uses both past and present events to call these teams frauds.

Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens is definitely one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, but what has he done in the playoffs?

How the hell can one of the greatest wide receivers of all-time be a fraud because he has only made one Super Bowl in his career? Why isn't there some factual proof, other than the author's opinion, that Owens hasn't played well in the playoffs? I hope the author understands the utter stupidity of calling a player he ADMITS is one of the greatest receivers of all-time a fraud because his teams haven’t always done well in the playoffs. Someone separate this man from his keyboard.

In case you were wondering, and I will do the research since others are too lazy, Terrell Owens has played in 11 playoff games, has 54 receptions, 751 yards, and 5 touchdowns, including a performance of 9 catches for 122 yards in his only Super Bowl appearance. Of course, it is purely his fault his teams haven’t won 4-5 Super Bowls at this point.

So “what has he done in the playoffs?” projects to 78 receptions, 1092 yards and 7 touchdowns over a full season. I’d say he’s played fairly well in the playoffs. Why do all of the evaluations of these players, teams and head coaches only include a judgment on how they performed in the playoffs?

I realize that football is a team sport, but someone with the caliber like T.O. should be able to carry his team a little bit more than he has.

Again, you need to do more research than you have.

Cincinnati Bengals

That’s now four NFL teams that are frauds. So how in the hell are the Bengals frauds? What have they proclaimed themselves to be or convinced the public they are other than a NFL team with very poor upper management? The Bengals are exactly what most people believe they are.

Then the author lists Andy Dalton and Mike Brown next because, dammit, he has to get to 50 “frauds” even if he has to double count.

New York Jets

There is always so much hype around the New York Jets, but what have they done?

Other than make back-to-back AFC Championship games without the benefit of a single home playoff game? Other than that, they haven’t done shit.

All I know is that Rex Ryan has been predicting a Super Bowl for the past couple of years but has choked in back-to-back AFC Championships.

This is the part where I would tell the author, as a fan of the Patriots (and I'm not tweaking Patriots fans here, just want the author to remember this fact), which is a team that lost to the Jets last year in the playoffs, he should probably figure out exactly what “choking” really means. I’m pretty sure making back-to-back AFC Championship games as a road team for two straight years isn’t choking.

Chris Johnson

Is Chris Johnson really the best running back in the NFL?

Quite possibly he isn’t the best running back in the NFL.

I don't think so.

You can’t take your perception of what everyone else thinks about a player and then call a player a fraud because he doesn’t meet your perception of what everyone else thinks about that player. Well you can, but it seems a bit unfair to call a player a fraud based simply on your perception of what everyone else thinks.

Also, some statistics or other factual data would be helpful in proving your point that each of these players, teams and coaches are frauds. The “proof” they are all frauds basically boils down to two things:

1. The player/coach/team hasn’t done well in the playoffs.

2. Everyone thinks Player/Coach/Team X is good and I don’t think they are…then no further proof or information is included.

That’s pretty weak.


Pat said...

With regards to Terrel Owens doing nothing in the playoffs: In 2004-05 T.O. came back from a severely sprained ankle and a BROKEN FUCKING LEG in four weeks to play in the Superbowl.

Bengoodfella said...

Pat, but he hasn't done anything in the playoffs...except for have his best career playoff game on one leg in the biggest game of his career. Other than that, what a bust. How dare you allow reality to interrupt the perception of Owens.

rich said...

Randy Moss Not in the league
Eric Mangini Not in the league
Cam Newton Rookie
Tony Dungy Not in the league
Terrell Owens Not in the league
Derek Anderson Backup QB

Then the others in the list:
Wade Phillips Not a head coach anymore
John Beck Backup QB
David Garrard Not in the league
CJ Spiller "The jury is still out on Spiller. Quote from the fucking article.
Jimmy Clausen That makes ALL THREE QBs for the Carolina Panthers frauds.
Josh McDaniels Not in the league.
Andy Dalton Rookie and is 2-2 for the Cincinnati Bengals for fuck sake.

So the 2011 frauds list includes an amazing 6 people who aren't even in the league. On top of that we have two rookies, three backup QBs, a third string QB and a player who the author says "the jury is still out."

I mean Tony Dungy last coached in the NFL in 2008. I mean shit, if Dungy counts, why not toss in Jamarcus Russell? Or John Gruden or Bill Callahan?

