Monday, November 7, 2011

12 comments TMQ: The Crabtree Curse Has Ended?

Gregg Easterbrook is like nearly every other sports columnist in the world. When he is correct about something, you never hear the end of it. When he is wrong about something, well, it simply just doesn't get mentioned again. This week Gregg sees the decline in the passing numbers and says his hypothesis the reason the numbers were so high is because defenses had not jelled together yet. We had some disagreement about that hypothesis here. He very well could be right about this or passing numbers could be declining as team's running games have had an opportunity to jell better. Gregg could be right.

"Could" doesn't matter though. Today, Gregg announces he was correct about the early season offensive explosion. He announces this with much pride. Unfortunately, Gregg doesn't seem to brag too much about the much-heralded "Crabtree Curse," which was preventing the 49ers from winning games over the past few years and he isn't explaining how this curse no longer affects the 49ers even though Michael Crabtree is still an important part of the team.

Quarterbacks across the NFL are tumbling back to Earth. Cancel that panic about runaway offenses. And let's have a quick round of applause for those who kept their heads while others were losing theirs.

No one was in a panic over the runaway offenses. At least no fan was in a panic. If there was a panic, it was mostly by the media in a desperate attempt to create a storyline for the 2011 NFL season.

THUNK! That is the sound of NFL quarterbacks tumbling back to earth.

How silly of Gregg to say this! If an NFL quarterback fell back to earth he wouldn’t make it past the stratosphere because upon his entrance to earth his body would burn. All that would fall from the sky is a burnt corpse, or possibly no corpse, and since most of the world is covered with water, the body would probably fall in the ocean…never to be seen again. So it is highly unlikely a quarterback could fall back to earth.

(That was my attempt to sound like Gregg does when he is criticizing science fiction television shows for not being realistic enough)

Two weeks into the regular season, five quarterbacks were on a pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing yards mark. Today three are: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Brady. Don't hold your breath.

After tossing for 517 and then 423 yards in his first two outings, Tom Brady has thrown for 289 yards and 198 yards in his most recent two. Cam Newton threw for 422 and 432 yards in his first two, 256 and 290 yards in his most recent two. Tony Romo threw for 342 and 345 yards in his first two, 166 and 203 yards in his most recent two.

Philip Rivers threw for 369 yards this week. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 365 and 361 yards in his most recent two games. Passing numbers have declined, but quarterbacks are still throwing for large amounts of yardage.

Yea, verily, it's November, and passing norms are returning. My Week 2 column suggested that blown coverages caused by the lack of an offseason -- secondaries take time to jell -- were the primary reason for the initial high passing stats, and that coverages would improve by November.

It is also quite possible, and I know this is a shocking turn of events, the passing games returning to normal yardage amounts isn’t simply because of Gregg’s hypothesis. Gregg could very well be correct, but simply because the conclusion achieved is what was predicted, it doesn’t mean the reason given by Gregg for the conclusion being reached is correct. For example, perhaps the offensive line of teams had not had time to jell together enough to open up holes for the running game? Also, perhaps defenses have had more time to scout the passing game of teams and caught up to the schemes offenses were running, which helped prevent teams from passing the ball effectively. Gregg could very well be right about why the passing stats have come back down closer to the average, but just because the passing stats came back down doesn’t mean his hypothesis was necessarily correct.

My Week 2 column further forecast that "none of the quarterbacks now on a pace to break Marino's record will in fact break it." I am sticking to that call, too.

As usual, if Gregg is right we will hear all about it. If Gregg is wrong, then we won’t ever hear anything about this ever again.

In other football news, right now defensive coordinators all over the NFL are staring at film of how Pittsburgh shut down New England: see more below.

And every other NFL team will immediately be able to replicate the Steelers success in stopping the Patriots because they have the same defensive personnel and scheme the Steelers have. It's that simple. Consider your days of winning as over, New England Patriots.

And if "most valuable player" is the one whose loss would hurt a team most -- who, asks reader Justin Evilsizor of Philadelphia, could the 2011 MVP be other than Peyton Manning?

That’s a wonderful question, as long as you believe Justin’s definition of what the MVP means. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an official definition to go along with the award, so the MVP criteria could also be “which player is the most valuable to his team.” The MVP doesn’t just go to whichever player would hurt his team the most if he gets injured. Pretty much anyone could create a definition for MVP in order to achieve a desired outcome.

Stats of the Week No. 5: Against Washington, Buffalo's undrafted Fred Jackson of Division III Coe College gained 194 yards from scrimmage. The entire Redskins team gained 178 yards from scrimmage.

This means Fred Jackson, an undrafted unwanted unheralded unspiteful unbelievable unneeded free agent, is better than the entire Redskins team by himself. Look it up and book it. Fred Jackson is better than Brian Orakpo, a lazy, piece of shit 1st round draft pick who hasn’t helped the Redskins win a single Super Bowl. You would think if he were a 1st round draft pick he could turn the entire fortunes of the Redskins team around by himself, but he can’t because he is too lazy complaining and not working hard.

Sour Play of the Week: Trailing 17-3 in the third quarter, the Cleveland Browns faced third-and-2 on the 42 of the host Squared Sevens. This is a Maroon Zone situation, too far for a field goal, too close to punt -- surely the Browns' brain trust knows that if this snap fails, a fourth-down attempt will follow. Ball is hiked. It's -- huh -- what the -- it's -- lateraled to wide receiver Greg Little a full 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Loss of eight, followed by a punt, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.

Fortune favors the bold! You know, unless the bold action doesn’t work, in which case how fucking stupid was that attempt to be bold? Gregg’s response when asked the correct play to run in a certain situation would be to say do whichever play works. If the play doesn’t work then that play shouldn’t have been run.

Sweet 'N' Sour Special Teams of the Week: TMQ's immutable law holds: Rush eight if you want to block that punt…

St. Louis also recorded an important punt block against New Orleans. In that case it was a conventional five-man rush.

But I thought you could only block a punt if you rushed eight men? Also, I saw three games this weekend where a team rushed eight men at the punt and did not get it blocked. I guess an “immutable law” really is actually just a relatively helpful suggestion.

How did the Saints go from winning a game by 55 points one week to losing to a winless team the following week? In the second half of a blowout, coaches sometimes wince when their team scores. You'd rather save unneeded touchdowns until the next game,

Because as we all know, touchdowns carryover from one game to the next game (stabs self in the head with a pencil). Wouldn’t want to waste any of those touchdowns in one game that can be used in another game.

Sweet 'N' Sour Play of the Week: Philip Rivers fumbled the snap with San Diego on the Kansas City 15-yard line with a minute to go in regulation, the Bolts trying to kill the clock before what would have been the winning field goal. Sweet for the home crowd, sour for the visitors. Modern quarterbacks spend so much time in the shotgun they may be forgetting how to take the snap under center, as Rivers was on this play.

After Gregg sees a play happen on the football field does he immediately think, “What is the most ludicrous and far-fetched conclusion I can arrive at having seen what I just saw?”

From Philip Rivers fumbling a snap, Gregg has concluded modern quarterbacks are forgetting how to take a snap from under center. You know, because teams never practice things like taking a snap from under center anymore. So rather than jump to the conclusion this was an isolated incident, the fumbled snap has to be some part of a larger problem.

Reader Mike Kowalski of Baton Rouge, La., adds, "Newton's Second Law of Motion says momentum must be conserved. The defender who hit Cassel pushed the quarterback's arm backward, yet the ball traveled forward. This could happen only if the quarterback's hand had imparted forward momentum to the ball. Didn't the referees rule against Newton's Second Law of Motion?"

This is what happens when people trying to be intellectual talk about sports.

Also, the ball could theoretically go forward if the defender knocks the ball forward with his hand while hitting Cassel. I just hope no one yells at me for breaking Newton’s laws by bringing this up.

John Walker of Firestone, Colo., reports, "Rovio, the Finnish company behind Angry Birds, recently released an update. To access the Halloween level, you must select 'Seasons 2012' even though the product was released before Halloween 2011."