Also, Reid and Shanny are on the list, but Tony Sparano and Todd Haley aren't?

And how can he put in Newton and Dalton, while leaving out Tebow and Quinn? If CJ Spiller is on this list, then Timmy Tim needs to be as well.

Or even more egregiously: MATT CASSELL. KC trades a second round pick, has a decent year and then falls apart. If Matt Hasselback is a fraud, then so is Matt Cassell. Oh and Kevin Kolb, don't forget Kevin Kolb.

Man, that's a really, really shitty list.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, that's about right. I really think this list should have been 15-20 people long, but BR makes its writers right epic amounts of lists. It's ridiculous.

The reason Newton and Dalton are on the list is because this really isn't a list of frauds in terms of them, but a list of who he thinks will be busts. That's what I am guessing, because otherwise Tebow and Quinn should be on the list and probably Tyson Jackson too. It's so arbitrary, that is what makes it so irrelevant.

I think the lesson we have learned is you are a fraud if you are a 1st round bust or if there is the perception you don't play well in the playoffs. You would think the list would stick to coaches and players in the league, but I guess not.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading after this:

"Just as background, the guy who wrote this is a big Patriots fan. I just want you to have this information in order for you to decide if it is relevant or not."

It's just a typical NE sports fans attitude about every team besides their own.

Here's the definition of sports fraud - Sammy Sosa

Murray said...

No it's not a typical NE fan. Most of us hate this shit too. It's the Simmonsites that give us a bad rap.

Murray said...

I blame the Boston media too.

Here is a great blog by a former Boston Herald writer. (I do wonder if he wrote this well before being canned though)

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, it was clear in his analysis he let that affect his opinion a little. I think he named the entire Jets team at some point as frauds.

I know quite a few NE fans hate Simmons/Shaughnessy b/c they try to speak for them. It's the loud annoying voices that speak so loudly. Every fan base that is successful feels annoying at some point probably. It is the Simmonsites, the ones who "speak" for NE fans, that are driving the narratives which the rest of the world latches on to.

Murray, I blame the Boston media a lot because they are much like the NY media in their ability to make a kneejerk reaction out of anything. It is combined with some self-importance and a sprinkle of a curse to make the entire column complete in the annoying department.

I love that blog. It's pretty good. I meant to link it here. I was under the impression he started that after he wasn't writing for the paper anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's obviously a terrible article, but making fun of bleacher report writers is kind of like picking on the defenseless. There's thousands of writers there, almost all of them amateurs just writing for experience. I'm pretty sure anybody can submit stuff there. With so much professional crap out there (Jason Whitlock's antisaber article hint hint), you shouldn't have to resort to it.

Murray said...

Maybe that is typical. Maybe I'm just in the minority. Maybe it's just dealing with NE fans lately. You would think the Pats were 0-4 and lost every game by 20. I'm just annoyed

Imojust said...

Anon - "making fun of bleacher report writers is kind of like picking on the defenseless."

These people's moms have been telling them how great of writers they are since their first book report in 5th grade. Somebody has to break the news to them that are are fucking horrible. Ben is about the nicest media take-down guy you can get to break that news to them.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I didn't really take on Bleacher Report previously and it is true many don't get paid. The reason I don't mind taking their articles on anymore is BR likes to tell everyone how popular and what great sports content the site has. "Time" named it one of the best websites on the Internet as well. So I stopped having a problem b/c it was clear others took the site much more seriously than I did. I think a lot of BR stuff is crap, but it is taking seriously by some and if they like to talk about what a popular sports site it is, then I have decided if I see a column I don't like I will cover it.

That Whitlock anti-saber piece was just too easy. Of course I guess you could say the same a/b BR and Easterbrook, but at least those two aren't baiting someone to take them on.

Murray, I do think a lot of the loud NE fans and columnists are the ones that give the majority a bad name. I was trolling a Phillies site a/f last night's loss and 90% of the comments were great and insightful, but 10% of them were complete crap and useless. Guess which ones I remember best? It's always the most annoying fans who stick out.

Imo, I'm the nice media take-down guy...I need to be much more mean I guess. I prefer to respectfully disagree with crap articles rather than be mean. I should be more mean though.