Let’s boycott Angry Birds! How dare a game not be realistic!

How Did Philadelphia Toy With the Cowboys Like That? The Eagles came into the contest 2-4, with high expectations. Had they lost, the roof would have fallen in. The Boys came in 3-3 with low expectations. Had they lost, this would have seemed the recent norm at One Legends Way -- the Cowboys' actual mailing address in Arlington, Texas. You may not need to know anything more about the game than the info in this paragraph.

Right, because the one thing we know for sure about the Cowboys is the low expectations ownership and the fans have for the team. Does anyone in Dallas care how the team does? Probably not.

Still, tactics played a role. Andy Reid is known for using the same game plan week after week, which is a reason the Eagles tend to wheeze out in the postseason, when film study intensifies.

I have never heard this criticism of Andy Reid. Someone fill me in if this is true. I really, really doubt Andy Reid uses the same game plan every single week.

But during bye weeks Reid always adds new wrinkles,

So Andy Reid always uses the same game plan from week to week…except when he doesn’t use the same game plan week after week.

Because stature and strength are required, it's hard to imagine women ever playing in the NFL, NBA or MLB -- though all would allow female participants in the unlikely event they could make the cut. But stature and strength are not required for coaching, officiating or training. There's no reason women should not attain an ever-larger presence in these fields.

Plus, very few men are going to college anymore because they are too busy playing football and getting concussions, which makes them too stupid or busy with football to go to college.

Already the sports-medicine majors at many universities have high female participation.

Naturally, with no men going to college anymore someone has to be a sports-medicine major.

Two passing plays to linemen by the same team in the same game. Two linemen each outgained San Francisco wide receiver Ted Ginn, a former high number-one draft choice.

Here is Gregg slipping in some criticism of high draft picks. Gregg will completely ignore that Staley is a first round draft choice and the guy throwing him the ball, Alex Smith, is a former #1 overall draft choice. And of course, this is the 8th straight week Gregg doesn’t talk about the Crabtree Curse as being the reason the 49ers aren’t winning. This is because, even though Crabtree is still on the team, the 49ers are winning. Gregg realizes if he brings up the fact he has said repeatedly Crabtree is a selfish player whose mere presence on the roster hurts the team, it isn’t true and a reader might point this out. This would make it look like he isn't right all the time, which quite frankly he doesn't believe is possible.

Jackson arrived at Bills training camp from the Rhein Fire. Two years ago, he signed a four-year, $8 million deal, which at the time was generous. Jackson has dramatically "outperformed his contract," but that agreement lasts through the 2012 season, after which he will be 32 years old and be lucky to command the veteran minimum on the free-agent market.

Invisible-hand logic would say to use Jackson up and throw him away. Why pay more to a guy who's bound by a contract he cannot break? But chemistry matters in football, as does appeasement of the football gods. If the Bills want their feel-good season to continue, they need to offer Jackson some improvement to his deal.

So knowing Jackson won't have high market value in two years, the Bills should give him a large contract extension? Nothing says “let’s improve team chemistry” like giving a contract extension to a player who will likely underperform that contract in the future. Hey, maybe Jackson won’t underperform the contract, but handing out potentially regrettable contracts doesn’t necessarily appease the fictional football gods.

Readers including Naomi Parker of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., noted the new Harold and Kumar movie, "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas," opens on Nov. 4. This makes it all but certain that a Christmas movie will close before Christmas. The question: Will this Christmas movie close before Thanksgiving?

Why would a movie studio release a movie when it doesn’t coincide with the actual holiday in the movie’s title? Isn’t the purpose of a movie to be factually accurate and not worry about making money? What’s worse is a few years ago the movie “Leap Year” came out AND IT WASN’T EVEN A LEAP YEAR!

TMQ's rule of comebacks is: Defense starts them, offense ends them.

I always enjoy it when Gregg makes up a rule he finds to be incredibly insightful when it really isn’t so. For example, the rule Gregg just created here says defenses start comebacks and offenses end them. This is about as obvious statement as can be made coated in a saying that is supposed to be insightful. Yes, of course a team has to play good defense to stop the other team from scoring before they can comeback. It’s hard to come back if the other team continues scoring. The offense ends the comeback because a team has to score more points in order to outscore the other team. This statement is just so painfully obvious. The defense has to stop the other team to stop the comeback and the offense has to score more points to complete the comeback.

Kolb continues to be a favorite of the Hell's sports bar crowd. In the last five years he is 4-10 as a starter with more interceptions (22) than touchdown passes (19), yet was recently the subject of a major trade, receiving a huge signing bonus in the process.

For the second straight week, Kolb got the huge signing bonus and was part of a “major” trade before he accumulated much of those statistics. Kolb has been terrible, but he has been mostly terrible after the trade.

Then Gregg begins to compliment the University of Houston offense, which is interesting because that university is where Kevin Kolb played college football. I don't know if you heard, but Kolb sucks and was recently a part of a major trade and was given a megabucks contract. I wonder if Gregg knows Kolb had very prolific college statistics at Houston just like Case Keenum does?

Keenum has 32 touchdown passes versus three interceptions, which is spectacular. He averages 10.6 yards per attempt, also spectacular. If Keenum's stats were fed into the NFL quarterback formula, he would rate as 137. The highest-rated NFL passer is Aaron Rodgers at 126.

If only Gregg could understand the difference in the NFL and college football when it comes to passing the football.

From the talent standpoint, the recent trend in college football is to put the best athletes on offense to please the boosters.

Here is another example of Gregg being somewhat correct about something, but he is wrong about the reason he is correct. Many of the best athletes aren’t on offense to please boosters, but instead to score touchdowns and take advantage of the best athletes’ skill set.

Purists like defensive struggles, spectators like shootouts. The result is loads of yards and points, though not necessarily a ranked outcome. Baylor is averaging 41 points a game, but is 4-3. Texas A&M, once the embodiment of the traditionalist formula of clock control and power defense, gained 471 yards on offense and lost to Oklahoma State, then gained 500 yards on offense and lost to Missouri.

I won’t say this reason explains the high scoring and poor defense for some teams, but many teams are scoring very quickly, so their defense doesn’t have a lot of time to rest. Sometimes I wonder how much that has to do with a team giving up a lot of points. Another hypothesis is the offense scores quickly and so the opposing offense gets more possessions and therefore more chances to score.

Bear in mind that when critics say there should be free-market bidding for NCAA Division I football and men's basketball players, what they propose would lead to a Marbury-style winner-take-all. College stars (the ones who eventually will get rich anyway) would enjoy their riches sooner, while most players would get nothing -- no pay, no scholarship. Last year, if there were free-market bidding in college sports, Cam Newton surely would have to be worth $5 million to Auburn.

I don’t know if people are proposing there be free-market bidding for Division I for football and men’s basketball players or not. I always thought the idea was to pay these athletes a stipend to cover their expenses and compensate them for the income they bring into the school. I didn’t think it was like a free-market bidding on these players, sort of like free agency in professional sports. I have never heard the idea of paying players based on the free-market price they could receive from various schools.

In Dick LeBeau choreography, the desired outcome is one rusher coming through unblocked.

In every defensive coordinator’s choreography, the desired outcome is for one rusher to come through unblocked. Every single defensive coordinator wants this.

With Brady's career winding down, if New England falters in 2011, Belichick's squirreling away draft choices will become much-discussed. Last spring, Belichick banked three extra high selections for 2012, including an extra No. 1. Boston sports nuts may end up wishing those selections had been spent on a last title push while Brady was still capable.

So does Gregg Easterbrook not expect Tom Brady to be capable of winning a Super Bowl next year? The Patriots have three high selections in next year’s draft and probably have 2-3 good years, minimum, left out of Tom Brady. So these draft choices could help them win a Super Bowl while Brady is still “capable.”

Here are Chad Ford's draft grades. He gave out 22 A's or B's and nothing below a C. That is, 73 percent of NBA drafts were above average while no one was below average.

I think this is because these experts who grade these drafts are afraid of being wrong or saying something that is proven incorrect. It sounds better to say, “I thought Player X was going to be a really good player,” when he isn't very good, as compared to missing completely on Player X when he turns out to be a very great player. This is because if a person misses completely on a player who turns out to be great it looks like he didn’t do his homework in scouting the player. Therefore most of the draft grades turn out positive to hedge against not predicting a player would be great in the NBA. It’s easier to explain why Michael Beasley doesn’t have the work ethic to make it in the NBA than to explain you watched Gilbert Arenas all through college and didn’t think he would be a good NBA player.

On the next Miami possession, leading 14-3, Davone Bess was open deep for what might have been a long touchdown reception; emerging Jersey/A star corner Corey Webster barely tipped the ball away. Miami seemed about to take over.

Then Sparano apparently got word from the press box that Andrew Luck and Landry Jones will be available in next spring's draft. Again the Dolphins collapsed on cue.

Why would a head coach, who Gregg admits is a lame duck, intentionally have his team lose to get a quarterback that head coach may never even be around to see?

Kickoff temperature 45 degrees, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride wore a heavy parka with a ski cap.

Gilbride overdressed for the game! Doesn’t that mean, according to Gregg’s rule that whichever team’s coach overdresses for a game is the team that loses the game. Therefore the Giants should have lost the game. Or are Gregg’s fake rules only applied when they are proven correct?

Next Week: Rocky the dog joins the Rachael Ray cast.

Every week now Gregg talks about dog food in TMQ and how some owners feed their dogs gourmet or upscale dog food. It’s actually a lot less interesting than it sounds.

12 comments:

jacktotherack said...

"How Did Philadelphia Toy With the Cowboys Like That? The Eagles came into the contest 2-4, with high expectations. Had they lost, the roof would have fallen in. The Boys came in 3-3 with low expectations. Had they lost, this would have seemed the recent norm at One Legends Way -- the Cowboys' actual mailing address in Arlington, Texas. You may not need to know anything more about the game than the info in this paragraph."

What the fuck is this? I've read this paragraph 5 times and I'm still not sure I understand Gregg's point, or if there is one. If his point is the Cowboys have low expectations, has he forgotten that franchise is owned by crazy-ass Jerry Jones? And what's with the comment about their mailing address? What the shit does that have to do with anything?

Martin F. said...

Another reason passing stats have fallen. Lot of receivers hurt this year. I know, I think I've had most of them on my Fantasy team.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I think that is a really complicated way of saying the Eagles wanted the game more than the Cowboys did. It has nothing to do with anything really. He just seems to believe the Cowboys didn't care to win that game while the Eagles did care to win.

I don't get the mailing address at all.

Martin, don't get me started. I had one league where I left two empty spots yesterday b/c I couldn't cut any of my guys on a bye week and Hakeem Nicks and Andre Johnson didn't play. I don't know if that is really the reason for passing stats falling lately, but it sounds good.

Anonymous said...

'My Week 2 column further forecast that "none of the quarterbacks now on a pace to break Marino's record will in fact break it." I am sticking to that call, too.'

I'll go further!! I predict that nobody will break Joe DiMaggio's hit streak, nobody will top Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game, and the Dolphins will pop their bottle of fucking champagne! It doesn't take balls of fucking steel to predict that records that have survived decades will probably survive one more fucking season.

HH said...

Invisible-hand logic would say to use Jackson up and throw him away. Why pay more to a guy who's bound by a contract he cannot break?

Invisible-hand logic doesn't say that. What's important here is reputation. If the the Bills become known as an organization that doesn't reward players who outperform their contracts, then future players who have a choice will prefer to go someplace else. People usually underestimate how important reputation is to corporate entities.

From the talent standpoint, the recent trend in college football is to put the best athletes on offense to please the boosters.

Actually, the best athletes generally play on offense because the offense controls what it does, while the defense is forced to react, generally. If you have one great athlete, and you play him at running back, you can get him 20-30 touches or more, if you want. If he's a middle linebacker, the offense can compensate by running and passing outside or deep, and minimizing his impact. That still helps your team but you have much less control.

In major college sports it's even more game-theoretical. At some point, the benefit of extra great athletes on offense diminishes - there's only so many touches to go around. So you shift a couple of defense where the marginal benefit is now higher.

Bear in mind that when critics say there should be free-market bidding for NCAA Division I football and men's basketball players, what they propose would lead to a Marbury-style winner-take-all. College stars (the ones who eventually will get rich anyway) would enjoy their riches sooner, while most players would get nothing -- no pay, no scholarship. Last year, if there were free-market bidding in college sports, Cam Newton surely would have to be worth $5 million to Auburn. But most of Auburn's players would have been worth little or nothing in free-market terms. Proposals for free-market bidding in collegiate sports never take this into account: They assume there will be bundles of money for the best players, and the money will come from the sky. In practice, it would come from average players.

BGF, there is definitely a strong current demanding that players be paid, basically, what they're worth. I happen to be in that camp, because the scenario, as laid out by Gregg, is ridiculous. College football players generate literally BILLIONS in value, and only a tiny part goes to players. Yes, Newton was probably worth 5 million to Auburn, but no one knew that going into the season. But let's say he would have received 1 million. That million isn't going to come from other players: Newton isn't going to generate any value surrounded by the likes of me. You still need a full team, and considering how hard teams recruit even 1 star recruits, most players in major college football would get as much or more as they get under the current system. (Players at smaller college would still likely get scholarships because most school will want to continue the tradition of having a football team.) Now where will the money for these players come from? From the leeches that are stealing it now: administrators and coaches. There is no no way Nick Saban makes 5 or 10 million a year (money created for the school by his players, who see no benefit) and instead the division is much more equitable: millions make it to the players who create the value of the tickets and merchandise and TV contracts, and big-shot coaches and worthless administrators take a paycut. This wouldn't hurt players as much as Gregg says (free agency for teenage baseball players in Latin America has been a huge boon for the sport there).

rich said...

Two weeks into the regular season, five quarterbacks were on a pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing yards mark.

For a guy who bitches about "Christmas Creep," he sure seemed to get bent out of shape a whopping 2 games into the season. If there were five guys in week 12 or something, sure, but week 2?

right now defensive coordinators all over the NFL are staring at film of how Pittsburgh shut down New England: see more below.

Lets see here: pass rush and cover Welker? I'm pretty sure that's been the same formula for a couple years now.

This could happen only if the quarterback's hand had imparted forward momentum to the ball. Didn't the referees rule against Newton's Second Law of Motion?"

Here's the thing: Take a paper towel tube and put a wad of paper on top of it. Now, hit it with your hand. Which way does the ball go? It goes forward.

The problem with Mike's analysis is that it fails to account for the fact that a human arm acts like a lever and that it rotate if hit. Thus, not only do we have to conserve momentum in the traditional sense, but we also have to conserve angular momentum - much like the paper towel.

Of course if the ball went 10 yards downfield, then yes, Mike would be correct; however, if the ball merely went forward a few inches, the physics involved are more complicated than basic level momentum.

Andy Reid is known for using the same game plan week after week, which is a reason the Eagles tend to wheeze out in the postseason, when film study intensifies.

Wheeze out in the playoffs? The guy has been to five NFC Championship games and a fucking Super Bowl... Wheeze out in the playoffs?

But chemistry matters in football, as does appeasement of the football gods. If the Bills want their feel-good season to continue, they need to offer Jackson some improvement to his deal.

Ya, because that worked out so well for the Titans didn't it?

This makes it all but certain that a Christmas movie will close before Christmas.

Maybe I'm weird, but once Xmas rolls around, my initial thought isn't "let's go to the movies!" No, the weather sucks and you're with family, so I usually stayed in.

Will this Christmas movie close before Thanksgiving?

I say this as a complete hater of the Harold and Kumar movies, it's not a Christmas movie. It's a Christmas themed Harold and Kumar movie.

If Keenum's stats were fed into the NFL quarterback formula, he would rate as 137.

Houston has played 9 games, 7 of them against teams with records below .500. The two teams above .500 are 5-4.

Kickoff temperature 45 degrees, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride wore a heavy parka with a ski cap.

I'm certain that Greggggg has never set foot on the field of a big football stadium. Just because the ambient temperature is 45 doesn't mean the on-field temperature is 45, especially with the notorious winds at the Meadowlands.

Gilbride is a terrible coordinator, but not because the dude wanted to stay warm.

Martin F. said...

Also, the QB's on pace only decreased by 40% in another 6 games. We went from 13% of the season done to 50% and only lost 2 QB's. By my crude pulling it out of my ass math, it might not be till game 14 that we are down to Aaron Rodgers by himself. Seriously, I would think that more then 5 QB's would be on pace after only 2 games. Talk about a tiny fucking sample size. It's as if a guy in MLB had 25 RBI after 20 Games and we projected him out to 200, or Tuffy Rhodes to be the majors first man with a 480 HR season after his 3 HR on opening day one year.

Unknown said...

Jack and BGF, I think Greggg's mock-chippy comment about the One Legends Way address is linked to his general contempt for whatever he considers to be hubris, e.g. lengthy executive titles and large coaching staffs with specific roles. As in he can never refer to Shanahan without appending "The Ultimate Leader". And is obsessed with names in general.

Never mind that Greggg appears to be on pace to become 200% more smug and self-satisfied by the end of the regular season. So much that he has taken to leading off the column with a blithe self-contradiction.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I agree with you on that. I held off on saying that since there are a few QB's on pace to breaking that record. I think it can be broken, but your point absolutely stands.

HH, that's a good point about Jackson. In my sarcasm I didn't think about how it would affect other players who want to play in Buffalo.

That point about the offensive players in college from Gregg is a great example of him being correct, but completely missing the reason he was correct. Your reasoning is much more correct.

I had not heard of the free market theory of paying players. I'm not sure where the fuck I have been I guess. As far as paying players, I'm not sure I completely agree with it, though I have no problem with athletes making money off their names and sport in other ways. I see no reason why an athlete shouldn't make some money off the fame/notoriety he is bringing to the university he attends. Athletes do need to be compensated in some way though.

jacktotherack said...

Unkonwn, I think you are exactly right on Gregg being offended by the "One Legends Way" address, but that makes his last sentence even more stupid. "You may not need to know anything more about the game than the info in this paragraph." Like that somehow clarifies his point at all.

Is he hinting that the football gods are punishing the Cowboys because they have the audacity to have such a self-congratulatory address? I mean that is incredibly stupid, but is really the only way any of this makes sense. Otherwise he is claiming thate the name of the Cowboys mailing address is somehow relevant to their desire to win and lowered expectations, which is even more fucking stupid.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

newton's second law actually states that force = dp/dt; it is his first and third laws that imply conservation of momentum. i am going to postulate that readers are so used to reading gregg's column that they are becoming stupider and less knowledgeable about physics.

wow...easterbrookian logic is really really fun - there's no need to back up claims with solid logic!! i need to try this more often!

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I just love the idea there is an easily repeatable formula for beating the Patriots now. I guess they'll never win another game.

Didn't catch that Reid "wheeze out" thing. Well, I did, but your comment is what I should have said.

Also, Gregg doesn't know enough to know what kind of film "Harold and Kumar" is, he just knows it has Xmas in the title and it isn't Xmas.

Martin, I can see someone breaking the yard record this year. I'm not saying it will happen, but now I want it to in order to see Gregg Easterbrook pretend he never said anything about this.

Unknown, Gregg Easterbrook should never be able to accuse anyone of hubris. He has more hubris than 99% of sportswriters. I'm not sure why he is obsessed with names.

Arjun, I think someone points that out in this week's column. Easterbrookian logic dictates there is no need for logic nor evidence for your claims. It's great.